See? The Feds park at meters all the live-long day, but they never pay nothing.
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I’ll tell you, I don’t exactly know how San Francisco managed to get (basically) free water and (basically) free electricity through flooding half of the good part of the Yosemite National Park area, but somehow, through bribery, corruption or whatnot, we got a sweetheart deal to take advantage of Hetch Hetchy in perpetuity.
Of course the right thing to do would be to start sharing the benefits of Hetch Hetchy with the rest of California, or at least pay market price for what we’re getting, or just tear down the damn dam altogether. Something like that.
But the single-party state of San Francisco doesn’t want to do anything like that. The single-party state of San Francisco wants to hold on to the Hetch Hetchy deal for as long as possible. Maybe some Republicans can help us find the right path…
Speaking of which, the federally-funded Central Subway [cough, BIG DIG II, cough - and you know, Boston's Big Dig is different because it had a chance to actually benefit people] project is useless and horribly corrupt. It will burden San Francisco for decades, whether it gets used or not.
Why don’t we stop this thing [cough, BRIDGE TO NOWHERE, cough] right now? And Feds, why not just call it even? So we won’t pay you back the $200,000,000 but you all will end up saving big bucks.
It’ll be up to you, Congressional Republicans, to save us from wasting money on the Central Subway [cough, ROAD TO NOWHERE, cough - hey, I bet you didn't know about that one!]
The Central Subway to Chinatown is the replacement for our long-dead Embarcadero Freeway to Chinatown. And somehow, calling the Central Subway the Subway to Nowhere is considered racist and hurtful, but calling the Embarcadero Freeway the Freeway to Nowhere, well, that’s good times. See?
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“YOUR TURN! RE-SCRUTINIZE THE CENTRAL SUBWAY BOONDOGGLE.
Everyone should re-scrutinize the Central Subway—in light of growing Muni deficits and cutbacks. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) hasn’t granted final approvals. And Congress has a mandated 60-day review period. Instead, let’s shift hundreds of millions of dollars into citywide Muni.
The Central Subway means more Muni service cuts and fare/ fee increases.
The Central Subway Project has drained over $500 million of state and local funding from the citywide Muni system. Facing a $19.6 million deficit in 2012 and $33.6 million in 2013, San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) threatens more service cuts and fare/ fee increases—after cuts/ increases in 2009 and 2010. SFMTA projects $1.6 billion in budget deficits and $25.4 billion of capital needs over the next twenty years. While Muni infrastructure crumbles, Muni’s $1.9 billion in deferred maintenance is a ticking nuclear bomb.
Muni wouldn’t have budget deficits—if scarce dollars were used wisely.
The Central Subway Project has usurped over $500 million of state/ local funds from system-wide Muni needs—exacerbating system meltdowns and rider discontentment. Service cuts, fare increases, parking/ meter rate hikes, painful traffic citations and frustrated Muni riders have subsidized the Central Subway Project. No degree of service cuts and fare/fee increases will offset Muni’s mismanagement of assets and existing funds.
PROP K 2003 has higher, legally-mandated citywide Muni priorities.
Instead of the tiny 1.7 mile Central Subway, hundreds of miles of Transit Preferential Streets can be created with the Central Subway’s existing state/ local funds—benefiting all Muni riders, taxpayers and neighborhoods.
With its uniqueness, character, Mediterranean-scale, geographic beauty and topographic splendor, San Francisco’s northeast quadrant is a natural pedestrian realm. The distance from Downtown to Fisherman’s Wharf is 1-½ miles. Columbus Avenue is 1 mile long. Washington Square is 1 mile from the Powell BART/Metro Station. Chinatown is ½ mile from Market Street. As seen in cities throughout the world, these are distances opportune for a pulsating street life.
From an urban planning perspective, robust pedestrian and surface transit assures wider economic vitality—with very efficient costs and more immediate jobs.
The Central Subway’s own reports depict an abysmal project.
CPUC (California Public Utilities Commission) cites pervasive Muni safety Issues.
In the 3-6-12 SFMTA Board Agenda: “Conference with Legal Counsel: Existing Litigation—Investigation into the Operations, Practices and Conduct of the SFMTA Regarding Ongoing Public Safety Issues, California Public Utilities Commission, I. 11-02-017, Issued on 2/24/2011.”
CPUC PRESS RELEASE:
“The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today began penalty considerations based on CPUC staff allegations of pervasive safety concerns regarding the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s (SFMTA or Muni) light rail system. This action was taken after CPUC safety inspectors found numerous safety violations on Muni’s light rail system in San Francisco. In their report to the CPUC, the inspectors have alleged that SFMTA has been chronically unresponsive to alleged violations and other findings.”
“If you’re a regular Muni rider, you know that delays are common on weekday commutes to and from work. You might not know, however, that San Francisco’s transportation agency has routinely fallen short on safety inspections for the past year and a half, according to a report released this week by the California Public Utilities Commission.”
DON’T LET LOBBYISTS OVERRIDE YOUR INTERESTS.
If the Central Subway were truly a sound transportation project, than politicians, public officials and lobbyists wouldn’t be needed to twist the arms of the public and decision-makers. Instead, a multi-million dollar media campaign has pitched the Central Subway like snake oil and subprime derivatives, using Muni funds to lobby Muni’s own customers, governing bodies and officials.
CITIREPORT: “Lobbyists Turn Millions into Billions”:
“Money Follows Controversy
The top ten clients who promised payments for lobbying surfaces some of the most controversial issues at City Hall.
California Pacific Medical Center promised the most in payments for lobbying, at $750,985. Aecom, which is leading the Central Subway and other projects, ranked second at $360,000. Third was Millennium Partners, also at $360,000.”
NEW YORK TIMES: “Out Of Office, but Not Out of Things to Say”:
“His [former Mayor Willie Brown] law firm represents prominent clients, among them Aecom, an engineering firm involved in San Francisco’s central subway project, and the California Online Poker Association.”
EPOCH TIMES: “San Francisco Mayoral Debate gives Glimpse of Chinatown Politics”:
“CCDC [Chinatown Community Development Center} also gets a juicy subcontract related to the Central Subway project, including $30,000 a month to spend on ‘community outreach’.”
WALL STREET JOURNAL: “The Billion-Dollar-A-Mile Subway Makes Perfect Sense”:
NOTE: Even while the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is evaluating the Central Subway project, the FTA Administrator defended the project in the Wall Street Journal—responding to an Editorial that blasted the Subway Boondoggle. The conflict of interest is worsened by transit data that shows the Central Subway decreasing transit service levels and travel times for tens of thousands of riders.
Instead of Muni service cutbacks, fare/ fee increases and crumbling infrastructure, imagine how the Central Subway’s hundreds of millions of dollars in existing state/ local funds could revitalize the citywide Muni System. Political leaders do pay heed to well-reasoned arguments of their constituents.
Join with SaveMuni.com in lobbying Washington and Sacramento.
And if the blue sky mining company won’t come to our rescue
And if the sugar refining company won’t save us
Who’s gonna save us?
Get all the deets about the Feds’ big meeting after the jump.
Now, here it is, “Support 54.5 mpg auto fuel standard”
Fresh from the latest Washington debate on giving middle-class families a much-needed tax cut, here’s one burden off your future paychecks that you can count on – a $4,400 savings on gasoline.
Uh no, Gentle Reader. Don’t “count on” that.
Just weeks ago, President Obama proposed strengthening fuel efficiency and carbon pollution standards for passenger cars and light trucks to require that they get an average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. That means the average California family buying a car in 2025 will save up to $4,400 on gas over the car’s lifetime, even after paying for fuel-saving technology.
Well, gee, won’t “the average California family buying a car in 2025″ be able to get a car that gets 54.5 mpg anyway? I think so. Actually, I know so. And gee, isn’t the average California family buying a car in 2012 able to get a ride that gets 54.5 mpg right now? I think so. Actually, I know so.
Additionally, we can reduce our dependence on foreign oil. These standards will reduce our oil consumption by 1.5 million barrels per day, the same amount we imported from Saudi Arabia and Iraq combined last year. That’s a big deal.
Uh let’s see here, the lion’s share of oil that America uses comes from just three countries – can we list them now? I’ll give a hint, they’re all in North America. They are America, Canada, and Mexico. How much do we import from Saudi Arabia and Iraq? Not a whole bunch. It’s not a big deal.
Instead of draining our economy by sending nearly $1 billion a day overseas for oil, we can use the savings from new clean car rules to invest in businesses in California that will drive American innovation and industry. Indeed, California is a recognized leader in the United States in innovation and investment in energy-efficient cars.
People can buy more fuel-efficient cars right now, can’t they?
These standards enjoy the support of three-quarters of all Americans and 13 major auto manufacturers, including Detroit’s “Big Three,” which have signed letters of commitment supporting strong standards. It’s not hard to see why fuel-efficient cars are so popular. These proposed policies will drive demand for fuel-saving technology and put money back in Americans’ pockets, which will create 484,000 jobs economy-wide by 2030, including 43,000 in the auto industry.
Three-quarters of all Americans don’t support this standard. Not really. Detroit’s “Big Three” doesn’t support this standard. Not really. Fuel-efficient cars aren’t “so popular in America.” Not really. This standard won’t create half a million jobs. Not really.
We need to recognize that these standards are not partisan or controversial. Saving the average American family thousands of dollars on gas, cutting pollution, decreasing the costly negative health impacts from this pollution, combatting climate disruption, creating jobs and revitalizing the American auto industry as an engine of economic growth are benefits we can all get behind. Equally important, we would be cutting carbon pollution in 2030 by an amount equal to shutting down 72 coal-fired power plants for a year.
This standard is partisan and controversial. Oh, hey, why don’t we just tax the hell out of gasoline? I’d support that. And it would accomplish all your goals, right?
This is the biggest single step that a U.S. president has taken to break America’s addiction to oil. President Obama should keep doing the right thing and finalize these strong standards this summer so that American families get a “tax cut” on gas for decades at the same time we decrease our reliance on foreign oil. It’s critical to stand up to the current efforts trying to oppose or weaken these standards.
Raising the standard for mpg is not a “tax cut.” Raising the standard for mpg is not a “tax cut.” Raising the standard for mpg is not a “tax cut.”
Join the Sierra Club and hundreds of other at a public hearing Jan. 24 in San Francisco, one of the three cities in the United States where hearings are being held, and the only one on the West Coast. Urge Obama administration officials to keep these proposed standards strong so that we don’t need to fight future wars to secure oil supplies. Help American move beyond oil.
Of course, “Help American move beyond oil.”
Linda Weiner is a member of the executive committee of the Sierra Club’s San Francisco Group. For hearing details, go to http://blog.sfgate.com/opinionshop/
Thanks, Linda. You know, you’re not supposed to just make up stuff when you argue.
Even when you know you’re correct.
You understand that, right, Linda?
I mean, are there any consequences to your proposed course?
Yes there are.
But you don’t want to talk about that, do you?
Well, this is news to me.
Check it, the biggest military shoulder patch in the world is worn by members of the Novato-based “Pacific Strike Team,” which is part of the National Strike Force, which is part of the Deployable Operations Group, which is part of the United States Coast Guard.
See? Here they are, training for disaster response up in Marin County last year.
“Petty Officer 2nd Class Sharina Lamonica and Petty Officer 3rd Class Grace Peterson setup a weather station during an exercise with National Strike Force’s Pacific Strike Team, Feb. 16, 2011. The Pacific Strike Team conducted the exercise as part of its annual Readiness for Operations inspection”
And you thought Novato was just a cow town:
I moved your star about 100 clicks north of where you have it, Dawg. Novato’s in the North Bay, not the South, just saying.
All the deets:
“The Deployable Operations Group (DOG) is a United States Coast Guard command that provides properly equipped, trained and organized Deployable Specialized Forces (DSF) to Coast Guard, DHS, DoD and inter-agency operational and tactical commanders. Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, it was established on 20 July 2007, and is commanded by a Rear Admiral lower half.”
“Each Strike Team is a highly trained cadre of Coast Guard professionals who maintain and rapidly deploy with specialized equipment and incident management skills wherever needed. The strike teams are recognized worldwide as expert authorities in the preparation for and response to the effects resulting from oil discharges, hazardous substance releases, weapons of mass destruction events, and other emergencies on behalf of the American public. There are three strike teams within the NSF. The Atlantic Strike Team (AST) is based at Fort Dix, New Jersey, the Gulf Strike Team (GST) is based in Mobile, Alabama, and the Pacific Strike Team is based in Novato, California.”
Thanks in advance, Pacific Strike Team.
Well, here’s the news:
“Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced today that the City’s minimum wage will be adjusted to $10.24 per hour from $9.92 per hour, reflecting a change of 3.2 percent, effective January 1, 2012.
“This wage increase will help the City’s lowest paid workers to keep pace with inflation and also protect consumer spending of San Francisco’s working families, which will be a boost to our local economic recovery efforts,” said Mayor Lee.
The Minimum Wage Ordinance, passed by the voters in November 2003, calls for annual rate adjustments based on the previous year’s Consumer Price Index for urban wage earners in the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose metropolitan area.”
So, San Francisco having the highest minimum wage in the land is a good thing? Really, it’s unalloyed good? It’s great that our minimum wage is going up into double digits (and making national headlines) during this Great Recession? So why not make it $15 or $20 an hour if high minimum wages are so good?
Since Mayor Ed Lee does what his mentors tell him by crowing about jobs jobs jobs all the time, why then is he in favor of this law, which is, obviously, a “job-killer?” Are there other considerations on his mind?
Anyway, this is the first time I’ve seen the Mayor lose his monomaniacal focus on jobs.
And he’s having a press conference for this why? I don’t know. It’s not his idea. But maybe he wants to be associated with something pro-labor for a change? I don’t know
12/6/11—Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced today that the City’s minimum wage will be adjusted to $10.24 per hour from $9.92 per hour, reflecting a change of 3.2 percent, effective January 1, 2012.
“This wage increase will help the City’s lowest paid workers to keep pace with inflation and also protect consumer spending of San Francisco’s working families, which will be a boost to our local economic recovery efforts,” said Mayor Lee.
The Minimum Wage Ordinance, passed by the voters in November 2003, calls for annual rate adjustments based on the previous year’s Consumer Price Index for urban wage earners in the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose metropolitan area
Comparatively, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour and the California minimum wage is $8.00 per hour. Employers must pay San Francisco’s higher minimum wage for all covered work performed within the City.
“Across the country, take-home pay, adjusted for inflation, has fallen in the last year. Workers in San Francisco are fortunate that our minimum wage rate is indexed to keep pace with inflation,” said Office of Labor Standards Enforcement Manager Donna Levitt.
This month, the City will be mailing updated multilingual posters announcing the new rate to 45,000 registered businesses with employees. Employers are required to post the notice in their workplace.
More information about San Francisco’s Minimum Wage Ordinance can be found at www.sfgov.org/olse/mwo or by calling the Office of Labor Standards Enforcement at (415) 554-6292.
[UPDATE: Barbara Taylor has the deets.]
[UPDATE II: And it should be noted that Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture designed the landscape for this project.]
Well here’s the news from last week:
“U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan today announced the recipients of the 2011 Sustainable Communities Grants, totaling nearly $96 million. Twenty-seven communities and organizations will receive Community Challenge grants and 29 regional areas will receive Regional Planning grants. The goal of HUD’s Sustainable Communities grants is to help communities and regions improve their economic competitiveness by connecting housing with good jobs, quality schools and transportation.”
Our San Francisco Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission scored $5,000,000 worth of these grants, so some feds dropped by to celebrate this afternoon.
San Francisco Mayor with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi greeting people at the brand new Drs. Julian and Raye Richardson Apartments for the formerly homeless on Fulton near Gough:
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Oh, here they are up at the Richardson’s awesome-looking rooftop garden:
And here’s Supervisor and MTC Commissioner David Campos. (To him, Nancy Pelosi “will always be Speaker Nancy Pelosi.”)
All the deets, after the jump
Well, here they are this morning, on the steps of City Hall.
It’s Jeff Adachi, Michela Alioto-Pier, Dennis Herrera, Joanna Rees, and Leland Yee.
“We stand united in our outrage and opposition to he illegal activities that have been going on in the Ed Lee campaign. Recently, there was another revelation about money-laundering…”
I don’t know, click here to see the whole story these past several months.
Le mise-en-scene a l’Hotel de Ville:
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Michela: ”Any strong leader would have stopped this from happening.”
Joanna: “Ed Lee saying he can’t stop this from happening is totally ludicrous.”
Jeff: ”Ed Lee gave a large pay raise to city management, and weeks later received their endorsement.”
On It Goes…
So what do you think, Federales? You think you could see your way clear to coming to the 415 for the next week or so to investigate electoral corruption in San Francisco? Come on down to work a week in town. I just know that you’ll find something.
But that’s only from nine to five, you dig? After hours, you can visit whichever new or existing Michelin-starred restaurant that you want. And then, just expense it, baby. Easy peasy.
San Francisco wins, you win.
This will be your 11th course at The French Laundry (yes, Pixar used it as a model for the kitchen in Ratatouille) up in Napa: Feuillentine au Caramel. “Intense oozing,” baby. Serving the Commonweal never tasted so good:
All right, here’s a cheat sheet to get you started:
“More Ed Lee Money Laundering and Voter Fraud Uncovered – Leland Yee Says Enough Is Enough – State & Federal Election Monitors Needed
SAN FRANCISCO – The well documented scene in Chinatown of Ed Lee IE campaign workers filling out ballots for voters and the Go Lorries money laundering scheme may seem tame in comparison to what two local newspapers documented in today’s paper.
The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that a person known for “strong-arming tenants out of rent-controlled apartments” emailed associates of Archway Property Services directing them to attend a Lee fundraiser and telling them they would be reimbursed for their $500 contribution. Campaign finance laws prohibit money laundering.
Andrew Hawkins, the managing director of Archway Property Services, emailed 16 associates the following: “I expect each and every one of you to be at this event tonight. Bring your check books and write a check for $500.00 for Ed Lee donation. You will be reimbursed right away for you coming.”
In addition, the Epoch Times Chinese newspaper went undercover to find Chinatown Community Development Center (CCDC) and Community Tenant Association (CTA) staff also working on the Ed Lee campaign and even having keys to his office on Clay Street. In addition, the paper found various instances of CCDC, CTA, or Ed Lee campaign staff filling out and mailing voters ballots, in clear violation of law. Many of the ballots from these documented locations arrived at the Election’s Office at the same time.
“This is yet further evidence that we need state and federal election monitors now,” said Senator Leland Yee. “San Franciscans cannot afford to just wait out the clock until November 8. There appears to be massive voter fraud that should be immediately investigated to protect the integrity of this election. Either Ed Lee is condoning these illegal tactics or the wool is being pulled over his eyes – not what we need of our Mayor.”
Filling out their ballots
After describing themselves as prospective voters, two Epoch Times reporters were met by a Lee campaign worker who explained that her role with CTA included working on the Lee campaign.
The worker explained that “helping” voters in fact meant to simply have an elderly person sign and date their ballot, and then she or another campaign worker would take it away to fill it out and mail it in.
Using a nonprofit for campaign purposes
At 777 Broadway – a CCDC building – CTA is apparently running an office out of the community room in which they also distribute Ed Lee campaign literature and make announcements for meetings in support of Lee’s mayoral bid. CCDC says that political advertising is not allowed at their buildings.
According to CCDC website, the 777 Broadway building includes 31 studio apartments. According to voter records, there are 33 registered voters of which 31 are vote by mail voters. This equates to nearly 94 percent of the voters being vote by mail. By comparison, the city at large is only 46 percent. And even as early as October 24, 60 percent of the 777 Broadway voters had already cast their ballots, versus only 6 percent for the rest of the city.
Equally troubling is the fact that 19 of the ballots from the building arrived at the Elections Office within a day of each other. In essence, the public is expected to believe that 1/3 of the ballots arrived at virtually the same time in complete coincidence.
A similar phenomenon exists with another CCDC building – 1590 Broadway – in which 20 absentee ballots arrived at the Election’s department on the exact same day, October 24.
More voter and election fraud
Epoch Times spoke to one elderly woman who sad that she was visited by a CTA worker and signed her ballot without filling it out and was told that it would be filled out for her and mailed in. Filling out and mailing in other people’s ballots is a clear violation of elections law.
A number of CTA and CCDC workers were observed “popping in and working alongside other staff” at Lee’s 943 Clay Street campaign office. In fact, one CCDC worker even had keys to the office and was observed opening the door for the undercover reporters.”
See you soon, Feds!
Well, here it is, coming up at 10:00 AM on October 27th, 2011:
“Hearing on the recently published 2010-2011 Civil Grand Jury report entitled “Central Subway Too Much Money For Too Little Benefit.”
Leave us review why the Central Subway sucks so much:
It has a pattern of increasing cost estimates.
San Francisco will be responsible for any cost overruns which could be substantial.
The addition of a new subway line will add to an existing operating deficit and could stretch the existing maintenance environment to the breaking point.
There are no plans to address existing problems on the Stockton corridor before project completion.
There is no effective transfer to the Muni Metro and BART systems.
It ignores service to the Financial District.
It ignores current transportation trends
So, the reply from the Central Subway people is that these criticisms are the same old thing. But they’re still valid criticisms, right?
A premature celebration?
Save Muni will be on the scene at City Hall, looks like:
“SaveMuni strongly condemns Mayor Ed Lee’s careless and highly inaccurate response to the Grand Jury’s carefully researched report on the Central Subway
On October 27, the Board of Supervisors Government Audits and Oversight Committee will consider the results of the Grand Jury’s seven month investigation of the Central Subway debacle. SaveMuni will support the well reasoned conclusions of the Grand Jury’s report and provide new information about the Central Subway and its failings.
SaveMuni will also expose and rebut the MTA’s weak response to the Grand Jury report, which consists mainly of vague generalizations intended to defend the status quo at all costs. Because of MTA’s and Mayor’s inadequate responses we will call upon the Board of Supervisors to table the matter until such time as the MTA and Mayor Lee have provided detailed and well thought out responses to each of the Grand Jury’s findings and recommendations.
Government Audits & Oversight Committee
Civil Grand Jury Report: “Central Subway – Too Much Money For Too Little Benefit”
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011, 10:00 AM
City Hall Room 263, San Francisco
[UPDATE: Word on the street this Election Eve 2011 is that Secretary of State Debra Bowen is sending election monitors to town for Our Big Day tomorrow.]
Candidates Bevan Dufty, Tony Hall, Phil Ting, and Ed Lee took a pass on signing this particular letter, but everybody else is on-board, looks like.
(Sure is odd having the City Attorney calling in the Feds, non?)
Anyway, check it, below.
booth tent, Chinatown, San Francisco, USA – Ed Lee Gets It Done:
Here it is: USDOJ-CASOS-LETTER
“October 23, 2011
The Honorable Thomas E. Perez
Assistant Attorney General
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Attn: Civil Rights Division, Voting Section
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530
Transmitted by fax: (202) 514-0293
The Honorable Debra Bowen
CALIFORNIA SECRETARY OF STATE
Attn: Election Fraud Investigation Unit
1500 11th Street, 5th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
Transmitted by fax: (916) 653-3214
Re: Request for federal observers and election monitors in San Francisco
Dear Assistant Attorney General Perez and Secretary of State Bowen:
We write to bring to your attention news reports and accompanying videos that may indicate violations of federal and state laws intended to protect voting rights and to assure the integrity of our electoral process.
In light of published accounts in the San Francisco Chronicle* and Bay Citizen** about electioneering activities by the SF Neighbor Alliance for Ed Lee for Mayor 2011, we request that your respective offices immediately detail federal observers and state election monitors for San Francisco’s mayoral election, which is currently underway.
According to these published accounts, these electioneering activities target Cantonese speaking voters in San Francisco, and may potentially impinge on their federally protected voting rights, and also violate provisions of the California Elections Code and other laws.
These suspect activities include the following:
• Testimony by independent witnesses that SF Neighbor Alliance for Ed Lee for Mayor 2011 staff were completing ballots for voters.
• Testimony and video evidence that SF Neighbor Alliance for Ed Lee for Mayor 2011 staff employed plastic stencils and handled absentee ballots in such a manner as to prevent voters from marking their ballots for other mayoral candidates.
• Testimony that SF Neighbor Alliance for Ed Lee for Mayor 2011 staff, as apparently ineligible third parties, received and collected into plastic bags voted ballots from voters, taking ballots into their possession.
• Testimony and video evidence that SF Neighbor Alliance for Ed Lee for Mayor 2011 staff interfered with the secrecy of voting. If true, these allegations and other conduct may violate the U.S. Voting Rights Act of 1965, and California Election Code provisions pertaining to electioneering, corruption of voting, the Voter Bill of Rights, and other laws.
Given their gravity, the importance of protecting voting rights, and assuring voter confidence in our electoral processes, we believe federal observers and election monitors are immediately warranted, and that further investigation by your respective offices would be well advised.
Jeff Adachi, Public Defender
Michela Alioto-Pier, Small Businesswoman and Mother
John Avalos, Supervisor, District 11
David Chiu, President, Board of Supervisors
Dennis Herrera, City Attorney
Joanna Rees, Entrepreneur/Educator
Leland Yee, State Senator
cc: U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón
*“Witnesses: Ed Lee supporters mark others’ ballots” by John Coté, San Francisco Chronicle, Oct. 21, 2011, http://bit.ly/o3rB9C; and “Ed Lee backers said to fill in ballots for others” by John Coté, San Francisco Chronicle, Oct. 22, 2011, http://bit.ly/mPvarB
**“More Fraud Accusations for Lee Supporters” by Gerry Shih, Bay Citizen, Oct. 22, 2011, http://www.baycitizen.org/sf-mayoral-race/story/mayor-ed-lees-campaign-supporters-1/”