Campos campaign's dirty politics cross the line

  • Wednesday October 22, 2014
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Campos campaign's dirty politics cross the line

Campos campaign's dirty politics cross the line

In recent weeks, tens of thousands of political mailers have been sent by a mysterious independent expenditure committee called Nurses, Teachers and Working Families United to Support David Campos for Assembly 2014. The mailers attack Campos's opponent, Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, for work Chiu allegedly did as a co-founder of an online technology company, Grassroots Enterprise. The accusations are that 14 years ago, Chiu drafted the platform of a right-wing organization and supported an anti-gay agenda.

As former LGBT Grassroots Enterprise colleagues who worked with Chiu, we are completely disgusted by these tactics. The accusations in the mailers are entirely false.

A thoroughly committed straight ally and lifelong Democrat, Chiu has fought for equality alongside our community throughout his entire career. Chiu headed up Grassroots Enterprise's San Francisco office, where 40 percent of our employees were LGBT. In addition to Democratic and labor organizations, the Sierra Club, and the American Civil Liberties Union, our firm's clients included the Human Rights Campaign, Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, and International AIDS Trust. To imply that the work we did in those years hurt the LGBT movement would be laughable if it wasn't so offensive.

Chiu has continued to fight for LGBT causes as an elected official. During his six years as president of the Board of Supervisors, Chiu has supported funding to backfill federal cuts to HIV/AIDS programs, ensured services for LGBT youth at nonprofits such as the Lavender Youth Recreation and Information Center and Larkin Street Youth Services, helped shore up the finances of the San Francisco LGBT Community Center, advocated for the reunification of LGBT immigrant families, and appointed outstanding LGBT city commissioners. Chiu's record as an effective leader and a committed straight ally is the reason this publication �" the oldest and largest queer newspaper in the Bay Area �" endorsed him over Campos, a gay man. As the Bay Area Reporter wrote in its endorsement of Chiu: "[o]n every issue affecting the LGBT community that the board has taken up, Chiu has been on our side."

For us, these attacks are old news. A fringe candidate tried to use them against Chiu in his first race for supervisor in 2008, and the media completely dismissed the attacks; interestingly, Campos supported Chiu's 2008 campaign for supervisor. The Campos campaign has dredged up these stories because there's nothing in Chiu's record as board president they can easily attack, and Campos doesn't have much of a positive record of his own to run on.

We ask that the Campos campaign denounce this independent expenditure, and apologize for suggesting to San Francisco voters that Chiu is in any way right-wing or an enemy of the LGBT community. As president of the Board of Supervisors, Chiu has been a staunch advocate for the progressive values that define our diverse, tolerant city. For six years, Chiu has worked to bring the people of San Francisco together and move a more united city forward. At the end of the day, that's far more than we can say for his opponent.


John Crandon, Kevin Edwards, Valerie Hendrix

Shane Mayer, Christen Penny

San Francisco


No on Prop G

There they go again. Once again well-funded special interests are asking voters to stick it to property owners. This time around the latest outrageous money grab is a blatant plan to implement legalized extortion. Proposition G, the so-called anti-flipping proposition, is on the November ballot and will affect most properties in San Francisco. Proponents claim it will exempt single-family homeowners. The truth, however, is that those single-family homes with in-law units are indeed intended to be a large slice of the shakedown.

Proponents claim Prop G curbs what they call abuses of the Ellis Act, a state law that allows owners of buildings to get out of the rental business. The proposition imposes a heavy tax on those selling their building within the first five years of ownership. The surtax starts at 24 percent and is lowered every year until it disappears at the end of the fifth year. In San Francisco the medium price of a home is approximately $1,000,000 so the surtax would be $240,000. This tax goes into the city's general fund for the politicos to do whatever they want with it, nothing goes to housing.

Couple that gouging with the last money grab where a landlord must pay the difference between the evicted tenant's old rent and the rent paid for the new abode for two years. That particular law is in litigation with a federal judge asking the city of San Francisco how it came up with such a preposterous formula. Prop G could also be in litigation for years but the surest way to kill this lasted attempt at property theft is to defeat it at the ballot box.

I foresee the disappearance of single-family in-law rental units should Prop G pass, reducing dramatically the housing stock in San Francisco. The large investors can afford to wait out the five-year limitation but mom and pop cannot. Look at the Venn, a large new building on Market Street. The completion of this building was delayed until the economy got better. Even the tall crane looming on the vacant lot remained in place until the better times started to roll. I was always scared to drive under it.

In San Francisco, where prices are very high, developers and house flippers will just add that surtax to the price of the property, making properties more expensive. Vote as you see fit but be informed. Don't just vote to follow the pack. Get the facts at


Al Rodriguez

San Francisco