Mayor Lee’s mysterious breakfast companions [UPDATED]

Dealing in the shadows?

See an update to this story below. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has been having breakfast with CEOs to seek millions in funding for the America’s Cup, but the identities of those CEOs remain a mystery.

At a City Hall hearing two weeks ago, America’s Cup Organizing Committee chief Kyri McClellan told supervisors that Lee has been “putting an incredible amount of energy” into fundraising to cover city costs for the America’s Cup. As the yacht race draws closer, pressure is building around an anticipated funding shortfall that could deal a blow to city coffers.

McClellan told supervisors that Lee was "holding breakfasts with CEOs" to raise money. Encouragingly, she added, “people are responding.”

So, who are the CEOs? And how much have they agreed to contribute? So far, nobody has disclosed that information.

Shortly after the hearing, the Guardian submitted a public records request to Lee’s office seeking documentation on the fundraising breakfasts and records showing the names and affiliations of the CEOs.

In response, we received several pages from the mayor’s calendar. Entries show that Lee held half a dozen meetings concerning “economic development,” with no mention of the America’s Cup. The mayor had a meeting at Waterbar, a restaurant on the Embarcadero overlooking the Bay Bridge, on the morning of Jan. 25; he had another meeting there Feb. 1; he met at the Hotel Vitale on Feb. 22; met at City Hall on Feb. 28; had breakfast at the St. Regis Hotel on March 1, and had lunch with someone at Original Joe’s on March 4. But there was no information disclosing whom he met with.

After receiving the documents, the Guardian left multiple voicemails with the mayor’s press office asking for the identities of the CEOs. So far, nobody has responded.

The request also yielded a fundraising form that asks prospective donors to “join the 2013 America’s Cup San Francisco Host Committee.”

Donors could opt to become a “Legacy Benefactor” for committing to give or raise $5 million; a “Legacy Partner” for $2.5 million; a “Strategic Partner” for $1 million, a “Civic Champion” for $500,000, or a mere “Member” for $250,000. Donors with questions or who wished “to connect with Mayor Lee” could call Stephanie Roumeliotes, the form noted. 

Roumeliotes is a prominent fundraiser and political strategist who provided financial consulting for the re-election campaigns of Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer. She was appointed to serve on the Golden Gate Concourse Authority, a part of the Recreation and Parks Department, by former Mayor Gavin Newsom.

A call to the number listed went to SGR Consulting, Roumeliotes’ firm. The receptionist declined to comment or to connect the Guardian with Roumeliotes, saying, “All press inquiries should be directed to the Mayor’s Office.”

UPDATE: We just received a voicemail from Christine Falvey, Mayor Lee's press secretary, who told us "I don't have a list of the attendees for those breakfasts. They were hosted by the America's Cup Organizing Committee." Which raises more questions, but in any case we placed a call to race organizers and will update again when we know more.


position to invest in the city and it's ventures?

Really? I am shocked.

Shouldn't he instead be meeting with people who have no money? Those who are in position to help? Surely that would make far more sense when we are short of funding, right?

Posted by anon on Mar. 27, 2013 @ 3:16 pm

"Shouldn't he instead be meeting with people who have no money?"

Yeah, why does he only cater to corporations? What about ordinary folks like the taxpaying citizens of SF? Instead of helping the people of SF, we get tax breaks for the very rich.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 27, 2013 @ 3:31 pm

You just bring problems and demands.

A big part of the mayor's job is shmoozing with those who can actually get things done.

Posted by anon on Mar. 27, 2013 @ 3:45 pm

what he is "getting done" these days is paying for an egomaniacs overblown yacht race.

Posted by anadromy on Mar. 27, 2013 @ 4:03 pm
Posted by anon on Mar. 27, 2013 @ 4:15 pm

but you have to wonder what world class events the progressives bring to the city.

The anarchist book fair at the Armory I suppose?

If progressives ran the world we would still be living in mud huts dieing in our thirties from scurvy.

Posted by matlock on Mar. 27, 2013 @ 6:01 pm

Among the things progressives have brought us:

The 8-hour workday. The weekend. Civil rights laws. Regulation of food supplies. Clean water laws. Social security. Medicare. Universal public education. The Internet.

Progressive ideology is the reason we aren't all dead at 30 and living in horrible conditions.

Posted by tim on Mar. 27, 2013 @ 7:27 pm

Was never universal in the USA until the crazy right was afraid that the Catholics were going to get the upper hand over other people's kids and states passed mandated attendance laws.

First Wave: 1920s

In the 1920s the idea of compulsory public education gained traction in various states, largely as a reaction against parochial schools. The Ku Klux Klan supported the movement.[2] In Michigan the movement achieved a referendum on the subject in 1920, but won less than 40 percent of the vote.[3] In Oregon a similar measure passed in 1922. Campaigning for it, the Ku Klux Klan “circulated a tract that pictured a grinning, torch-wielding Catholic bishop triumphantly departing from a burning public school house whose teacher rang the school bell one last time as he lay dying in the vestibule, mourned by crying children.”[7]

In Pierce v. Society of Sisters (1925) the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously struck down Oregon's law.[4] The decision was widely hailed by progressive elites such as the presidents of Yale University and the University of Texas, the Journal of Education, John Dewey, future supreme court justice Felix Frankfurter, and the National Education Association.[8]


In countries such as Germany it is previous to "progressives" it came about so as to indoctrinate the youths correctly. Something that progressives have now taken on in our schools today.

Prussian era

Historically, Lutheranism had a strong influence on German culture, including its education. Martin Luther advocated compulsory schooling so that all people would independently be able to read and interpret the Bible. This concept became a model for schools throughout Germany.

During the 18th century, the Kingdom of Prussia was among the first countries in the world to introduce free and generally compulsory primary education, consisting of an eight-year course of basic education, Volksschule. It provided not only the skills needed in an early industrialized world (reading, writing, and arithmetic), but also a strict education in ethics, duty, discipline and obedience. Children of affluent parents often went on to attend preparatory private schools for an additional four years, but the general population had virtually no access to secondary education.

In 1810, after the Napoleonic wars, Prussia introduced state certification requirements for teachers, which significantly raised the standard of teaching. The final examination, Abitur, was introduced in 1788, implemented in all Prussian secondary schools by 1812 and extended to all of Germany in 1871. The state also established teacher training colleges for prospective teachers in the common or elementary grades.


What was that popular saying when we were kids?

"Everything you know is wrong."

Posted by matlock on Mar. 27, 2013 @ 8:07 pm

Progressives bring us bread. The mods bring us circuses.

Posted by Greg on Mar. 27, 2013 @ 8:15 pm

That nothing Tim Mentioned involved actually producing anything.

Posted by matlock on Mar. 27, 2013 @ 8:45 pm

Medicare: 1960s
Civil Rights Laws: 1960s
Clean Water: 1970s

The rest of it:

8 Hour workday: 1930s
Weekend: 1930s
Food Regulation: 1910s
Social Security: 1930s
Universal Public Education: 1920s

was from my grandparents' generation.

The Internet was a product of the Vietnam era military and hard sciences academia, hardly a progressive innovation. The WWW was developed at a particle physics center in Switzerland and at UIUC.

Posted by marcos on Mar. 27, 2013 @ 8:30 pm

The ADA...

Posted by marcos on Mar. 27, 2013 @ 8:41 pm

the A bomb.

Opie and his pals were all liberals. They also gave us Eugenics.

You take the good with the bad I suppose.

Posted by matlock on Mar. 27, 2013 @ 8:47 pm

Great list of accomplishments. But the modern SFBG Progressive isn't trusted to govern anything, even in San Francisco. They've had one Mayor in a generation and he was voted out of office. They briefly controlled the local Democratic Party, but that didn't last either. They don't even represent Haight Ashbury anymore.

So, yes, those historical 'Progressives' accomplished some great things, but they have nothing to do with today's SFBG Porgressives.

Posted by Troll on Mar. 27, 2013 @ 8:48 pm

I wouldn't call LBJ and Nixon progressives.

Contemporary San Francisco progressives' major accomplishments are defending rent control, raising the minimum wage and pegging it to inflation, Healthy SF and the sick days mandate.

Posted by marcos on Mar. 27, 2013 @ 9:18 pm

campaign finance, restrictions on lobbyists, the Sunshine Ordinance, instant run-off voting, downtown height limitations, plastic bag ban and no doubt many other things in his glee to get along with matlock.

Those are just local initiatives.

Oh, and the dismissal of "food safety" as something that got done in his grandma's time? marcos must like GMO food.

Sure. Technos made the Internet -- "hardly progressive!"; why, of course because being progressive means you've got an I.Q. of 90 or below, right? (Al Gore created the internet: fact)

Posted by lillipublicans on Mar. 28, 2013 @ 1:45 am
Posted by Guest on Mar. 28, 2013 @ 11:10 am

The document validating Gore's completely justified though slightly rash sounding claim was signed by some of the big wheels whose work that marcos contributed "Infinitesimally" to.

Al Gore created the internet by incessant lobbying and supporting further investment to create it. It would have no doubt happened without him, but without his work starting in the early 70s -- we'd probably just be where we were in 1995 with it now.

Big Troll Lie #5 is that Nader lost the election for Gore, but your foolishly transparent trollism touches on it.

Tennessee was on a long pendulum swing rightward all through Gore's career. He was the last Democratic senator there and in large part hung on to his seat despite such shifts due to name recognition.

Posted by lillipublicans on Mar. 28, 2013 @ 11:31 am

it's not clear how Al Gore, Marcos, or any other liberal with delusions of grandeur could materially have "invented" it.

You are correct about one thing tho - Nader did not lose Gore the election. Gore lost gore the election.

My point about TN was more that, had Gore won his own State, Florida would not have made any difference.

So, like I said, progressives had a chance to elect a President, by voting for Nader. You cannot blame the system simply because not enough people see things the way that you do.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 28, 2013 @ 2:32 pm

Campaign finance has been rolled back, all but repealed.

The Sunshine Ordinance is in tatters.

Downtown height limitations are history.

Posted by marcos on Mar. 28, 2013 @ 11:18 am

The same people from the chosen lobbyists are down their giving orders to Avalos and the gang.

The Internet was a product of the military.

Posted by matlock on Mar. 28, 2013 @ 7:41 pm

"America’s Cup Organizing Committee chief Kyri McClellan told supervisors that Lee has been “putting an incredible amount of energy” into fundraising to cover city costs for the America’s Cup."

Thank goodness he's tackling the important issues facing ... Larry Ellison!

Posted by anadromy on Mar. 27, 2013 @ 4:04 pm

and so instead it comes out of your taxes.

Posted by anon on Mar. 27, 2013 @ 4:15 pm

If Ed Lee hadn't agreed to put the city on the hook for Ellison's little boat race in the first place.

Posted by Greg on Mar. 27, 2013 @ 8:17 pm

committing to an idea.

If it were up to you, SF would just host conventions for homeless lesbians and bad artists. Sometimes you have to strive for excellence rather than mediocrity.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 28, 2013 @ 6:59 am holding a billionaire's little pet boat race.

Posted by Greg on Mar. 29, 2013 @ 9:05 pm

Olympics, The soccer world cup and of course the biggest sailing competition on the planet.

Frankly, San Francisco is too small town and provincial to usually attract such events, and it is the smug, self-satisfied lack of ambition of people like you that ensure SF's continuing mediocrity. This event is an exception to that, and well worth an investment.

I'd rather see my taxes going towards this event, and it's striving for greatness, than to some non-profit or vanishing in a hopelessly unsustainable public-sector pensions deficit.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 30, 2013 @ 8:52 am

If you think San Francisco is so mediocre, go move to a great city like Dallas or Atlanta where I'm sure you'll be more at home. I could care less about kicking a soccer ball around or sailing little boats. I want to live in a city that takes care of its poor and elderly. The billionaires can pay for their own damn boat race.

Posted by Greg on Mar. 31, 2013 @ 9:38 pm

Ask the average tourist or immigrant or businessman or investor why they come to SF, and it will not be because of all the poor, homeless people here.

It is DESPITE them.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 01, 2013 @ 6:35 am

Greg, I completely support your sentiment regarding the inherently grand quality of San Francisco and its complete lack of any need for "improvement" through sponsoring "world-class" events, but I'd offer that in your effort to quite properly disparage the suggestion you may slightly overplay the rhetoric regarding soccer and sailing.

Ellison's mega catamarans *are* *not* the sum total of what sailing in the San Francisco bay area represents which is relatively affordable and accessible even through local sailing clubs.

Similarly our rich ethnic tapestry and general level of health and fitness represented by local soccer play contributes to the locality's excellence.

The way I'd amplify your point about the city taking care of its poor and elderly is by remarking that the real-life ramifications of holding such "world class" events as the Olympics invariably fall hardest on those groups and do not help them in the least.

Posted by lillipublicans on Apr. 01, 2013 @ 6:38 am

Our ambition is to take care that our city remains an amazing place to live and is not hijacked by libertarian scamsters.

Posted by marcos on Mar. 31, 2013 @ 10:02 pm

try and make SF a city for losers.

As such, having winners and successful people here is seen as a problem.

Do you have any idea how weird you seem to most people?

Posted by Guest on Apr. 01, 2013 @ 6:37 am

I think Rebecca has made a serious case indicating that Mayor Lee is indeed actively involved in raising money to pay for an event that everyone, including John Avalos, feels will bring significant benefits to San Francisco's economy.

I hope that the SFBG publishes the list of the actual benefactors as soon as their contributions are recorded so that we can publicly thank them.

Mayor Lee rocks!!!! Thanks for the update Rebecca!

Posted by Troll on Mar. 27, 2013 @ 7:36 pm

I think you can count on our thanks being expressed in contract overruns, permit extensions, rule waivers and all the goodies on offer in a pay-to-play city hall.

Posted by CitiReport on Mar. 28, 2013 @ 2:30 pm

Let's invest instead in even more bad art and throw more money at losers.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 28, 2013 @ 2:47 pm

Lee, like other corporatist politicians, works for his corporate owners. Period.

His rabid supporters---who are still mindlessly campaigning for him not realizing the election is over (they're thick and slow)---have no standards whatsoever. This man is supposed to be the mayor of the city (which includes all people), not just the mayor for the wealthy and the corporations.

He's a typical corporatist politician. Bad news. I know the Chamber of Commerce gushes over him and creates phony polls to cheer-lead for him. And speaking of other typical corporatist politicians, the ones in congress are less popular than cockroaches and traffic jams. When asked if they have a higher opinion of either congress or a series of unpleasant or disliked things, voters said they had a higher opinion of root canals...

(google: Congress less popular than cockroaches, traffic jams - January 08, 2013)
Public Policy Polling website

Posted by Guest on Mar. 28, 2013 @ 3:36 am

Consider the people he has supporting him. The right-wing trolls on here are among his biggest supporters. They are hateful, smug, in-your-face, degrading, nasty, snarky, very immature, full of venom and bile and I could go on. That's the type of people he has supporting him and who are attracted to him, so what does that say about him?

And by the way, whatever happened to this?

District Attorney Should Investigate Alleged Ed Lee Perjury, Richmond Democrats Demand

Posted by Guest on Mar. 28, 2013 @ 4:13 am

was not an iota of evidence that there was any. It was simply a smear campaign by a couple of supporters of Ross to try and deflect attention away from Ross's abuse and guilt.

It was a hearsay allegation with no substantiation from anyone who was actually present for the alleged conversation.

I find it odd that you accuse those with a different political outlook from yourself as being "hateful" since the very expression of that statement smacks of hatred itself.

Most of the hate I see here is by those on the left hating on the moderate, centrist majority who decide mayoral elections.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 30, 2013 @ 8:49 am

Jason Grant Garza here ... wow, nothing happened because there was not an iota of evidence ... did you examine it all or just DRANK the DA's Kool Aid - because he said so.

Let us see ... Criminal Fraud ...

and the DA Office telling me it did NOT CARE ABOUT MY LEGAL RIGHTS


to the Chief of Police Department telling me I am not complying with their RIGGED PROCESS instead of FULL TRANSPARENCY and ACCOUNTABILITY

to the FURTHER HARM when I try to follow up

to the now article DA Shrugs off Furniture Fuss

Shall we see what the DA says in regard to the LAWBREAKING ACTIVITY by DPH on 12/19/2012 or 3/15/2013

However, I am sure that it will be like the SFPD spin ... NO LAW BROKEN

Because our HERO (s) can NOT fail? Again, have you seen all the EVIDENCE?

Don't expect REALITY from those it BEHOOFS to spread the ILLUSION for their NICE RETIREMENT and BENEFITS ....

Where is the HARM in EXAMINING all unless ... you'd rather keep DRINKING the KOOL AID to offer solace ....

Comments, facts, videos or just more warm and fuzzies ... Where's the HARM in EXAMINING ALL as opposed to BLIND FAITH ?????

Posted by Jason Grant Garza on Mar. 31, 2013 @ 1:00 pm

do not think that most of them are criminals.

That said, it is a good reason to distrust government, and therefore keep government as small and starved of funds as possible.

Posted by anon on Mar. 31, 2013 @ 1:13 pm

Um....KPIX commissioned a separate poll that confirmed the 60% approval rating that came up in the C of C poll.

But I understand your need to deny the reality before you.

But look, even John Avalos says that the America's Cup will provide significant benefits to the local economy, which benefits everyone. Maybe you could try again to look at things in a non biased light.

Go ahead, just take the first step and try.

Posted by Troll on Mar. 28, 2013 @ 6:09 am

Unions? Non-profits?

He certainly would have had no influence with those in a position to help the city.

Lee has a 65% approval rating for a reason. He really does "get things done".

Posted by Guest on Mar. 28, 2013 @ 7:01 am

Same poll had the wife-beater at under 50%.

Avalos, of course, isn't significant enough for anyone to even ask about his rating.

Posted by anon on Mar. 28, 2013 @ 7:02 am

It isn't what they specialize in; which is lying to promote misery among those of superior moral fiber.

Posted by lillipublicans on Mar. 30, 2013 @ 9:24 am

factor - whether the poll approves of something that he personally approves.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 30, 2013 @ 10:36 am