At long last, my campaign committee and I have been vindicated, and found not guilty of any violations of FPPC rules and regulations. In my 30 years of public service, I have always fought against such abuse and injustice, and those of you who know me, and have helped me accomplish so much over the years, know the truth. To you and your unwavering support I am grateful. Yes, truth is the most powerful weapon against those who seek to advance their own careers by disparaging others. At long last, our efforts in pursuit of what is right and legal have won out over that which is corrupt and politically motivated.
It’s unfortunate that the most important aspect of the four-year, million-dollar investigation, some have called it a “witchunt,” conducted against us was not reported accurately by the mainstream press. This is no coincidence, since the purpose of this injustice was to destroy my reputation. Mayoral sympathizers did not figure that I would fight and that two very savvy attorneys, David Waggoner and Peter Bagatelos, both honorable men, would donate their time and expertise.
The mainstream dailies, dutifully reported the charges against me, then ignored the vindication of those charges or the criminal violations including perjury and tainted evidence perpetrated by Supervisor Sean Elsbernd’s Aide, Olivia Scanlon, the Ethics Commission’s star witness. Not one word was printed regarding the origin of the anonymous, bogus complaints alleging that we had committed some $300,000 worth of campaign violations. Not one word was printed about the “ethics” investigator Richard Mo, who led a commission of political hacks, chaired by wannabe Judge, Susan Harriman without regard for due process, on their four-year campaign of character assassination. Even when the truth was uncovered, the “press” failed to report it, and the committee continued their million dollar taxpayer funded folly regardless. As a final gasp, the committee imposed a nominaly face-saving token fine, against my election committee without support of any findings of fact or law.
When a so-called “ethics” commission is nothing more than a Kangaroo Court for those currently in power, and the only people “investigated” are those who have been critical of the current administration, then we have corruption. When the press doesn’t report the facts, citizens are deprived of the right to know and reputations are severely damaged. I sincerely thank David and Peter for having the guts to stand with me.
How all of this come about? In 2004, after I conducted a very successful re-election campaign in District 7, Mayor Newsom repeatedly asked me to take over and develop Treasure Island. I had a successful record of developing facilities, such as Civic Center Courthouse, Hall of Justice and related court renovations, Harding Park, Lake Merced, Youth Guidance Center, and various neighborhood improvements. I realized that if Treasure Island were developed properly, it could yield tremendous revenue to the City, so I accepted the position. I knew I could accomplish more than I could in four years as the Lone Ranger on a left-leaning Board of Supervisors with a weak Mayor. Little did I realize that the Mayor’s biggest monetary donors were in line to be gifted the exclusive right to develop the Island without public review, engaging in the mandated process of bidding, or even being held accountable for the millions that they already owed the Project. When I questioned these sacred cows, my reputation was attacked and the Mayor orchestrated my ouster by another one of his handpicked Boards.
Treasure Island was, and is, in reality just another “dream” that Newsom “spins” to the public while exploiting it as personal political capitol. The project remains a decaying junkyard that even the Navy has refused to go along with. On reflection, Newsom successfully maneuvered me off the Board of Supervisors, to silence the only moderate voice that scruitinized him from the other side of the political spectrum. My foolish mistake.
When I opposed “care not cash” as a supervisor, I felt Newsom was exploiting the homeless issue as a politically expedient campaign tactic. As I predicted, it would gouge the taxpayer and would not work. Today, we are spending over 2 billion dollars per year to provide the “care” that was formerly costing 200 million dollars for the exact same number of homeless individuals roaming our streets in 2004. The homeless are no better off now than they were before. Now they are imprisoned in a never-ending cycle of induced dependency for city services, without any “cash” and we still have panhandlers.
Newsom moved on to exploit the LGBT community. Same sex marriage was never an issue in San Francisco’s live-and-let live atmosphere. It became another campaign tactic for Newsom in his quest for higher office. The resultant Prop 8 now pits neighbor against neighbor in never ending court battles while Newsom searches for his next exploitation.
Our city budget is 3 times what it was 5 years ago when Newsom took office, 10 times higher than it was 10 years ago, and is projected to be at least 600 million in the red for next year, with no change in population.
Exploitive spin for political expediency does not pay the bills. This era of political exploitation will end when we elect officials who want to serve the common good rather than their own careers. Knowing how to “fix the city” would be a bonus.