Posts Tagged ‘negative’

Oh Boy: “Chinese & African-American Community Leaders to Denounce Leland Yee and Other Candidates’ Sleazy, Negative Attacks…”

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

“…& Call for Positive Campaigns in Last 8 Days Before Election Day.”

Whew! That was the title of yesterday’s Ed Lee Campaign presser in Chinatown yesterday.

So basically, Senator Leland Yee sucks because his campaign released this yesterday.* Oh, and there was something about the City College campus, but I’m not sure exactly what the beef against Leland is about that.

And there was this –  a call for mayoral candidates to “put out facts and not opinion,” but I’ll tell you, that book was chock-a-block full of facts, actually. And it had 107 endnotes to boot.

And let’s see here, oh, suggesting that City Family member Mohammed Nuru has issues, well, thems is fighting words, partner. Even though, well, you know.**

It looked like this:

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Apparently, if you find anything at all wrong with San Francisco since the current administration began in 1996, if you think that there’s anything that could be improved, you’re a “hater.” Quoth mayoral spokesmodel Tony Winnicker:

“This one goes out to all my #sfmayor #haters! Keep ‘em coming, we got ur number. Lee’s opponents go nonstop negative: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/10/30/BALG1LJNSD.DTL

But argumentum ad hominem coming from Tony hisself doesn’t make Tony a hater, no, not at all. (Somehow this makes sense.)

OK fine.

*There was a big fuss about the distribution of the Untold, Untold Story book on Sunday, but it had pretty much died down by the time this news conference was beginning.

**All right, play us off, Fog City Journal:

“Nuru, who was first hired by Lee during the administration of former Mayor Willie Brown, was the subject of a series of ethical scandals involving the misappropriation of public funds for personal uses, retaliatory threats against whisteblowers as well as directing city contractors to engage in illegal political activities while they were being paid with public funds, Herrera states:

“Herrera’s office conducted an investigation in 2004 into the San Francisco League of Urban Gardeners, or “SLUG,” the city-funded nonprofit Nuru headed from 1994 to 2000, in the midst of a series of San Francisco Chronicle news reports about potentially illegal electioneering activities. Nuru maintained close working ties to SLUG after going to work for Lee in 2001, according to witnesses, and also oversaw SLUG’s $1 million-per-year street-cleaning contract with DPW. The City Attorney investigation found that while at DPW, Nuru directed SLUG employees who were paid with city funds to conduct campaign activities in the 2003 municipal and runoff elections for Mayor and District Attorney—in clear violation of local law prohibiting city-funded nonprofits from using those funds to campaign for candidates or ballot measures. Witnesses also testified that Nuru had instructed city-funded SLUG workers to engage in similar campaign activities while he served as SLUG’s executive director, for a 1997 ballot measure backed by then-Mayor Willie Brown, and for his 1999 re-election campaign.

Following the 2004 City Attorney investigation, an audit by then-San Francisco City Controller Ed Harrington found a raft of financial improprieties involving SLUG and DPW. The Controller’s review revealed that SLUG mismanaged city grants and contracts, and was overpaid by city departments, including DPW, an amount totaling nearly $72,000. The audit additionally found that SLUG failed to pay more than $643,003 in payroll taxes, and that DPW improperly used SLUG’s contract with Public Works to purchase a $62,508 portable building for DPW’s use. Though Lee reportedly instructed Nuru to conduct no further business with SLUG, neither the 2004 City Attorney’s investigation report nor the similarly damning City Controller audit appears to have resulted in disciplinary action against Nuru at DPW. SLUG was formally debarred from city contracts for two years for violating Section 12G.1 of the San Francisco Administrative Code, which prohibits city funded organizations from using any of those funds to participate in, support, or attempt to influence a political campaign. The organization is now defunct.

Conspicuously absent from last week’s announcement that Mohammed Nuru would take over as DPW’s acting director effective Aug. 15 was interim Mayor Ed Lee. Though the appointment was announced in a written statement from the acting City Administrator, such appointments require “the concurrence of the Mayor,” according to San Francisco City Charter, § 3.104. A report noted that while Nuru’s salary was not finalized, his predecessor’s annual salary was $204,750. Nuru’s most recent previous annual salary as DPW’s Deputy Director of Operations was $193,000.”

Hurray! Chase Bank Announces it Won’t Charge Customers a Monthly Debit Card Fee – Thanks Chase!

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Say what you will about our corporate overlords at Morgan Chase, you can’t deny that they can tell which way the winds are blowing these days.

Proof of that is this announcement, below.

My favorite Chase Bank is the one on Oak and Divisadero. Isn’t it kewl? 

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That’s right, it’s hella cool.

On a somewhat serious note, thanks for Chase Community Giving, Chase. That’s better than spending your money on a Super Bowl commercial or whathaveyou.

(But don’t get on my bad side, Chase, else it will be smashy smashy like what happened to your nearby competitor on Fell a couple Halloweens back.)

Anyway, you all can join the boycott,* I don’t care. As long as the Chase customers can have their bank branch on Oak, that’s fine.

Or take your money to a credit union, I don’t care.

And, oh, goran nasai, Amerika no Ginkoo. Mite, mite:

“Chase Announces it Won’t Charge Customers a Debit Card Fee - Consumers Union Calls On Bank of America to Drop its Plan to Charge a $5 Fee for Debit Card Purchases

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 28, 2011 — JP Morgan Chase announced today that it will not charge its customers a $3 monthly debit card fee after testing the charge in Wisconsin and Georgia.  The bank announced that it would drop the idea following negative reaction from its customers.

Consumers Union, the nonprofit advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, today commended Chase for its decision and reiterated its call on Bank of America to end its plan to charge a $5 debit card fee beginning in 2012.

“Consumers Union has heard from thousands of consumers across the country who are outraged that Bank of America is instituting the $5 monthly debit card fee,” said Norma Garcia, manager of Consumers Union’s financial services program.  ”It’s time for Bank of America to listen to its customers who are saying loud and clear: drop the fee or we’ll drop you.  All banks that are considering debit card fees should ditch those plans.”

SunTrust has also started rolling out a similar debit card fee and Wells Fargo has been testing one in select markets.  Earlier this month, Consumers Union called on Chase, Bank of America and these other banks to abandon plans to charge customers a fee for debit card purchases.

“It’s unfair for banks to stick consumers with a monthly fee just to use their own money,” said Garcia.  ”The banks that charge debit card fees risk losing customers who are fed up with financial institutions that got bailed out that are now turning around and hiking fees.”

Consumers Union has published a set of tips for consumers who want to switch banks.

Saturday, November 5, has been dubbed Bank Transfer Day by grassroots activists upset with rising bank fees, including the new $5 debit card fee that Bank of America will start charging its customers in 2012. Consumers are being encouraged by Bank Transfer Day organizers to switch their accounts to credit unions or community banks on that day.

SOURCE  Consumers Union”

Oh, there’s an updated version of this release. See it after the jump.

*Facebook, really? Heh. Home of the ephemeral…

(more…)

Ooh, Harsh: City Attorney Dennis Herrera Throws Down – Goes After Ed Lee’s Failed Record on Infrastructure

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Turns out that our “world-class City” is ranked below Boston, New York, Oakland, San Jose, and Seattle, believe it or not. See below.

Now, just how purple do you want to see your fighting City Attorney.

Better A, as seen here?

Or B, after a little Replace Color and Shadows/Highlights?

You Make The Call.

Now, a little background and then the News of the Day. Let’s list the endnotes first for a change – they are that good:

[1] Government Barometer: August 2011, City and County of San Francisco, Office of the Controller, City Services Auditor, October 18, 2011, http://www.sfcontroller.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=2581
[2] City and County of San Francisco City Survey 2011, Final Report, prepared by the ETC Institute, October 6, 2011, http://www.sfcontroller.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=2573
[3] Voter Information Pamphlet, Nov. 8, 2011, Proposition B: Road Repaving and Street Safety Bonds, page 46, http://www.sfgov2.org/ftp/uploadedfiles/elections/NOV2011_VIP_EN.pdf
[4] Management Audit of the Department of Public Works, by the San Francisco Budget Analyst, January 9, 2007, http://www.sfdpw.org/ftp/uploadedfiles/sfdpw/director/DPWAuditReport.pdf

The latest from the Dennis Herrera for Mayor campaign:

“New Controller’s report confirms streets survey, audit on Ed Lee’s failed record on infrastructure

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Appointed Mayor’s decade-long mismanagement as DPW chief, City Administrator now require quarter-billion dollar streets bond to ‘finally accomplish what Ed Lee didn’t’

SAN FRANCISCO (Oct. 18, 2011) — City streets and public works continue to deteriorate under interim Mayor Ed Lee, according to a new report published today by the Controller’s Office, extending Lee’s decade-long record of mismanagement and neglect as the appointed bureaucrat in charge of San Francisco’s infrastructure. Today’s bimonthly Government Barometer[1] mirrors a highly critical survey released just two weeks ago that found San Francisco’s satisfaction rate with the current quality of its infrastructure to be the lowest among five benchmark cities to which it was compared. Lee’s history of lax oversight of streets, sidewalks and public works projects was also the subject of a devastating independent management audit of the Department of Public Works that the Board of Supervisors first commissioned in May 2005, while Lee was DPW director. That audit was released in 2007.

Today’s new Government Barometer identified negative trends in the City’s maintenance of streets and public works in terms of the percentage of street cleaning requests responded to within 48 hours, which have worsened both since the previous reporting period and as compared to the same period last year. A negative trend was also observed from the previous reporting period for the percentage of graffiti requests on public property responded to within 48 hours.

“For the last decade, Ed Lee did an abysmal job as the person in charge of San Francisco’s infrastructure,” said City Attorney Dennis Herrera. “The Budget Analyst’s audit proved it in 2007; the streets survey proved it again two weeks ago, and the new Government Barometer proves it once again. Ed Lee’s record of failure is why most city streets are dirtier than ever, and in desperate need of major repairs. Now, San Franciscans need to pass a quarter-billion dollars for a streets bond, to finally accomplish what Ed Lee didn’t.”

Lee was DPW director from 2000 to 2005, and until January of this year served as City Administrator, a role whose major duties under the City Charter include coordinating capital improvement and construction projects, and appointing and removing DPW directors. As such, Lee is more responsible for the current state of San Francisco’s infrastructure than any other city official. Lee’s decade-long record contrasts starkly with his new campaign promise to be an “infrastructure mayor” who will fix San Francisco’s “roads, schools and parks.”

On October 6, 2011, the San Francisco Controller’s Office published its final report of the biennial City Survey for 2011[2], which found that:

* San Francisco had the lowest satisfaction rate with the quality of its infrastructure among five benchmark cities to which it was compared: Boston, New York, Oakland, San Jose, and Seattle.

* Overall satisfaction with San Francisco city streets, sidewalks, and infrastructure rated a woeful 31 percent, according to the survey — far below other cities. In fact, San Francisco’s rating for infrastructure was also lower than both statewide and national averages.

* San Franciscans were least satisfied with the condition of pavement citywide, with nearly 44 percent of residents grading city performance “poor/failing,” and another 38 percent describing it as merely “average.” Only 18 percent rated infrastructure “good” or better.

The new Government Barometer and streets survey from two weeks ago come as San Franciscans begin voting on a proposed $248 million bond for road repaving and street safety.[3] The nearly one-quarter-billion-dollars in new bonded indebtedness is required, according to proponents, because half of San Francisco’s 850 miles of streets — together with public structures that include bridges, tunnels, and stairways — need major repairs and upgrades.

Both the Government Barometer and streets survey also mirror a devastating independent audit of DPW that the Board of Supervisors commissioned in May 2005, while Lee was DPW chief. Even before Budget Analyst Harvey Rose’s final 269-page DPW Management Audit[4] was published in January 9, 2007, then-DPW Chief Fred Abadi responded that he “came to DPW after your audit had begun,” and that the report’s 120 recommendations “will prove useful to me as I continue to reengineer parts of the Department.” Abadi agreed and accepted all but three of the Budget Analyst’s 120 recommendations.

Among major findings of the performance audit’s of DPW under Ed Lee:

* DPW’s overall mismanagement, inefficiency and uncollected revenue combined to waste more than $5 million in taxpayer funds.

* DPW-led projects were routinely mismanaged, over-budget, and late — and city street repair projects were late by a shocking 172 days, on average.

* DPW failed to routinely track average project labor costs or productivity to ensure that Street Resurfacing and Pothole Repair Projects were completed efficiently

* DPW could not demonstrate that tax dollars being spent for street repair and maintenance (despite an amount that increased during Lee’s tenure) were spent appropriately.

* DPW allowed more than $1 million in litter fines to go uncollected.

* None of DPW’s eight bureaus fully measured performance to ensure that the bureau achieved the best possible outcomes.

* And DPW inspectors did not conduct routine inspections of streets to identify safety hazards.”

Uh Oh, Now Even the YouTube Doesn’t Want Interim Caretaker Mayor Ed Lee Running for Election: “Promise” from StearnsSF

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

It begins.

There’s some wiggle in there, logicwise. I mean, Ed Lee isn’t responsible for what people were saying back in 2010 or nothing. But the quotes from Ed himself are like a couple MK XIVs hitting Run Ed Run below the metaphorical waterline.

(I could use a little subtitling there, towards the end as the sound is quite poor, but anyway.)

Would you call this a negative ad? Keep in mind, it’s not against Ed directly. It’s against Run Ed Run, and that’s a much easier and more deserving target.

The Bad-Ass Mercedes Benzes of the Western Addition – Taking Negative Camber Too Far

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

This aging, 1971 or 1972 W108 Mercedes Benz 300SEL 4.5 lives in the Western Addition, but not in one of those new microneighborhoods so it’s not considered blight or anything.

Can’t tell if it’s operational (that rear left wheel has quite the gangster lean), but this ride certainly looks bad-ass:

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Meg Whitman Folds Under Pressure at Women’s Conference in Long Beach – Refuses Matt Lauer’s Offer to Stop Negativity

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

It’s not surprising as to why Jerry Brown would want to limit television advertising in the Governor’s race and why Meg Whitman would not. But see here how she responds to Matt Lauer’s questions about “ending the negativity.”

(Yes, you had a tough crowd but it’s not necessarily your answer that was the problem, Meg. It was the way you answered.)

She’s surprisingly tongue-tied considering how late we are in this campaign, IMO.

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Oh well, at least television stations and all those consultants made money off of her campaign, so it’s not a total waste…

Al Gore to be Encased in Carbonite Upon Death – The Future of Carbon Sequestration

Monday, May 19th, 2008

Full-service public relations and public affairs consultancy Hill and Knowltonannounced today that former vice president Al Gore, upon his death, will be encased in carbonite and then buried. This type of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) was only made possible this year through the use of nanotechnology.

Until recently this was our understanding of carbonite, made famous in Star Wars V – The Empire Strikes Back:

“By the rules of chemical nomenclature, the formula for a “carbonite anion” would be CO22-, which is thought to be an impossible formation (methanoate being preferentially formed instead).”

Impossible no longer.

Artist’s conception of the former vice president encased in the densest form of carbon known to man:

carbonite1.jpg

Just one treatment of this double carbon material will take the equivalent of 1200 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. The only downside will be the expense of a slightly oversized coffin. The upside is that Al Gore, Jr. will be the most severely carbon negative person in recorded history.

A relieved Hill & Knowlton spokesperson confided to one reporter that this announcement will lay to rest the controversy over the greenhouse emissions of Al Gore’s house, for some reason an issue of almost daily concern to the D.C.-based House of Flack.

If only Han Solo were alive to see this day…