How SF politics (and journalism) really works

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Don't bother me, I'm at a luncheon

The internal report on SF Housing Authority management berates ousted director Henry Alvarez as a jerk and a bully, somone who made racist and homophobic comments and intimidated staff. But the report also shows exactly how the corrupt politics of San Francisco contracting works. You can't read the whole Chronicle story because of the paywall, but I'll excerpt the part that matters:

In another instance, Larsen said Alvarez had him resolicit bids three times for a contract to provide security at public housing projects. Alvarez later called Larsen into his office and said he had just returned from lunch with Chronicle columnist and former Mayor Willie Brown where he met Stan Teets, who runs the private security firm Personal Protective Services, which was not poised to win the contract, the report said.

"Larsen said that Alvarez told him, 'You need to figure this out; you need to figure out a way to get PPS the work,' " according to the report. "Larsen said that his belief is that Alvarez saw Brown as an influential person, and that he (Alvarez) therefore needed to get Teets a contract or risk losing his job."

After PPS failed to win the contract, Larsen said Alvarez told him to start the process over a fourth time, the report said.

Alvarez denied to investigators that ever happened.

Brown, when reached on his cell phone, said: "I can't talk to you. I'm at a luncheon."

Check that out: Brown -- who works for the Chronicle as a columnist -- said he can't talk to a Chronicle reporter because he's at a luncheon. BTW, he's used the exact same excuse with me a bunch of times, including once at 4pm. He has a lot of luncheons. And they seem to last most of the day.

And let's remember: in his columns, Brown has consistently made excuses for Alvarez and gone out of the way to tell his side of the story.

PPS has had serious problems with its work at the Housing Authority in the past, when Teets was hired by Brown's hand-picked authority director, Ronnie Davis. Now Brown meets with Alvarez -- who he defends in his column -- and tries to get a contract for a firm with a shaky history that wasn't the low bidder.

Is PPS one of Brown's private law clients? We don't know -- the Chron doesn't require him to disclose that information.

But we know this is fucking sleazy shit, and it's exactly how the city worked every day when Brown was mayor -- and apparently, it's how things are working again, now that Brown's pal Ed Lee is mayor. I give Lee credit for ousting Alvarez and shaking up the Housing Authority Commission, but by the time he did that, he really had no choice -- the evidence and the mounting media pressure was overwhelming. And Willie clearly still has his hands in the operations of the city.

All this is happening at the same time that the Columbia Journalism Review has taken up the issue of Brown's column and the truly shady ethics involved.

I had a lot of gripes with Mayor Gavin Newsom, as all of you know, but when he was mayor, this kind of pay-to-play overwhelming sleaze wasn't the order of the day at City Hall. Now it's back.

That's how it works in San Francisco in 2013. How lovely.

 

 

 

Comments

long-term influence over the government of this city that you strive for but have failed to achieve?

Why not at least acknowledge his political acumen? If such tactics were pursuing left-wing aims, you'd turn a blind eye, just like you did to Daly's antics.

Posted by Guest on May. 08, 2013 @ 11:01 am

The progressives were trying to scheme their own guy into office using the same sort of tactics, when they lost it was all so unfair.

The bike nuts tried a couple of times through the ballot to get more street closures in GG Park, when that didn't work they went to the BOS and got their way, the Guardian cheered.

The Guardian for some reason sees itself as a watchdog, but is only upset when its side gets out schemed.

Posted by So comical on May. 08, 2013 @ 11:05 pm

Ask Mirkarimi how this all works.

Posted by Guest on May. 08, 2013 @ 11:50 am

S.F.'s recent history to give his opinion on the dirtiest?

Not a bad idea; but I rather suspect your intent was -- like hapless and bored zoo primate -- to throw your scat around senselessly.

Posted by lillipublicans on May. 08, 2013 @ 1:23 pm

spend a million trying to make the charges go away.

Posted by Guest on May. 08, 2013 @ 1:29 pm

He'll be only a memory after the next election.

Posted by Richmondman on May. 08, 2013 @ 1:43 pm

Oooh, the crafty workings of the reactionary mind!

Posted by lillipublicans on May. 08, 2013 @ 1:57 pm

the fact that he has kept totally out of the news - all his big controversial ideas have been dumped for a quiet life and a desparate hope that he won't be unemployed next year, when of course his little hispanic trophy wife will hit the bricks back to Caracas.

Posted by Guest on May. 08, 2013 @ 5:17 pm

were saying before. What a reprehensible lot of sickos the sad lot of anti-Mirkarimi haters are.

Despite your palsied dreams, Ross has been doing an exemplary job of implementing further refinements of the restorative justice that San Franciscans elected him to do.

All you are left with is the cold comfort of your own distortions.

Posted by lillipublicans on May. 08, 2013 @ 5:33 pm

other LE head who admits to criminal behavior. But since he decided to cling to office even as unpopular and disliked and disrespected as he is, the only question then is whether to kick him out now, or leave him to stew before the voters kick him out.

As a lame duck, it hardly matters at this point.

Posted by Guest on May. 09, 2013 @ 5:46 am

≈ Ain't cowardly anonymous commenting grand? You can toss out sexist and racist garbage all you want from behind a handle like "Guest," and never have to answer for the sorry state of your brain.

Posted by Jym Dyer on May. 12, 2013 @ 10:15 pm

Everyone is anonymous here.

Mirk's wife is hispanic. She is small. And she would meet many peoples' definition of a trophy wife i.e. younger, cute and rather ditzy.

Not liking the truth doesn't change the truth.

Posted by Guest on May. 13, 2013 @ 5:55 am

nature of the troll's excretions. I wish I'd been more clear in that regard.

Posted by lillipublicans on May. 13, 2013 @ 10:12 am

And nothing else in the cited statement is indicative of race at all.

Posted by Guest on May. 13, 2013 @ 11:05 am

I think the fact that the various forces who were and, I presume, remain appalled by Mirkarimi's behavior haven't been able to get it together to put together a recall shows that some of the more elaborate conspiracy theories were always pretty absurd.

Posted by Hortencia on May. 09, 2013 @ 10:36 am

and his massive structural personality flaws.

Posted by Guest on May. 09, 2013 @ 10:49 am

Any good Nazi would simply bow their shallow-pate into the noose and cry out for the hangman's lever to be pulled! And "millions?" It was Ed Lee who spent well over a million dollars of public funds in trying to overturn the election.

Posted by lillipublicans on May. 08, 2013 @ 2:01 pm

machine at City Hall. All he did was try and bring a little "color" into the Housing Authority while taking leave and opening a restaurant in Berkeley and for that he's fired? We really need to consider our white/Asian privilege when looking at this issue and not be so knee-jerk as to blame the black man immediately.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on May. 08, 2013 @ 2:01 pm

because her heart bleeds for the black/hispanic community...as a certified member of the 'white/Asian machine'. Or just certified?

Posted by Guest on May. 08, 2013 @ 2:08 pm

Lucretia will berate anybody and *everybody* for imputed racism while being a raving racist herself; even more so in her alternate identity as "Troll II" which she's given up using of late... though the idea the Lucretia, matlock, and marcos are one in the same person has a certain appeal in itself.

Posted by lillipublicans on May. 08, 2013 @ 2:40 pm

Did you drive him out, Lilli?

Posted by Guest on May. 08, 2013 @ 2:59 pm

a character flaw. Ohh marcos! We miss you...

not that much.

Posted by lillipublicans on May. 08, 2013 @ 3:07 pm

Eventually he thought that everyone except from him was wring - a sure sign of delusion.

Posted by Guest on May. 08, 2013 @ 3:34 pm

That's a pretty common thing among BG commenters of every political stripe.

Posted by Hortencia on May. 09, 2013 @ 10:34 am
Posted by Guest on May. 09, 2013 @ 10:48 am

I've just been out of the country -enjoying life. Sometimes I just have better things to do with my life than sit here and school the trolls.

Posted by Greg on May. 13, 2013 @ 7:38 am
Posted by Guest on May. 13, 2013 @ 10:14 am

as well as ageism. You represent progressives so much better than you could ever realize 'lil Lilz.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on May. 08, 2013 @ 3:37 pm

Completely over their heads. As go most things in life.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on May. 08, 2013 @ 3:07 pm

Everyone knows that Lucretia's double is Lillipublicans (aka Lil Lilz). As Lil Lilz, she adopts a pompous style in order to mock and discredit progressives. Then she switches over to her alter personality, Lucretia Snapples, and talks back to herself. It's hilarious...that is, if it wasn't so pathetic.

Posted by Guest on May. 09, 2013 @ 12:24 pm

Brown is pretty sad as a journalist, like many of the other journalists in the city at various other outlets.

Posted by Matlock on May. 08, 2013 @ 11:08 pm

I'm sure he started off idealistic, but he just got more and more corrupt as he went along.

Posted by Guest on May. 09, 2013 @ 12:02 pm

reversed the "theme park" throwback culture that was killing the city.

Posted by Guest on May. 09, 2013 @ 12:23 pm

Why give him credit for anything then? He deserves *none.*

And while the tenures of Brown/Lee may tempt us to pine for the days of Newsom, recall that it was Nuke himself who materially cooperated in the arrangement to stick us with our current mayor.

Posted by lillipublicans on May. 08, 2013 @ 2:56 pm

an "election." Funny thing about these "elections" - they've valid even when your favored candidate loses!! Most people accept that fact except those, as in your case, who are REALLY extremist far-right fascists acting as moles to discredit mainstream Democrats.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on May. 08, 2013 @ 3:16 pm

you have had the decency to shut the fuck up for once? No. The answer is no.

And recall: Lee was supposed to be a caretaker who would not subsequently seek election to the office.

Posted by lillipublicans on May. 08, 2013 @ 11:49 pm

>"And recall: Lee was supposed to be a caretaker who would not subsequently seek election to the office."

Yeah Lilli. And the voters knew that. And they elected him with 60% of the vote.

And yeah, I know that it was really 59.64% and that you have an episode when someone rounds it to the nearest percent. Because that 0.36% is so meaningful.

And his approval rate is 61%, according to a perfectly fine survey commissioned by the local CBS station.

Posted by Troll on May. 09, 2013 @ 12:42 am

so popular that he was persuaded to change his mind, especially when he saw some of the scary alternatives for that office.

There is the delicious irony of seeing the left outflanked and outsmarted, of course, but that was just a bonus.

Posted by Guest on May. 09, 2013 @ 5:47 am

Lee was always going to run. And even if he wasn't, he promised not to as a condition of being appointed. He broke that promise.

Posted by Hortencia on May. 09, 2013 @ 10:37 am

He only said that, at the time, he had no intention to run, which was probably true. (At least, I don't see how anyone could disprove a state of mind anyway).

Lying and breaking a commitment might be wrong, but changing your mind is fair.

Posted by Guest on May. 09, 2013 @ 10:50 am

Lilli's just more frustrated than usual because his Ross Real Doll is in the shop being de-matted and de-scaled, as well as re-sized due to tearing and re-dyed due to discoloration.

Posted by Chromefields on May. 09, 2013 @ 10:03 am

Ross's only chance for Mayor was in the last election but he knew he had no chance even before SpousalAbuseGate became current.

Posted by Guest on May. 09, 2013 @ 10:47 am
Posted by lillipublicans on May. 09, 2013 @ 11:38 am

like the sheriff unless he knew that he wasn't electable for a higher office?

Posted by Guest on May. 09, 2013 @ 12:21 pm

because he doesn't have Ross to kick around anymore.

Posted by Guest on May. 09, 2013 @ 12:00 pm

(when he isn't kicking his wife) so why would any of the rest of us need to do that for him?

Posted by Guest on May. 09, 2013 @ 12:21 pm

I do miss hearing the lurid details of Ross's whack-a-mole brand of matrimony. But once his stint as sheriff is over, he'll really bring the pain. His crew is working around the clock to finish his Cleveland dungeon while Eliana is out of town.

Posted by Chromefields on May. 10, 2013 @ 8:59 am

like one of you said this cîty has a life its own...

Posted by Guest on May. 11, 2013 @ 8:26 pm

as far as all of this about mirkarimi then why didn't this come out in the election process. I voted for the man too if you can't remember. I trusted what his campaign staff said about him. what he does is an important aspect of this cities politics. maybe he only took the job to get a permanent paycheck like that is the only thing he knows how to do. eat this too all of you. I am disgusted by a lot of this bullshit but I live here too if you hadn't noticed. am I perfect?

Posted by Guest on May. 11, 2013 @ 8:41 pm

"I give Lee credit for ousting Alvarez and shaking up the Housing Authority Commission, but by the time he did that, he really had no choice -- the evidence and the mounting media pressure was overwhelming."

But this bit is unfair. The last time Lee fired a City employee before all the evidence was in, you guys went apeshit.

Posted by Guest on May. 11, 2013 @ 9:29 pm

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