EEF33646-832E-47C7-9329-A006153AD436 leland yee | Baghdad By The Bay

Posts Tagged 'leland yee'

Ranked Choice Voting: I don’t like it

This is the first #SFMayor election that will use ranked choice voting. I never liked it for the supervisor elections and I don’t like for the mayoral race and now I’m going to tell you why. First, I cite Oakland who had Jean Quan elected as mayor that was a dark horse from the start. I won’t knock her or Oakland because I don’t live there, but it was obvious from the news reports that they were all reacting as if Chicken John became mayor. The second reason is that ranked choice voting hasn’t been explained very well. If you like one candidate and no others don’t vote for them as your first, second and third choice. You vote will be disqualified. Even if you put the same name down for two categories your vote will be disqualified. This lowers the amount of people who will be able to vote because not everyone knows that rule [thank you Michela Alioto-Pier for pointing that out at one of the debates]. I was informed that the previous statement was incorrect. That you could put the same name down for all three, but if your first choice makes the cut your other votes won’t count again. So if you have three people that you would like to see as mayor vote for three, but you can just put one name or the same for all three.

Bruce Reyes Chow [@breyeschow] who also endorses John Avalos has challenged me to list my second and third choices and I am taking him up on that challenge. It is a difficult one because it’s more about who I don’t want than who I do want. Let’s look at who I don’t want as mayor first:

  1. Mayor Ed Lee: He became mayor by choice of the former mayor Gavin Newsom and the board of supervisors because said he would not run again for mayor, yet he has gone against the premise that got him into office and is now running for mayor. He has gone back on his word and I cannot vote for a man who cannot keep a promise.
  2. Senator Leland Yee: I cannot vote for a man who calls me a racist. As I tweeted yesterday he or one of his minions used the hashtag #racism in a comment to me speaking out in favor of AB376 the ban on shark fin sales in California because he feels it is a threat against an Asian cultural tradition. It isn’t at all. It’s against an Chinese cultural tradition, that should be put aside because of the damage it is causing to the world’s oceans. It is a Chinese cultural tradition just like foot binding and eating of dogs that has been cast away in the U.S. and most parts of China. I cannot vote for a person who plays the race card when what I speak of is about conservation and ecology and not race. I also don’t like the fact that he filed to run as Mayor of San Francisco a week after being re-elected to the Senate. This makes me think that he sees being a Senator less valuable than being the mayor of San Francisco. There was also the shoplifting arrest in Honolulu that he talked his way out of along with being pulled over for cruising Capp street under suspicion of looking for prostitutes. One thing I know about Capp street is that if you aren’t in a band heading to rehearsal space you’re either there for hookers or drugs.
  3. Phil Ting: I cannot vote for a man who wants to reset San Francisco beyond his abilities. He wants to repeal Proposition 13 as Mayor of San Francisco to make housing more affordable. Prop 13 is a state law that the Mayor of San Francisco can speak out about, but not change.  He also misses the point that while San Francisco is listed in the top 10 expensive cities to live in, it is only one of two cities in California under Prop 13. New York, Miami, and Honolulu being the top three all in states with no Prop 13, but they do have addition school taxes to help students that California doesn’t.
  4. Bevan Dufty: He’s on my not sure list. He has worked for the underdog for most of his political career. He worked for Shirley Chisolm and Billie Holiday was his godmother. He seems like an alright guy, but I don’t see anything outstanding that makes me lean in his direction.
  5. Jeff Adachi: Last minute entry into the mayor’s race just like Ed Lee. That’s a showboating maneuver I don’t like. While I like his ideas on pension reform I don’t like the grandstanding.
  6. David Chiu: He’s on my short list since he was temporarily mayor and didn’t push to be full time mayor after Gavin Newsom was elected Lieutenant Governor. He kept to the letter of the law and that’s a good thing in my book. He doesn’t own a car which gets my green side going, but in an emergency is he going to call a cab?
  7. Michela Alioto-Pier: Jesus, she has politics in her veins like no one else running. First she’s from the Alioto family which she reminds us of on a regular basis as well as the fact that Joseph Alioto was her grandfather. She started in politics at 17 by being appointed to the President’s National Council on Disabilities Advisory Board by President Ronald Regan. She went on to work with Vice President Al Gore and many other politicians. She hasn’t had the best attendance record for the Board of Supervisors meetings part of which could be attributed to her being in a wheelchair, but she’s a sweet girl who looks a lot younger than she is and part of me feels that the next SF Mayor needs to be a bit more hard assed to get the job done.
  8. Joanna Rees: Not a politician at all. She’s an business woman, an entrepreneur. She makes a living making money. That’s a good thing.Maybe this city needs a Mayor who isn’t a politician. She also has been getting out to all the neighborhoods, though I do have a bit of pet peeve that she spent most of her Sunset time in the inner Sunset and didn’t get anywhere near my part which is a whole different breed of people. She’s still on my short list.
  9. Tony Hall: This is a guy who is old school San Franicsco politics and this man has the cohones to admit he’s a conservative. This guy will not hold back his punches when necessary and he has done a lot for all parts of San Francisco. I admit that I’m a Democrat and he’s not, but he’s an old school conservative, not a get your hands off of my money, tax the poor type of republican that’s destroying the party of today. He has a great presence and a voice like velvet fog. Tony is on my short list as well pushing for the second or third spot because of his past work. I do think he has a chance at getting the job done.
  10. Dennis Herrera: Dennis has also done a lot for San Francisco. It’s all over his website. He’s also traveled to all parts of the city to meet with the residents which I like. He’s taken some tough problems in San Francisco head on and against all odds that could break a person’s career, yet he’s still kept it together. He works for the working class that is a fast shrinking part of San Francisco and he want to bring that back. Dennis is also on my front runner list for my second and third choices.
So there you have it. While Tony Hall and Dennis Herrera look like they might be my second and third choices, I still can’t count out Michela, Joanna or David. John Avalos has won me hands down as number one, but these other five will have to step it up now for my second and third choice votes.
If you have a chance please vote for me as the Best Local Politics Blog on SF Weekly.

[ad#AdBrite]

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]

The State of California Has Declared Me Awesome!

Yesterday I started my CalWorks program to find out what my best skill set was to assist me in finding a job. I went in for what was supposed to be a four week 9-5 program to help me out. This of course would cut into my time I could use looking for a job, but as I was told prior, We are required to say that by law.

OK, that should have tipped me off right there and I’ll know better int he future. So I go down to their offices at 3120 Mission Street and prepare for my day with a chip on my shoulder. We all get called into a room and the first thing out of the guy in charge’s mouth is, we won’t be here until 5pm, not 4pm, not 3pm. We’ll be out of here today by 12:30-12:45. OK, good I can look for work again.

Then they moved us into the testing room. First test is reading and math. Easy enough, except that for the math part they give you a piece of paper and a pencil, no calculators allowed. It was during this time that I realized that I had to remember how to do multiplication [easy] and division [that part took me awhile]. Who has to do math by hand anymore? 15 minute break. We go back and then go through a list of small tests that we’re supposed to do quickly without even thinking. I couldn’t help but think that if they’re telling me to go through tests without using my mind that they might suggest a mindless job for me. The tests were actually kind of interesting, because after having to match up circles and squares it moved on to complex shapes arranged in different position and then to deconstructed 3D shapes that we had to build in our mind like a sort of visual origami.

I finished first and was out of there and on my way home a little before noon. I did have to come back for a performance review at 2:40pm so that was no sweat. I head home, relax and eat lunch and come back for the interview. The guy I have to meet with is looking for my test results and can’t find them. He tells me to wait a minute and goes off to a back room. When he comes back I hear him say, Oh, right, you’re that guy. Uh oh, what does that mean? He shows me my results and tells me that I was off the charts in artistic, scientific and leadership skills, but what most amazed him was that I had scored the highest he could remember in spatial geometry [that was the visual origami part I talked about earlier]. He asked me about my past work experience after which he told me that I essentially had such a good skill set that there was nothing they could do to help me. He even asked me, why are you even here? To which I replied because I was told I was required by law to be there. Now I am required for the next four weeks to get up in the morning and come down and spend from 9am-10am at which point I get to go home. I have no idea what I’m going to be doing during this time, but at least it will get me ready for getting up every morning to go to work which I haven’t had to do in nine months.

Strange times do we live in, but at least I’m awesome. If anyone needs an evil scientist to lead them give me a call. I think I’ve got that covered according to the State of California.

[gmap width=”650px” height=”200px” type=”satellite” visible=”true” static=”true” zoom=”16″ lat=”37.7475585″ lon=”-122.4188153″]

 

[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 funny thing happened on the way to the forum

Apologies in advance for all of the quotes below, but I had an interesting event happen to me two nights ago that I wanted to wait a bit on before saying anything. I was just sitting at my computer checking twitter every so often and noticed that @JenniferFearing who works for the United States Humane Society sent the following tweet:

JenniferFearing Jennifer Fearing Good news: CA shark fin bill passes Asm cmte – headed 2 floor in coming wks. Call your Assemblymember 2 urge YES – AB 376.#stopsharkfinning

Now those of you who are regular readers of my site know I’m completely against shark finning so I re-tweeted the post with a hash tag of #lelandyee because he was opposed to AB376 because it would take away an ancient Chinese tradition [you know, like foot binding]. While I’m not that into politics I am into doing what I believe is right.
She then replied to my tweet with:
JenniferFearing Jennifer Fearing @baghdadbythebay Well, his office certainly was working hard today to hurt the bill’s chances.
To which I replied:
@JenniferFearing all that’s going to do is hurt his chances for mayor.#stopsharkfinning #lelandyee
And then the fun started to begin. More people started to get involved like Bill Wong:

@akeigwin @jenniferfearing @baghdadbythebay we care enuff not to use “culture” 2 peddle mercury-laden shark fins to elderly Asian Pacifics

and Jennifer Fearing shot back with:
JenniferFearing Jennifer Fearing Both = ban on cruelty RT @BillWongLLC: shark fin ban is no more attack on Chinese culture than Foie Gras ban was attack on French culture
Which lead to Adam Keigwin, who is Leland Yee’s Chief of Staff to jump in with:
AKiegwin Adam Kiegwin @BillWongllc @jenniferfearing @baghdadbythebay no but he does care about the 70 constituents who were present. You lobbyists don’t care?
Gee, I didn’t know I was a lobbyist and tweeted back that I was just a concerned citizen against the barbaric process of shark finning and preceded to get a number of message back from @akiegwin that seemed to be getting more irate as time went on. He knew I wasn’t a lobbyist and after the other’s stopped posting replies and it was only me I got the following from him:

AKiegwin Adam Kiegwin @BillWongllc @jenniferfearing @baghdadbythebay at least w/o u resorting to lies, distortion, and insults

Ouch, I think I hit a bit of a raw nerve there and those of you who have read my articles in the past know that I cited very credible sources for my information on shark finning and how when further analyzed the shark fins being sold in Chinatown where shown to be coming from endangered sharks as well as commercially legit sharks. Then something funny happened around 9pm. All of @akiegwin’s tweets about this to me disappeared from Twitter.
You can delete something you’ve tweeted with twitter, but apparently while the website and apps such as tweetdeck will eliminate them the twitter app for the iPhone doesn’t. So somewhere down the line Mr. Kiegwin received a phone call telling him to pull his tweets immediately. Apparently in checking out Twitter there were quite a few people who joined in on the discussion, but just didn’t include me and I suppose Senator Leland Yee doesn’t want any more bad publicity because in politics the concept of any news is good news doesn’t hold up.
I used to like Leland Yee and the fact that he could usually be found at the Tennesse Grill frequently, but when he came out in outrage over the supposed destruction of ancient Chinese culture by banning the sale of shark fins I realized that our next mayor has to be a mayor that serves the people, not just Chinese people. Granted, the largest race of people in San Francisco are Chinese, but everyone must be served equally.
I also learned something that can be more important. Smartphones have GPS tracking built in and unless you turn it off then the location from where you send a tweet from will be given out to the world. So if you’re going to piss someone off you might not want post your location if you’re doing it from home. Now I’ve got to go. My doorbell just rang.

FinGate 2.0: Leland Yee

First off, I’d like to start by saying I haven’t seen FinGate anywhere before, so if any other news group uses the term I request that they use my name and a link back to this sight.

Now, onto the story. Last week Leland Yee proclaimed that the elimination of shark fin soup as an attack on ancient Chinese culture. The next day he held a conference serving shark fin soup to the media to show how wonderful and delicious it is.

Then apparently, Leland remembered how environmentally friendly the people of San Francisco Bay Area are. He sent out a rather waffly sounding email that says that while he condemns the finning of sharks, he opposes the ban on shark fins.

Well, I’ve done a little research and here’s a few things I’ve found:

  1. The industry that is involved with shark fishing that uses the entire shark does not supply enough fins to feed the shark fin soup lovers. Shark meat is rarely sold outside the Asian marketplace.
  2. While checking the DNA of shark fins available in San Francisco and Los Angeles more than half of the fins belonged to endangered sharks.
  3. While many other countries fish for sharks or use the finning method that California is trying to outlaw, the majority of all shark meat and all of the fins are sold to China and other Chinese markets
  4. According to research done by SharkWater, 100 million sharks  are finned yearly to supply the Chinese demand for shark fin soup and it’s use in Chinese cures.
  5. The finning of sharks is an unsustainable form of fishing with shark populations dropping severely around the world leaving the seas in an unbalanced state. According to a 2009 study shark populations have dropped 50%-75% due to shark finning. Some species have dropped by 90% in population over the past 20 years.
  6. 87 Countries exported their shark fin catch to Hong Kong and the USA in 2008. Not one kept a shark fin for their own consumption.
  7. Shark meat contains the highest level of mercury found in fish, well above the recommendations of the FDA.
  8. The health claims by Chinese that shark products can increase male vigor and prevent cancer have been proven to be the exact opposite. The high levels of mercury found in shark meat can cause impotence, sterility and cancer.
  9. Costco does not sell shark meat contrary to Leland Yee’s statement. Shark meat is loaded with uric acid and is quite smelly and unappealing and must be soaked for at least a day to leach the urine smell from its flesh.

Is eight reasons enough or need I say more? Apparently while my site is focused on San Francisco and has the most readers here I received a letter from a Shelly Cole in North Carolina:

Hi Eric,

My name is Shelly Cole and I live in Greensboro, NC….Tonight while perusing the net I ran across your blog from 2/16, “Waiter!  There’s a Shark Fin in My Soup!” .  Great blog!  Very well written.  I decided to check out Mr. Yee a bit to see who his is.  I despise hypocrisy!  My number one pet peeve is to be lied to!  I just can’t stand it.  If you lie to me…we’re done….or you at least better be hoping that we have a relationship that goes back for MANY MANY years.  You certainly won’t be trusted again any time soon, but you might not get booted out the door.  ‘Course…if you lied to me….you just might not care if you get booted out or not…

Anyway, after going to Mr. Yee’s sight, I couldn’t believe my eyes!  The hypocrisy!  AAAAGGHHH!!  So I decided to send him a note.  I thought you might be interested in reading it.  Not that I claim to write as well as you, but I hope he actually sees it and that I conveyed the point home to him in such a way that he not only gets it, but that he NEVER FORGETS IT!!  I copied your blog into the email so he’d know what he was getting creamed for, in the event that he hadn’t read your blog.  I intentionally left out the part of who wrote the blog, the name of the blog, or the blogs url.  If he hadn’t read it and then didn’t like it, I was sure how you would feel about unwanted/unsolicited attention that it might garner you from him or from his camp.  I hope you don’t mind my small attempt at “protecting” you.  I doubt I’ll hear back from him, but if I do and he wants to know who the blogger was and you want me to tell him, I’ll be happy to do so.  If you don’t want me to tell him….he’ll never hear it from me…..  😉

I was really very angry with him after having read both  his statement and your blog.  So….I let him know about it….

Sincerely,
Shelly Cole
Greensboro, NC

Thank you Shelly, I think Leland knows about me by now. 🙂 Apparently this is bothering more people than those in the SF Bay Area and they’re speaking up about it [keep in mind my site is read by people in over 100 countries around the world.] I also learned that in the heavily Asian populated state of Hawaii that they have banned the preparation, selling and serving of shark fin soup. Apparently Hawaii doesn’t have as much problem with an ancient Chinese cultural tradition as other people do.

I’ve noticed that no one has really been talking about the taste until my friend Danielle sent me a comment:

I’ve had shark fin soup. It’s pretty gross. And the thought of where it comes from and how it’s obtained makes it even less appealing. From what I recall… the broth was fishy, but not overwhelmingly so. The fin parts have no taste on their own, and we had the shredded kind (they come in shredded and whole form), so the texture kinda reminded me of very short, very very thin (like rice vermicelli, maybe), yet overcooked, noodles.

Just so you all know, Danielle is not Chinese, but Filipino, a culture that has a very strong connection to eating fish [I won’t hold durian against her though. Hell, I wouldn’t hold a durian against anyone, but fruit doesn’t feel pain when you cut into it at least.]

The UK based group Shark Trust had an interesting article with lots of information on the shark fin trade as well a letter from Chef Gordon Ramsay who, like him or not was appalled to find out about shark finning. This site also provides lots of information to use if you want to be so bold and approach a Chinese restaurant that serves shark fin soup.

None of this is an attack on the Chinese population, it is an attack on a practice not a people, that is reprehensible and is destroying our ocean’s food chain. China has had many cultural traditions that they have tossed aside as being barbaric. If I remember correctly, the British stopped beheading and draw and quartering criminals a few centuries ago, yet that was a cultural tradition. The Romans [Italians] as a cultural tradition fed slaves to lions to amuse the poor, but that as well is gone. So why not add shark fin soup to the list. The only reason that Chinese feel they are targeted is because they are the only one’s that eat it and total of the finning trade supplies China and Chinese markets around the world [if the country allows them to serve it of course.]

Leland Yee, please follow the links here and read the information. Perhaps you could find some way to progress and show your wealth and abundance, not by eating the fins of barbarically captured fish that is toxic to consume and instead show your wealth by giving back to the people. I believe that is a finer tradition to embrace.