Politics Blog

The street-sweeping non-scandal

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Warren Hickle over at the argonaut is all in a tizzy about the prospect that mayor's budget reduces the regularity of mechanized street sweeping on the west side of town. But I have to agree with the commenters at sfist -- most neighborhoods would be thrilled to have those damn street sweeping machines gone.

Street sweeping is a tax on people who own cars but don't have enough money to have garages. That's mostly tenants. Read more »

Mirant plant staying open?

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San Francisco's proposal to install several combustion turbines, or "peaker" plants, in the southeast neighborhoods has created a firestorm of protest, particularly from environmentalists who don't want the city building any new fossil-fuel plants.

I get that. Read more »

Newsom, Eric Jaye and PG&E

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The following is an email exchange between me and Nathan Ballard, the mayor’s press secretary, on the subject of the Clean Energy Act. It raises some interesting questions; I thought I’d just post it without further comment.

ME: Will Mayor Newsom be endorsing the Clean Energy Act?

NATHAN BALLARD: Check with Jaye.

ME: Thanks, I will. A private political consultant is now speaking for the mayor on policy positions?

BALLARD: I don't use public resources/time to comment about endorsements on ballot measures, candidate races, etc. Read more »

Newsom slaps down the Paul Reveres

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By John Bardis

Mayor Newsom has proposed some disturbing legislation. He wants whistleblower citizens to pay a $500 filing fee to exercise the right to request the Planning Commission to hold a public hearing on proposed construction projects that might violate the Planning Code.

What a shameful example of misguided legislation in San Francisco. Read more »

Vega leaving the Chron for KGO-TV

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Cecilia Vega -- who covers Mayor Gavin Newsom for the San Francisco Chronicle, where she broke big stories ranging from the big sex scandal to the mayor's extravagant spending during hard times -- has taken a job with KGO-TV Channel 7 covering Oakland City Hall. Read more »

Another privatization success story

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The stock market took another tumble today on the work that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which guarantee a large percentage of the mortagages in the United States, are in crisis and may be nearing collapse. Word is that the Bush Administration may have to step in with a bailout plan that could compare with the massive S&L bailout of the early 1990s.

Why are the two giant corporations, without which the entire housing market Read more »

A hollow victory for urban gardening movement

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When I first heard about current plans to build a "Victory Garden" in Civic Center Plaza -- which will be officially planted tomorrow at 10 a.m. in a ceremony featuring Mayor Gavin Newsom and Alice Waters, the pioneering restaurateur who founded Slow Food Nation -- I thought it was a really cool idea. Read more »

Presidential Musical Chairs

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Musical support alone might be enough to swing undecided voters in the November presidential race.
On the one hand, you could vote for a guy who has "It's Rainin' McCain, Hallelujah!" kinda musical backup:

I'm sorry, but whatever way you look at it that video sucks. Read more »

Newsom political loyalist to head staff

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In another sign that Mayor Gavin Newsom is increasingly looking past San Francisco's needs into his own political future as a candidate for governor, he has announced the resignation of chief of staff Phil Ginsburg, a competent manager and bureaucrat who appears to have been forced out for not having sharp enough political teeth. Read more »

High speed rail moves forward

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The California High Speed Rail Authority, during a meeting this morning in San Francisco, voted unanimously to set the Bay Area route through the Pacheco Pass and up the peninsula into the Transbay Terminal and to approve the related environmental documents. Read more »