The 8 Washington-Monterey connection

That doesn't look like Golden Gate Fields

The guy who wants to build the most expensive condos in San Francisco history on the waterfront is facing a ballot measure that could derail his dreams -- so he's hiring a team of signature-gatherers to put a competing measure on the ballot. Which makes little sense to us, since when the voters are confused, then tend to vote against things, and there will be two measures (confusing) and all the opponents of the 8 Washington have to go is get people to vote No, which is easier than Yes.

But whatever.

What intrigued us is that the signature-gathering company that is about to launch Simon Snellgove's pro-condo drive is also doing a petition drive a couple hours to the south -- where environmentalists are facing off against a developer who wants to build a luxury horse-racing facility along with housing, two hotels, and an office complex on the old Fort Ord military base in Monterey.

The opponents, who want to preserve open space, are doing an initiative campaign to block it -- and the developer is now doing his own counter-intiative.

According to a message on the petition company's voice mail, signature gatherers are getting $1.60 a signature in Monterey. Don't know yet what they're getting in San Francisco.

And of course, the developers in Monterey are talking about jobs and recreation and parks -- just as they are in San Francisco. Someone must have done a few focus groups on that.

If Monterey Downs gets built (and for the record, I am not an opponent of race tracks, horse racing, or gambling, and I love Golden Gate Fields and its $1 beers) it won't be the kind of blue-collar cheapie place across the Bay. It will be a high-end equestrian center. "Maybe," Jon Golinger, an 8 Washington foe, says, "that's where the multimillionaires in the new condos will keep their horses."

It's an interesting political tactic -- block an opposition intiative with one of your own -- and it's going to play out twice this fall in Northern California. If it works, the developers will have yet another tool. If it fails, that may be the end of it.



Why don't you just do a weekly post saying that you hate successful people and be done with it?

Posted by Guest on May. 07, 2013 @ 1:28 pm

It's completely shocking to learn that political interests will use paid signature gatherers! Who could've imagined that?

But wait, didn't Mr. Gollinger, Mr. Peskin and the other good folks opposing the 8 Washington project pay $3-$4 per signature to get their initiative onto the November ballot? If they got 31,000 signatures, one can do the math. Even with THD's support, it's not likely they paid the freight by themselves. Where did the money come from? Gosh, does this mean there's Big-Bucks interests behind the initiative? Who knew?

Posted by Guest on May. 07, 2013 @ 2:04 pm

democracy and a people-driven consensus.

But when the right do it, it is of course a manipulation and distortion of the democratic system.

Posted by Guest on May. 07, 2013 @ 2:25 pm

For anyone who might be new to this topic, the ballot initiative to stop Snellgrove was also made possible because of paid signature gatherers. In particular, one couple living in a $2 million+ condo that would have had its view blocked put up $80K out of the $140K that was spent to gather 30K signatures to stop Snellgrove. So, allowing for perhaps $40K of overhead they paid about $100K for 30K signatures, some of which were acquired by volunteers.

Tim would never look into the other activities of the people who gathered signatures against Snellgrove, nor would he even mention the anti-Snellgrove paid signature gatherers in an article about signature gathering for 8 Washington.

It's an interesting situation and people should Google it for more information but again, for anyone who just came across this site, it isn't legitimate journalism; don't be fooled by their sleazy efforts to make it look so. It is strictly propaganda.

Posted by Troll on May. 07, 2013 @ 2:22 pm

its pretty astounding how often and how strongly this paper has gone to bat for the telegraph hill dwellers. The no wall people were primarily funded by one elderly white couple that live in the golden gateway condominium complex.
Somehow all of their money was whipped into some approximation of democracy, and this paper never misses a chance to support their initiatives.

it should be more difficult to completely debunk the sfbg

Posted by Maldita fondada on May. 08, 2013 @ 6:27 am

qualms about taking money from the rich to fight the rich. I doubt they even see that as hypocritical.

Too bad for the people who would have gotten affordable homes from the 11 million setaside though. Still, as long as a few rich people go elsewhere, it's all worth it.

Posted by Guest on May. 08, 2013 @ 6:49 am

Jeez, this has nothing to do with hating the rich or the successful. And I think I've made it pretty clear that for me, this isn't about views or saving the swim and tennis club. It's about the fact that I don't think San Francisco needs to be building more housing for the very rich. 

And of course, both sides used paid sig. gatherers (tho there were also a lot of volunteers in the No on 8 Wash. campaign). Again, my point was that the notion of responding to a referendum with your own pro-development initiative is an interesting political tactic. 

Why don't you just write a weekly "I hate Tim Redmond cuz he's a commie" post and be done with it?

Posted by tim on May. 08, 2013 @ 10:04 am

If there is no demand, then they won't sell, and the developer will lose money. You are about that?

And it's not as if the money would still be spent in SF if 8Wash goes away. The money will be invested elsewhere. And the 11 million in affordable housing will vanish.

Hatred and envy are the only explanations for your irrational view on this.

Posted by Guest on May. 08, 2013 @ 3:04 pm

Why don't you suck on the barrel of a gun you white male American (conservative) capitalist tumor.? Why don't you take the myoblastoma you mistake for a brain, and that radio flyer with legs you use to get around and go play in traffic on 101?

Stay out of SF streets, because you people will soon be easier to spot as your gravitate toward your groups in the coming great divide! And when spot you, we will drop ya.

Posted by capitalismthedecay on May. 08, 2013 @ 12:10 pm

The opinion above is way out of bounds, abusive and should be removed. And even if I usually disagree with Mr. Redmond, he is a person deserving of basic respect. All sides are diminished by vicious, personal attacks.

Posted by Guest on May. 08, 2013 @ 2:44 pm

I think SFBG needs a VERY needed balance to the "other" news media coverage of the City and am always surprised and disheartened at the puerile, knee-jerk yelping, the ad hominem attacks, and spitting vitriol that your commenters post. They seem to be excruciatingly unhappy at everything and I feel sorry for them. They need to get out more and find a better group therapy organization because their lives don 't seem to be getting better or moving forward.

Posted by Guest2of 3jays on May. 09, 2013 @ 9:59 am

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