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With Nathan Nayman

Nathan Nayman



June 1, 2006

Move over Mission Impossible III! San Francisco voters looking for a good summer thriller need look no further that City Hall, where the tax-payer financed Daly Blog is spinning fantastic tails of conspiracy and collusion that not even a Hollywood director could ever dream up.

Daly's newest potboiler? His analysis of the Proposition I lawsuit recently filed by the Committee on Jobs and the Chamber of Commerce - the proverbial "downtown special interests" as he calls it.

Supporters of the lawsuit include the Building Owners and Managers Association, the Hotel Council of San Francisco, the San Francisco Taxpayers Union, the San Francisco Apartment Association, the San Francisco Association of Realtors, The Coalition for Better Housing, the San Francisco Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Geary Boulevard Merchants Association; suddenly downtown stretches from the Mission to the Legion of Honor.

Like the Da Vinci Code, Daly implores people to follow the clues, claiming that Prop I was a "crafted mechanism" to delay policy initiatives by progressive, or rather "regressive" supervisors like him. He touts the "universally respected" budget analyst Harvey Rose as the fiscal watchdog over the budget. Yes, Mr. Rose, having held a solesource contract with the Board of Supervisors for over 30 years does do fiscal analysis on legislation as it applies to the City's budget - not the economy of the city. Somehow voters managed to recognize that difference when they voted to approve the measure in 2004.

Prop I was supported by about 150,000 voters. By contrast, a whopping 6,645 voters elected Chris Daly in 2002, which makes Proposition I a blockbuster idea as far as I'm concerned.

Proposition I passed in November, 2004, and became law in December, 2004; but them Office of Economic Analysis (OEA) was only created on March 1, 2006 - 18 months after the law was enacted. Even with the creation of the OEA, the City has only completed economic analysis of two pieces of legislation despite a backlog of legislation pending at the Board which could have major financial implications for residents and businesses. He claims that the OEA has "indicated that economic impact reports would be issued". Well, that's not good enough. The law is clear….the report is due prior to the Board voting on legislation.

Chris Daly describes "the bungling on implementation" by the sponsor of Prop I, Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier. But the truth is that Supervisor Alioto-Pier continually attempted to have the Rules Committee hear her legislation. In the end, she was forced to sit by as her colleagues adopted rules implementing the new law that ignored the will of the voters. Now that is a plot line Supervisor Daly doesn't want anyone to know about.

The lawsuit asks the court to invalidate these rules passed by the Board of Supervisors related to Proposition I. As passed by the voters, the ordinance urged the Board to only waive economic analysis in time of crises with a two-thirds majority of the Board supporting the action. However, in August 2005, the Board of Supervisors passed a set of rules that gives the President of the Board the power to waive economic analysis of any legislation; and exempt certain kinds of legislative documents such as resolutions from being subject to analysis under Proposition I. The lawsuit asks for all of these rules to be invalidated.

Finally, Daly alleges that the intent of Prop I is to dislodge "socially critical proposals" such as charging all businesses for enforcing the minimum wage ordinance, even though they are not guilty of wrongdoing. This seems like pure science fiction to me; as the Chair of the Budget Committee about to review a $5.7 billion budget I find it difficult to believe Daly can't find a few dollars to do this. And the health care mandate introduced by Supervisor Ammiano? How could anyone in their right mind not agree that there are economic consequences to this legislation?

Anyone who has seen Freaky Friday knows it is amazing things when the progressive wing, or should I say, "regressive wing" of the Board of Supervisors is actively trying to avoid open debate and scrutiny of legislation. Daly and his allies would have us all believe that asking how much something costs and making the fiscal price tag a part of the debate is tantamount to killing a proposal.

Not since the movie Dumb and Dumber have we been asked to swallow such a silly plot line.

Nathan Nayman serves as executive director to the Committee on Jobs, a coalition of San Francisco's largest employers dedicated to improving the City's economic vitality.




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