July 4, 2003
Fr. John Hardin,
121 Golden Gate Ave.
Dear Fr. Hardin,
Thank you for
your letter regarding the St. Anthony Foundation along with your
positions on poverty and homelessness. As a Catholic whose parents
took the family to St. Anthony’s in
for Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving Mass, the issue of poverty
has special meaning. I study it, bring the homeless and poor into
my home, feed them and make friends with them. One thing I like
about St. Anthony’s is that you stress the dignity of these and
all people. This is a critical starting point for the whole
discussion and is what Christ asks of us all.
I agree that
solutions involve more affordable housing, counseling, health care
and jobs. However, I disagree completely that government has
anything to do with these solutions. In fact, after years of
analysis, it’s become clear that government itself is the primary
cause of most of these problems. Let’s look at the facts.
“deinstitutionalization” movement released 400,000 mentally ill
with no plan.
2) Federal Urban
Renewal devastated old low cost rooming houses and SROs.
regulations caused demolition or upgrading and raised building
4) Labor and wage
laws priced out low-skill jobs.
5) Rent control
laws created inefficiency in the rental market raising prices and
wars have lasting negative impact on those who fight in them.
As you are aware,
there are really three problems here. Estimates are that 22% of
homeless people have acute mental illness. 60-80% suffer from drug
and alcohol abuse (about the same as in 1827 according to Marvin
Olasky in The Tragedy of American Compassion). And about 30% are
homeless due to economic deprivation. So we need two solutions:
One that helps the small number of unemployed or working poor
priced out of the housing or job market, and one that helps the
mentally ill and substance abusers for whom homelessness is a
Here are some
1) Repeal all
laws that make it illegal to feed the homeless.
zoning, land use regulation, growth control and building codes
that raise prices.
Theresa abandoned a NY homeless project because regulators wanted
an elevator. Harvard Institute of Economic Research says SF
regulation costs $608,000 per buildable acre, more than twice the
cost of Anaheim (2), New York (3) and Los Angeles (4).
3) Repeal all
rent control laws.
Note: It’s no
coincidence that NY and SF have rent control and the highest
number of homeless.
4) Phase out
government programs and replace them with Charity.
Charity can motivate people to do the hard work needed to help
these people. Charity only comes from the heart. Government is
simple coercion. It doesn’t care and it can’t force or pay people
5) Repeal labor
and wage laws that make hiring the low-skilled poor illegal.
“living wage” laws defies economic reason and destroys low skill
Three reforms can
solve the problem - - - encouraging “tough love” community
charities, ending laws that place barriers between compassionate
people and those in need, and eliminating government rules and
regulations that drive up the cost of housing and jobs. Only this
can put a roof over the heads of most homeless.
To be honest, it
surprises me how much people trust in government. In your
recommendations, you call on us to do three things but on
government to do six things. As Christians, I feel we have to
take the words of Jesus at face value. G_d told Moses there was
only one G_d. Jesus told us that G_d was Love and that Faith, Hope
and Love are all we need for salvation. In the face of that truth,
is it prudent to rely, even a little, on the fruit of government
coercion, tax money? To me, this approach is inconsistent with
Christ’s profound truth.
I’m reminded of
how G_d told Moses that if he needed water in the desert, he
should tap a rock once with a stick. It seemed too easy so Moses
tapped the rock twice. As he doubted the word of G_d, he never saw
the Land of Milk and Honey. In my opinion, trust in government is
a false god and an example of limited Faith. Anything that
interferes with the free and voluntary nature of Love is doomed to
failure. I want better for St. Anthony’s.
I applaud your
decision to support the Tenderloin Clean Streets program.
Supporting this program demonstrates your commitment to the rest
of the neighborhood. Hopefully it will be just the beginning of
more and better neighborhood communication and cooperation.
only support organizations that see government for what it is; a
barrier to our cooperative success. So please let me know if your
position changes on any of these issues. I’ll be happy to write a
check and roll up my sleeves as I do for Rafael House, Boys Hope,
Girls Hope, Junior Achievement, the Western Addition Foundation
for Girls and Vision Youthz.
Thank you again
for contacting me. Please know that I am available to discuss
these and other issues at any time. I look forward to hearing from
Yours in Christ,
Candidate for SF Mayor
articles, stories and a cartoon supporting the positions taken in
Adriel Hampton – SF Examiner / Independent
mentioning me in your story about the Veterans’ Mayoral event in
the Independent. However, you neglected to mention the issues I
represent. This letter is to make them clear so you can write
about them with confidence next time.
I represent the
position that City Hall is the main cause of our problems and not
the solution. There three candidates in the race who share this
position, Jim Reid, Kent Clarke and I. While Jim and Kent focus on
specific issues, I bring this approach to all aspects of City
Look at the
things we like most about San Francisco…our diversity, tolerance,
friendliness, our “heart” and more. These are the results of an
environment with a high level of personal freedom. While all
Libertarians campaign aggressively for personal freedom, San
Francisco has more than most places so I’m not as worried about
this as I am about other issues in the campaign.
Now look at the
things we don’t like about San Francisco….expensive housing, the
cost of doing business, loss of jobs and more. These are the
results of an environment with a low level of economic freedom.
This is the most important issue in the campaign despite the fact
that no one is talking about it. All the leading candidates want
the power of City Hall to advance special interests that own their
campaigns and expect to improve their position at the public
trough. Only Jim Reid, Kent Clark and I are campaigning for the
economic freedom and property rights of San Franciscans. We want
City Hall to do us all a favor and get out of the way. The other
candidates want to ruin San Francisco by either maintaining or
expanding the role of City Hall in these choices. See the
Franciscan’s could only realize how much they would benefit by
applying the same freedom to economic choices that they do with
personal choices. If they did, we would flourish economically the
same way we do personally. And San Francisco would be a much
better place to live. Who better than a regular person who built
his business with his own hands to represent this much needed
perspective in the campaign?
issues I’m campaigning for would also help San Franciscans
understand the dynamics of this mayoral race and make better
choices in November. Presenting the race as the ideological
battle it really is would make it more interesting for the voters
to read too. Let’s face it; watching four career Democrats pander
to the establishment is pretty dull. Put Jim, Kent and I, the
“Davids” into an ideological struggle with the four “Goliaths”.
Now that would be fun and expand public interest in the race at
the same time. And it might actually do some good for the people
of San Francisco along the way.
regards…please feel free to contact me at any time.
An Open Letter to the
SF Chronicle Insight section
It’s too bad Michael Yaki chose to “make book” on the mayoral
race than discuss issues in his May 11th article “SF
mayoral hopefuls make a run
for the roses.” Sadly, this is normal in San
Francisco’s self-destructive political environment where games are
easier and more entertaining than appealing to the better
instincts of a largely apathetic and uninformed public.
But a cool wind is blowing across San Francisco’s recently balmy
landscape that signals tough times ahead. Like in California’s
gubernatorial race, where economic fantasy trumped reality…until
the race was over; San Francisco’s leading mayoral candidates also
prefer to not discuss the severity of our problems. Instead,
candidates would rather seduce sleepy SF voters with reassuring
words about how we can continue business as usual and avoid our
day of reckoning if only we would accelerate public spending and
collect more taxes.
While leading candidates are “cautiously optimistic” about our
short-term economic prospects in public, City Controller Ed
Harrington isn’t expecting anything until 2008. So what’s the
establishment’s solution? They are busy lobbying Sacramento to
allow cities to charge income taxes, currently illegal. My
solution is to tell every department in City Hall they have 15%
less and then let the managers manage. And if they can’t figure it
out, they should be replaced. When City Hall’s revenue plummeted
30% in 2001, instead of acting responsibly, they spent our
surplus. The following year, they cut only 4%. If businesses
operated like City Hall, we’d all be out of business.
Michael Yaki, himself a San Francisco political casualty, might be
right about my odds. But if I go down, at least I will have
honestly given my best to promote ideas San Franciscans will need
most in the tough days ahead. The message of personal and economic
freedom with corresponding responsibility can inspire tolerance
and cooperation to heal a troubled and divisive San Francisco.
Also, small government and free markets will lead to a San
Francisco renaissance, whereas more taxes and government mandates
will generate crime, more poverty, and unemployment. If this
message is ignored, San Franciscans will pay dearly in the days
ahead with the loss of wealth and Freedom they once enjoyed. Faced
with this, why wouldn’t San Franciscans select a mayor that only
wants “choice” for citizens to do what they want rather than to
take orders from special interests lurking around leading
When Mr. Yaki left office, I wonder what odds he would have given
that a Green would soon be President of the Board of Supervisors.
So if I don’t get out of the gate, it won’t be because I’m
Libertarian as he suggests. The reason will be that too many San
Franciscans preferred to “make book” than get real. Unless this
attitude changes in the public and media, I give San Franciscans
the same odds of winning in this election that Michael Yaki gave
Libertarian Candidate for San Francisco Mayor
(415) 986-7677 x123
DENNY BLASTS "LIVING WAGE"
Calls for full employment of San Franciscans
May 1, 2003
Contact: Christopher R. Maden
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Telephone: (415) 845-8202
San Francisco, April 30, 2003 - Libertarian candidate for
Mayor Michael Denny roundly panned proposals to implement a
so-called "living wage" law in San Francisco.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is considering raising the
minimum wage in San Francisco beyond the state's minimum
requirement. In a letter to Board President Matt Gonzalez, Denny
said, "While I appreciate your intent, these laws most severely harm
the people you are trying to help."
Denny went on, "It's interesting that our first minimum wage law
was intended to help women in low paying jobs. The immediate result
in 1913 was a loss of 6-14% of these women's jobs. Can San
Francisco afford to unnecessarily cause thousands of workers to lose
Nobel-winning economists have repeatedly shown that a minimum
wage makes less-skilled workers unemployable. They can offer an
employer less value than the law requires they be paid; as a result,
they are denied the chance to learn new skills that would broaden
their opportunities. Instead, the primary benefactors of such laws
are children of middle-class families working entry-level
Denny observed, "Only a free, vibrant and diverse economy with
broad division of labor across many small and large businesses can
create wealth for masses of people."
He cautioned Supervisor Gonzalez and the Board: "Economics is a
science with well-established laws, just like physics. Those laws
can't be dismissed by legislation any more than the law of gravity
can. To understand the logic, imagine how many would be rendered
jobless by increasing the minimum wage to $100 per hour.
"When elected government officials ignore the laws of economics,
citizens suffer, especially the poor. The proposed legislation
targets the poorest and least-skilled workers among us, and will
increase homelessness even more. It's the complete opposite of
what's truly needed.
"The best thing government can do for the poor is to stop making
their employment illegal."
About Michael Denny:
Michael Denny is a husband, a
father of four children, a small business owner, and a Libertarian
candidate for mayor of San Francisco. His campaign Web site is
michaeldennyformayor.com. Libertarians believe in personal
freedom, in both social and economic spheres, and in minimal
government to protect those freedoms.
For the protesters who held up traffic, the way I see it is that
the streets are public places available for public expression
whether the public like it or not. That's the situation with public
anything. If the streets were owned by the property owners, they
could manage them as they choose, establish the parameters, and hire
their own security. But in both the public and private sphere, my
libertarian priorities place liberty over order. After all, under
Mussolini and Hitler, the trains ran on time.
But that doesn't mean I cannot sympathize with those disrupted by
the protesters. It's too bad that protesters chose to disrupt
everyone in the area and not just those few who support war. While
not the same magnitude, this is the equivalent of dropping a cluster
bomb on a village containing some military personnel mixed with
civilians. Personally, I suggest protesters focus on the state and
federal buildings, symbols of the real origin of war. War is, after
all, the health of the state and its horrors the state's greatest
achievement. That is not a compliment.
Those are the reasons I cannot support Sup. Tony Hall's
initiative ["Protesters Pay," 4/16/03]. The use of police force and
heavy fines to prevent nonviolent disruptive expression on public
streets values order over freedom. I cannot accept that.
Michael F. Denny
Libertarian candidate for mayor
April 17, 2003
letter to Citizen Action Network and Tony Hall
Thank you for
your inquiry regarding my position on this ballot initiative. I am
broadly supportive of Tony Hall and am pleased to contribute to this
like to clarify something said in your introductory remarks below. I
disagree that San Franciscans experienced “anarchy” at disruptive
war protests. Protestors who destroyed property committed criminal
acts and should be prosecuted and pay restitution. The term
“anarchy” does not necessarily refer to criminal behavior. Criminals
exist in environments of big and little government. However, only
with big government do criminals get to run the country.
As for the
protestors who held up traffic, the way I see it is that the streets
are public places available for public -- expression whether the
public like it or not. That’s the situation with public anything. If
the streets were owned by the property owners, they could manage
them as they choose, establish the parameters and hire their own
security. But in both the public and private sphere, my Libertarian
priorities place Liberty over order. After all, under Mussolini and
Hitler, the trains ran on time.
doesn’t mean I cannot sympathize with those disrupted by the
protestors. It’s too bad that protestors chose to disrupt everyone
in the area and not just those few who support war. While not the
same magnitude, this is the equivalent of dropping a cluster bomb on
a village containing some military personnel mixed with civilians.
Personally, I suggest protestors focus on the State and Federal
Buildings, symbols of the real origin of war. War is after all, the
health of the state and its horrors the state’s greatest
achievement. That is not a compliment.
Those are the
reasons I cannot support Supervisor Tony Hall’s initiative. The use
of police force and heavy fines to prevent non-violent disruptive
-- expression on public streets values order over Freedom. I cannot
accept that. Privatize the streets, and leave it up to the property
owners. Then the problem will be theirs, the way it should be.
Personally, I trust the property owners more than the San Francisco
police and City Hall. How about you?
Michael F. Denny
Candidate for San Francisco Mayor
April 17, 2003
March 31, 2003
An Open Letter to:
SEIU California State Council
1007 7th Street, 4th Floor
Sacramento CA 95814
To Whom It May Concern:
When I learned of the SEIU mayoral
candidate night, my campaign contacted John Gezinski, an event
coordinator. I promptly received a phone call from SEIU’s Ruby
Anderson saying my questionnaire had not been received. When I told
her I didn’t receive it, she kindly offered to send it by fax. Again
it didn’t arrive as promised, so I called Ms. Anderson to inquire.
Ms. Anderson then said that SEIU questionnaires were actually
only sent to a few candidates, and I was not one of them. When asked
who received the questionnaires, she said the information was
private. I informed Ms. Anderson that Libertarians strongly
supported the right of workers to organize. But I also said unions
shouldn’t be making the political process less open and less
democratic – especially unions whose members are largely paid from
public funds. Responsible union leadership seeks to let workers hear
all sides of the political debate, not only those they personally
Campaigns are simply marketplaces for ideas. By trying to limit
debate, union officials are conspiring to shut their workers out of
that marketplace. I care deeply for union workers and want them to
succeed in difficult times. Exclusionary tactics may serve the
political interests of union officials beholding to politicians, but
they are not in the interest of ordinary workers who could lose job
opportunities because their union might appear to be biased against
members of the business community.
As a business leader, I know the security of a broad and healthy
customer base. Sadly, SEIU’s local leadership has chosen to rely on
heavily on government. The public sector is not in good economic
shape. Unions representing a diverse customer base back candidate
promising to balance government budgets with fiscal restraint. SEIU
local union leaders propose raising taxes which will lead to fewer
jobs for workers as a whole. That’s why SEIU members need to hear
from candidates who represent the chance to broaden their base
outside government, not just establishment candidates who pander and
offer the false hope of business as usual.
Please help uphold democratic values and do the right thing for
your workers. Invite all candidates for office to your debate, and
avoid the embarrassment of having the event picketed by protestors
saying ‘SEIU unfair to union members’.
Michael F. Denny
cc: SEIU Local 44, 450 Harrison St, San Francisco, CA 94105-2610
SEIU Local 87 240 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, CA