The machine - Page 3

Sup. Scott Wiener is relentless, driven, prolific — and changing San Francisco in sometimes alarming ways

Scott Wiener follows Harvey Milk, Harry Britt, and Bevan Dufty representing a neighborhood that's changed profoundly.

Tom Radulovich, director of Livable City, puts it this way: "One thing he's really doing is reforms in the process of government. He wants to smooth the way for the transformation of the city."

While smoothing the way for change is good for those who desire certain changes — whether it be a developer building luxury condos or the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition trying to add more bike lanes — there are often good reasons why change occurs in a slow, methodical way in San Francisco, a city of great wealth and power but also lots of checks and balances on how power gets wielded.

"Process is important in San Francisco," Radulovich said. "For a lot of people that want to slow things down, they are very process focused, and he's really messing with that."

Wiener's efforts particularly rankle people like Aaron Peskin, who started as a historic preservation activist before leading a prolific agenda (he said he authored 205 ordinances in eight years, far faster than Wiener's pace) as a supervisor during the board's modern progressive era.

Peskin — who successfully ran against Wiener for DCCC chair in 2008 and has fought him on historic preservation and other progressive issues since then — doesn't mince words when describing Wiener's agenda and key votes as supervisor: "Supervisor Wiener is intent on turning the clock back on San Francisco's decades-long legacy of cutting edge legislation to protect consumers and the environment."

Radulovich says the trend is upsetting the city's balance in unpredictable ways. "The net result is he's speeding everything up, the good, the bad, and the ugly. He's taking the brakes off of change," Radulovich said. "In all of these changes, it's hard to tell what's going to happen because these are big, complex systems."

Wiener sees it differently. His bill to modify the city's CEQA interpretation would make it harder to file multiple project appeals — and he thinks that's a good thing: "There are people who want to the option to be oppositional and to just have something in their hip pocket, even if it has no merit."

Yet activists fighting the measure say it also makes it easier for projects to slide through without proper public or environment scrutiny. For example, the city originally exempted the controversial Beach Chalet artificial turf project in Golden Gate Park from doing an Environmental Impact Report, which eventually found significant impacts to wildlife, drainage, and from bright artificial lights.

There are some who worry that the Land Use Committee will be more friendly to market-rate developers under Wiener's leadership.

"I'm really concerned with the direction the city is going on land-use issues, particularly with him now chairing the Land Use Committee," Tom Temprano, president of the Harvey Milk Club, told me. "It's about the future of the city and who it's being built for."

Peter Cohen of the Council of Community Housing Organizations notes that Wiener's focus during "affordable housing" discussions has been on middle class homeowners: "I'm interested to see if he pushes that narrative, that we're not doing enough for the middle class, because it is a bit of a zero sum game with housing and land use."

Radulovich said Wiener may not be critical enough of projects that seek more than their zoning entitles them to, a growing problem in San Francisco that has set precedents for more intensive development and made it difficult to analyze cumulative impacts of the decisions: "Having a Land Use chair that going to move those things along will allow planning by exception."

Between watching out for Wiener's legislation and tracking the development projects that seem to keep springing out of nowhere, progressive activists are busy.


The TIC conversions aren't about helping the owners, for whom Scott Weiner cares about as much as he cares for renters.

This is about swinging elections where 2000 extra votes for the so called moderates could swing elections in the most progressive districts.

The super wealthy interests from all over the entire world who have wanted to take over San Francisco smell blood...

Posted by Guest on Jan. 29, 2013 @ 8:15 pm
Posted by anon on Jan. 30, 2013 @ 7:54 am

The agents who promised everyone they'd win the 200/pa lottery in just 5 yr while quadrupling the pool are the ones who are wealthier than TIC commune owners and are doing the work of the super wealthy who want to politically and economically cleanse San Francisco as a matter of public policy.

All that are needed are the Trophy Poor which Calvin Welch can be counted on to deal with for a price.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 30, 2013 @ 8:11 am

They are mostly tenants and so, when they mover into their TIC, they free up another unit for new renters.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 30, 2013 @ 11:09 am

Yeah, a unit that did not have vacancy control where the rent can be raised considerably! Studios here in the Tenderloin in my building, which is not in good shape, are now furnished and going for $2200 per month.

Posted by Granny Gear on Jan. 30, 2013 @ 12:47 pm

If all those units are taken, then clearly the rent is not "too" expensive.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 30, 2013 @ 1:12 pm

Duh no. The faceless hedge funds from no one knows who or where who use TIC owners to do their dirty work, as though they are not next on the list, or perhaps sooner on the list if they can't find a bank dumber than they are to refinance their collapsing real estate ponzi frauds.

"First time home buyer" synonymous with 'sucker' traditionally in the SF TIC market.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 30, 2013 @ 10:54 am

They only buy big apartment complexes like Park Merced.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 30, 2013 @ 11:10 am

Because I guess this guy wasn't interested in dismantling rent control...

"...the Swiss bank UBS took back 51 buildings on which the Lembi Group owed up to $400 million."

Posted by Guest on Jan. 30, 2013 @ 2:41 pm

Oh golly gee looks who's Vice Chairman of Investment Banking at UBS...

As of 2009, Gramm is employed by UBS AG as a Vice Chairman of the Investment Bank division. states that a Vice Chairman of a UBS division is "...appointed to support the business in their relationships with key clients."[34] He joined UBS in 2002 immediately after retiring from the Senate.[35]

....the rent control wars are about rich people taking over the entire city and it goes all the way to the top.

The idiots who fell for the TIC scam are dumb enough to swallow anything and are tools to an end that ultimately doesn't include them.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 30, 2013 @ 3:00 pm

Can you imagine what Lembi's business plan must have looked like for the loan application?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 30, 2013 @ 3:11 pm

I suspect UBS is a little better at valuing deals than you are.

Posted by anon on Jan. 30, 2013 @ 3:18 pm

Ha ha ha UBS fantastic deal valuers...prolly up to their necks in TICs.

- UBS lost $356 million on Facebook, suing Nasdaq for it -

Posted by Guest on Jan. 30, 2013 @ 3:29 pm

"I suspect UBS is a little better at valuing deals than you are."

Oh hell yeah UBS.

The average renter in SF is a hundred times smarter than UBS, Phil Gramm, and every TIC idiot ever in the entire history of the sham criminal enterprise.

"...2008 Nobel Laureate in Economics Paul Krugman, a supporter of Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton, described Gramm during the 2008 presidential race as "the high priest of deregulation," and has listed him as the number two person responsible for the economic crisis of 2008 behind only Alan Greenspan.[19][20] "

Posted by Guest on Jan. 30, 2013 @ 3:35 pm

the bargains of a lifetime. A crisis is only for those too dumb to not see it coming.

S&P 500 is now within an inch of it's all-time high and SF RE are back to peak as well. If this is a crisis, give me more.

Posted by anon on Jan. 30, 2013 @ 4:25 pm

Which is why you can't refinance a TIC.


"...the market, which soared past 1,500, has now regained levels last seen before the start of the recession in December 2007. Sadly, this is the only thing that has been regained. Below we present some things that have not been regained since the last time the S&P 500 was at 1500.

First, as the chart below shows, the S&P is indeed above 1500 for the first time since December 2007.

Unfortunately for the economy, which has ceased to correlate to the stock market courtesy of the Federal Reserve, the stock market and the underlying fundementals, in this case jobs, are now completely independent. The chart below shows that while the stock market may be at its pre-recession levels, the employment situation has only managed to recoup half the total lost jobs, and with 4 million jobs still to go before all the jobs lost are recovered, it is very likely that not even by the end of Obama's second term will the economy have regained all the lost jobs since December 2007..."

-The Stock Market Is Back To December 2007 Levels; Here Is What Isn't-

Posted by Guest on Jan. 30, 2013 @ 4:41 pm

smart investor accepts the change, while the dumb one complains about it.

The market has gone from 666 to 1500 in four years.. I'll take it.

Oh, and some people I know are re-fi'ing their TIC right now. I guess you were wrong about that too. Did I mention that SF RE is booming too?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 30, 2013 @ 4:54 pm

I'll sit this one out thanks.

Disconnect between employment and asset values is the reason we saw a line out the door at Land Use Tuesday....

Posted by Guest on Jan. 30, 2013 @ 5:19 pm

prove much of anything. Asset markets don't take a lot of notice of what SF lefties do.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 30, 2013 @ 5:32 pm

What I saw was mostly TIC owners screaming that they were lied to.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 30, 2013 @ 5:42 pm
Posted by anon on Jan. 30, 2013 @ 6:09 pm

Ha ha ha!

Posted by Guest on Jan. 30, 2013 @ 6:31 pm

The month before sequestration is a fine time to gamble your life savings if you are a first time home buyer.

Psychopath TIC attorneys have turned robbing Scott Weiner's constituents of their financial futures into a fine art.

"Politically expedient" was the term Mike Sullivan used?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 30, 2013 @ 5:39 pm

But I'm sure you know best.

Posted by anon on Jan. 30, 2013 @ 6:10 pm

Heard somewhere banks were requiring as much as 30% down for TICs.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 30, 2013 @ 6:27 pm

I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good.
I don't know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you are not already ;) Cheers!

Posted by GSA on Sep. 09, 2013 @ 1:23 am

So as long as rich people keep getting richer, everything is fine?

Widespread human misery means NOTHING to you?

Oh there's a crisis alright. The crisis is a plague of sociopaths like you.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 10, 2013 @ 8:00 pm
Posted by anon on Jan. 30, 2013 @ 3:10 pm

If you have their client list please share.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 30, 2013 @ 3:17 pm

UBS is not a hedge fund.

Posted by anon on Jan. 30, 2013 @ 3:31 pm

Can you read BlackRock's "annual report" and tell me if they are a hedge fund because I get too nauseous....

" On 17 December 2009, BlackRock Inc., New York, disclosed under the Swiss Stock Exchange Act a holding of 3.45% of the total share capital of UBS AG."

"Fink joined Blackstone in 1988 as a partner... As Managing Director at First Boston, Fink and his team pioneered the mortgage-backed securities market in the United States."

Posted by Guest on Jan. 30, 2013 @ 3:48 pm

Beginning to look like Scott Weiner's contributor list?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 30, 2013 @ 4:04 pm

does not mean that that company IS a hedge fund.

Most shareholders are some type of fund or institution. So what?

Posted by anon on Jan. 30, 2013 @ 4:27 pm

It's a mutual fund company. Not surprising that you don't know the difference.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 30, 2013 @ 4:38 pm

So it is. Thanks for looking that up for me.

My larger point though...

"...Hedge Funds
Competitive advantages
We offer hedge funds the opportunity to leverage the global competitive strength of UBS. We are committed to delivering the benefits of our organization to help our hedge fund clients achieve their goals.

From global clearing and custody to flexible financing solutions, accounting and administration support, we provide hedge funds of all sizes and strategies with the coordinated services they need to optimize their opportunities and minimize risk. Our clients can also take advantage of one of the best trading operations and investment research platforms in the world...."

Can you look up for me what they mean by "flexible financing solutions?"

Posted by Guest on Jan. 30, 2013 @ 5:17 pm

Also, as someone not employed by either a bank or a hedge fund, I was wondering could you look up and tell me what the f*** is "coordinated services."

Posted by Guest on Jan. 30, 2013 @ 5:22 pm

Consider your lesson over.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 30, 2013 @ 5:30 pm
Posted by anon on Jan. 30, 2013 @ 5:35 pm

Facilitators of hedge funds?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 30, 2013 @ 5:43 pm

All I know is lots of bankers out there really thankful for "too big to jail."

Posted by Guest on Jan. 30, 2013 @ 5:57 pm

claiming that a single shareholders of UBS might have a sideline in facilitating a hedge fund.

Real progress.

Posted by anon on Jan. 30, 2013 @ 6:11 pm

I don't remember claiming UBS was a hedge fund.

"Coordinated services."

Posted by Guest on Jan. 30, 2013 @ 6:37 pm
Posted by anon on Jan. 30, 2013 @ 6:51 pm

No it was me. I never said UBS was a hedge fund. You misread something?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 30, 2013 @ 7:07 pm

A large investment company like Goldman Sacks or BlackRock wears many, many hats. They might have vanilla mutual funds for some investors, and managed private accounts for other investors. The money in their managed private accounts might be invested by BlackRock in many places other than mutual funds, including pure "hedge funds," Master Limited Partnerships, Vulture Funds (buying distressed companies or their debt), foreign currency swaps, derivatives trading, etc.

There are many smaller "pure" hedge funds that are very happy to get BlackRock money that is being invested for its clients or its owners. Sometimes BlackRock (or GS) might be the lead investor in the hedge fund, with other high-wealth individuals being able to jump into the investment scheme; other times BR (GS, and others) merely invest in someone else's investment scheme - hedge fund or not - hoping to make money for its clients or for BlackRock's owners and managers.

Whatever the semantics, BlackRock, Goldman Sacks, and most trillion dollar private banks like BofA and WF provide direct funding, loans, guarantees, insurance, and a complex variety of other services for hedge funds and other investment operations.

As always, the actual name of what is being done, or the entities that are doing it, are far less important than the actual people who are making the key financial decisions about where to invest and with whom and for what purpose when it's other than being a passive long-term investor.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 30, 2013 @ 6:48 pm
Posted by Guest on Jan. 31, 2013 @ 9:27 pm

I think CalPers remembers this?

"Despite great success, Fink has also had some setbacks at BlackRock, the greatest one being the ill-fated purchase of a Manhattan housing complex for $5.4 billion in 2006. It was the largest residential-real-estate deal in U.S. history up until that time, and the housing complex ended up in default. BlackRock clients lost their money, including the California Pension and Retirement System which lost about $500 million.[4]

-CalPERS eyes ban on rent-control conversion investments-

"CalPERS' investment committee at its meeting next week will consider banning investments in real estate projects that eliminate rent-controlled apartments, according to the meeting's agenda.
The $209.3 billion California Public Employees' Retirement System, Sacramento, lost $500 million in an investment in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village in New York in 2006 in a failed plan to convert subsidized rental apartments to market-level rentals.

CalPERS wrote off its entire investment after lead investors Tishman Speyer Properties and BlackRock (BLK) defaulted on mortgages for the large Manhattan apartment complexes. The buyers had purchased the complexes for $5.4 billion. Their plan to repay the debt depended on rent on regulated apartments being raised to market levels."

Posted by Guest on Jan. 31, 2013 @ 9:42 pm

You misunderstand the post on which you were commenting.
OP isn't saying that TIC owners are "super wealthy".
OP is saying that super wealthy interests are using TIC owners to further a political agenda.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 02, 2013 @ 12:56 pm

Personally I find it refreshing to have a "gay" ,virgin, social odd ball, framing SF politics. He is perfect for the times we live in. A real Harvey Milk for 2013. At least Harvey had sex.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 30, 2013 @ 10:46 am

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