Previous months of Michael Denny For Mayor news can be view here.
Tuesday, November 4, 2003
SUMMARY REPORT CITY & COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO
NOVEMBER 4, 2003
RUN DATE:11/08/03 02:36 PM
PRECINCTS COUNTED (OF 562). . . . . 562 100.00
REGISTERED VOTERS - TOTAL . . . . . 459,213
BALLOTS CAST - TOTAL. . . . . . . 207,555
VOTER TURNOUT - TOTAL . . . . . . 45.20
VOTE FOR 1
GAVIN NEWSOM . . . . . . . . . 86,470 42.00
MATT GONZALEZ . . . . . . . . . 40,213 19.53
ANGELA ALIOTO . . . . . . . . . 33,005 16.03
TOM AMMIANO. . . . . . . . . . 21,207 10.30
SUSAN LEAL . . . . . . . . . . 17,494 8.50
TONY RIBERA. . . . . . . . . . 4,973 2.42
MICHAEL F. DENNY. . . . . . . . 918 .45
ROGER E. SCHULKE . . . . . . . . 751 .36
JIM REID. . . . . . . . . . . 724 .35
WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . . 131 .06
VOTE FOR 1
TERENCE HALLINAN . . . . . . . . 69,856 35.83
KAMALA HARRIS . . . . . . . . . 65,499 33.60
BILL FAZIO . . . . . . . . . . 59,353 30.45
WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . . 232 .12
VOTE FOR 1
MICHAEL HENNESSEY. . . . . . . . 144,275 82.06
TONY CARRASCO . . . . . . . . . 31,046 17.66
WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . . 493 .28
YES . . . . . . . . . . . . 138,286 70.52
NO. . . . . . . . . . . . . 57,810 29.48
YES . . . . . . . . . . . . 123,894 66.82
NO. . . . . . . . . . . . . 61,514 33.18
YES . . . . . . . . . . . . 132,556 70.57
NO. . . . . . . . . . . . . 55,274 29.43
YES . . . . . . . . . . . . 103,835 55.90
NO. . . . . . . . . . . . . 81,930 44.10
YES . . . . . . . . . . . . 112,873 61.93
NO. . . . . . . . . . . . . 69,399 38.07
YES . . . . . . . . . . . . 126,759 67.53
NO. . . . . . . . . . . . . 60,957 32.47
YES . . . . . . . . . . . . 144,548 75.79
NO. . . . . . . . . . . . . 46,164 24.21
YES . . . . . . . . . . . . 98,161 51.85
NO. . . . . . . . . . . . . 91,159 48.15
YES . . . . . . . . . . . . 113,800 59.74
NO. . . . . . . . . . . . . 76,690 40.26
YES . . . . . . . . . . . . 112,257 58.62
NO. . . . . . . . . . . . . 79,246 41.38
YES . . . . . . . . . . . . 140,629 74.78
NO. . . . . . . . . . . . . 47,437 25.22
YES . . . . . . . . . . . . 115,744 59.46
NO. . . . . . . . . . . . . 78,925 40.54
YES . . . . . . . . . . . . 116,328 59.71
NO. . . . . . . . . . . . . 78,500 40.29
NO. . . . . . . . . . . . . 133,237 72.05
YES . . . . . . . . . . . . 51,693 27.95
Mayoral Candidates Forum
Listen to the Mayoral Candidates Forum
Low Quality Mp3 format
Quality Mp3 format
|Wed, October 29, 2003 -- 10:00am
slideshow of photos.
Michael Krasny hosts a mayoral candidates' forum live from the
South Light Court at San Francisco's City Hall.
Host: Michael Krasny
Outsider candidates use wits in S.F. mayoral race
For 3, no big name is one big challenge
Like Don Quixote on
his steed, Jim Reid was riding a Muni bus toward the sea, handing
out campaign literature, shaking hands and peering intently into
riders' faces in his quest to become mayor of San Francisco.
For 26 hours, stopping only for meals, Reid and
two homeless volunteers had been spreading the word about Reid's
candidacy and his seemingly endless ideas - particularly his plan
to build 100-square-foot wooden houses for 1,000 homeless people.
"I want to house people," said the soft-spoken
Reid, a licensed contractor who has not worked steadily since 1999
so as to devote himself to various campaigns. "I know how to build
houses. Housing is the missing component that nobody is talking
Reid is one of three candidates for mayor who have
a message, but little name recognition or money budgeted for
campaigning. Also running are Libertarian Michael Denny, whose
company distributes alcoholic beverages, and Roger Schulke, a
Republican who owns a computer consulting company.
As political outsiders, the candidates must be
creative to build name recognition and get their message out - and
Reid, 53, has led the pack in innovation.
He rides Muni constantly, handing out literature
in various languages. He puts homeless people up in his house in
exchange for campaign work. He drives electric micro-vehicles
around town with his name plastered all over the sides.
He distributes a five-song campaign compact disc.
He plans to put 10,000 fake parking tickets on cars to protest
recent parking fine hikes, which he says pay for a bloated
"There are enough voters on Muni to get elected
mayor three times over," said Reid, who ran for supervisor in 1999
and mayor in 2000 and launched two ill-fated recall campaigns
against Mayor Willie Brown.
Reid says he gave up the working world and jumped
into politics after the heart-attack death of his lover forced him
to reexamine his life.
"I decided my purpose was to give hope to people
who had lost hope," he said.
Roger Schulke, 53, says his moment of inspiration
came last spring when he found a flier on his car for a city
sponsored day labor program run by La Raza Centro Legal.
Schulke thinks the Mission District legal aid and
education organization's programs serving undocumented immigrants
encourage illegal immigration. Calls to the center seeking a
response were not returned.
"There's a lot of problems with this city,'' said
Schulke, who is unmarried. "We've had 35 years of Democratic
(Party) rule that created these problems.''
Schulke, who lives near the Presidio on the city's
north side, has bought radio advertisements promoting his
campaign. He says he is upset by the city's growing homeless
population, which he says the government uses to justify
ineffective programs; affirmative action, which he thinks results
in reverse discrimination; bureaucratic red tape that hurts
business; lack of accountability in government spending; and
Though he is registered as a Republican, he calls
himself an independent on the campaign trail. He says his party
has gone soft on issues he cares about.
"They're selling out our principles,'' he said.
"It's getting to the point where we don't have a two party
Michael Denny, 52, the Libertarian candidate, also
has come to believe City Hall is unfriendly to business.
"The level of economic understanding in this town
is frighteningly low,'' said Denny, who also ran unsuccessfully
for state Assembly in 2002.
A Richmond district resident, Denny is married and
has four children. His campaign platform focuses on limiting the
reach and size of government, which he says shouldn't be in the
business of trying to solve social problems.
"These people can barely fill potholes, and that's
all they should be doing,'' said Denny, though he allowed that
city government also should provide park, bus, police, fire, water
and sewer services, as well as run elections.
For all three candidates, trying to connect with
the public has been a frustrating experience. Frequently,
community forum and debate organizers exclude them. Reid and
Schulke were escorted from one event in a church when they tried
to be heard.
In the face of such challenges, Reid takes the
prize for attention grabbing activities.
Twice Reid has spent a week or more in city
homeless shelters, documenting on his Web site what he calls
And he scored a public relations coup when he
built "Shelter One," an approximately 100-square foot house for
homeless people, at a cost of $12,000, and hauled it to City Hall.
The stunt received extensive media attention.
Reid now is selling raffle tickets for a chance to
win one of the homes. He uses the money raised to buy food for
himself and his volunteers.
Reid's unconventional ways also have brought him
into conflict with his two housemates, who don't like the way Reid
has been letting homeless people live in their rented Bernal
Most of Reid's guests - there are four now - meet
him at the tiny campaign office he rents on Market Street across
from U.N. Plaza, a notorious gathering spot for drug dealers,
homeless people and other denizens of the street.
Now, Reid also is in the crosshairs of the city
Department of Building Inspection after a volunteer, whom Reid
says he evicted for drunkenness, complained about construction
work Reid did on his house without permits and the fact that Reid
parked Shelter One on a concrete slab in his backyard.
The building department has issued fines for the
interior work and ordered that Reid get permits for the little
house or remove it.
Shelter One draws electricity from the house via a
heavy-duty extension cord and water from a garden hose. Toilet
waste goes to a specialized composting machine Reid picked up in
Canada. Water from the bathtub and sink drains to his garden and
In front, there is a small landing with steps, a
white picket fence, an American flag and geraniums.
"It's the American dream," he said.
San Francisco Chamber of
Questionnaire for Mayoral
The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce is a business membership
organization, with roughly 2,000 business members, representing
more than 250,000
employees. The Chamber’s mission is to attract, retain and
develop business in
The majority of our members, 85 percent, are small businesses with
fewer than 50 employees.
Below are questions that span the Chamber’s core public policy areas —
economic development, transportation, workforce development,
workforce housing, quality of life and education. Please provide
brief, but complete answers to each question. Keep in mind that
these answers will be posted on the Chamber’s website at
www.sfchamber.com, click the “Inside Election ’03” button, and
may be edited for length. Please return this completed
questionnaire by Tuesday, October 7. Thank you.
1) What would be the top three priorities of your administration's
economic development agenda?
Mike: City Hall cannot do
economic development. Only our businesses and citizens can do
that. I’m surprised how often people say the Mayor is
San Francisco’s CEO. The Mayor is not
CEO. The Mayor is only the CEO of City Hall.
To answer your question:
1) We must cut taxes, regulations and get City Hall out of the way so our
citizens and businesses can flourish. 2) To do that we must
dramatically cut City Halls assumed responsibilities and budget. I
want to strictly focus City government on its basic municipal
responsibilities, police, fire, streets, parks etc… With
responsibilities limited to these functions, the cost of
government will shrink to less than half the current budget. 3) To
make sure the arts, social services, education and other functions
now improperly funded and managed by City government get what they
need to serve the community, I’d offer 100% tax credit to any
business or citizen tax payer who writes a check in support of
these organizations. By putting control in the hands of those who
fund them, they would be subject to much better scrutiny to
evaluate the cost versus benefits delivered. Those that didn’t
meet the standards of those who pay would go out of business.
2) The average employee in
San Francisco works in a company with approximately 100 people.
economy is a mixture of large and many small firms. What would
you do to foster the growth of both small and large firms?
Mike: Reduce taxes and
regulatory cost….period! According to Harvard, we have a $600,000
regulatory cost per build-able acre in
That’s double New York and Chicago. No wonder we have an
affordable housing problem. See what I mean? City Hall will not be
the source of our solutions. It is the source of our problems and
cannot be fixed with a little tweaking here and there. It must be
cut to the bone.
3) How would you create a stable economic climate that would encourage the
attraction of businesses to the city, and retention of businesses
in the city?
Mike: At the risk of repeating
myself…the only thing that is going to attract and retain
businesses is to cut City and State interference through taxation
and regulations. Nothing else will do it.
4) In your opinion, what are the two most important capital-improvement
needs to undertake to secure the city's economic future?
Mike: In my opinion, we
shouldn’t be thinking about capital improvements before we look at
cutting City Hall down to its basic municipal functions (see
above) I know there are many out there are counting on some nice
big government “capital improvement“ contracts (you know who you
are) in these difficult economic times. But I would put this
discussion aside until we get City Hall down to a manageable size
and then look seriously into “capital improvement” needs and
Francisco has a transit-first policy, but there are still many
commuters and other travelers who do not access the system. How do
you think the transportation system could be improved or what do
you think could be done to encourage more transit use?
Mike: By making sure all routes
charge what they need to serve the community, we can let the
citizens decide if they really need certain routes and where they
need more service. I’d make the MUNI pass a digital card that
would automatically bill based on location on and off, like Bart.
You would have to swipe the card to get on. And if you didn’t
swipe it when you got off, it would deny passage next time or
charge a fine. By the way, where are those devices MUNI promised
that would let people at bus stops know when the next bus would
6) Do you support Proposition K, the reauthorization of the half-cent
sales tax for transportation? Why or why not?
Mike: Absolutely not…our
overall approach to transportation needs to be addressed before we
deny taxpayers this opportunity for a tax cut. The sales tax is
especially hard on our working poor. It should be eliminated
7) The shortage of parking is always a major issue for neighborhood retail
merchants. What could be done to improve this situation?
Mike: Once again, the only
people who can solve our parking problems are the companies that
develop and operate parking facilities. I suggest that the best
thing City Hall could do is provide a “fast pass” through our
regulatory nightmare, exemption from State and local taxes and a
tax credit equal to the capital required to build the facility. If
the company was not a
tax payer, they would not qualify for the tax credit. With this
program, we would soon have more parking than we need.
8) San Francisco has invested more than $75 million in environmental
studies of the San Francisco Bay and a potential runway expansion
at SFO. Since the studies are more than 75 percent complete, do
you believe that the city should make full use of its investment
and complete the studies? Why or why not?
Mike: Why would the citizens
want to spend $18.75 million dollars simply because they already
spent $56.25. The question is, do we still want and need the
expansion. While I haven’t seen any extensive research on the
subject, it appears that due to the reduction of use and the
overall decline in our local economy, it may be time to
re-evaluate whether or not we want to continue with the plans. By
the way, we need to get City Hall out of the airport business as
9) In an era of declining state and city resources, how do you intend to
“grow the pie” to assure the continuation of services to residents
Mike: Once again, the Mayor
cannot “grow the pie”. The best the Mayor can do is make it as
easy as possible for productive businesses and citizens to do
their work so they can “grow the pie”. The only services we need
from City Hall are streets, parks, police, fire, water, sewage
etc…and some might say that many of these things would be better
handled by non-government providers as well. But the bottom line
is City Hall must go on a strict diet so the people can eat as
much of the pie they make as possible.
10) Nationally, there is a growing gap between the technical needs of
businesses and the skill level of the workforce. How will your
administration ensure that local businesses have access to the
qualified workers needed to grow the economy?
Mike: I hope that by the time
this questionnaire is complete it will be perfectly clear to all
who read it that the Mayor cannot “ensure local businesses have
access to qualified workers”. The best I can do is make sure City
Hall does what it is supposed to do as best as it can and for as
little money as possible. That will have the positive effect of
helping our economy. There is nothing like a healthy economy to
bring workers, jobs and skills together.
11) The common perception is that there is significant duplication of
effort within and among city agencies and contracted service
providers. How will your administration identify and address such
redundancy and assure the quality of service?
Mike: The problem is that City
Hall and politicians cannot manage without strict guidelines. So
we must strip City Hall down to the basics, refocus and
reorganize. It’s not going to be an easy job but it must be done.
Nothing short of this will assure the quality of service
San Francisco’s citizens and taxpayers have been sorely lacking.
Fortunately, I have the skills to do the job.
12) San Francisco is experiencing a housing crisis. Fewer than 10 percent
of San Francisco’s moderate-income households can afford a
median-priced home in the city. What programs would you initiate
or support to increase homeownership opportunities, particularly
workforce – those households making between 80-120 percent of the
area media income ($75,000-$109,000)?
Mike: I would do everything in
my power to make sure that we cut the regulatory expense to all
builders throughout all of
I would like to see this expense cut from $600,000 to $100,000 per
build-able acre in my first year, reducing more in following
years. Nothing reduces the cost of housing like a large supply. So
we could also offer a 100% tax credit to any San Francisco tax
payer who wanted to build houses people want to buy with their own
money. We could also exempt these projects from property taxes. We
do it for government funded non-profits, why wouldn’t we do it
for private projects too?
13) Will you support the Chamber's Workforce Housing Initiative, which is
now slated for the March 2004 ballot? The initiative would
encourage the production of no fewer than 4,000 units of new
housing along the Central Waterfront and 6,000 new units Downtown,
with 37 percent of those units targeted to San Francisco
households making under $109,000.
Mike: There’s not many details
published about the Chamber’s Workforce Housing Initiative.
However, I understand that it provides some special exemptions
from our onerous building requirements for the development of
primarily downtown and waterfront housing. Frankly I’d like to see
this happen in every neighborhood. On one hand, this plan seeks
exemptions from City government. On the other, it is seeking funds
and support from other government agencies. It is corporate
welfare to use government programs to reduce the risk of those who
want to build and sell this housing. If the people who build the
housing want to finance down payments and all the other things
they are expecting government to do, then I could support it.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
14) Do you support funding the program Environmental Impact Reports (EIRs)
for the three Better Neighborhoods Plans, which propose new
housing in the
Balboa Park and Southeast Mission areas?
Mike: I have little faith in
central planning. But neighborhoods have to be able to evolve. The
property owners in the areas affected by this plan should have the
final say. Those property owners who benefit at the expense of
others must compensate the others satisfactorily. Once again,
there appears to be lots of support from people that make a living
providing government-funded “infrastructure”. That’s no surprise.
But I would listen to property owners before I’d listen to them.
It just might be that everything has changed since our economy
fell apart with the loss of so many of our bedrock companies that
we just don’t need this any more. The property owners know what’s
best for their communities and what will give them the best return
on their property. If City Hall had an interest in motivating them
into some behavior, they might consider exempting them from
property taxes and other regulations on the development and use of
their property along with tax credits for the expenses relating to
infrastructure they would pay for on their own. That should do it.
It doesn’t guarantee that these projects will be successful or
that there will be enough jobs here so people will actually live
in these new projects no matter what they cost to build. It just
makes sure that if the developers make a mistake and the projects
don’t succeed, the developers pay and not all of
San Francisco’s taxpayers. The way it is now, these private but
government-funded public works companies would rather deal with
corrupt politicians than the rights of whole neighborhoods of
property owners. I suggest they need to deal with the property
will be better off for it.
15) To keep up with the demand for housing, the Association of Bay Area
Governments (ABAG) estimates that San Francisco should be building
units a year – more than double the 1,200 units currently being built.
What programs and policies would you implement to help the city
achieve that goal and maintain the city’s cultural and economic
diversity? Please be specific.
Mike: It’s not the Mayor’s job
to build housing or maintain the city’s cultural and economic
diversity. Those are the responsibilities of the businesses and
San Francisco. So once again, I would get City Hall out of the way
because it is City Hall that is destroying the incentive to build.
I’m not worried about our cultural and economic diversity. We have
lots of that and I’m sure that if San Franciscans want more or
less, they can make those decisions without my approval.
Quality of Life
Chamber of Commerce has created an innovative street-survey
program in partnership with the SF Clean City Coalition and DPW.
StreetFacts will link accountability for clean and safe streets
with real-time data, and provide community groups with a tool to
communicate effectively with city leaders about the state of their
neighborhoods. As mayor, will you work with your department heads,
as well as the Chamber and Clean City, to ensure that StreetFacts
is implemented and that city agencies act on the data provided by
last, a question that has something to do with the Mayor’s office.
Yes, this is a good idea and one that I would definitely support.
mayor, how will you ensure that the Department of Public Works has
sufficient resources to clean streets, remove graffiti and
maintain the city's streetscapes?
getting City Hall out of all the other things they aren’t supposed
to be doing, the funding needed for these projects will be
available. However, I would go further and say that if DPW doesn’t
get the job done to the satisfaction of those in the
neighborhoods, I would provide any tax payer with a 100% tax
credit for hiring an outside service to take care of the job or
doing the job themselves.
18) Do you
support creation of additional business improvement districts in
is always better for those who pay the money to control the way
the money is spent. And it’s always better to keep the money close
to home. Yes, I support this idea.
like Chicago have invested substantial private and public
resources in neighborhood and street beautification projects.
What plans do you have to beautify San Francisco?
not the mayor’s job to make the City beautiful. Besides, what if
people don’t like the mayor’s idea about what is beautiful. That’s
why it’s up to the people and neighborhoods to beautify according
to their own taste and style. My job as mayor is to make sure the
basics are provided for properly and at low cost. If I were to go
any farther than that, I’d offer 100% tax credits to any tax payer
who contributes to their neighborhood and street beautification.
This could also be extended to any piece of private property that
was exposed to the public. We really need this program badly as
San Francisco is really starting to look quite shabby.
How would you describe public
education in San Francisco? Would you say that it is excellent,
good, fair or poor? Why did you answer the way you did?
Mike: Poor. Attendance is down.
Morale among the teachers and administrators that I meet is very
low. They know that the problem exists because the program is run
by an unaccountable Soviet style bureaucracy that is in it for
themselves, not the parents and students.
Arthur Anderson found the district had used $30 million in school
construction bond money to pay for salaries and overhead, could
account of only half of $30 million in bond money received since
1996, purchased three properties without being able to demonstrate
a need for them, awarded contracts through verbal agreements,
failed to install windows at Hillcrest Elementary School, and
spent $250,000 to bulldoze a vacant lot it did not own. And what
did the district to about it? It gave 87 district administrators a
retroactive 8 percent salary increase, bringing about one-third of
them over the $100,000 a year mark. Raises were dished out to
administrators who had previously been reassigned for
mismanagement of public funds. Superintendent Arlene Ackerman said
raises were needed to attract quality people. So why give raises
to those already running a lousy system? It makes sense that Mayor
Brown said "In San Francisco, you can lie and cheat and
steal...and we don't ask you about those things. We accept you as
you are." (San Francisco Chronicle, April 13) That is not an
endorsement of our schools or City Hall.
Ask the Parents for Neighborhood Schools Association about how good the
schools are? They are there in front of the
San Francisco Unified School District with their kids every day.
They refuse to send their kids to school as they are run through
some “diversity index” to determine what school they will go to.
Then they are bused all over town. Some families have kids in
several different schools. How can they get involved and help
their kids with a situation like this? What would anyone think
about a public education system that thinks diversity is more
important than the will of parents to keep kids close to home?
It’s so stupid it makes me sick.
type of strategic commitments would you make to assist the school
have received enthusiastic support from teachers and the AFL-CIO
Public School Administrators and the Parents for Neighborhood
Schools Association for my plan to give the schools, including
land and buildings, to the teachers and administrators that
currently run them. With this, they will be able to borrow the
money needed to open their own schools. We cannot continue having
the bureaucracy blaming the teachers and administrators, while
they blame the bureaucracy. Control must be returned to the
teachers, administrators, parents and students. Nothing else will
succeed. And I’d give a tax credit to any San Francisco tax payer
willing to pay a student’s tuition.
23) Do you agree or disagree to following statements (and to what extent
do you agree or disagree?):
It is not possible to hold schools accountable for student progress.
Mike: The better question would
be “How do you hold schools accountable for student progress?”.
The answer is that it is the job of the parents. Any school that
does not meet their needs should lose them as a customer.
Eventually, they’ll get the message.
We are doing a good enough job holding schools accountable for student
Mike: The generic “We” doesn’t
do anything. This is a socialist concept that needs to be banned
from use in intelligent conversation. The only people who can hold
the schools accountable are parents and students….period. Everyone
else who has something to say about it should mind their own