EDITORIAL We've seen plenty of allies of Pacific Gas and Electric Co. on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. We've seen a few PG&E bagmen, PG&E shills, and PG&E fronts. But there's never been anyone elected to the board in our 40 years who was actually a paid attorney for PG&E.
This year there's at least one and possibly two candidates who have worked as PG&E lawyers — and that alone should disqualify them ever from holding public office in San Francisco. The most obvious and direct conflict involves Doug Chan, the former police commissioner who is seeking a seat from District 4. Read more »
EDITORIAL One of the half-dozen worst members of the United States Congress represents a district less than 50 miles from San Francisco. Republican Richard Pombo of Tracy chairs the House Resources Committee and has used that post to attempt to eliminate the Endangered Species Act and gut a long list of environmental regulations. He's been an ally of Tom DeLay and Jack Abramoff. He's rabidly antichoice. Read more »
EDITORIAL It's hard to take the California Courts of Appeal decision on same-sex marriage seriously. It reads like some sort of joke, the product of a bad old mind-set that this country put behind it almost 40 years ago when the US Supreme Court struck down bans on interracial marriage. Read more »
EDITORIAL Mayor Gavin Newsom, perhaps looking for a big issue to bring to a star-studded environmental meeting in New York City last week, suddenly discovered the value of tidal energy. There's actually nothing new about the idea: although Newsom didn't give anyone but himself credit, the plan was first floated by Matt Gonzalez in the 2003 mayor's race. It was picked up by Supervisors Jake McGoldrick and Ross Mirkarimi and has been on the agenda at Mirkarimi's Local Area Formation Committee (LAFCo) for more than a year.
But whatever — if the mayor's on board, fine. Read more »
EDITORIAL KQED, San Francisco's venerable public radio and television outlet, is trying to summarily abandon internal democracy. The station's management is sending out letters this week asking its 190,000 members to vote on a bylaws change that would eliminate direct election of board members and shift complete control of the station's operations to a self-appointed board. Read more »
So much going on this week: the cops and the San Francisco Police Commission are heading for a battle over secrecy, the cops and the supervisors are headed for a battle over foot patrols — and Mayor Gavin Newsom is heading for a battle with homeless advocates over a new round of sweeps at Golden Gate Park. The mayor and the local gendarmes can't win any of this without community support and would do far better to stop trying to fight these battles.
Then there's redevelopment and the city attorney ... Read more »
EDITORIAL The fall campaign season has only begun, and already the District 6 race is getting really ugly. A downtown-funded operation, hiding behind anonymous mailers and front groups, is spending gobs of money to smear Sup. Chris Daly, and thanks to the city's campaign-spending laws, Daly's ability to fight back is limited. Read more »
In just 30 days, the Oak to Ninth Referendum Committee collected the signatures of 25,068 Oakland residents who want a chance to vote on a massive development project that would bring 31,000 new homes to the Oakland waterfront. But the matter may never be on the ballot: on Sept. 6, Oakland City Attorney John Russo directed the city clerk to invalidate the petition because it didn't conform to the requirements of state election law.
It's likely that from a legal standpoint Russo's determination is correct. Read more »
EDITORIAL If a doctor does something really terrible and is suspended from the practice of medicine, the record is public: anyone — a potential future patient, for example — can check with the medical licensing board and find out what happened. Same goes for lawyers — discipline cases are not only public, but the legal papers routinely publish the details of the charges and the state bar association's decisions. Judges? Same deal. Read more »