Shaw's "housing civil war" is really about influence peddling

Randy Shaw advocated publicly and privately for the Twitter tax break he crafted in 2011 with Jane Kim and Ed Lee.
Luke Thomas

I’m always wary of the BeyondChron stories by Tenderloin power broker Randy Shaw, who uses the website as a propaganda tool for his interests and those of the politicians who he helped get into office, including Mayor Ed Lee and Sup. Jane Kim, as I wrote in last week’s paper.

Sure, they can be a great way to understand what the Mayor Lee and his business community allies are up to, as Shaw floats his little trial balloons that try to frame the city’s political dynamics in the interests of his allies. And now, he’s got San Francisco (aka Modern Luxury) Magazine amplifying those efforts.

For example, did you know that we’re in the midst of a “housing civil war” in San Francisco? No, me neither. But that’s what Shaw declared this week, a declaration that the folks at downtown-friendly Modern Luxury amplified today by reprinting that story.

The tone of the story is a little more even-handed than usual, given that Shaw is being careful not to hurt his close relationship with Kim. But it’s also clearly a shot across her bow on behalf of Lee and the pro-development crowd that Shaw has cozied up to in recent years.

Kim already engages in a delicate balancing act between the progressive community that helped her get elected (which is increasingly restive about the gentrification and displacement that have been fed by economic policies she supported after winning the race in 2010) and the political establishment surrounding Mayor Lee, whom she regularly lavishes praises upon.

Apparently, it’s a dance that she’s performed pretty well, given her lack of serious challengers as she runs for reelection this year. But Shaw’s piece seems to be a subtle public warning to remember where her political bread is buttered, and to not go too far with her proposal to limit luxury condo development when it exceeds 70 percent of the total housing construction.

As with any legislation, the devil is in the details on this one, and Shaw seems to be trying to have a big say in influencing those details by declaring a “war” without identifying any of its combatants or battlefields. Then again, this piece doesn’t seem intended for a general audience, but for those in the back rooms where Shaw truly exercises his power.   


wasn't that interesting to start out with.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 13, 2014 @ 2:28 pm

Doesn't Randy Shaw fall somewhere on the Aspberger/Autistic spectrum?

Posted by marcos on Jun. 13, 2014 @ 6:01 pm

can get things done. You have not and cannot.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 13, 2014 @ 7:10 pm

The diagnosis was suggested to me by an observer with an education in psychology a decade ago after this individual observed Shaw in operation.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 14, 2014 @ 4:56 pm
Posted by Guest on Jun. 14, 2014 @ 7:53 pm

The claim stands or falls on the merits.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 14, 2014 @ 9:43 pm

Nor disclosed the source.

So your allegation is worthless, so far.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 15, 2014 @ 5:14 am

Shaw has been sitting on a piece of donated property prime for the development of low income housing for many years now and he hasn't done a thing with it except rent it back to the donor for the parking of heavy industrial vehicles. Although the property donated to the THC had an assessed value of $20million just prior to transfer, upon transfer the City immediately re-assessed it at $200K justifying this by saying that THC doesn't know what it intends to do with this property so it can't assess the value. WTF? If there was ever any doubt about the influence the THC has with the City, this slight of hand should have dispelled that belief. The THC has yet to claim this property at any value in its Federal tax returns or when it applies for its many grant applications to the tune of over $100million. The THC is a non-for-profit that enjoys its tax breaks as a 501 C. As a 501 C the THC cannot engage in political activity. Yeah right.

Posted by roflynn on Jun. 14, 2014 @ 4:34 pm

Randy Shapiro is the original name of Randy Shaw. Who would change one's name to make it less Jewish in the decades after the Holocaust?

Posted by marcos on Jun. 14, 2014 @ 4:57 pm
Posted by Guest on Jun. 14, 2014 @ 7:52 pm

Are you suggesting that Randy Shapiro had something to hide?

Posted by marcos on Jun. 14, 2014 @ 9:41 pm

You and most other posters here, not so much.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 15, 2014 @ 5:13 am

All hail to Marcos for rooting out rootless cosmopolitans trying to avoid exposure!

Posted by SA Guest on Jun. 16, 2014 @ 6:08 am
Posted by Guest on Jun. 16, 2014 @ 7:37 am

My perspective from these dizzying heights continues to command your attention.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 16, 2014 @ 8:55 am

It just amuses me to debunk your endless whining so effortlessly.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 16, 2014 @ 9:21 am

Except that you keep coming back for more punishment as I command the attentions of people who pay you.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 16, 2014 @ 11:39 am

And you throw little else. While you are always "coming after" people like Shaw and getting nowhere.

It's so sad that you started out with political ambitions and then, after failing and seeing achievers like Shaw delivering, all you have left is whining about all those who knew how to work the system and achieve success while you languished.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 16, 2014 @ 11:53 am

just how far he is from any kind of political effectiveness. For marcos, not being ignored is the most he can aspire to.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 16, 2014 @ 12:13 pm

You know, if you replaced Marcos with an H-1B visa holder, I bet the H-1B visa holder would not spend nearly as much time posting on the internet.

But again, congratulations on pointing out that the apparently benign Randy Shaw is actually the evil Randy Shapiro!

There is no hiding your ethnic background from Marcos! He'll be exposing Bill Graham next!

Posted by SA Guest on Jun. 16, 2014 @ 9:24 am

You know, perusal of past SFBG postings reveals that Marcos is a rootless cosmopolitan himself!

Suspiciously, he chose the non-Semitic moniker of "Marcos" to post with, doubtless to disguise his ethnic background!

However, kudos to the State of Israel, who refuses to let Marcos into their country, despite his ancestry! They're not fools!

If only we could do this same!

Posted by SA Guest on Jun. 16, 2014 @ 9:36 am

I would never agree to be a citizen of a state that would have me as a citizen because of my birth circumstance, to paraphrase one famous jew.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 16, 2014 @ 11:41 am

Well, then you should be renouncing your American citizenship, since you are only a US citizen because of your "birth circumstance" of having been born here.

It's good that you are too moral to be a citizen of Israel, since they won't let you into the country anyway...

You could always try for Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Sudan, or some other equally progressive Muslim country!

Posted by SA Guest on Jun. 16, 2014 @ 12:51 pm

You know, Tel Aviv had a gay pride parade last week - tens of thousands of people showed up.

Of course, there were equivalent gay pride parades in Gaza, Ramallah, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Baghdad, Teheran... Oh wait...

In the rest of the Middle East, the big debate over homosexuality is whether gays should be executed or not.

Yet, you belittle the one state in the Middle East willing to tolerate your sexual preferences.

Posted by SA Guest on Jun. 16, 2014 @ 1:04 pm

Randy's minions are irate!

Posted by marcos on Jun. 16, 2014 @ 11:40 am
Posted by Guest on Jun. 16, 2014 @ 11:51 am

Except that I have a life that is not predicated upon exercising power over others.

The thought of having minions disgusts me.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 16, 2014 @ 12:14 pm

and whining about those who have actually achieved something politically.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 16, 2014 @ 12:24 pm

Playing corruption is no achievement.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 16, 2014 @ 5:09 pm
Posted by Guest on Jun. 16, 2014 @ 5:28 pm

Taking public dollars to subsidize a political propaganda website that covers for the elected officials who throw contracts to the THC is corruption.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 16, 2014 @ 6:26 pm

Why is it whenever progressives start getting their asses kicked in a debate, they always resort to: "I'm getting my ass handed to me here, so you guys must all be paid by X."

- Think Ed Lee would be a better choice for the city? Not necessarily the best, but a hell of a better than John Avalos. Paid by Ed Lee/Ron Conway/Rose Pak/Willie Brown. P.S. But skip Rose Pak when she's supporting David Campos or Eric Mar, because that's not influence peddling, that's just good electoral sense.
- Think David Chiu is going to beat David Campos in the next election because Campos all Campos knows how to do is to pander to a narrow demographic? Paid by real estate interests/Ed Lee/tech companies.
- Don't care much about the tech shuttles but realize that they're not a huge imposition and do get cars off the street? Work for a tech company, paid by Ed Lee, paid by Ron Conway, or just plain evil and should get out of SF.
- Don't really give two shits about Randy Shaw but defend him because it's fun explode progressive arguments and then watch them go apoplectic and lose their shit? Are a Randy Shaw minion. But what the hell would you get out of being his minion? Free room and board at an SRO for a week? Basking in the reflected glory of someone who owns SROs?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 16, 2014 @ 3:12 pm

that in their tiny minds they cannot imagine anyone disagreeing with them if they are not paid to do so.

Even while they routinely lose elections because not many people think like them.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 16, 2014 @ 4:59 pm

What debate? You all got particularly exercised when Randy is called on his corrupt shit. Swarming on command does not constitute a debate.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 16, 2014 @ 5:10 pm

Whether corruption or anything else.

The real issue is that he and you are probably the same age, and both of you entered this racket at the same time. But he succeeded and you failed.

Eat it.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 16, 2014 @ 5:27 pm

The appearance of corruption is rife and rampant and indicates that Shaw has the ethics of a scorpion.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 16, 2014 @ 6:29 pm

Just an "appearance" with nothing to back it up?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 17, 2014 @ 6:30 am

Debate? How about this:

- Marcos: "How do you think that Jane Kim demolished Debra Walker?"
- Guest: "Better candidate, better looking, better policies and a
better campaign. Walker was unelectable and even YOU (my emphasis) called her a dried up old husk of a woman."

So now Walker lost (even though she is a "dried up old husk of a woman") because Randy Shaw influenced the tenants of his SROs to vote for Kim because he holds the threat of eviction over their heads?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 17, 2014 @ 12:31 am

We all know how campaigns are won in D6.

I co-endorsed Walker and Kim.

The vote harvesting campaign was as successful for Kim as it was for Daly and it was all due to the same individual who worked his shoe leather off with help from Shaw of access to the SROs in all four elections. That individual was so disgusted with the fruits of his handiwork that he left the city of his birth and the country.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 17, 2014 @ 5:26 am
Posted by Guest on Jun. 17, 2014 @ 6:30 am

The implication was that I supported Walker when the truth of the matter was that I endorsed both candidates. That said, Randy Shaw (nee: Shapiro) gave Kim's campaign easy entry to the SROs for their vote harvesting operation and that put Jane over the top.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 17, 2014 @ 6:49 am

That vote harvesting charge sounds serious. You obviously have actual evidence of it and not just specious allegations, right? C'mon of course you do. Otherwise you'd just be an asshole who just throws baseless shit against a wall just to see if you can get anything to stick.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 17, 2014 @ 7:11 am

It really depends on whether it is actually illegal for a nonprofit to facilitate access to nonprofit residential buildings subsidized by public dollars for one candidate and not for another. That terrorizing of SRO residents and playing favorites on who is allowed in to campaign and GOTV is the base of Shaw's corrupt poverty pimp empire.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 17, 2014 @ 7:14 am

I worked for a company where we were all "invited" to contribute to various political campaigns. It wasn't compulsory, of course, but the boss would have noticed who didn't contribute.

And in fact the left does far more manipulating of people than the right does. They have to as they have less money.

But in the end, people can vote however they want. Walker lost because she was a crap candidate.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 17, 2014 @ 7:58 am

Walker was a crap candidate. Crap candidates often win. Shaw gave Kim a significant boost.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 17, 2014 @ 8:30 am

And a dried up old hag (to use your exact words)?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 17, 2014 @ 8:42 am

His words are worthless. Too bad there are so many of them.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 17, 2014 @ 7:23 am

First hand accounts do not need to be substantiated. I saw what I saw.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 17, 2014 @ 7:37 am
Posted by Guest on Jun. 17, 2014 @ 7:55 am

follow your recommendation.

Everyone else, like you, merely supports and does not endorse.

Pathetic that you couldn't decide, however.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 17, 2014 @ 7:22 am

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Related articles

  • The mayor and condo conversions

  • San Francisco's loss

    Heading East: San Francisco is losing much of its diversity, cultural edge, and working class to the East Bay -- can anything be done?

  • Editor's Notes

    The only way to preserve the middle class in the upcoming boom is to aggressively protect existing rental housing stock

  • Also from this author