Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Examiner and District 5

Dean Preston, left,
and London Breed are running to represent District 5 on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)
Photo: Jessica Christian for the Examiner

Both the SF Chronicle and the SF Examiner are worse than useless in informing the city's voters about local issues. How the Examiner covers District 5 is an excellent example.

From the Examiner's article yesterday on the campaign for District 5 Supervisor:

The race could influence whether the Board of Supervisors is dominated by the progressive bloc, as is the case now, or the moderates.

Challenger Dean Preston, who is from New York and has lived in the district for two decades, said he decided to run because Breed wasn’t serving many of the district’s needs, especially in relation to the housing crisis. For Breed’s part, she said her track record extends beyond housing, and that appears to be where Preston’s stops.

Preston has tried to center his election bid on righting The City’s housing crisis, while Breed is touting her local roots and track record of addressing neighborhood issues, including underserved groups. Preston, a longtime housing rights lawyer and founder of Tenants Together, a state tenants rights group, said Breed has too often voted on the side of Mayor Ed Lee’s moderate bloc in City Hall.

Born and raised in public housing in the Western Addition, Breed, who was first elected as supervisor in 2012 and is now board president, disputed Preston’s characterization of her track record, claiming she is neither moderate nor progressive but an advocate for many who have been left behind.

This tells us nothing about the candidates, except that Preston's campaign is about housing, adding correctly "that appears to be where Preston's stops." As I pointed months ago, he's running a one-issue campaign. Preston provides nothing about those other district "needs," as I also pointed out back in July.

Speaking of issues, what about the Masonic Avenue bike project, which will make traffic and finding parking worse in the middle of District 5? Whenever the Examiner writes about it, we get City Hall's line on that destructive project. Preston probably figures taking a position on Masonic is a losing proposition, since doing so will surely annoy a lot of voters. Breed has always supported the project.

Preston's website has nothing about issues; it's all about raising money for his campaign. There's more information on his Facebook page, but it's still all about housing. Preston lists his endorsers---all San Francisco progressives, which butters no parsnips for me, a mere liberal Democrat. He's been endorsed by Matt Gonzalez, which also doesn't help him with me. 

But the endorsements send a message to the city's "progressive" tribe: Preston is one of us and he supposedly flanks Breed on the left.

Breed has a "track record" we can examine, which I've been doing since she was elected after an issue-free campaign that was particularly lame, even by San Francisco standards (see also this). That record is awful: see this and this.

The Chronicle endorses Breed with this bullshit: "Breed has grown on the job in the past four years, as both a leader and a student of public policy. She deserves re-election."

I won't vote for either of them.

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Yes on Proposition 53

From the Community Coalition on High-Speed Rail: "YES" On Proposition 53!

Many of you may be voting by mail. Others will go to the polls in two weeks, on Tuesday, November 8th. 

CC-HSR wants to draw your attention to one of the ballot propositions that can have a big impact on the future of the state's proposed High-Speed Rail project.

Proposition 53 would require that the voters approve any "revenue bonds" issued for a state project if the amount proposed for the bonds is greater than two billion dollars. 

Our laws require that General Obligation bonds must be approved by the voters, but current law provides that the state can issue revenue bonds in any amount with no need to get voter approval. Proposition 53 is an initiative measure that would change that rule. The voters would have to sign off on revenue bond funding for huge state projects.

Make no mistake, Governor Brown would like to issue bonds for High-Speed Rail and for his big water project to take northern California water south.

If Proposition 53 passes, funding for these huge state projects and for others like them would need voter approval.

We hope you agree with CC-HSR that the voters should have the right to decide whether or not revenue bond funding should be provided for huge new state projects (like High-Speed Rail, specifically). The state's current HSR project is costly, ill-conceived, and badly managed. The voters should have the right to say "yes" or "no" to any new bonding for this and similar projects. 

Governor Brown is spending his own campaign funds for television advertisements that say that Proposition 53 would hurt first responders and undermine "local control." These claims are just not true. 

CC-HSR Advises Your "Yes" Vote On Proposition 53.

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