Both Sides Now

Written by: 
Aubrey Freedman

With the June election just around the corner, expect to see the LPSF’s arguments all over the Voters Handbook that will be mailed out next month. There are 10 local propositions on the ballot for San Francisco County, and we covered most of the major ones either as the official opponent or in our paid arguments. Here’s a short synopsis of our arguments that you won’t hear about in the local media.

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Judged to Chill

Written by: 
Aubrey Freedman

Most judges’ races are anything but exciting. Unless you know the judge personally, they’re all pretty much the same when it comes time to vote. However, what would you say about a judge who imposed punitive attorneys’ fees on plaintiffs working in the public interest to improve election laws? Punitive to the tune of $243,279.50.

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Republicans Provide Crutch To Lessen Pain of Taxes on Poor – Democrats Add Armpads

Written by: 
Starchild

Usually it's the other way around – heartless Republicans trying to screw the poor, and Democrats trying to "help" them (but without addressing the actual source of the problem, and often making it worse).

But yesterday's Examiner (March 4) had a kind of "man bites dog" story – Assembly Bill 503, authored by Republican Assemblyman Tom Lackey of Palmdale and signed into law last year, requires local agencies to offer payment plans to poor people burdened by government fines they cannot afford.

To give local Democrats their barely-deserved slice of credit, once this GOP-originated crutch became law, SF's Democrat city Treasurer, Jose Cisneros, added extra padding to make the crutch a little easier to use by implementing a plan that goes further in some respects than what the law requires. Which his spokesperson was not too modest to tell the Examiner:

As implemented locally by Cisneros, the plan goes "far beyond what was legally mandated"

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Tolled to Death

The folks at the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) have something “exciting” in store for the residents of the Bay Area’s nine counties.  SB 595, authored by Senator Jim Beall of San Jose, will “give the voters the chance” to approve a $3 toll increase in all Bay Area bridges, except the Golden Gate Bridge.  The bureaucrats make it sound like an honor for the voters to be given such an opportunity to tax themselves. Apparently we should be thankful they granted us this chance to give the bureaucrats more tax money to waste.  We note also that the MTC voted recently to hike the toll increases faster than was initially suggested, and the measure was moved up to the June 2018 ballot, rather than the November 2018 ballot, so as not to “interfere with other local measures planned

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The Anti-North Dakota

Written by: 
Aubrey Freedman

Never content to rest until San Francisco’s government runs every aspect of our lives, supervisors Malia Cohen and Sandra Fewer recently requested the formation of a municipal city bank task force to study and advance the idea of a San Francisco public bank.  The idea has been around since the financial crisis of 2008 and is catching on more these days with the problem of legalized recreational pot in California and banking laws like the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970 that obligate financial institutions to report suspicious activity, which includes pot financial transactions that are still illegal under federal law.  While it is understandable that the new law has created a problem with the incompatibility of current banking laws (a problem created by government), is it really necessary for

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