EEF33646-832E-47C7-9329-A006153AD436 Ed Lee | Baghdad By The Bay - Part 2

Posts Tagged 'Ed Lee'

Ed Lee breaks his promise

As expected Mayor Ed Lee will announce today that he is running for re-election as Mayor of San Francisco. This is coming from the man who received the position of Mayor all because he is not a politician and because he vowed not to do what he is now going to do. Ed has been a good Mayor in the seven months he’s had to do the job but he has now done the first thing that all politicians should not do — broken his promises to the people.

I would have to say that things could have been a lot worse in San Francisco since he’s been in office, but do feel some ground rules should be set.

  1. He should answer for why he has broken his promise to not run for re-election. A promise that got him the job as well as support from several of the Board of Supervisors to put him in the position in the first place.
  2. His ties to Rose Pak who along with the backing of several Chinese construction companies seeking to serve the Chinese population of San Francisco and not the citizens of San Francisco need to be looked into very closely to make sure that none of the money from the Run Ed Run campaign of Progress for all goes into his coffers.
  3. He needs to be held accountable for trying to save the city money, yet offers candidates a dollar for dollar supplement to run their campaigns. This was a first for San Francisco and is costing the city large revenues.
  4. His exemption of Twitter from having to pay local tax on employees while making the rest of the cities businesses continue to pay. [most cities do not charge local employment tax on businesses.]
Lee himself has declared that he is not a politician and that is why he was chosen as the interim mayor of San Francisco. By not being a politician he was expect not to make any sweeping changes to the city, but more act as a general manager and keep it together. So now the non-politician is going to step it up and run for the real Mayor position and jump into politics.
Perhaps this could be an attempt by Rose Pak who has stated anyone, but Leland Yee to dilute the Asian vote to keep Yee, the front runner from any possibility of gaining ground. If so, I would consider that a bold political move of a high stakes poker game sort of thing. In the long run though, I like Ed Lee and he was a good interim Mayor, but interim is just that. He will be appearing at a panel at the Castro street theater tonight and I urge you all to attend and see what he has to say, but think about what I’ve just written.

[ad#AdBrite]

Run Ed Run!

Well today I read that something everyone has been talking about finally pushed itself closer to a possibility. Interim Mayor Ed Lee is now considering running for Mayor of San Francisco after repeatedly denying that he wouldn’t run.

I’m not sure if when he said this that the Iron Queen, Rose Pak was behind him and had him in a half nelson or not, but it does change things a bit for the Mayoral race. First off, it makes all the current candidates make a Scooby-Doo face of shock followed by a rut da fuk? Then it makes them think about how they’re going to deal with this.

Jim Stearns of Stearns Consulting was the first out the gate to put together a video showing how many times Mayor Lee mentioned that he had no intentions what so ever to run for Mayor and that he was only going to be the interim Mayor. As some of you may know, Stearns Consulting is the group that is marketing Senator Leland Yee for Mayor and helped President of the Board of Supervisors David O’Chiu [see my piece on the Mayoral Debate for why he’s Irish.] to get where he is.

I haven’t heard of any of the other candidates response to this yet, but the Leland Yee camp was first out of the gate. Now I’ve taken a bit of flack for talking about Chinese politicians as being for the Chinese first and the rest of the people second. I have to say in Mayor Lee case, he is the opposite. Ed Lee is for the people, not just a growing majority of the people, or a growing majority of the people first, but he is for all the people. Besides, he’s one of the few Asians that can grow a full mustache. Maybe that’s why he’s for all of us. He’s been doing a great job and I hope he continues to do so until his term ends.

That being said, would he be a good choice? I’m not so sure. Being an interim Mayor, he doesn’t have to be a politician, he just needs to get the job done without any further agenda to fuel his career. If Mayor Lee runs for the position he already holds he will have to become a politician and I’m not sure  he’s ready to swim in those shark infested waters. Politicians are like diplomats, they can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you look forward to the trip. I don’t think Lee has that at the moment. When asked about shark fin soup, he’s said that he’s had it but never orders it because it’s too expensive. If it’s too expensive for someone on a government salary who is currently earning a Mayor of San Francisco’s salary then practically no one can afford it. We know the opposite to be true, contrary to what Senator Yee and Assemblywoman Ma would tell you.

Overall, I think Ed Lee is a great Mayor and that he was a the perfect choice to serve as an interim Mayor after Gavin Newsom left for Sacramento, but I also feel that his image will start to deteriorate if he runs for Mayor as a politician and wins. It will tarnish his image and probably cause him to go down in history with a less than favorable image. If he runs, Rose Pak will steal all the glory and be seen as a puppet master pulling the strings of politics in San Francisco which she is already seen as doing, but this would just make it worse.

Ed, seriously, you’re doing a great job. Please don’t screw it up by listening to Rose Pak.

[ad#AdBrite]

Rose Pak: If it’s not Chinese it’s crap! Unless you’re talking about Leland Yee

Rose Pak, the power house iron Queen of Chinese politics in San Francisco has had a few things to say about our State Senator and Mayoral candidate Leland Yee today.

Ms. Pak being the head of the Chinese Chamber of Congress has never held a political office, but her voice carries weight even though she herself has a bit of a colorful past. If you are Chinese, she is THE force to be reckoned  with. I mention Chinese because she doesn’t really focus on much else.  She has stated that her goal is to put more Chinese into political power and works on bringing more Chinese to the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the voice of the Chinese, but unfortunately, being a political power she is not the voice of the people. As you well know, I want our next mayor to ignore color and race and speak for all the people of San Francisco, not one group that is fastly  growing to be the largest majority in the San Francisco Bay Area.

That being said…

She voices concerns over Senator Leland Yee who also speaks for the Chinese people of the San Francisco Bay Area as well as the state. This is kind of a who do you cheer for fight in my book. Ms. Pak is behind the Run Ed Run campaign to get Mayor Ed Lee to join in the campaign [I like Mayor Lee by the way and think he’s been doing a pretty good job] and she isn’t a politician so I’m going to have to give a nod to her.

I have spent a lot of time in Chinatown and it does indeed need help. Someone like Rose Pak has done a huge amount to help out the Chinese who live there. Rose, hats off to you. Now what exactly is her problem with Senator Yee?…and I quote:

Leland Yee is one of the most morally corrupt politicians I’ve ever encountered in 40 years. From the first day he stepped in as the school board member, lying to get his children to the preferred assigned school using a phony address, selling his services to Chinese-American parents who would cut an arm or leg to get their kid to the right schools … he did all of that.

So I don’t think he stood for anything decent in our community except to come and take money and then claiming to be the first Asian this and Asian that, but he doesn’t impress me. He doesn’t stand for anything except corruption and bribery.

OUCH! She has been quoted that if politics are a blood sport then she is going to play them as a blood sport. That sounds more like a decapitation than a first blood blow. I do have to agree with her. If I remember correctly a long, long time ago a man named Gordon Lau came and talked to my High School class. He was the first Chinese politician in San Francisco and he got some serious heat.

I have never paid much attention to what Ms. Pak has had to say, but now I think I will turn an ear towards her. I might get my face slapped for what I just wrote, but if it comes from Rose Pak I think it will be an honor. Just as long as any swearing is in Cantonese since I don’t understand swearing in Mandarin.

[ad#AdBrite]

Baghdad By The Bay Meetup in the works

I’ve been thinking about this for awhile and I finally broached the topic on Twitter yesterday and was surprised by the response. I’m getting a large amount of people in San Francisco and beyond who read this website and I’ve finally decided to get out of the house and meet up with some of my “foreign corespondents” in San Francisco. That is the other bloggers, citizens, fans, readers and even the haters of this website.

Since I’m a Sunset redneck, it only made sense that I have the meet up in a suitable Sunset establishment. Also since I want to give some of the people from out of town a chance to prepare I’m going to not try a flash mob type of thing with a meet up tonight @ Uncle Fucker’s Chuckle Hut! but actually give you a few months warning. I like to plan ahead and I want to find a place that can handle the people who will come. Judging from last night’s twitter replies of over thirty people I suspect I will get a good amount of people to show up so I’ll actually have to approach a place and tell them what I’m doing. First stop will be the Blackthorn Tavern @ 9th and Irving because not only do they serve Boddington’s beer, Magner’s Cider, and have a DJ, but on Sunday’s they also have a BBQ going.

I’m thinking sometime during the San Francisco summer which falls right after the rest of the world’s summer meaning September. We should have good weather then and that’s the month of my birthday so what better excuse to stage a party. So I’ll be visiting the venerable Blackthorn Tavern in the next few days to discuss with them having a meet up there and see what they say. I want to see all the local blogger’s, politicians, scoutmobbers, miscreants and hipsters from all over the city to come to this event so make sure to mark your calendars for sometime in September for this get together.

[gmap width=”650px” height=”200px” type=”satellite” visible=”true” static=”true” zoom=”16″ lat=”37.7641127″ lon=”-122.46702440000001″]

[ad#AdBrite]

A lawyer walks into a store with a disabled person, repeatedly!

Heeeere's Tommy!

This is a story that I read about yesterday. Actually it’s about several stories I read about yesterday concerning a lawyer named Thomas Frankovich, he works for the rights of the disabled. Normally that is something to feel good about, but this time it’s not. Several businesses in the Sunset and Mission District have been sued by Mr. Frankovich with the assistance of a disabled man named Craig Yates. How they do it appears to look more like an organized crime shake down maneuver than a cry for help for the disabled. Mr. Frankovich’s offices I have just learned are located at the top of 19 steps with no elevator access, hence Mr. Frankovich’s law offices are non-ADA compliant.

Now let me set the record straight that my mother was disabled. She had had four hip replacements and was morbidly obese so getting up and down the stairs was something she stopped doing during the last year of her life and prior to that it would take her about ten minutes to navigate down our thirteen stairs. While she could walk it could be barely considered walking and caused her great pain. When she would go out she would have to ride in a wheelchair that she herself couldn’t even maneuver. Now, here’s how Mr. Frankovich works.

Mr. Yates [sometimes accompanied by Mr. Frankovich] travel to a local business and test to see whether or not Mr. Yates can get into the building usually a restaurant to eat and use the facilities. If Mr. Yates could not he would write a letter to the business telling them they were non-complient with the ADA act. He would visit the business a few weeks later and if no changes had been made he would send a second letter then visit again in a few weeks. If he still had trouble there would be a third letter which included a summons to court from Mr. Frankovich.

Over the past three years six business in the Sunset alone have been targeted. Three have settled out of court, two are in mediation and one of the business has shut its doors for good. From the research I’ve done it appears that the out of court settlements have yielded Mr. Yates and Frankovich money in the tens of thousands of dollars from each settlement. These six law suits are not the only ones though. The grand total comes to over 30 law suits by Mr. Yates and Frankovich over the past three years. If you run the numbers in your head you can easily see how on a 50/50 split that each one of them would be sitting on a seven figure income per year. What’s more is that settlement funds are not taxable, so Mr. Yates after deducting his expenses from paying off Mr. Frankovich is in a pretty good place for a disabled man.

I should note that not all cases have been won by Mr. Frankovich. As I previously mentioned, one of the businesses has shut its doors as have also a few in the Mission District. Mr. Frankovich has also received three disciplinary actions over the last three years on ethics violations according to information obtained from the State Bar Association. What makes this story even more compelling is that prior to this Mr. Frankovich had levied over 100 law suits for non-ADA compliance in the Los Angeles area with a Mr. Jarek Molski using the same tactics.

[mappress mapid=”28″]I have tried to find pictures of Mr. Frankovich and Mr. Yates so that any business owners who visit my site can see what they look like so they would know to close down their businesses if they see them coming to avoid their racketeering-like ways, but unfortunately I couldn’t find a picture of them anywhere and I’m quite good with search engines. So far all I could find was Mr. Frankovich’s website at http://www.disabilitieslaw.com/. From my years of work as a graphic designer it is of my opinion that this was a very quickly put up website with a cartoonish picture of a man in a cowboy hat with a phone to his ear riding in a tank  labeled “access blaster” and a couple of disabled people in wheelchairs on either side with a throng of others walking behind the tank.

There is also another picture to the right that says, “One for all, all for one. The power of a class action lawsuit” yet so far Mr. Frankovich’s name only comes up associated with non-ADA compliance cases among two individuals. I haven’t seen anything about Mr. Yates or Mr. Molski saying that they are fighting for the disabled. It appears that they are both lining their own coffers with the money of small businesses.

San Francisco is an old city trying to keep its feel for the days of old somewhat. Landlords who purchase buildings built in the 20’s through 40’s LONG before there was the American’s with Disabilities Act usually don’t have the money to put into making their businesses ADA compliant or simply leave it to the people who rent from them to make the changes, but the majority of these businesses do everything they can to help out the disabled. I remember a business owner of a small coffee shop helping me bring the coffee and pastries I purchased out to my car because my mother didn’t want to get out of the car because it would be too painful for her. I’m am all in favor of assisting people with disabilities because I know what it’s like, but these two people insult the disabled by their practices and I feel it should stop now. Destroying local small businesses to line your own pockets is a crime in my humble opinion and I urge all you who read this to contact your local Supervisors and Mayor Ed Lee to help bring this to an end.

No Public Funds for Politicians!

I am beginning to really get fed up with politicians. When Gavin Newsom left for the Lt. Governor’s position he ended up leaving us in a state of chaos. I read an article today that really horrified me. It said that San Francisco would be paying out $6-8 million dollars in campaign funds to anyone who runs for mayor and raises at least $25,000.

Here’s how it works. If you get $25k in contributions, the city will give you double that amount. If you bring in $125k you’ll get $450k from the San Francisco and if you get  $500k in private funds you’ll get an additional $800k from the city.

Let’s make it a little bit worse. The new rules call for a $1.3 million spending limit per candidate, but if just one campaign – or even an independent expenditure committee, which isn’t subject to the same limits – breaks the cap, all candidates may all be able to get even more money from the city.

Many candidates are already well on their way. City Attorney Dennis Herrera has collected $250,000 in private donations, state Sen. Leland Yee has raised $165,000, and businesswoman Joanna Rees has brought in $150,000. Other candidates who have already qualified for public cash are former Supervisor Bevan Dufty, $100,000, and Controller Phil Ting, $50,000.

The city’s deficit is expected to reach $750 million dollars this year so I suppose adding another $6-8 million won’t help. I’ve done a little math here. Gavin Newsom tried to put into effect his own version of the old JobsNow program which reimbursed employers for the payroll of unemployed parents, but that didn’t work too well. If you took that money and put it into $40k/year jobs it would get 200 people off of unemployment. Not a very big deal in a city of 850,000 people. OK how about this, take that money and divide it equally to all the San Francisco public schools and how much would they get? Almost $51,000 per school.

Our schools are short on cash. My daughter’s teacher has to ask parents if they can donate supplies because she doesn’t have the funding to purchase them. I bet she wouldn’t have to ask for donations from the parents if the money was distributed. Hell, she even had to go out and buy paint to repaint her classroom by herself.

This is wrong and I’m putting a call out to our new Mayor Ed Lee to do the right thing and stop this. Anyone who can fill out the paperwork and raise $25k in funds will get $50k free of charge from the city and that is wrong. This is one of the biggest problems we have to fix and we have to fix it NOW!

Who’s in charge here?

I’d really like to know who’s brilliant idea this was. The picture here is across the street from my house. Originally these two houses had done something that a few people were into doing many years ago.

They’d have the curb removed so that the front of their house was all driveway. That way only THEY could park in front of their house or as was the case with the house on the left they used to park two cars in front of their house because they didn’t have any grass to deal with.

So close to two months ago some work crews come out that I suppose were from the city, but their signs had just about every department that uses these road signs set up to put the curbs back. Why? To make more parking spots available. What they ended up doing is taking a month to do the work giving us no more parking in front and not giving access to the driveways of the homeowners. Hell, I even saw them hooking up hoses to one of the houses outside water faucets and helping themselves to the water.

So once they finish a couple of days go by and they’re back again only this time tearing up the street and then blocking off the parking spaces they’ve just re-established. They worked for about two hours doing this and haven’t been back since, yet they’re still blocking off the parking places and originally had the police “do not cross” tape tied across the length of the row of road signs thereby not giving the homeowners access to their driveways. This has been set up like this for three weeks. I was happy though to see that people had pulled down the “do not cross” tape.

Now this wouldn’t bother me so much except that today I was taking a drive and noticed street workers fixing the roads all along Monterey Blvd [which for some reason they always seem to have road crews there]. There are also road crews set up on Bosworth when you’re going over Twin Peaks and there’s even a set up, but with no workers on Sloat Blvd. I’m just wishing that they could make all of our lives hell for a week and just push and redo everything then leave us alone for the next few years. I have no idea who’s responsible down at City Hall for this, but they need to take a good hard look at how they do things and begin to finish what they’ve started.

ED’s Note: As of today they showed up and simply repaved over what they ripped out. I never saw any reason for it, but I guess they know something I don’t.