RELEASE: Who’s Really Behind the New Attack on Jane Kim


September 7,2016



Landlords, Realtors and Charter Schools Funding New Attack on Jane Kim

San Francisco, CA – A Scott Wiener-aligned political action committee has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars to run new advertising attacking Jane Kim. The TV ads, which started Tuesday, may say they are funded by Equality California Political Action Committee (EQCA PAC) – but they are really paid for by real estate interests, big landlords and charter school proponents. Rather than advocate against anti-LGBT individuals seeking elected office, the Equality California PAC has chosen to use corporate money to attack a consistent supporter of statewide LGBT rights.

“Actions speak louder than words, and the fact is that Jane has consistently been on the side of the LGBT community, rather than siding with corporate interests. If you want to know whose side someone is on, look who is bankrolling their campaign,” said Christopher Vasquez, a lifelong LGBT activist and Campaign Manager for Jane Kim for State Senate. “Big landlords, realtors and charter school advocates are funneling in big money to help Scott Wiener because they know that he’s a good investment, not because of his record on LGBT issues. He’s spent years being the spokesperson of special interests in San Francisco and now they want to elect him to the State Senate to continue to do their bidding in Sacramento.”

The new ad purports to be paid for by EQCA PAC (the same organization that spent nearly $250,000 in the primary in support of Wiener’s second place finish). At that time, EQCA PAC received significant support from corporate interests (these contributions themselves were channeled through yet another political action committee called Californians for Jobs and a Strong Economy). Those contributors included Chevron, Fox Entertainment Group and Walmart.

In EQCA PAC’s most recent filings, this support from corporate special interests continues. The California Apartment Association Independent Expenditure Committee (representing landlords), the California Charter School Association Advocates Independent Expenditure Committee (representing charter schools) and the California Real Estate Independent Expenditure Committee (representing realtors) each gave $120,000 to EQCA within days of the June primary. (Source: Equality California Political Action Committee 460, filed 8/1/2016)

Of course, this was also after it was clear that Wiener’s weak campaign had resulted in a poor second-place finish despite outspending Kim 2-to-1.

“In the days after his disappointing second place showing, Wiener made it very clear that he was going to run a 100 percent negative campaign – and that he would do or say anything to get elected.” said Vasquez. “He then refused to accept the Elizabeth Warren People’s Pledge that would have kept this sort of dark money out of this campaign. Now we know why. Scott has made the decision to embrace the worst elements of our political system but we’re confident voters will reject his dirty attacks and shady dealings with so-called independent organizations.”

The Facts Behind the Attacks

ATTACK: Supported Projects Without Affordable Housing

FACT: The Cited Project Included $11 Million Payment to City’s Affordable Housing Fund

  • In 2012, the Board of Supervisors approved the 8 Washington project. Kim was one of 8 Supervisors (including Scott Wiener) who voted to approve the project. She cited the project’s inclusion of an $11 million payment into the City’s affordable housing fund in voting to approve. “Mar and Kim agreed, citing the $11 million developer Simon Snellgrove has agreed to pay into the City’s affordable housing fund, the parking fees that will help finance street improvements and landscaping, and the open space that will be part of the development. While it’s a difficult decision, Kim said, ‘The positives outweigh the negatives.’” (San Francisco Chronicle, 9/5/12)
  • The $11 million in fees was $2 million more than what was mandated at the time and represented a 25% offsite fee payment (20% was required). (Report to Budget and Finance Sub-Committee from Budget and Legislative Analyst, 6/1/12)

FACT: Jane Kim Has Been a Leader in Supporting Affordable Housing Projects, Protections for Tenants

  • Jane Kim has negotiated landmark deals with developers to increase the amount of affordable housing as part of new developments.
    • Kim successfully negotiated 40% affordable housing in the new Giants project at Mission Rock. (SF Weekly, 6/16/15)
    • Kim successfully negotiated 40% affordable housing in the new $5M project. (San Francisco Chronicle, 11/9/15)
    • Kim successfully negotiated 40% affordable housing in the new Folsom tower project. (San Francisco Chronicle, 1/16/16)
  • Kim authored Prop C to increase the level of affordable housing in new developments from 12% to 25%. (San Francisco Chronicle, 5/2/16) Prop C was supported by 67.92% of voters in the June 2016 election.

FACT: Jane Kim’s District Is Home to the Most Growth in Both Housing and Affordable Housing; Scott Wiener’s District Falls Far Short

  • From 2005 – 2015, Kim’s District 6 produced 14,060 units of housing, including 3,414 units of affordable housing. (SF Housing Balance Report, 2005 – 2015, released 9/4/15)
  • In that same period, Wiener’s Distrcit 8 only produced 1,041 units of housing, including just 407 units of affordable housing. (SF Housing Balance Report, 2005 – 2015, released 9/4/15)

FACT: While Scott Wiener’s District Had the Most Evictions in the City, He Opposed Key Elements of Kim’s Tenant Protections Bill

  • From 2005 – 2015, District 8 had 699 no-cause evictions. That’s the highest amount of any district in the City. (SF Housing Balance Report, 2005 – 2015, released 9/4/15)
  • While Kim was passing tough new tenant protections to crack down on frivolous evictions, Wiener opposed provisions that would have allowed leaseholders to have roommates up to the capacity allowed in their apartment. Wiener would have allowed landlords to continue to evict residents just for having a roommate. (San Francisco Examiner, 9/29/15)

ATTACK: Kim Voted For and Against the Twitter Tax Exemption

FACT:  Kim Supported Phasing Out Tax Exemptions in Transition to Gross Receipts Tax

  • Kim had supported the Mid-Market incentive program to help fill vacancies in that business district. (San Francisco Chronicle, 4/6/11)
  • In 2012, two proposals were put forward to replace San Francisco’s payroll taxes on businesses for a tax on gross receipts. (San Francisco Chronicle, 6/13/12) One maintained a credit for those companies receiving payroll tax exemptions; the other did not. Kim supported the latter approach as the City moved from payroll taxes to gross receipts and stated, “I was very clear with the mayor’s office and very clear with Twitter that if we reformed how we do the business tax, there was no guarantee the exclusion would continue.” Kim joined Supervisor John Avalos in introducing legislation to reconcile the differences between the bills.
  • The final outcome – Prop E – had the support of Mayor Ed Lee and every member of the Board.

ATTACK: Kim Voted to Retain Ross Mirkarimi and then Supported a Recall

FACT:  Jane Kim Followed the City Charter in Opposing Removal, Supported a Recall to Allow Voters to Make Ultimate Decision

  • Kim did not support Mirkarimi’s actions. In fact, she denounced them. As a lawyer she understood Mayor Lee had overreached his authority in removing Mirkarimi and voted accordingly. (Kim “Message to My Community”, 10/10/12)
  • In a message to her constituents, Kim wrote, “I feel that not only Sheriff Mirkarimi’s actions but his attitude following those actions is wrong…. This is not what I was asked to vote on. The Board was asked to set a precedent around the interpretation of our Charter, the Constitution of our City, regarding the removal of any public officers… I am deeply pained by the decision because regardless of the legal reasoning for my final vote, I know that the public may perceive this as a statement that violence committed by an elected official is okay. I do not condone the Sheriff’s actions and my faith in him as a person and Sheriff has greatly diminished. Nevertheless as a policy maker, I believe it is important to establish a bright line rule or a clear and articulable test to establish grounds to remove any public officer by City Charter. Just because I have deemed this personal misconduct does not mean that it is a private matter– it is still quite a public matter. It is the role of the criminal justice system to adjudicate and sentence unlawful behavior.  Further, the electorate has every right to recall the Sheriff, an action which I would support.”


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