Politics Blog

Voters still in the dark on campaign funding

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A legislative attempt to shed light on major funders of political campaign ads died in Sacramento last week, and the politics surrounding its demise reflect a split between groups who are normally allies on the left.

The California DISCLOSE Act -- which stands for “Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections” – needed a two-thirds vote to pass both houses of the California Legislature, but ended up being withdrawn without ever being brought to a vote.Read more »

Norquist, tech titans, and whether Burning Man is positively affecting society

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Is Burning Man really making Bay Area technology titans, right-wing ideologues, and other uber-capitalists more community-minded? Do they really come back from the desert feeling more goodwill toward their fellow humans and then push egalitarian innovations to help the masses?Read more »

Taking a cue from SF, California Legislature bans plastic bags and offers paid sick leave

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California lawmakers took two big steps forward last week, passing a statewide plastic bag ban and a measure providing workers with three sick days a year, both issues borrowed from San Francisco. California is the second state to pass each bill, with Hawaii banning plastic bags in January of this year and Connecticut enacting a similar sick leave measure in 2012.Read more »

He hates these cans! How helping Muni becomes hating nonprofits

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While I’m reluctant to give this self-serving poverty pimp any more attention or web traffic, it’s hard to ignore the latest misleading hit piece that Randy Shaw has written on behalf of Mayor Ed Lee, going after Sup. Scott Wiener and his Muni funding measure Prop. B.Read more »

SF-style cycletracks may spread throughout California under approved legislation

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San Francisco-style cycletracks — bike lanes physically separated from automobile traffic — could proliferate in cities throughout California under a bill approved today [Fri/29] by the Legislature, provided Gov. Jerry Brown decides to sign it.Read more »

From tanks to scooters: The top five most and least intimidating SFPD vehicles

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Our news feature story this week covered the militarization of police departments across the country, including the SFPD, and how the easy accessibility of "cool toys" like grenade launchers and armored vehicles encourages violence.

But one conclusion we were left with as we worked on the story was this: the SFPD ain’t all bad. During the last Police Commission meeting, Chief Greg Suhr mentioned he was almost hesitant to order four forklifts from the Department of Defense due to scrutiny from the news media. Read more »

Ranks of opposition to 16th and Mission development grow as Plaza 16 pushes forward

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In the sea of nonprofit leaders, career organizers, and rabblerousers, one old man put the Mission's struggle into context, last night [Thu/28]. It was a majority Latino district even as recently as the '90s, he told the crowd gathered in St. John's Episcopal Church last night. But now: "Here in the Mission, I can count the Latinos on my hands."Read more »

Predicting earthquakes, from 14-year-old prophets to train-stopping ShakeAlerts to lessons from disaster flicks

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Earlier today, I called my mother, a natural disaster film junkie, and asked her, “Do you know of any movies where someone predicts natural disasters, but no one believes the guy, and so everything goes a little haywire?”

“10.5, Day After Tomorrow, 2012, Volcano, Deep Impact, and Knowing,” she replied without any hesitation. “But in Knowing the protagonist gets help from aliens to predict disasters, so I don't know if that's bordering on fiction.”Read more »

BART launches internal affairs investigation into tackling arrest of black man

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The Bay Area Rapid Transit Police Department has launched an internal affairs investigation after an officer tackled and subsequently arrested a suspect, the Bay Guardian has learned. The nature of the complaint leading into the investigation is not yet known, but statements from the suspect's attorney indicate it may be racially motivated. Read more »

Did Big Soda swing a key endorsement by a progressive democratic club?

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Did the soda industry buy a prominent progressive political endorsement? Sunday's San Francisco Chronicle raised the question in a story by Heather Knight, who goes on to air a number of rumors propagated by the soda tax supporters against the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club.Read more »