Campaign cash still flows during lackluster election cycle

Supporters of Props. B&C (right) have significantly outspent opponents of the 8 Washington ballot measures.
Ethics Commission

We may be headed for the most widely ignored election in many years on Nov. 5 — with very low turnout expected to decide the four measures and validate the four largely unopposed incumbent officeholders — but that hasn’t stopped the regular flood of campaign contributions.

The biggest spending this cycle has been by proponents of the 8 Washington waterfront luxury condo project, who have spent at least $857,224 so far to pass either Props. B or C, according to filings with the San Francisco Ethics Commission. San Franciscans for Parks, Jobs and Housing has been funded primarily by the project developers Pacific Waterfront Partners (which just kicked in another $200,000 late contribution on Oct. 11) and contractor Cahill Construction, although even Mayor Ed Lee's campaign committee recently kicked some cash to the effort.

By contrast, the opposition group to the project and measures, No Wall on the Northeast Waterfront, has spent less than half what the developers have, or just over $400,000. But the group is still sitting on the some of the $553,626 that it’s raised so far, waiting for the home stretch. It's campaign also got a boost today with the San Francisco Examiner endorsed the No on Props. B&C position, surprising some 8 Washington supporters. 

Assessor-Recorder Carmen Chu has no opposition in her first election since being appointed to the job earlier this year, but that hasn’t stopped her prodigious fundraising, taking in $177,425 and sitting on more than $84,000 in the bank as of Sept. 26. Perhaps Chu and her treasurer Jim Sutton — a bag man for various campaigns and schemes cooked up downtown — are flexing their muscles with an eye toward the future.

Another darling of downtown and the Mayor’s Office, Dist. 4 Sup. Katy Tang, has also been raising big money against only token opposition, taking in $169,329 for this year’s race. City Attorney Dennis Herrera has also raised a significant $127,875 for his one-horse race.

But unopposed Treasurer-Tax Collector Jose Cisneros has kept his fundraising in the realm the reasonable this year, collecting $47,441, and perhaps demonstrating the fiscal prudence that we hope to see in someone of his position.

The next round of pre-election campaign finance disclosures are due Oct. 24. For information on all the measures and candidates, read our endorsements here. 


It's just one lousy freaking building and it's not even that tall or big.

Only in SF would this even matter.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 17, 2013 @ 1:51 pm

8 Washington’s developer argues that we must let him raise height limits on the northern waterfront for the first time in 50 years OR be stuck with that ‘ugly green fence and parking lot’ forever. Either his $5 million condos or a wasteland. Really?

In 2011, Asian Neighborhood Design (AND) worked with local stakeholders to create “A Community Vision for the Northeast Waterfront” that calls for the same mix of ground floor shops and cafes on the 8 Washington site but without its 60% height increase or 400-car garage. The AND plan also includes the same parks and open space that 8 Washington purports to provide.

As for that ‘ugly parking lot’, it is owned and kept ugly by the Port, a financial partner in 8 Washington.

The ‘ugly green fence’ is owned & kept ugly by another player in the 8 Washington deal, the man who owns 80% of the site now and gets to keep a third of it, the new $12 million private swim club, once the developer builds it for him. Clearly he’s had a financial interest in keeping the ‘ugly green fence’ ugly to justify this project.

Hearing 8 Washington’s partners now rant about an ‘ugly fence and parking lot’ as the main reasons to build 134 condos only the 1% can afford sounds a little like hearing Congressional Republicans feigning outrage at a government shutdown they themselves caused.

Once voters reject 8 Washington, a better alternative WILL be built there, one that includes active ground floor uses and parks without a precedent setting height increase or a 400-car below sea level garage. Several developers are interested in pursuing such a plan once the dust settles.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 19, 2013 @ 5:36 am

this November so let me take a moment to outline something very unusual.

I normally default to a NO vote on every proposition, since they usually either raise taxes, increase regulations or both.

But this year in an unprecedented move, I hereby announce that I will be voting YES on all four props.

Moreover, I am voting for all incumbents.

I can honestly say I have never seen a platform that I can agree with so much. Too bad it's a bunch of trivial shit but hey, I can only vote what's on the ballot.

Hey ho, fans.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 17, 2013 @ 2:52 pm

What happens if the votes on B/C split. I.e., B passes, C fails or vice versa.

Posted by The Commish on Oct. 17, 2013 @ 3:38 pm

conflicting voter initiatives.

Messes with the system, man.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 17, 2013 @ 3:42 pm

This post acknowledges that candidates Chu and Tang have taken a lot of downtown dollars. Why did the Guardian endorse them?

Posted by Erika McDonald on Oct. 18, 2013 @ 4:22 pm

Haven't seen you here since your ill-fated attempt to pretend to us all that Ross wasn't a wife-beater. That was you, Kris, Daniele, Sue and - damn - I can't remember the other dozen or so mythical "women".

Posted by Guest on Oct. 18, 2013 @ 4:37 pm

this is simply a barricade against trolls

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into repetitive reactionary hyperbole, and/or petty, mean spirited personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by hbng on Oct. 18, 2013 @ 5:05 pm

I notice you are now disguising your handle and disguising your content.

Fairly transparent, racer, but it's good to see that you are on the run.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 18, 2013 @ 5:20 pm

they only removed a few them in a few selected threads

if you look for them you'll still see them all over the blog

in one case, they tried to wipe out a bunch of my troll bumps, so i completely changed the strategy for those and it is working really well

i'm just shuffling the names of these barriers and the handles i post them with to avoid the spam filter

Posted by racer x on Oct. 19, 2013 @ 9:38 am

Your mom must be so proud.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 19, 2013 @ 1:36 pm

Hey Erika, Do we really need to ask anymore?

Posted by marcos on Oct. 19, 2013 @ 8:19 am

Why does the Guardian endorse candidates that are not progressive? Is the new standard anyone with a (D) in front of their name?
Why do candidates like Mike Murphy not even merit a mention?
What happened to the concept of the citizen candidate?

Posted by Erika McDonald on Oct. 19, 2013 @ 12:43 pm

We noncombatants have been swept from the political playing field by the professionals who are milking what remains of our city dry in cahoots with the usual corporate suspects. Haaland probably called Jones and insisted that the Guardian endorse these hacks so that SEIU can leverage that down the road for who knows what.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 19, 2013 @ 1:21 pm

You're here every day, every hour, snarking and hating 24/7 with personal attacks and often incoherent comments and you say you're a noncombatant? That's a bad joke, right?

If you're interested in why "progressives" are laughed at in SF, go look in a mirror. If you're wondering why no one is calling you for a job or for social visits, go look in a mirror. If you're curious why better candidates aren't stepping up to challenge the usual SF political hacks, go look in a mirror. It appears since you know you can't succeed in anything, your only strategy to gain self-esteem is to drag everyone else down into the cesspool with you.

Bitter, lonely and hateful. That's quite the trifecta. The status-quo sends its thanks for dragging this website down, along with the other self-unaware "progressives" like lilli and racer. I'd recommend finding a good counselor, but I've read enough of your comments over the past few months to realize you're too unaware to even realize you could use the professional help. Let's hope you find peace when you finally decide to call it quits, because the rest of us sure will. For now, we can only shake our heads at the terrrible waste of carbon molecules.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 19, 2013 @ 3:19 pm
Posted by Guest on Oct. 19, 2013 @ 4:16 pm

for dragging this comments section down in their respective ways.

marcos is like an angry old man who knows the world has passed him by, leaving him bitter and resentful about everything and everyone, but especially those with whom he supposedly shares a cause.

racer is, if anything, worse in his attempts to try and make this website unusable which, ironically, is exactly what Guest/anon and his pay-to-post trolls are trying to do. He is handing them victory on a plate, and he's not even smart enough to get paid for it, nor realize that is what he is doing.

With characters like that on the left, the forces of conservatism have little to fear.

Posted by Brandon on Oct. 19, 2013 @ 5:27 pm

have abjectly failed to institute a registration system to get this nonsense under control?

i am accomplishing two things

1) expressing the incredible anger i have at the site managers for both this failure, and the disgusting muck that we have to wade through to read these blogs - by engaging in what is essentially consumer civil disobedience

2) i have cut down on a *lot* of what would have been otherwise rampant abusive posts - there has been a real dent in these, and most of them that remain in some key discussions have been relegated to second and third pages where they rapidly peter out and die because some of the lazier (and therefore worst) trolls don't want to go through the trouble of hunting down the latest post by text searching to respond to it

take a look at these two pages and tell me if you would rather i had left the disgusting crap that is now on the second and third pages - on the first - where they would have *continued* to spark an endless troll bitching session

i don't think so....

so if you want to complain, direct it at the source

the site managers who don't have enough respect for their readers to quickly and decisively solve the problem

Posted by racer x on Oct. 19, 2013 @ 6:36 pm

The Guardian is too close with the professional progressives and sees it as their goal to cover their mutual asses to maintain their positions as gatekeepers. They coddle the trolls and conservatives because that is their job and they marginalize independent progressives to ensure that the movement expires.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 19, 2013 @ 7:28 pm

You would not attack me were you not threatened by my naming the cooption of progressives by conservatives for what it is. Domesticated and neutralized progressives are your friends. San Franciscans are unhappy with the outcomes that this arrangement is delivering.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 19, 2013 @ 7:42 pm

I've got a good, well paying job, a sweet San Francisco home and an amazing husband, I'm counting my blessings and doing alright, thanks.

Anyone who gets into politics to make friends will either be sorely disappointed or rendered ineffective.

I bet you're not doing too well yourself.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 19, 2013 @ 7:54 pm

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