The Recall Ed Lee Campaign Has Officially Begun

The Recall Ed Lee Campaign Has Officially Begun:

The Department of Elections just finally released the Official Petition to Recall Ed Lee after 5 separate tries. The recall attempt is now beginning in earnest. They need to get 60,000 signatures in the next 160 days.

Let's get this out of the way right here and now: Ed Lee's time as mayor of San Francisco has had the effect of being the fourth horseman of the apocalypse for San Francisco. Under his watch, rents skyrocket upwards, long-time residents of the city are being evicted, and homelessness is reaching epidemic proportions. If Lee has been at war with the soul of San Francisco, it could not be more apparent. For a man who was handed the coveted title of Mayor of San Francisco by Gavin Newsom, Lee opted to fuck a gift horse in the mouth in his process of snuggling up to criminals and big businesses and turning his back on the residents of San Francisco. [...]

Are you an SF resident and want to help the Recall Ed Lee Campaign? It's as easy as lending your signature to the recall petition! They will be collecting them in front of the San Francisco Public Library Wednesday to Saturday from noon to five. You can also get involved and stay up to date by joining the Recall Mayor Ed Lee FB page. Let's get this shit bag out so we can restore our magnificent home to its gleaming glory.

Tech Billionaire Ron Conway Getting "Every Tech Employer" To Send Workers His Voter Guide:

Yesterday Joe Eskenazi tweeted this email from Ron Conway in which Conway tries to use his weight to get every tech employer to vote his way. This is not the first time he's done this. SF Magazine reported on the same scheme last year. [...]

While yes it is technically legal it is hella shady. The main difference between an activist group or a union sending out a voter guide is that they do not employ the people they are targeting. Ron Conway has invested in over 500 tech companies and while none of those are listed in the letter, the "and many others" obviously implies he will be sending this to the CEOs of the companies who need Ron Conway's money for more backing. That is some fucked up shit!

It's also shady that he's asking the CEOs pretend that it's just some random voter guide they came across instead of one sent to them BY THE GUY WHO PAYS THEM MONEY. Come on Ron we knew you were a slimy creep but this is taking it too far.

What kind of slimy creep? I'm glad you asked! Ron Conway is also the guy who bank rolled Ed Lee's Reelection campaign -- after Ed Lee enacted tax breaks for the companies Ron Conway invests in (like twitter and AirBnB). Ron Conway also drops hundreds of thousands of dollars into local campaigns to smear the reputations of solid progressive candidates who are running against people Conway backs. Independent expenditure committees funded by Conway have put out propaganda in this election suggesting that a vote for Jane Kim is an endorsement of domestic violence. He did the same thing against David Campos in 2014.

Previously, previously, previously.

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13 Responses:

  1. MattyJ says:

    Damn. And just when I was getting to the point where the presidential election is just background noise.

  2. Ian says:

    I got one of those today at my SV unicorn job from my CEO, when I questioned it people lept to his defense saying "No he's not advocating that slate for any nefarious reason, just saying he found it helpful".

    • Thomas Lord says:

      Being a tool is one of the biggest job qualifications in Bay Area tech for about the past 20 years.

      I'm not kidding. There was a purge. The business models used to depend a lot more on people like jwz. A problem is that if you let people like that run the show for a decade, you'll be left with a lot of high quality, high utility, very low margin, low price or gratis, often libre commodities. (Because such people take pride in what they give innocent randoms to use.) Another problem is that people like that tend to up-end the chess board if the capitalists try to do something bad.

      The solution was to move to quality standards and business models that could be built from mostly tools.

  3. Cinque says:

    Ron Conman, and other VC billionaires from their palatial Atherton estates are spending hundreds of thousands this election in an effort to harass the unwashed masses in the city ( https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/oct/12/san-francisco-homeless-proposition-q-tech-investors ).

    • Thomas Lord says:

      I'm convinced that the visible symptom of overhiring in tech is the visible portion of a big real estate scheme, largely by tech money that's looking to diversify by buying up as much of the Bay Area as they can.

  4. robert_ says:

    Is anyone able to explain to me why and how SF has (or has ended up with) so many fundamental problems - or is it that jwz just likes to focus on the negative? ;)

    • Thomas Lord says:

      See my comments above. Additionally, SV computing tech got propped up by some combinations (anti-competitive combinations) with various "content" owners (big media companies) and telecom. As a cheesy but horrific side effect, they also cornered advertising for the moment. (I think they will be the last big money ad biz. When they die, mass market ads are over.)

      They have big cash flows, in other words, but its all a precarious cartel. They are trying to leverage it into a lot of real estate, political power, security-state control over telecom, etc.

      The workforce is such a small portion of their budgets that they can afford to over-hire and to hire people basically for their political use rather than for their tech output.

      • Ben says:

        The idea that tech companies are hiring employees for their votes is so transparently dumb that your comment is itself is a manifestation of the fuckupedness of the bay area.

        • Thomas Lord says:

          Did I say "for votes"? No. I said "for political use". You see the difference, now, I'm sure.

          In two prior Silicon Valley boom periods, we learned by example the political impact and real estate market impacts of a sudden increase in the number of high-wage workers. Ask anyone who was here for the dot com boom or in the late '80s and early '90s: tech booms reliably, repeatedly cause displacement and gentrification.

          We know that the tech money people are aware of how booms interact with local real estate markets. We know this because so many of the investors, founders, and early employees from earlier rounds won big by buying up personal portfolios of residential property. It was a natural way to diversify out of having lots of valuable options. Many folks took it.

          In this round, the pattern is intensified and the tech investors have something very interesting going on. They are shipping a lot of company revenues out the door in the form of high wages. They are giving bonuses -- in forms like the commuter buses -- to get those workers to go outbid for housing the most economically vulnerable neighborhoods in the Bay Area.

          That is, very simply, an engineered enhancement to well established patterns of displacement and gentrification. How did this come to be?

          The question becomes: are these same investors taking back the cash they extend that way by, in turn, buying up real estate in these same areas?

          Now think about that because if you say "no, the investors aren't running such a real estate scheme" then you are making the extraordinary claim that these tech investors are very, very stupid.

          By way of contrast, the claim that they are deliberately over-hiring is not extraordinary -- its banal. Tech firms, thanks to various anti-competitive combinations and practices, enjoy a very high ratio of revenues to wages. Therefore, they have a wide margin in which they can over-hire without much changing their bottom line.

          During a boom, net income for these firms goes through the roof. They are left with three choices: hoard cash (they do this but you can only hoard so much before shareholders get upset); pay dividends (but large investors are not too thrilled getting cash these days); or invest in growth.

          I say "invest in growth" but really it is "spend money in ways that convinces Wall Street analysts we are investing in growth". Overhiring and pissing labor away on stupid projects looks great to investors.

          The best part is that when a downturn comes, since so many employees are essentially ballast, ROI rates can be propped up by having lots of layoffs.

          Tech has been doing that for decades.

          Now if you are going to bring in a few 10K ballast employees, and pay them hefty salaries -- of course you'd want to leverage that in other ways. Like investing in residential real estate and using your employees like bused in block busters.

    • Ben says:

      I just moved here after six months of traveling the world and it is so far inexplicable as to why it's the most fucked up city in the world.

      In Yangon I could buy lunch from a food stand directly on top of an open sewer, but at least it made sense.

  5. The turning point for me was last week when his suggested NLDS (sportsball) food bet with Chicago's Mayor Emanuel was: rainbow bagels. Recall him? Hell, he should be run out of town.

    • David Ashby says:

      To be fair, he "won" those when the Giants beat the Mets, from New York's own shambolic goofball de Blasio. Why our mayor considered those abominable rainbow creations worth promoting is beyond me.

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