Posts Tagged ‘penalties’

SFGate Properly Covers an Offensive Charm Offensive from Ugly Billionaire Vinod Khosla – Plus CW Nevius and Sean Parker

Monday, July 28th, 2014

The first rule of Fight Club is, of course, Don’t Talk About Fight Club!

Similarly, the first rule of managing property that’s a part of the coast of California is It’s Very Hard To Manage Property That’s A Part Of The Coast Of California!

If you don’t already know this, then you might be a naive billionaire like Vinod Khosla. Or Sean Parker, who didn’t know(!) he needed to get permits to do what he done with his recent wedding.

Hey, here we go:

Vinod Khosla blames costly demands for Martins Beach trial, by Peter Fimrite

Now this is a remarkable bit in that the writer had to use the word “said” 19 times. Check it:

So I guess that the Vinod Khosla PR people feel that this new article helps to make up for stuff like this:

Martins Beach billionaire evades questions on stand

But I don’t think so.

In any event let’s praise writer Peter Fimrite for not falling into the CW Nevius trap of believing everything a source says hook, line, and sinker, and then regurgitating it in the pages of the Chronicle. No no, Peter Fimrite plays it straight.

Here we go:

“The ugly courtroom clash over Martins Beach, near Half Moon Bay, would not have happened if government and environmental zealots had not made unreasonable and costly demands, billionaire investor Vinod Khosla said Thursday in defense of a beach closure that has captivated Californians up and down the coast.

Gee Vinod, you didn’t know that doing anything on the coast is hard? Are you stupid?

“If they wanted you to make your backyard a park, would that hurt you?” he asked.

The reply to this is that Martin’s Beach is not anyone’s backyard.

“The Coastal Commission and the county have been completely unreasonable. They have been taking an extreme view and don’t want to compromise on anything.”

Well, IMO, from an outsider’s perspective, is that they haven’t been unreasonable at all.

“The founder of Khosla Ventures characterized the lawsuit Thursday as a dishonest attempt to wrest control of his property regardless of his rights while, at the same time, impugning his reputation.”

Well, make a deal now and your reputation will improve, Vinod.

The fact is, he said, Martins Beach had been run like a business by the previous owners for many decades. The Deeney family set up the first cabin in 1918 and continued building through the 1950s.

 Uh, this was a vanity purchase from a billionaire. Martins Beach really isn’t a “business,” right?

“What’s amazing to me is that we did not change anything about how the property had been run for 50 or 60 years and then one day out of the blue we got a letter from the county saying we had to have 1973 prices and be open 24/7,” Khosla said, meaning he was limited to charging the visitors only $2 and could never close the gate. “Does the county charge 1973 prices?”

So there’s just three paying customers a day and what they get charged will make or break the “business” of Martins Beach? Does that make sense?

Speaking of which, why does this billionaire dude care about the reputation of some business in Marin?

The shellfish operator’s lease was not renewed and Khosla said the organization’s reputation was wrongly and unfairly dragged through the mud in the process.

Oh well. Leaving you with this:

“Who is going to take a half-million dollars in liability and losses for something that is actually dangerous?” he asked…”

I can answer: a naive billionaire.

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

The Best Places to Get Drugs Always Seem to be in “Drug Free Zones”

Saturday, May 17th, 2008

Why’s that?

You’d think a “drug free” area would be bereft of scoring opportunities, but that doesn’t appear to be the case around Hippy Hill in the Haight Ashbury section of San Francisco.

go8f6874a.jpg

Just saying…