OPINION The recent news stories criticizing the city's juvenile probation department for sending undocumented children home instead of handing them over to the federal immigration authorities has ignited a firestorm of negative attacks.
However, the stories missed a key fact: the city's practice of transporting youth home was enacted with the full knowledge and cooperation of the Immigration and Naturalization Service 12 years ago.
San Francisco's 1989 voter-approved sanctuary law specifically forbids city officials from providing information to federal immigration authorities Read more »
OPINION This isn't the first time it's happened. Most politicians break promises. That's the nature of politics. But when someone signs a pledge twice saying he won't privatize city services, when he holds himself out as a champion of anti-privatization and then goes directly against that stand well, it kind of makes you wonder.
That politician is San Francisco Sup. Jake McGoldrick. In the past, he stood against privatizing services. Read more »
OPINION In 2000, San Francisco voters approved a system of public financing of campaigns for the Board of Supervisors, which in 2006 was expanded to the mayoral race. By eliminating the need for candidates to raise large amounts of private money, the program has been extremely successful at helping sever the link between big money and political decisions. But now this flagship program is threatened: Mayor Gavin Newsom is proposing to raid several million dollars from the public campaign fund.Read more »
OPINION We all remember Gavin Newsom's stunt four years ago, when he emerged from a tight election race against Matt Gonzalez and promptly "legalized" gay marriage, sending his approval ratings soaring and guaranteeing him a second term. Read more »
OPINION With the first linen pants of 2008, this city commenced collecting employer contributions to the Healthy San Francisco universal health care program. Employers that don't provide insurance now must pay the city for the public health care their employees use anyway. A number of restaurants have added "Healthy San Francisco" surcharges of 2 to 4 percent to diners' tabs. These surcharges are at best sour grapes and at worst a diabolical plan to thwart democracy.
Present spite notwithstanding, I spend all my discretionary income on dining. Read more »
OPINION In 2003, when I was working as an anchor for a San Francisco television station, newscasters and reporters across the country were asked by the White House to refer to the Iraqi invasion as Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). We were asked to call the war in Afghanistan Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).
With press releases in hand, journalists repeated genetically modified words as if their DNA depended upon it.
Genetically modified language is when propaganda wins, journalism sells out, and the public loses. Read more »
OPINION Local government is frozen. The mayor's office and the Board of Supervisors have been engaged in open warfare for months. This week, Mayor Gavin Newsom announced that in order to balance San Francisco's budget, city services and community-based organizations will have to undergo draconian cuts.
In a preemptive move against embarrassing protests, the mayor's press office did not reveal the location of the annual budget presentation to the news media until late Friday afternoon. Read more »
OPINION How would you like to be represented by someone who flacks for the insurance industry, serves real estate developers and landlords with zeal, opposes consumer privacy, and is a role model for corporate Democrats with a firm allegiance to big business?
You wouldn't know it from the vague aura of his slick ads, but Joe Nation is hoping to be that someone in the state Senate. Read more »
OPINION Just as the California Supreme Court finally recognizes queers as full and equal citizens by ruling in favor of gay marriage, a June 3 ballot measure threatens to kill anti-discrimination protections for queers. But that's not the half of it: Proposition 98 is in fact a savage attack on protections of all kinds for all Californians.
A fraud wrapped within a fraud, Prop. 98 masquerades as eminent domain reform while only semi-covertly legisutf8g the death of rent control. But just as rent control is about far more than price alone, Prop. Read more »
OPINION In November 2006, San Francisco made history when the school board made this the first big city in the nation to ban JROTC [Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps]. The board's resolution, which called for phasing out JROTC from high schools this June, stated that "JROTC is a program wholly created and administrated by the United States Department of Defense, whose documents and memoranda clearly identify JROTC as an important recruiting arm."Read more »