Posts Tagged ‘lobbyist’

City Attorney Dennis Herrera Sues Former Supervisor Michael Yaki for More Than 70 Violations of City’s Lobbyist Ordinance

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Well, I suppose I can’t oppose enforcement of the Lobbyist Ordinance.

[And I’ll mention that the “Yaki Compromise” would have had numerous salutary effects and would have saved lives lost due to the horrible Octavia Boulevard project.]

Herrera sues former Supervisor Yaki for more than 70 violations of City’s lobbyist ordinance

Lobbying for Rescue Air Systems, Inc. in the legislative process involving Fire Code revisions, Yaki ‘brazenly flouted a law with which he had no excuse to be unfamiliar’

SAN FRANCISCO (Dec. 4, 2013) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera today filed suit against former Supervisor Michael Yaki for more than 70 violations of the city’s lobbyist ordinance during the time Yaki was paid to advocate for the interests of his client, Rescue Air Systems, Inc., in the legislative process that revised San Francisco’s Fire Code earlier this year.  According to the complaint filed in San Francisco Superior Court this morning, “Yaki flouted the lobbyist ordinance in every way” by failing to register as a lobbyist, failing to disclose the amounts and sources of payments for lobbying, and failing to report his lobbying contacts.  The complaint, which was filed with 15 accompanying declarations from Board members, legislative aides, fire commissioners and S.F. Fire Department Chief Joanne Hayes-White, alleges that Yaki misrepresented his identity as a paid lobbyist when trying to set up meetings with five Supervisors.  

The city’s lobbyist ordinance provides for civil penalties of up to $5,000 per violation, or three times the amount of compensation scofflaw lobbyists fail to report — whichever is greater.  Yaki himself voted to support the ordinance in 2000 while a member of the Board of Supervisors.

“San Francisco’s Lobbyist Ordinance is a good government cornerstone that brings needed transparency to our local legislative process,” said Herrera.  “It imposes a simple requirement on lobbyists to disclose the nature and extent of work they do for their clients, and other paid advocates have managed to comply with it thousands of times.  Unfortunately, in the case we’ve filed today, the evidence is overwhelming that Mr. Yaki brazenly flouted a law with which he had no excuse to be unfamiliar.  Our lobbyist ordinance fulfills a very important function in our local government, and its aggressive enforcement is essential to the legitimacy of the law itself.” 

San Carlos, Calif.-based Rescue Air Systems, Inc. manufactures a patented “firefighter air replenishment system,” or FARS, which San Francisco’s Fire Code has required since 2004 for new buildings with a height of 75 feet or more.  When city policymakers undertook their periodic revision to the local Fire Code beginning last year, Fire Chief Hayes-White was among numerous city officials to oppose extending the FARS requirement because the San Francisco Fire Department had never used or trained on the system, and because firefighters “do not have confidence that the air coming from the FARS pipes is safe and breathable, or that the system has been checked and maintained on regular basis,” according to Hayes-White’s declaration.  

Yaki engaged in extensive lobbying efforts over a period of more than a year on Rescue Air Systems’ behalf to retain the FARS requirement.  According to the city’s complaint and supporting declarations, the former supervisor lobbied fire commissioners, S.F. Fire Department officials, staff in the Mayor’s Office, and members of the Board of Supervisors and legislative aides to extend the legal requirement for an air replenishment system that only one company — Yaki’s client — manufactured.  The City Attorney’s Office’s investigation secured evidence of at least 70 lobbying contacts, including more than 10 lobbying meetings with Supervisors and their legislative aides and more than 50 emails to city officials on behalf of Rescue Air Systems’ interests in the Fire Code revision process.  

Yaki’s lobbying efforts ultimately proved largely unsuccessful.  San Francisco’s Fire Commission passed a motion recommending that the FARS requirement be altered to offer developers a choice of whether to install FARS or a firefighter service elevator to facilitate oxygen delivery.  That recommendation was adopted as part of the San Francisco Fire Code amendments unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors in September, which Mayor Ed Lee approved on Oct. 3, 2013.  

The case is: Dennis Herrera in his Official Capacity as San Francisco City Attorney v. Michael Yaki, San Francisco Superior Court, filed Dec. 4, 2013.  Due to the large file size of the 468-page court filing, the complete presskit with accompanying declarations is not being emailed but is available for download on the City Attorney’s website at: http://www.sfcityattorney.org/index.aspx?page=570.”

Wow: Complete Poll Results for the Mayor’s Race from The Bay Citizen and USF – A Ranked Choice Voting Simulator

Monday, October 17th, 2011

[UPDATE: Luke Thomas of Fog City Journal offers a listing of reactions from many mayoral campaigns.]

[UPDATE II: Feisty TBC Editor-in-Chief Steve Fainaru promises there’s more to come:

“We are analyzing and pumping out this information as fast as we can. The package you see today — including San Francisco’s most sophisticated ranked-choice voting simulator, masterminded by news applications developer Shane Shifflett and lead software engineer Aurelio Tinio — was completed around 2 a.m. Monday; it was up on our website at 4 a.m. Next we will bring you information about the controversial pension reform initiatives and the races for district attorney and sheriff. Finally, we will put up the full data set, so people can take their own look and draw their own conclusions.”]

Well, here they are, the results of the big The Bay Citizen / University of San Francisco poll on who will be Mayor of San Francisco for the next four years.

See?

Click to expand

The Bay Citizen political writer Gerry Shih* has the deets.

Writing history as it happens:

“When the Board of Supervisors named Lee interim mayor in January, after former Mayor Gavin Newsom was elected lieutenant governor, Lee promised not to run for a full term. But after two of his biggest political supporters — Rose Pak, the powerful Chinatown lobbyist, and former Mayor Willie Brown — led an effort to draft him into the race, Lee changed his mind.”

[I should note that infamous Rose Pak, for some reason, operates as an unregistered lobbyist, apparently, AFAIK.]

Are you surprised by any of these results? I’m not.

But what’s nice about this independent exercise is that it shows you how RCV “works.”

Oh, and don’t miss the breakdown for gay and Chinese-American voters.

Anyway:

“Exclusive Bay Citizen/USF Poll: Ed Lee Dominating San Francisco Mayor’s Race

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 17, 2011  – An exclusive poll conducted by The Bay Citizen and the University of San Francisco (USF) Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good shows interim mayor Ed Lee poised to win the November 8 mayor’s race handily. The poll shows Lee with broad support across the city, particularly among Chinese voters.

Lee won 31.2 percent of first-place votes, surpassing his closest challenger, City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who won 8.1 percent. Supervisor John Avalos finished third, with 7.4 percent of first-place votes.

At baycitizen.org, the poll results power a computer simulation that shows how the election may unfold under “ranked-choice voting.” This is the first competitive San Francisco mayor’s race to use the system that asks voters to select their top three candidates in order of preference.

The Bay Citizen simulation allows readers to view how votes are redistributed after candidates are eliminated. It projects Lee the winner if the election were held today.

On Tuesday, October 18 The Bay Citizen and the University of San Francisco will release poll results on the San Francisco District Attorney’s race, the Sheriff’s race, and Propositions C and D, the two pension reform measures on the ballot.

For more information and deeper analysis of the Bay Citizen/USF poll please visit: www.baycitizen.org/data/polls/sf-2011-elections/

The poll results are based on telephone interviews of a random sample of 551 likely San Francisco voters between Oct. 7 and Oct. 13, 2011. The survey was conducted by MAXimum Research, an independent research firm, in English and Cantonese; Spanish was not used because only 1 percent of San Francisco voters request ballot materials in Spanish. Of the respondents, 115 were contacted by cell phone and 436 by landline. After the interviews, the data were weighted to match the demographics of the known likely voting population. The sampling error for findings based on the overall pool of likely voters is +/- 4.2 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level. The margin of error for population subgroups is larger.

About The Bay Citizen

The Bay Citizen is a nonprofit, nonpartisan member-supported news organization that provides in-depth original reporting on Bay Area issues including public policy, education, the arts and cultural affairs, health and science, the environment, and more. The Bay Citizen’s news can be found online at www.baycitizen.org as well as in print in The New York Times Bay Area report on Fridays and Sundays. For more information, please visit www.baycitizen.org.

About the University of San Francisco (USF)

The University of San Francisco is in the heart of one of the most innovative and diverse cities and features a vibrant community of students and faculty who achieve excellence in their fields while building a more humane and just world. University of San Francisco students, faculty, and alumni are involved in the entrepreneurial city of San Francisco and work in all industries, from technology to nonprofits. With dedicated professors and exceptional academic programs to choose from, the university offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional students the knowledge and skills needed to develop into ethical leaders who are sought after in their professions. USF’s diverse student body benefits from direct access to faculty, small class sizes, and a broad array of programs and co-curricular opportunities. Informed by the university’s 156-year-old Jesuit Catholic mission, the USF community ignites students’ passion for social justice and the pursuit of the common good. For more information about the University of San Francisco, please visit www.usfca.edu.

About USF Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good

The Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good is dedicated to inspiring and equipping students at USF to pursue lives and careers of ethical public service and service to others. The Center provides a non-partisan forum for education, service and research in public programs and policy-making. The McCarthy Center values civic engagement and seeks to promote public interest research that encourages civil discourse and constructive interaction among the great diversity of residents and officials in the Bay Area. The Center strives to accomplish its goals by being transparent, nonpartisan and rigorous in designing its work and products. For more information please visit www.usfca.edu/centers/mccarthy

Contacts: The Bay Citizen, Keith Meyer, VP Marketing, media@baycitizen.org

SOURCE The Bay Citizen

CONTACT: Keith Meyer, VP Marketing of The Bay Citizen, +1-415-852-5100, media@baycitizen.org

Web Site: http://www.baycitizen.org”

*The uncredited instigator of this recent bit here in the San Francisco Chronicle

Local Tavernkeeper Offers Insights on San Francisco’s Mayoral Election – Our Mayor is Running for Mayor, Obviously

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Well, in the Luke Thomas Fog City Journal this AM there’s the other side of this story about Chris Daly and Mayor Ed Lee from Erin Sherbert.

Click on over to the FCJ to see former Supervisor Chris Daly effectively offer support for the idea that the Mayor of San Francisco is running for the office of the Mayor of San Francisco.

Oh, and Chris is promoting the Let Ed Be webpage as well. Check the caption, below:

“Top Left: Willie Brown: the former Mayor and current lobbyist/columnist helped orchestrate the appointment of Ed Lee to the post of interim Mayor. Before this coup, many believed that Willie’s brand of pay to play politics had been exited from City Hall. Top Right, Rose Pak: the head of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Pak is a powerful political insider. Thought to be the mastermind behind the appointment of Ed Lee and the money behind the draft Ed Lee campaign. Bottom Right: Michael Yaki, a former Supervisor appointed by Willie Brown and lobbyist, made the first headlines with his “Draft Mayor Ed Lee Organizing Committee.” Bottom Left: Enrique Pearce, a political consultant with close ties to Rose Pak and Willie Brown, is the grease behind the latest Run Ed Run campaign. Last year, Pearce got in hot water for apparently coordinating an independent expenditure funding by Willie Brown to support a candidate whose campaign he was running.)”

What will we hear from next from the Buck Tavern?

Well That’s It, the Great Multi-Year Battle Over the Stow Lake Boathouse is Over – Judge to Allow New Tenant Tomorrow

Monday, May 16th, 2011

[UPDATE: Well, geez, Rachel Gordon had this hours ago but she didn’t use the words “boathouse” or “boat house” so I didn’t notice her bit. I prob. wouldn’t have made this post if I had known. Oh well.]

Here’s the news, right from the source, about tomorrow’s case number CPF11511130 regarding the contract for the Stow Lake Boathouse:

“ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION/ ALTERNATIVE WRIT OF MANDATE. PETITIONERS’ REQUEST FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION/ALTERNATIVE WRIT OF MANDATE IS DENIED. PETITIONERS HAVE NOT SHOWN THAT THEY ARE LIKELY TO PREVAIL ON THE MERITS.

THE EVIDENCE SHOWS THAT THE RFQ PROCESS WAS CONDUCTED IMPARTIALLY AND WITH FAIRNESS TO ALL BIDDERS. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF FAVORITISM, FRAUD OR CORRUPTION.

THE FACT THAT RESPONDENT REFERRED REAL PARTY IN INTEREST TO A LOBBYIST TO ASSIST WITH PR BEFORE THE AWARD ISSUE WAS PRESENTED TO THE COMMISSION AND BOARD OF SUPERVISORS BUT AFTER THE AWARD, IS NOT EVIDENCE OF ANY IMPROPRIETY INVOLVING THE EVALUATION PROCESS.

IN FACT, PETITIONER ALSO EMPLOYED LOBBYIST IN PRIOR BID PROCESSES AND DURING THIS PROCESS AS WELL.

MOREOVER, THE OTHER ALLEGED IRREGULARITIES PLAINTIFF COMPLAINS OF DO NOT RENDER THE RFQ PROCESS IMPROPER OR INVALID.

FINALLY, THE BALANCE OF THE HARM TO PETITIONERS VS. RESPONDENT AND REAL PARTY IS OF EQUAL WEIGHT. MOREOVER, ANY HARM PETITIONER MAY SUFFER CAN BE MONETARILY COMPENSATED.

(The references to Stow Lake Corporation’s lobbying efforts are right here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.)

Will the Stow Lake Boathouse rise from the ashes of all the vitriol and whatnot? Sure, why not?

(And hey, speaking of vitriol, you know if the City and County paid me five figures a year to express my political views via a small blog, well, I’d take some of that money to pay an SEO optimizer to get old posts from 2009 into search results for the recent news regarding our famous boathouse. Thusly:

A post from 2009 has risen to live again as if it had been made this week – isn’t that nice? Anyway…)

As close as Stow Lake gets to having a real, live Phoenix Rising. Leave Us Begin the Healing, Oh Great Fire-Bird:

Click to expand

So you can look forward to eating a $3.95* gourmet Boat House Hot Dog come Autumn…

*Uh, and this is just one other thing to add to the record for Santa’s Naughty List Appeals Board (cause you know, if Saint Nick put the people at SaveStowLake! on the Naughty List then the SaveStowLake! people would attempt to crucify Santa in the press and, shortly thereafter, begin endless legal proceedings), the $8.50 price for “a hot dog” at the world-famous de Young Museum is incorrect. That is (or was) the price of a quasi-gourmet hot dog kids meal – you get like three things or something. (No toy though.)

All You Need to Know About Lobbying, Recreation and Park Department “Corruption,” and the Stow Lake Boathouse

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

All right, here’s what you need to know about the Stow Lake thing (oh, more here as well):

The vote against hanging on with the existing tenant, the one what’s filed a lawsuit, was five to zero from those people who poured over all the competing bids.

So, the question to the hysterics at SaveStowLake is why did the existing tenant lose 5-0? Do you wanna say that the five were hand-picked recruits for ghastly pursuits, well, then, come out and say it, allege it. I mean, there are reasons the existing tenant lost, right? They have been detailed, in authentic-looking, hand-written notes. If you want to find corruption, I invite to look there.

(And of course, Supervisor Eric Mar, who seldom finds himself “in the pockets of the corporations” or wherever, stabbed you in the back or something. Fine.)

Oh, in other business, this statement from the Northside rag is a lie:

“The Ortegas even offered to more than double their yearly base rent to $315,000 and run the boathouse as-is, but Ginsburg’s cash-strapped department turned them down.”

I know where this idea comes from, it comes from the end of a hearing at City Hall, but you can’t quote a clause as a complete sentence, that’s the basic problem with that.

All right, first some duckies from Stow Lake, and then, after the jump, all the deets on why Ortega won the contract.

Enjoy.

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