Friday, September 28, 2007

Total Non-Recall

Speaking of outsiders meddling in our elections, yesterday's Chron reported the good news that the attempt to recall San Francisco supervisor Jake McGoldrick (my district supervisor) has failed to qualify for the ballot. McGoldrick is a progressive, environmentally-minded supervisor who incurred the wrath of business and landlord interests by...well, being progressive and environmentally-minded. I'll let one of his most rabid attackers explain:

McGoldrick's "crimes" against the community are many, and varied. Last month, I wrote some 2,600 words about some of McGoldrick's treasonous activities, including:

  • His effort to close Golden Gate Park to vehicles on Saturdays;

  • His overseeing of the insertion of a single paragraph, which was buried deep in the middle of a 10-page proposition, Proposition K passed in 2003, which mandated that the city remove two traffic lanes on Geary Boulevard so that they could only be used for Muni Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)....

  • His attempted thumping of families who own a single-family home in a district zoned for two units, who want to expand their properties by making them pay huge taxes, perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars, into the city's Inclusionary Housing Fund.

  • His introduction of legislation to limit the number of tenancies-in-common allowed in the City each year to 100, despite the city's voters saying in 2000 that such limitations should not be allowed.
In other words, being pro-transit and pro-tenant are 'treasonous' in the minds of the recall backers. To me, the Saturday closure is a no-brainer (and McGoldrick helped work out a compromise measure that addressed any genuine concerns of opponents); the bus rapid transit plan (again, a compromise from the original light-rail plan) would be a huge improvement in transit for the district; taxing property owners to provide more affordable housing sounds like a good idea; and limiting the conversion of rental properties is kind of necessary. But what do I know? I just live here.

It's no surprise, then, that the donor list is heavy on the usual crowd of conservative, real estate, and general business interests--the Residential Builders Association, Quentin Kopp, Republican Central Committee members Howard Epstein and Harold Hoogasian (the committee as a whole endorsed the recall), assorted commercial property owners, and so on--many of whom, of course, have nothing to do with our district.

And yet despite all that outside help, despite raising (and spending) $118,000, they still couldn't couldn't get the signatures needed to qualify (3,500, or 10% of the registered voters in the district--an absurdly low threshhold). I find that really satisfying--and I think it tells us all we need to know about how much support they have within the district.