The Real Land Grab to Replace LHH's
skilled Nursing Beds With Supportive Housing

Land Grab Main
SEIU Deceived Voters … and Its Members
Who Financed the "No on Prop. D" Campaign
The $562,800 "Senior Housing Plan" for LHH's Campus
People Affected if the West Residence Isn't Built
Minutes of the “Assisted Lviing Project Workgroup" and the “Transition Steering Committee"
Vote "No" on Future Bond Measures

Who Financed the “No on D” Campaign — And Who Was Behind It?

When Prop. D — a measure designed to preserve the safety of LHH’s skilled nursing care for elderly and disabled San Franciscans — was submitted to the Elections Department for the June 2006 election with enough signatures to qualify for the ballot, Mayor Gavin “Care Not Cash” Newsom stepped forward as the chief opponent against Prop. D.  He has other plans for the Laguna Honda campus:  Putting “supportive housing,” rather than skilled nursing beds, onto the property.

Newsom turned to his ally, lawyer Jim Sutton, who was hired as the “No on D” treasurer, since Newsom had previously used Sutton as the treasurer of his campaign to become mayor.

[As an aside, Sutton was also Newsom’s Transition Team Committee treasurer to separately raise funds for Newsom’s inaugural events, and there was a brief Ethics Commission scandal involving whether funds from the one committee were used to pay debts of the other committee.  As well, according to an article in the SF Weekly (“Stealth Dollars,” Oct.  25–31, 2006) Sutton was fined $240,000 by the Ethics Commission for failing to report $800,000 in campaign spending by utility giant PA&E in 2002.  Sutton was the former boss of candidate for District 6 supervisor, Rob Black when they were both employed by the law firm of Nielsen Merksamer, which handled PG&E’s efforts to stop public power in San Francisco.  Black has been endorsed by Mayor Newsom to unseat incumbent Supervisor Chris Daly.  Black was formerly an aide to Supervisor Alioto-Pier.  The Ethics Commission is investigating illegal spending of so-called Independent Expenditure (IE) committees involved the District 6 November 2006 election.  Sutton is doing work for the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, a close ally of Mayor Newsom’s.  Sutton is the treasurer for Alioto-Pier’, and District Attorney Kamala Harris also used Sutton in her race to become D.A.  And another lawyer with ties to Sutton, Doug Chan (whose law firm Chan, Doi, and Leal has received a total of $460,913 in fees from PG&E) is running for Supervisor in District 4, with Newsom’s and downtown big businesses endorsements.]

Once Newsom brought Sutton on board against Prop. D, Sutton turned around and hired Barnes, Mosher, Whitehurst, Lauter and Partners to lead the public relations campaign against Prop. D for the Mayor. Reports are that BMWLP was paid $173,000 for its work to defeat Prop. D. The Bay Guardian notes (“The Dirt in D6,” October 25–31, 2006) that BMWLP “has also been employed by Sutton through BOMA and the GGRA for the IE’s in the District 6 election.”  BOMA is the Building Owners and Managers Association; GGRA is the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, and interestingly, they both contributed to the No on D campaign, as shown below.

Notably, various labor unions (including SEIU Local 660 in Southern California) contributed $90,000 towards defeating Prop. D, apparently opposing a safe environment for their members to work in at LHH.   Bay Area hospitals contributed at least $30,000.  Contractors working on the LHH Replacement Project contributed at least $17,000.  And individuals like Don Fisher, founder of The Gap, and Diane Wilsey, President of the Fine Arts Museum Board of Trustees (on which former SEIU 790 Executive Director Josie Mooney also serves as a FAM Trustee) each donated $10,000.

And wouldn’t you know it?  BMWLP lists on its web site that SEIU Local 790 is one of its current clients.  That’s right, Local 790 has retained the services of BMWLP to spruce up the union’s image whenever 790 needs to convince the public that it is not really as corrupt as it is widely perceived to be.

Between downtown business interests, Sutton and BMWLP, and the SEIU unions, somebody was clearly trying to return political favors to the Mayor, who is very interested in the property of LHH, but not for elderly San Franciscans.  Of the $234,452 reported to the Ethics Commission as having been raised by Sutton for the No on D Committee, at least 45 prominent people, some with ties to the Mayor by holding contracts with the City, donated at least $1,000 each.  According to financial campaign reports filed with the Ethics Commission, the 45 include:

Amount Organization/Individual

$   25,000   SEIU UHW - Political Issues Committee
    15,000   SEIU UHW - Political Issues Committee
     1,083   SEIU UHW - Political Issues Committee
     20,000   SEIU Local 790 Non-candidate   COPE
       5,000   SEIU Local 790 Non-candidate COPE
     15,000   Turner Construction
     10,000   California Pacific Medical Center
     10,000   Fisher, Donald
     10,000   Kaiser Permanente Foundation Health Plan
     10,000   Kenwood Bay Aquarium, LLC
     10,000   Wilsey, Diane B.
       5,000   Forest City Residential West, Inc.
       5,000   Golden Gate Restaurant Association
      (5,000) Golden Gate Restaurant Association
       5,000   International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 6
       5,000   Northern California Carpenters Regional
       5,000   San Francisco Firefighters PAC
       5,000   St. Francis Memorial Hospital
       5,000   St. Mary’s
       3,000   SEIU Local 660 Issues and Initiatives Fund
       2,500   BOMA (Business Owners and Managers Association) Ballot Issues PAC
       2,500   Hellman, F. Warren
       2,500   Norcal Waste Systems PAC
       2,500   Shorenstein Properties
       2,500   U.A. Local 38 COPE Fund
       2,409   Operating Engineers Local 3
       2,000   Chong Partners Architecture
       2,000   Professional Hospital Supply, Inc.
       2,000   SF Chamber of Commerce, 21st Century Committee
       1,500   Kay & Merkle, LLP
       1,500   Kay, Steven
       1,000   CA Hospitals Committee on Issues
       1,000   California Faculty Association PAC
       1,000   CIF of the San Francisco Foundation
       1,000   Degenkolb Engineers
       1,000   HMS Associates
       1,000   Kay & Merkle, LLP
       1,000   Klein, Thomas B.
       1,000   Mazzetti & Associates, Inc.
       1,000   Okin, Robert
       1,000   Sutro, Elizabeth H.
       1,000   Theatrical Stage Employees Union Local 16
       1,000   Umekobo, John [Current Health Commissioner]
       1,000 Upton, Sloan
   $  1,000 Werdegar, David [Former Director of Public Health]


Page Posted 11/05/06


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