Posts Tagged ‘heather knight’

Jesus Tap-Dancing Christ: More Money Laundering Found in Ed Lee Campaign – Meet CitiApartments’ “Eviction Goon”

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

[UPDATE: Senator Leland Yee is on the case this AM - he's doing a presser involving this latest allegation. (I guess it's too late to call this an October Surprise, and frankly, it's not all that surprising neither. Let's call it a November Expectation. Brace yourself for more.) Oh, and Leland is onto some Chinatown voting sting operation as well.

And there's this: "Statement from Chiu Campaign on Money Laundering Allegations - SAN FRANCISCO (November 2, 2011): Addisu Demissie, spokesman for the David Chiu for Mayor campaign, released the following statement about a San Francisco Chronicle report of potential money laundering by supporters of Mayor Ed Lee:

"This is now the fourth allegation of illegal conduct by Mayor Lee's supporters, and it should be investigated fully by the District Attorney and appropriate authorities,” Demissie said. “With six days to go before Election Day, it will be up to the voters to decide whether this kind of bullying, pay-to-play politics is what they want to see at City Hall for the next 4 years. David is going to spend the last 6 days of this race talking about why he represents a new generation of leadership for San Francisco that will stand tough against the special interests and shake things up at City Hall."

Paid for by David Chiu for Mayor 2011, P.O. Box 641541, San Francisco, CA 94164, FPPC##1337108]

Well, it looks like early-rising City Attorney Dennis Jose Herrera is the first one out of the gates to follow up on today’s piece from San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writers John Coté and Heather Knight.

Testify, DJH:

“Too many of Ed Lee’s supporters act as though they’re above the law — on money laundering, on ballot tampering, and more – and Ed Lee isn’t strong enough to stop it.

Amen.

Earlier this year, Ed Lee was picked unanimously to be an Interim Mayor. He wasn’t picked to be a Reformer. He’ll never be a Reformer.

In Ed Lee’s world, the notorious Willie Brown Administration deserves an A+, Rose Pak is not a cancer on Chinatown, and corner-cutting PG&E (“KABOOM!“) is simply “a great local corporation” and a “great company that gets it.”

Oh well.

Is Ed Lee Breaking Bad? Has the City Family corrupted him? Or has he corrupted the City Family? A little of both?

Click to expand

All the deets:

“Herrera calls on FPPC to join D.A. in investigating new Ed Lee campaign money laundering charge - CitiApartments’ former eviction goon led reimbursement-for-donation scheme, suggesting political payback for City Attorney’s 2006 tenant-protection lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO (Nov. 2, 2011) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera this morning called on the state Fair Political Practices Commission to join District Attorney George Gascón in reviewing new allegations reported in today’s San Francisco Chronicle that Ed Lee’s mayoral campaign received donations that appear to have been illegally laundered to skirt San Francisco $500 per donor contribution maximum.[1] Andrew Hawkins, a property services manager whose harrowing tenant intimidation tactics were central to Herrera’s lawsuit five years ago against the Lembi Group landlords’ once high-rolling CitiApartments empire, promised reimbursements to at least sixteen employees in exchange for maximum contributions to Ed Lee’s mayoral campaign at an Oct. 18, 2011 fundraiser, according to the Chronicle.

It is the second major allegation of campaign money laundering to benefit Ed Lee’s campaign. The first, involving GO Lorrie’s airport shuttle, is the subject of separate investigations by Gascón’s office and the FPPC, the state commission responsible to investigate and impose penalties for violations of the California Political Reform Act. Such schemes have been prosecuted as felonies in California for conspiring to evade campaign contribution limits, and for making campaign contributions under false names.

I think San Franciscans have now seen enough,” said City Attorney Dennis Herrera. “Too many of Ed Lee’s supporters act as though they’re above the law — on money laundering, on ballot tampering, and more — and Ed Lee isn’t strong enough to stop it. If this is how they behave before an election, just imagine how they’ll behave after the election, if Ed Lee wins. This scheme is clearly a bid for political payback by CitiApartments henchmen for my litigation to protect tenants five years ago. It is patently illegal, and I call on the FPPC to join the District Attorney in investigating.”

Hawkins is listed in Ed Lee’s campaign disclosures as the owner of Archway Property Services. As the one-time head of CitiApartments’ “tenant relocation program,” the gun-carrying Hawkins is reported to have coerced more than 2,500 tenants out of their rent-controlled units, and once boasted in civil court testimony, “I run people out of their apartments for a living. It’s what I do.

Several recipients of Hawkins’ email invitation to an Oct. 18 event on Russian Hill made contributions to Ed Lee’s campaign on the same date. All contributed the maximum $500.

Herrera sued the CitiApartments residential rental property behemoth in Aug. 2006 for an array of unlawful business and tenant harassment practices, which sought to dispossess long-term residents of their rent-controlled apartments. The coerced vacancies freed the company to make often-unpermitted renovations to units, and then re-rent them to new tenants at dramatically increased market rates. The illegal business model enabled CitiApartments, Skyline Realty and other entities under the sway of real estate family patriarch Frank Lembi to aggressively outbid competitors for residential properties throughout San Francisco for several years — before lawsuits and a sharp economic downturn forced the aspiring empire into bankruptcies, foreclosures and receiverships.

A 2009 San Francisco Magazine feature story on the Lembi real estate empire[2] described Andrew Hawkins as “a burly former nightclub bouncer who headed up CitiApartments’ relocation program.” Hawkins reportedly led teams as large as 14 full-time employees, according to the report, and the company estimated that “Hawkins relocated more than 2,500 tenants.” An earlier exposé in 2006 by the San Francisco Bay Guardian[3] cited civil court testimony in which Hawkins boasted to one tenant’s family member, “I run people out of their apartments for a living. It’s what I do.”

# # #

SOURCES:
[1] Source: “Ed Lee donors face money-laundering allegations” by John Coté and Heather Knight, San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 2, 2011, http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/11/02/MNKJ1LOMB7.DTL
[2] Source: “War of values” by Danelle Morton, San Francisco Magazine, Nov. 19, 2009, http://www.modernluxury.com/san-francisco/story/war-of-values
[3] Source: “The Scumlords: Part One of a Three-Part Series” by G.W. Schulz, San Francisco Bay Guardian, March 8, 2006, http://www.sfbg.com/40/23/news_skyline.html

OccupySF: Is Capitalist and Mayoral Candidate Joanna Rees Part of the 99% or the 1%?

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Here’s the news from Dan Schreiber:

Occupy SF gains support from Joanna Rees

And here’s how close the 99% will ever be able to get to her abode (assuming they don’ t want to risk getting tased with extreme prejudice).

Don’t tase me, bro: 

Click to expand

[And once you make it past the security guards, you'll still have to deal with the legacy of this street's famous restrictive covenants.]

Actually, some of the 99% get paid what I assume to be something close to minimum wage to carry signs and otherwise sing the praises of Joanna Rees. And you know who pays for that? The taxpayers of the City and County of San Francisco, for some reason:

Somehow this all makes sense…

Joanna Rees Can’t Afford Her Mayoral Run But She CAN Afford a Security Guard To Keep People Off Her Street?

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

Apparently.

Ms. Rees’s problem is money. She has it. (She and her husband, her partner in a venture capital firm that is now being dismantled, live in Presidio Terrace, a gated enclave with uniformed guards.) But she has, as yet, refused to spend it. Though she stands to collect as much as $900,000 in public financing by agreeing to campaign-spending caps, Ms. Rees herself has not yet contributed a single dollar. And under the campaign-spending caps, none of her well-heeled contributors can give more than $500.”

You Shall Not Pass

Click to expand

Ah yes, Presidio “restrictive covenants” Terrace.

Now, shouldn’t every “community” be gated?

Sure, why not?

Why are the Taxpayers of San Francisco Subsidizing the Mayoral (and Related ) Ambitions of Joanna Rees?

Monday, August 29th, 2011

Click here to see Heather Knight’s report on what it’s like to be on the trail with mayoral candidate Joanna Rees.

I don’t know, this campaign stands out as the biggest ego trip out of all the dozen or so “serious” candidates.

I say that for two reasons.

1. We’re paying for it. Hundreds and thousands of dollars worth of our money goes to her campaign, which then goes into people carrying her name all over town. I think Joanna likes having her name all over town whether or not she has a chance of winning this race. Of course other candidates are getting a piece of the millions being given out this cycle as well, but Joanna is the standout. Did she have to fill out a form or something to claim that she needs the money? (Isn’t that what campaign financing should be all about? I mean, if you commit a crime, the govt. will provide you with a public defender for free, if necessary, but you at least have to claim that you need the help. What the govt. doesn’t do is say, “Oh, you’re a millionaire, but no matter, go out there and hire any lawyer in the world to defend you and then we’ll pick up the bill.”) Based upon what I’ve seen, without public financing she wouldn’t be running. But prove me wrong, Joanna, by giving back our money.

2. Our money isn’t being spent effectively - now that’s the other thing. Those Rees’es Pieces, those kids who are all over the place. What do they make, minimum wage? Sure seems that way. Let’s take a look, below.

“All right, strike a pose to ensure you’re ignored for the entire AM drive, log into FaceBook (or I guess these days it’s Google Plus) and ACTION.”

“OK, that’s a rap, go see payroll.”

“Now, I want you to distribute these fliers in the Western A. But don’t just leave one leaflet as a piece of garbage on the ground – no no, leave five at a time, that way you’ll quintuple your productivity. Hurray!”

And be sure to show up to the mayoral forum two hours early, you know, to get the word out:

Now, let’s hear from JR herself:

“‘I’m not a Meg Whitman - in no way,’ Rees said flatly…”

That’s right: Meg had a more effective campaign because she was spending her own money.

Plus, Meg had a chance of winning.

So let’s look forward to hearing from more college kids getting paid (all, most, some – how much per hour, I don’t know) to hold up signs (and not just one, get an extra long stick and then staple an extra four JOANNA! signs down the shaft) to stand outside of forums and think of ways to amuse themselves.

Sometimes, you run for office not to win but just to “get your name out there.” Well, Mission Accomplished, perhaps over budget (mostly our budget) but ahead of schedule. I got it – high functioning, go-getter alpha female with very good genes, but what else do you have? You gotta give the people something. What, you’re “not an insider?” Well, you’re going to need to do more than that, is all I’m saying.

Where JR’s path will lead to down the road in 2012 and beyond, I know not.

Oh well.

All in the Family, the “City Family” – Even Recology Showed Up at Today’s Run Ed Run Rally at City Hall

Monday, August 1st, 2011

Let me tell you, if you ever get a chance to visit Recology at 50 California, well, their offices are fantastic.

And everybody’s so friendly – you’ll have gaggle of attractivas in the their 20′s and 30′s coming up to you to just say hi, just like you’re a rock star or a Nordstrom’s customer or something.

And the party swag, don’t get me started on the party swag.

Anyway, guess who showed up at today’s Run Ed Run rally at City Hall. It’s the melon-farming Recology garbage truck! See?

Click to expand – via Suzanne Ruecker

Ouch:

“In the summer of 1999, Lee, who had been tapped by Brown to head the Department of Public Works in 1996, came under public criticism after proposing a 44 percent rate hike for residential garbage collection. Although the rate was lower than the 52 percent hike proposed by Norcal (as Recology was then known), it was substantially higher than the 20 percent increase recommended by his staff, said Quentin Kopp, a former supervisor and state senator and a retired judge who advocated against the rate hike at the time.”

Doesn’t Recology know enough to not to have their trucks roll down Polk Street during an Ed Lee rally, you know, at this particular juncture?

Apparently not.

So-Called Spontaneous and Unscripted “Run Ed Run Campaign” is Anything But – Today’s Big Rally at City Hall

Monday, August 1st, 2011

[UPDATE: Oh, and look who else was on the scene - it's famous Steve Rhodes:

"Run Ed Run rally to push @MayorEdLee to break his promise #SFmayor and it looks like he will (though probably not til next week)

baycitizen.org/politics/story/ed-lee-campaign-announcemen...

They have over 50,000 signatures (and spent over $60,000 to get them).

They didn't deliver them in a garbage truck for some reason

www.baycitizen.org/politics/story/ed_lee_sfmayor_recology/

They say his promise to the people to serve them over a promise to politicians to not run (though they are happy to mention politician Sen Feinstein wants him to run sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/07/27/BAM31KFE... ).

I wonder what they would be saying if Sheriff Hennessey had been appointed interim mayor & then decided to run."

Click to expand - via Steve Rhodes]

Well, here they come, straight outta C-Town, coming across Polk Street just after being bused in, it’s the main body of today’s noontime Run Ed Run rally at the steps of City Hall:

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Are you up to speed on this one?

Bruce Begin: Legal questions overshadow an Ed Lee mayoral run

Gerry Shih: The Machine Behind ‘Run Ed Run’ - San Francisco’s garbage company, a long-time Willie Brown ally, tied to efforts to keep Ed Lee in office

Heather Knight: What happens if Lee breaks his promise?

John Cote: SF Mayor Ed Lee’s rivals seek probe of his backers

How’s that, for starters?

Oh, and here’s the latest:

Gerry Shih, from the campaign trail today: “I’m not anticipating anything at this point,” Lee said with a smile…” And here’s a bon mot from Board of Supervisors President David Chiu:

Chiu continued to allege “unethical” and “possibly illegal” activity by Progress For All. ‘San Franciscans want answers and deserve a full investigation of what happened,’ Chiu said.”

Yowzer.

All right, back to today’s political theatre. Is this the “grass roots?” These people are, quite literally for a few of them, the same people who were bused in for the Save Ed Jew rallies from back in the day:

They were all directed off the sidewalk and up the cattle chute to City Hall by the man in the yellow hat, well, that’s what I call him, anyway, seen here, at camera center, without a hat:

Oh, this van was not actually driven (see comments) by the ringleader, you know, the fellow who told the easily-cowed grandmothers and the misled youth what to do.

After that, it was time to rehearse the scripts…

…and collect “spontaneous” supporters for the rally. There were 100+ on hand, all told:

Oh well.

We’ll know more about the people behind Run Ed Run and the like soon enough, perhaps as early as tonight.

Stay tuned…

San Francisco Chronicle Writer Conflates Chinese Politicians with American Ones

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

This is pretty basic, fundamental.

There’s got to be a better way to write headlines, non?