Venture capitalist cat-fight as Ron Conway angrily defends Mayor Ed Lee

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Ron Conway shouts down a venture capitalist as they argue the future: will Mayor Ed Lee make San Francisco affordable again?
Image courtesy of Bloomberg

Wealthy Silicon Valley venture capitalist Ron Conway shouted down a fellow VC at Bloomberg's Next Big Thing summit, after VC Chamath Palihapitiya dared criticize Ron's biggest political investment: Mayor Ed Lee.

For context, Conway has been dubbed the "Godfather of Silicon Valley," a capitalist Michael Jordan who invests lots of money in the tech industry (like Twitter) and politicians who support it. His catfight with Palihapitiya will no doubt be re-tweeted and Facebooked amongst the tech elite for days to come. Or you know, minutes to come. After all, there are great cat videos out there.

But for us common folk, it's useful to listen to hear what Palihapitiya had to say about innovating new ways to fundraise for the affordable housing stock in San Francisco, and Conway's error-filled arguments.

 

Conway sounded like an outraged muppet, but Palihapitiya took it all in stride.

"Ron, all I was talking about is you can make very simple economic measures to fund all of that and more," Palihapitiya argued on stage at the conference. Conway wasn't having it, and interrupted him. 

"Then you said you recommend companies give 1 percent of their equity," Conway shouted. 

Palihapitiya fired back, calmly. "Ron listen, there are people in this city now who are really frustrated, you see it with the riots," he said. Conway countered that Lee was making an effort to address it. "Effort is fine," Palihapitiya replied, "but you have to see the follow through."

Conway started shouting about Lee's promise to build 30,000 housing units by 2020: "30,000 units, Ed Lee has a mandate to build 30,000 units. Is that not enough?"

Importantly, new reports from the San Francisco Public Press show the mayor's 30,000 proposed units are partially a sham: 40 percent of those units are units are already being built, including existing public housing units simply being renovated. Only 6,000 affordable housing units would be new -- making Conway's shouting equal to only so much hot air.

housing graph

"You can provide economic frameworks for all these problems," Palihapitiya told Conway from the stage. He mentioned perhaps instituting an affordable housing tax on businesses. "Imagine how many units you can build," he said, "300,000, a million! Making [Ed Lee's plan] a magnitude or more impactful. That's all I'm saying."

When Conway mentioned Google's contributions to Muni, Palihapitiya countered. "Ron, you could've taxed those guys at Google $10 million and Google would've paid."

We called Conway for a response to his tirade, and he told us "I'm in a meeting. I can email you a statement." We sent him an email, but aren't holding our breath for a reply. 

Either way, it's something new to see someone in tech actually challenge the weak crumbs the tech industry has dropped from its table for San Francisco residents. It's almost, dare we say, disruptive.

 

Comments

Posted by Guest on Jun. 10, 2014 @ 1:43 pm

Such a conflict of interest, boosters floating their fly-by-night get-rich-quick schemes must be taken seriously while voters are marginalized.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 10, 2014 @ 1:54 pm

a pro-jobs, pro-growth, pro-development platform.

Why do you hate the voters?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 10, 2014 @ 2:18 pm

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Posted by web design thailand on Jul. 15, 2014 @ 1:11 pm

Either we do what the boosters say or we want to freeze a place in a moment of time.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 10, 2014 @ 12:01 pm

because our system of democracy rewards the extremists on both sides rather than the silent majority

Posted by Guest on Jun. 10, 2014 @ 12:21 pm

Ron Conway is an extremist, the guy who pays your salary.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 10, 2014 @ 1:09 pm

And nobody pays me to make a fool of you.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 10, 2014 @ 1:21 pm

Ron Conway is so extreme he has to spend like a drunken sailor to prevail politically.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 10, 2014 @ 1:30 pm

to behave? Are you saying that SEIU should shut up?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 10, 2014 @ 1:42 pm

Both Ron Conway and SEIU should STFU politically.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 10, 2014 @ 1:55 pm
Posted by Guest on Jun. 10, 2014 @ 2:18 pm

What would Mayor Ed Lee do if he didn't have Thurston Howell to stick up for him?

Who runs this city anyway???

Posted by Patrick Connors on Jun. 09, 2014 @ 6:56 pm

"What would Mayor Ed Lee do if he didn't have Thurston Howell to stick up for him?"

You do realize that you are every bit as racist as someone who mocks the other gentleman's Sri Lankan heritage, right?

Just saying.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 09, 2014 @ 7:26 pm

Sure I am!!

Yes that makes PERFECT sense!!

Posted by Patrick Connors on Jun. 09, 2014 @ 8:53 pm

LOVEE!

Posted by marcos on Jun. 10, 2014 @ 5:28 am

I went to prep school with Thurston Howell III. I knew Thurston Howell III. Thurston Howell III was a friend of mine. Ron Conway is no Thurston Howell III.

Posted by ChristianPatriotLandowner on Jun. 10, 2014 @ 9:43 pm

Hey Guest. How is that comment racist??
When you stick up for and make them excempt from critque you are being a rasict.
Ed Lee deserves any and all criticisim he can get.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 09, 2014 @ 10:43 pm

>Hey Guest. How is that comment racist??

Attaching a cultural stereotype to someone is a form of racism.

>Ed Lee deserves any and all criticisim he can get.

Oh...never mind. Sorry to have confused you.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 09, 2014 @ 11:22 pm

Stereotyping is not racism when one white person does it to another white person, cracker.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 10, 2014 @ 5:28 am

And you not liking it doesn't make it false.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 10, 2014 @ 6:33 am

Neither makes it racism, whitey.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 10, 2014 @ 7:01 am

If it is true, it cannot be racist.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 10, 2014 @ 7:21 am

All in defense of Thurston Howell III.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 10, 2014 @ 7:31 am

Only people can be.

A stereotype is racist only if it is false. Otherwise it is a fact, even if it is a fact that you do not like.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 10, 2014 @ 7:51 am

A stereotype is racist if it reinforces discrimination backed by the power to do something about it, oppression of one race over another.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 10, 2014 @ 5:31 pm
Posted by Guest on Jun. 10, 2014 @ 5:45 pm

Stereotype that reinforce discrimination backed by the power to do something about it, oppression of one race over another are never true.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 10, 2014 @ 6:08 pm
Posted by Guest on Jun. 10, 2014 @ 6:27 pm

There are few useful truths that hold for entire classes of people.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 10, 2014 @ 6:32 pm
Posted by Guest on Jun. 11, 2014 @ 5:38 am

Ron Conway, racism, me. Threadbare and shopworn tired trolling, plumb out of ideas and new thinking.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 11, 2014 @ 6:04 am
Posted by Guest on Jun. 11, 2014 @ 7:05 am

You see it all the time in liberal circles where a white liberal criticizes other whites for not being sufficiently politically correct towards non-whites.

It's a collective, self-hate, white guilt kinda thing.

Likewise, many blacks are very critical of their own race, especially those who hate the way some blacks try and blame whitey for problems in their own community

Posted by Guest on Jun. 10, 2014 @ 7:25 am

. . . it makes me want to vomit. Please, when you can trace your ancestoral struggles of enslavement, exclusion, torture, rape, murder, and exposure to deadly diseases based on the color of your skin or your lack of European heritage, then you've got an argument. Until then, you're absurd.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LsbbmdGrcI0&feature=kp

Posted by Guest Person of Color on Jun. 10, 2014 @ 7:04 am

The term "reverse racism" is useless, because racism against whites is just racism. By adding an adjective to it you try and belittle what is essentially hate speech and hate behavior and race-based prejudice.

The term "racialist" is another euphemism.

Most whites in the US are now post-racial, and most racism is by non-whites against whites.

Your litany of card-playing there is just one example of that.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 10, 2014 @ 7:23 am

Poor, poor, put-upon white Americans. How do we manage to get up out of bed in the morning without collapsing into a pool of self pity for the onerous racism we have to face.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 10, 2014 @ 7:33 am
Posted by Guest on Jun. 10, 2014 @ 7:49 am

Some of my best friends are white, what are you talking about?

Posted by marcos on Jun. 10, 2014 @ 9:37 am

In fact, you have a real complex because, as a white male tech worker and gentrifier of the Mission, you have no cars to play.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 10, 2014 @ 10:17 am

I thought you were all for gentrification? I don't have much cars to play, I ride a bike.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 10, 2014 @ 10:56 am

privileged white male tech worker, so you cannot.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 10, 2014 @ 11:14 am

You are a racist.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 10, 2014 @ 1:08 pm
Posted by Guest on Jun. 10, 2014 @ 1:20 pm

We know that you've lost the debate when you play the "I know I've won the debate" card.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 10, 2014 @ 1:29 pm

That's an admission of defeat.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 10, 2014 @ 1:41 pm

So says the butt boy to Thurston Howell III.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 10, 2014 @ 1:53 pm

And you used to be a pretender. Or so I heard anyway.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 10, 2014 @ 2:17 pm

From Ron Conway to racism to me, what a predictable trolljectory.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 11, 2014 @ 5:23 am
Posted by Guest on Jun. 11, 2014 @ 5:39 am

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