Chiu and others get stung for support from speculators and evictors

|
(88)
In a city awash with evictions (this map shows those since '97), the issue is affecting this year's political races.

Our colleagues down the hall at the San Francisco Examiner seem to have spoiled tonight’s [Thu/30] fundraiser for David Chiu’s Assembly race by reporting this hour that the host, attorney Steven MacDonald, is on a housing activists’ blacklist for representing landlords in controversial Ellis Act evictions.

Reporter Chris Roberts quotes Chiu campaign manager Nicole Derse pleading ignorance about “what type of law Steven practices” and pledging to return a $500 campaign contribution from him in October, but saying that the 6pm fundraiser at John’s Grill would go on nonetheless.

Derse told the Guardian that MacDonald represents a wide variety of clients, including many tenants who are fighting evictions, so the campaign decided to go ahead with the fundraiser but refused MacDonald’s direct financial support, consistent with a pledge not to take money from those involved in evictions.

“We won’t accept money from anyone who has been involved with evictions at all,” Derse told us, saying it was a mistake to accept money from MacDonald but acknowledging the challenge of the “scrutiny and vetting involved for a small campaign.”

“We’ll do everything we can to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” she told us.  

The controversy and the Chiu’s campaign’s quick decision to refuse the support from an early contributor show just how volatile and politically toxic the city’s eviction and affordable housing crisis have become, rapidly transforming the city’s political dynamics. It also shows how information being made public by housing activists, and their new confrontational tactics, are being used within that changed realm. 

Former Guardian Editor Tim Redmond had a story yesterday on his 48 Hills website focusing on the heat that Sup. Scott Wiener is taking over the political contributions that he’s received from real estate speculators and those involved in evictions, including Urban Green and speculator Ashok K. Gujral, who are among the Dirty Dozen serial evictors highlighted by the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, whose work we been covering for months here at the Guardian.

Below is an infographic of Supervisor Wiener's campaign contributions, created by the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project:

Comments

lawyer who has written a book on LL-TT law and, as you eventually begrudgingly admit, represents tenants as well as landlords.

In fact, any good lawyer should be able to argue both sides of a case - that is what is taught in law school.

A lawyer has to represent his client regardless of his personal feelings. That is part of his training, ethics and obligation.

You really must be worried that Chui is going to beat Campos if this is the best you've got.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 20, 2014 @ 6:10 pm
Ha!

Non story? Lol! Whatever you say, Nicole.

A notorious Ellis-eviction lawyer hosts a fundraiser with his notorious Ellis-eviction lawyer friends for David Chui TWO DAYS AFTER Chui speaks out of the other side of his mouth against Ellis in Sacramento?

Campaign disaster, more like.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 20, 2014 @ 7:57 pm

David Campos used to work for a law firm that defended Philip Morris, guess he supports the tabacco industry. Isn't guilt by association fun?

Probably not far from the truth since he is a smoker. Check out Redwood St alley off Van Ness near city hall in the afternoon, he puffs away there.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 20, 2014 @ 9:12 pm

Smoking usually helps you lose weight. Maybe he's smoking the marijuana.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 20, 2014 @ 9:34 pm

" . . . any good lawyer should be able to argue both sides of a case - that is what is taught in law school."

You've pretty much described David Chui to a "T". No lawyer turned politician knows more about artfully taking "both sides" of an issue than David Chui.

He shows up a tenants rights rally denouncing the Ellis Act in Sacramento on Tuesday. His campaign does a fundraiser hosted by Ellis Act lawyers on Thursday. This is exactly the manner in how David Chui has tried to be on both sides of an issue the entire time he has served on the Board of Supes.

And don't forget that Chui's political services company, Grassroots Enterprises, happily took right-wing clients along with it's liberal clients and had Randy Tate (former head of the Christian Coalition) on its Board of Directors – and Bill McIntyre (former spokesman for the N.R.A.) for its Executive Vice President.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 20, 2014 @ 10:29 pm

of a case, and aggressively advocate for any client he has. You cannot reasonable criticize a lawyer for objectivity and commitment to the law and to his clients.

But yes, Chui's ability to work with a broad range of people and interests makes him a better candidate than Campos who cannot go outside his narrow comfort zone.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 21, 2014 @ 8:24 am

The Board of Supervisors and Assembly are not courts of law that adjudicate decisions made by policy makers and the executive or other courts, they are legislatures, policy making bodies.

It is one thing to represent your client's position in court, I don't think that anyone opposes that for even the most odious defendants, and quite another to represent the broad interests of a sizable constituencies.

Posted by marcos on Feb. 21, 2014 @ 8:36 am

people we elect have decided that that is good and fair public policy, balancing the needs of tenants and landlords, and thereby keeping rent control on the right side of the constitution, just.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 21, 2014 @ 8:59 am

The only constant for David Chiu is David Chiu. There are no values there, nothing that sustains over policy choices, just transactionalism run amok.

Posted by marcos on Feb. 21, 2014 @ 8:34 am

When a politician has "values" I take that as meaning he has a rigid ideology and will not listen.

A good politician asks me what I want. He doesn't tell me what I should want.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 21, 2014 @ 8:57 am

The only values I seek from a politician are an ability to listen and a willingess to change his mind.

I see neither in Campos.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 21, 2014 @ 9:33 am

" . . . any good lawyer should be able to argue both sides of a case - that is what is taught in law school."

You've pretty much described David Chui to a "T". No lawyer turned politician knows more about artfully taking "both sides" of an issue than David Chui.

He shows up a tenants rights rally denouncing the Ellis Act in Sacramento on Tuesday. His campaign does a fundraiser hosted by Ellis Act lawyers on Thursday. This is exactly the manner in how David Chui has tried to be on both sides of an issue the entire time he has served on the Board of Supes.

And don't forget that Chui's political services company, Grassroots Enterprises, happily took right-wing clients along with it's liberal clients and had Randy Tate (former head of the Christian Coalition) on its Board of Directors – and Bill McIntyre (former spokesman for the N.R.A.) for its Executive Vice President.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 20, 2014 @ 10:30 pm

Chiu's been president of the Supes for how long now?

And I still have no idea what he stands for.

Posted by SFRealist on Feb. 21, 2014 @ 7:11 am

Chiu stands for Chiu. Whatever Chiu feels will further Chiu's political ambitions at the moment, that's what Chiu stands for.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 21, 2014 @ 8:05 am

Campos never listens to his opponents and is not flexible or able to compromise. That makes him a poor choice for forging consensus.

Pragmatism is what you want in a leader, not mindless kneejerk ideology.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 21, 2014 @ 8:26 am

Jason Grant Garza here ... well, it is hard to disagree that Mr. Chui is a LAWYER ... maybe more insight is needed to see whose bed he is feathering ... here is a glimpse of his standing behind his words ... CIVIL GIDEON ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sckGqkJDBMk and this is for denial of medical services and police action. Why should I bring this up and what do I know about those who speak and words mean nothing ... http://www.tortdeform.com/archives/2007/07/access_denied_no_health_care_...

Go to youtube and type in Jason Garza to learn that this trait does not only apply to Mr. Chiu ... watch the denial of services the police's part, the Sheriff's part and naturally SFGH http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpLZ9-HA6C8

If that surprises you .. read http://myownprivateguantanamo.com/settle1.html where SF breaks federal law in 2001, in 2003 testilies and fraud has my case thrown out (C02-3485PJH) and in 2007 signs a confession admitting fault and guilt with the Office of Inspector General and it is 2014 and NO ONE from DPH, SFGH the courts or the lovely city attorney has explained ... and if you watch the youtube videos ... you note it just continues.

Posted by Jason Grant Garza on Feb. 21, 2014 @ 7:42 am

Scott Wiener is awesome!! Can't wait till he serves as Mayor of San Francisco!

Posted by Guest on Feb. 20, 2014 @ 7:30 pm

YAAAYYYY!!!!!
Do you get together regularly with many other Wiener Boosters?
That must be great fun.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 27, 2014 @ 12:13 am

SFBG / SF Examiner
Conflicted alliances are everywhere

Posted by Guest on Feb. 20, 2014 @ 8:29 pm

Guess Campos supported 8 Washington and luxury condo development after all.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 20, 2014 @ 9:13 pm

She has good political instincts. She likes to back winners.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 27, 2014 @ 12:29 am

I am proud to stand by my good friend Attorney Steve MacDonald, who invited me some weeks ago to be part of David Chiu's fundraiser. Steve MacDonald encouraged me to practice Buddhism, chanting nam myoho renge kyo, to overcome homelessness, unemployment, drug addiction, being HIV positive, to change my negative karma into a mission housing homeless people and encouraging tenants to stand up and fight for housing justice. He and I have agreed and disagreed at times over certain landlord tenant cases, yet no matter what, I know I can count on him to work together in a civil manner, as he values dialogue, mediation, and a win win solution for everyone. It might not make for good idealogy, but it is good humanism, his practice of law is imbued with compassion and hopefulness, and respect for everyone on all sides of the issues. I am profoundly grateful to him and proud to call him a good and loyal friend.

Posted by Jonathan Bonato on Feb. 20, 2014 @ 9:41 pm

Chui campaign caught with their hand in the eviction-dollars cookie jar!

Posted by Guest on Feb. 20, 2014 @ 10:03 pm

I see no difference. Both sides of a case are entitled to legal representation. You want to live in North Korea?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 21, 2014 @ 8:28 am

Nicole Derse should use that argument in Chiu's campaign: "Fine, Chiu gets money from landlord eviction attorneys, but Campos gets money from tenant lawyers!"

Let's see how far that goes in the eastern neighborhoods.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 21, 2014 @ 8:50 am

and the best lawyers can do both and should do both.

MacDonald isn't a landlord lawyer. He is a landlord-tenant lawyer. IOW he is more objective and less ideological.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 21, 2014 @ 9:03 am

debate, rather than be ideologically blinkered?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 21, 2014 @ 9:05 am

C'mon Guest. That's a stupid question. Of course he doesn't. Greg wants everyone in ideological lockstep where the government controls the speech (as long as it's a view that he agrees with).

Posted by Guest on Feb. 21, 2014 @ 7:04 pm

The ellis act eviction crisis that wasnt!
There are more just cause evictions than ellis evictions in SF! Why isnt the guardian writing about that? Possibly because it doesnt support the class war narrative?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 21, 2014 @ 7:44 am

Guys. He's a politician. His allegiance is to money, no matter whose it is. So, if you don't have money, don't bother to waste your time looking for representation.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 21, 2014 @ 8:07 am

It is important that we flush out the speculators and greedy pigs who evict people.

Posted by Look Twice on Feb. 21, 2014 @ 8:25 am

But the vast majority of evictions comply with the law, which reflects public policy priorities

Posted by Guest on Feb. 21, 2014 @ 8:34 am

The most telling thing here is that all the developers and others making money off mass evictions and the skyrocketing cost of housing in SF, are all giving their money to Chui. That tells us all we need to know.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 21, 2014 @ 9:37 am

pro-growth, pro-jobs platform, don't you think the people of SF have already expressed approval for development even if there is some collateral impact at the margin?

Oh, and "mass evictions" is hyperbole. Ellis evictions are running at very modest levels.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 21, 2014 @ 9:46 am

In 27 years of living in San Francisco I have never been more fearful or felt more vulnerable.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 21, 2014 @ 10:10 am

financial and residential security, and now you want those of us who did to bail you out?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 21, 2014 @ 10:20 am

Years of believing politicians who have been making promises and policies that defy common sense?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 21, 2014 @ 10:48 am

you do not understand, believe in or agree with is a politician who has been elected by the people.

So if you want to blame someone, look in a mirror and vote differently next time.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 21, 2014 @ 10:59 am

"In 27 years of living in San Francisco I have never been more fearful or felt more vulnerable."

And how much do you pay in rent?

Funny how these "long-term rent controlled tenant being evicted" stories always seem to omit that little detail.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 21, 2014 @ 1:25 pm

have no reason to be fearful of an eviction, because it is only non-viable buildings that get Ellis'ed.

So in fact he has brought about his own situation and risk. Screw him.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 21, 2014 @ 1:35 pm

I am one of those 'Guests' who usually gets a pretty good laugh out of Steven T. Jones. But on this piece I must begrudgingly admit that he took a step in the right direction.

What I mean is that, when he uses that map picture to depict all of the evictions he does note that it is 16 years worth.

Now granted, most people just look at map and say 'ouch' without looking at the caption and probably 80-90% of the evictions pictured were because of some infraction/fault by the tenant.

But still, it is Steven T. Jones so even the smallest effort at accommodating journalistic integrity should be positively reinforced. Hope to see more of it!

Posted by Guest on Feb. 21, 2014 @ 11:59 am

and so it would be better to use a more impartial source such as the Rent Board. And, as you hint, only no-fault evictions should be shown. A tenant who doesn't pay his rent is always going to be out on the bricks, and there is nothing wrong with that.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 21, 2014 @ 12:13 pm

According to the latest full year numbers there were 116 Ellis compared to 1,105 'For Cause' evictions. So the ratio is about 9.5 to 1. But the map wouldn't look quite the same without including the people who didn't pay rent or conducted illegal sublets.

But it somehow doesn't seem right (or useful) to try to hold Steven T. Jones accountable for publishing distorted information. He is only doing his job. There are other people who do a perfectly find job of accurately informing the public.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 21, 2014 @ 12:54 pm

even for not paying their rent.

He probably thinks that either the rent should instead be paid by a special tax on landlords, or that the tenant should just be allowed to live there for free until his luck turns up.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 21, 2014 @ 12:59 pm

Landlords need to contribute to their own retirement just like everyone else, rather than expect the rest of us to bail them out.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 21, 2014 @ 10:59 pm

We shouldn't even allow people to be landlords. All rental property should be owned by the city and controlled by nonprofits. Housing would then be allocated to people according to their needs. For instance, an activist who regularly hosts meetings would require a large, multi-bedroom flat with plenty of space for organizing community actions. Since working for the betterment society pays disgustingly little, a suitably low monthly rent would be appropriate. Techies, who spend all their time on their laptops anyway, would be assigned small studio apartments and be required to pay the maximum amount of rent possible. This is fair because they make an obscene amount of money anyway.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 22, 2014 @ 12:39 am

I can't tell if this is satire or not. I really hope it's the former, but I can actually envision a housing activist actually spitting forth this drivel.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 22, 2014 @ 12:54 am

somewhere who thinks that rent should be free.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 22, 2014 @ 6:33 am

and homelessness. Be grateful - be very grateful.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 22, 2014 @ 6:35 am

I love how the Chui apologists try to paint his obvious lack of principals as a positive. Yeah, and black is white; and slavery is freedom.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 21, 2014 @ 12:57 pm

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Also from this author