The CrackBerry Chronicles
With Elaine Santore
Photos by Luke
February 22, 2008
Daly salutes Bayview Affordable Housing Initiative volunteers
Supervisor Chris Daly hosted a thank-you reception at Temple
Bar Thursday for all the volunteers who helped gather over 11,800
signatures to qualify the Bayview Affordable Housing Initiative
for the June ballot.
The initiative will go head-to-head with Lennar Corp.'s Bayview
Jobs, Parks, and Housing Initiative. Lennar's petition qualified
Wednesday. Daly's petition is currently awaiting certification
from the Department of Elections.
"The stakes are very high. You wouldn't know it from the
money we spent. We spent about $3,000. We were able to do almost
the same thing Lennar did with over $1 million spent to date,"
Supervisor Chris Daly addresses supporters at Temple Bar.
One of the names on Lennar's measure was Mayor Gavin Newsom.
But Newsom's signature alone would have been enough to get the
measure on the June ballot, Daly noted.
Daly gave special thanks to volunteers Larry Haynes who collected
700 signatures, James Keys who collected 600 signatures and Donna
Linden who collected 100 signatures. Daly also collected 600 signatures
during the 10-day petition drive.
Volunteer Larry Haynes.
Jack Daly, POWER's Brian O'Flynn, and Supervisor Chris Daly.
FCJ interviews Debra Walker following BIC presidency demotion
Department of Building Inspection comissioner and tenant advocate
Debra Walker was ousted as president of the Building Inspection
After an election held during the BIC's regularly scheduled meeting,
Commissioner Frank Lee was elected president, and Commissioner
Mel Murphy as vice president.
Fog City Journal editor Luke Thomas spoke to Walker Wednesday
following the commission's decision.
FCJ: "Can you explain what happened today?"
Walker: "The mayor has put pressure on the commissioners
that he has appointed to support his choices for both president
and vice president."
FCJ: "Was it a special meeting?"
Walker: "Regular meeting. We were required to hold elections
at this meeting every year. What happened was that there was pressure
ahead of time from the mayor for his commissioners, and he basically
said if they wouldn't support Mel Murphy, who was the mayor's
choice, or one of the mayor's choices, that they would be removed.
And one of them was Mike Theriault."
FCJ: "Is Mel Murphy on the commission?"
Walker: "He's a commissioner, he's been on the board for
a couple years, and he's a contracter. He became the vice president
because one of the mayoral appointees who was being pressured
said he was not going to support Mel, so they put forward Frank
Lee who actually is the assistant director of DPW as well."
FCJ: "Do have any idea why this happened?"
Walker: "Two reasons. The mayor is going after the Board
of Supervisors and is trying to eliminate any potential progressive
leadership role models in advance of the district elections, both
in 2008 and 2010. Also, as president, I actually tried to address
some issues that they would prefer addressing behind closed doors
like tall buildngs, like public peer review process, to be consistent
with the Brown and Sunshine. The seismic retrofit funds, which
has been raided by the mayor to provide solar panels for homeowners,
instead of seismic upgrade monies for things like residential
hotels and low-income apartment house rentals. That's where the
CAPSS, the Community Action Plan for Seismic Saftey, is headed
and we probably need that money and more that's available, and
the mayor wants to put it over to greening."
FCJ: "What project or projects do you think you've been
involved in that haven't been pushed through fast enough that
may have led to your demotion?
Walker: "I actually think that at this point I'm trying
to slow down our business re-engineering that they're trying to
reform... our whole practice. It affects other departments. It
certainly affects staff. They're trying to push it through to
try to attach to this budget, and I said, 'No, I don't want to
FCJ: "When did that happen?
Walker: "Today. But it's been happening. There's an interest
to have an unimpeded motion put forward."
FCJ: "Who put today's motion forward to vote on the presidency?"
Walker: "Vahid Sattary, he's the one who nominated Frank
Lee. Somebody nominated Mel Murphy, it might have been Vahid as
well, that nominated Mel Murphy as vice president."
FCJ: "Do you think the word came from the mayor through
Sattary to put the presidency motion forward?"
Walker: "Yeah, exactly. For both of us. The mayor's office
already called and pressured them, pressured all of them. And
pressured Mike Theriault. Do you know Mike Theriault?"
FCJ: "No, I don't."
Walker: "Mike Theriault is a building trades guy. He ran
for DCCC with the support of the Milk Club and many other groups.
He was pressured and refused to vote for the mayor's people. He
wanted to support me, and the mayor took him off."
FCJ: "Do you think this has anything to do with the battle
between Newsom and Aaron Peskin? Didn't Peskin appoint you to
the DBI commission?"
Walker: "This is all about the battle, too, between the
mayor and Peskin. But that's all about district elections."
FCJ: "What do you mean? Please explain how this impacts
Walker: "The mayor's office has been dealing with things
very aggressively - conflicting, not wanting to work with anyone
anymore, but more oppositional. And I think that is to draw distinctions
between the mayor's candidates and the board's candidates. They've
been consistently tarring and feathering the Board of Supervisors
actions. The board just recently disapproved some of their appointees.
The last thing they want to have is a strong progressive woman
preparing for District 6 elections in 2010."
FCJ: "Do you think it's about that?"
Walker: "I think it's all of that. It works into all of
FCJ: "What do you think is the number one reason for
your ousting as president"
Walker: "They want to build whatever they want, whenever
they want it."
Debra Walker (with Andy Blue and Grace Eolen Daly)
in better spirits at Temple Bar Thursday.
Following FCJ's interview with Walker, Thomas asked Board President
Aaron Peskin what he thought about Walker's demotion.
"I think it has more to do with their desire to control
the commission," Peskin said, referring to the mayor's office.
Bonus Caption Action
Elaine Santore, David Owen, and Andy Blue try to have a private
... but cannot escape the glare of the paparazzi.
Finally Thomas gets a Daly family portrait: Chris, Sarah, Jack,
and Grace Eolen Daly.
Terrie Frye, Karren Babbitt, Francisco DeCosta (thanks for the
Elaine Santore, Rick Hautpman and Susan Vaughan.
"No moving the ball, Jack!"
Senator Barack Obama: "Hey Luke, Chris and Grace, thank you
for your support."
Photo by Andy Blue
McCain faux-scandal hits the news
Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain got a rude
awakening Thursday when the New York Times ran a 3,000-word article
about a rumored affair with a female lobbyist eight years ago.
"A female lobbyist had been turning up with him at fund-raisers,
visiting his offices and accompanying him on a client's corporate
I stopped reading there. Any story that opens with a reference
to a corporate jet is bad news. I refuse to fall into this trap,
New York Times!
But I did read the last sentence, a statement from thne McCain
"Americans are sick and tired of this kind of gutter
politics, and there is nothing in this story to suggest that John
McCain has ever violated the principles that have guided his career."
Shame on you, NYT, for making me feel sorry for John McCain for
.02 seconds. Are you trying to ruin my life? Time for me to watch
some Fox News so I can get my mojo back.
Full disclosure time: I'm a actually a fan of McCainBlogette,
written by McCain's 23-year-old daughter Meghan because she posts
fun pictures and videos from the campaign trail.
It's only a matter of time before Sen. Barack Obama's 9-year-old
daughter, Malia, starts a blog. Malia is sassy.
Check out Fog City Journal publisher and editor-in-chief Luke
Thomas on Arthur Bruzzone's SF/Unscripted
tonight at 8 p.m. and Saturday night at 8:30 p.m on cable channel
11. Bruzzone talks to Thomas about his new role as editor, how
Thomas' photography adds a unique perspective to San Francisco
politics, and other topics including shifts in San Francisco demographics.