100% Negative Campaign Is 100% Misleading Voters

Scott Wiener’s campaign for State Senate continues to live up to the promise that it will be 100% negative – and is now 100% misleading voters.

In a recent mailer and TV ad, Wiener claims that Jane Kim choose Academy of Art University over protections for tenants. This claim is untrue – and Scott Wiener knows it.

Jane Kim has a long-record standing up for the rights of renters, including authoring tough new protections for tenants to prevent greed-incentivized evictions. That’s why she’s won the endorsement of every major tenants’ rights group in San Francisco, including the Affordable Housing Alliance and San Francisco Tenants Union.

As reported by the San Francisco Examiner, when legislation to prevent conversions by AAU and other institutions came to the board, Kim asked to delay the vote for one month – not indefinitely as Wiener’s misleading mailer implies. Said Kim, “I agree with the intent. I think we should encourage new construction and we shouldn’t cannibalize existing rental housing stock. I just want additional time to work on these outstanding issues.” [San Francisco Examiner, 9/1/12]

Of course, none of this is news to Wiener: his mail piece misleadingly excerpts from that article. Here is the full passage (and in bold is what Wiener selectively quoted in his mailer):

The measure passed 9-2, with Supervisor Jane Kim hoping to stall its passage until September to allow for additional talks on creating a way to monitor student housing development and possibly grandfather in certain institutions. Under Wiener’s ordinance, not-for-profit universities such as the San Francisco Art Institute would be grandfathered in and would able to convert some housing.

“I agree with the intent,” Kim said. “I think we should encourage new construction and we shouldn’t cannibalize existing rental housing stock. I just want additional time to work on these outstanding issues.”

When the final legislation came before the Board in September, Kim voted for it – as Wiener must know. In another article he misleadingly excerpts, it’s reported that the measure passed unanimously, with Kim supporting. [San Francisco Chronicle, 9/9/12] Further, as that story notes, Kim had been asked for the delay by a member of the Mayor’s office, Jason Elliott, who confirmed asking for the continuance. [San Francisco Chronicle, 9/9/12]

In a television version of this false attack, the ad also claims that Jane Kim got “thousands of contributions” from AAU. In truth, Jane received 4 individual contributions from AAU personnel in 2010 and 2011, totaling $2000.  (Source: SF Ethics Commission, data pulled 9/19/16) Dennis Herrera who is featured in Scott’s ad also took $2000 from employees of AAU in his various election campaigns.

As a point of comparison, Scott Wiener has already taken $16,800 from Thomas Coates and his wife for his State Senate race. Coates famously spent nearly a million of his own money to ban rent control in California.

Wiener, of course, has a troubled history when it comes to supporting tenants’ rights. In addition to the thousands of dollars he’s taking from anti-rent control and anti-Ellis Act advocates, he also opposed a key provision of Jane Kim’s Tenant Protection 2.0. If Wiener had had his way, tenants could have been evicted for having roommates – even if those roommates were within the allowed capacity for the rental unit.

“Scott Wiener knows he’s lying to voters and he’s doing it anyway,” said Christopher Vasquez. “Jane asked for a one-month delay to work out some outstanding issues and then she supported the final legislation. Scott was there – he knows how she voted, he knows she was for it. But he also knows that he has a terrible record standing up for renters so he’s trying to smear Jane Kim to cover that up. This is just the latest in Scott Wiener’s fact-free, 100% negative campaign. It won’t work because voters know Jane will stand up for them while Scott only stands up for the special interests.”

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