Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category:

Obamauguration

January 22nd, 2009

Last night we got home from a 5 day road trip to our nation’s capital, Washington DC.  It was a long journey, 12 hours and 700 miles each way from Chicago, but I’m glad I went.  Obama’s inauguration itself was definitely the highlight, being on the mall with about 2 million other people to witness the change of power and the beginning of a new day.  It was also great to feel the spirit and mood of Washington – the town was excited, energetic, and happy.

Obama Cheerleaders

Due to some car trouble, we didn’t arrive till late Sunday, missing the “We Are One” concert on the mall.  The Sunday show featured Bono, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Beyonce, Garth Brooks, Tom Hanks, Tiger Woods, and more.  It also included a nice Obama speech and a test run of the jumbotron video screens and security, among other things.  Monday night we headed out on U street near 14th, and it was crazier than a friday night.  Restaurants had 2 hour waits, there were hundreds in line to get ben’s chili, and street guys were selling obama shirts, pins, posters, and really bad art.  We even passed a car just blaring obama speeches.  Not knowing how U street normally is, this probably does not impress you.   But trust me, you could feel the energy.  We ended up eating at some Italian place with a clueless bartender as our waitress, but that did not stop our energy from doing “OBAMA!” cheers (yes, that last person in the pic is the exclamation point).

Tuesday morning we woke up at 7am at our friend Becky’s apt (border of Adam’s Morgan and Columbia Heights).  We walked about 3 miles down to the mall, stopping for Starbucks and snacks.  When we were about a mile away it was so crowded the entire width of 18th street was packed with people streaming in.  We followed the stream to the Washington Monument, where 2 of our posse of 5 decided to setup camp.  Bobby, Shayna, and I ventured on towards the Capitol, mostly just to check things out.  We barely crossed 14th street at the north corner of the Mall (Madison Dr). I say barely because there were lots of camo-wearing army dudes that had zero understanding of crowd control and flow, preventing us from crossing easily.  Or perhaps they intentionally wanted to funnel thousands of people through small openings, creating artificial crowds irritated and confused to why people weren’t moving, you know, for security reasons. After getting through that, we ventured on as far east as 7th street, which appeared to be impassable. We retreated to the carousel on the south side of the mall near 10th st and setup camp. There were tons of people, but for the most part you could navigate as long as you didn’t try to walk in front of a jumbotron, as you can see in this google satellite picture.

JumboTrons

It was almost 10am by this point, and the jumbotrons had been replaying Sunday’s show for the last 2 hours, but now they were switching to live action.  From 10 to 11am we watched various politicians and famous people arrive, including all those Senators, ex-Presidents, Bush, Cheney (aka Dr. Strangelove in a wheelchair), Bidens, and the Obamas.   Everybody got cheers but bush/cheney, surprise, surprise.  I was surprised that the boy scouts and girl scouts handed out thousands of little American flags for everyone to wave – very nice move.  About 10 minutes till noon Biden was inaugurated as VP, then Obama shortly after noon (altho Chief Justice Roberts redid the oath).  When Obama gave his 18 minute inauguration speech (nytimes interactive video), we all listened carefully.  We were surrounded by a million people excited to be part of a new era, despite the fact that it was 22 degrees outside and we had been walking and standing for over 4 hours. I was moved by the speech, I identified with it, and definitely felt the moment much more so than if I was just watching it on TV at home. I won’t go into details of the speech, but I will say that I felt hope and inspiration, I felt a reconnection to our politics and policies, and I felt sober and ready to face the future. I was not alone, and many were moved.

After the speech we started heading out, fighting confused crowds and poorly designed routes to our friends Becky and David by the Washington Monument.  Then we ambled incredibly slow on the massively crowded 18th street back towards Becky’s house.  We stopped to eat, rest, and warm up at a nice mexican mexican restaurant – sitting and eating never felt so good.  The rest of the night was uneventful, followed by a 11 hour drive home Wednesday (9am to 8pm) with our driving buddies, John and Cat. Go Team.

YES WE CAN.

Right to Privacy

January 15th, 2009

Terrorists are winning.  I’m not talking about another violent act of destruction, but the eroding of basic human rights by our government in their attempt to fight terrorists.  For example, how many rights were suspended by the US government at Guatanamo Bay?

Even though a right to privacy is not explicitly stated in the US Constitution, The Bill of Rights covers aspects of privacy (src).  Like many around the world, I believe the government does not have a right to get any and all information about its citizens.  US went too far with the Patriot Act (which allows the FBI and others to get personal private info on anyone in a super secret way without a warrants via NSL), and now the UK is going ever further.

Ben Franklin

As part of a European Commission directive, the Interception Modernisation Programme beginning on March 15 2009 states all internet service providers in the UK will be required by law to collect records on all internet traffic and every e-mail, to be stored in a national central database.  No warrants needed.

“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” — Benjamin Franklin, 1775

“Give me liberty or give me death” – Patrick Henry, 1775

Remember Hitler’s Enabling Act of March 23, 1933, which suspended all fundamental freedoms of speech, assembly, freedom from invasion of privacy (mail, telephone, telegram) and from house search without warrant.   Let us hope it doesn’t go that route.

Chad’s Tips – What can you do?

Voter Info Reform

January 3rd, 2009

I just read “How Should We Get Big-Money Influence Out of Congressional Elections?” on HuffingtonPost.com by Lawrence Lessig.  It inspired me to put down some thoughts I’ve had swirling in my head for several months.  I’m definitely not well-informed on this big-money influence isssue, but I believe Lessig is (blog and change.org), so I will answer the questions raised in his huffington post article as a way to convey what I want to say.  The following is expanded from my comment.

1) Reformers are considering a plan by which congressional candidates who raise a threshold number of small-dollar donations would qualify for a chunk of automatic funding – several hundred thousand dollars. If they accept this funding, they couldn’t raise big-dollar donations. But they could still raise contributions up to a certain amount (such as $100 or $250), which would be matched several-times-over by the central fund, an incentive for politicians to opt into this system and focus on small-dollar givers. What do you think of this general framework?

I think this is could be a good solution, but needs discussion. What would make candidates accept this or not? I assume those who do not accept either have more money or think they can raise more money than the plan would offer. Obama had hundreds of millions more to spend than McCain in 2008, helping him win. Could something similar happen with this plan, making this solution ineffective?


Voter Info Reform Plan

Part of the general problem is that candidates with the most money will always have an unfair advantage in reaching voters. So why not change the game so money becomes less important? The fact is voters don’t always know the truth about candidates, with partial truths and lies spread by campaigns or private interest groups. The more money a candidate has, the more times voters here that candidate’s message, whether it is the truth, a lie, a catch phrase, or whatever.

One solution would be to create a central, unbiased, voter information organization. It would have 2 mandates: promoting itself as the trusted authority on all candidate information; and disseminating said information on all candidates.

The first mandate could be accomplished by requiring all candidates to promote the voter info organization when they promote themselves.   For example, all tv ads must begin and end with a short message saying “As always, for complete and accurate information on candidates, goto vote.gov or call 800-123-4567″. The website would have more information and the phone number would let callers enter their address to receive printed information in the mail.  This ad sharing would have to be delicately balanced – vote.gov would need to be promoted clearly but not too much, the candidate still needs to get a return on putting money into the ad as well. This idea of sharing an ad is not new – it is similar to how all cigarette ads must contain the surgeon general’s warning, or how Intel-Inside ad campaign in 1990′s worked, where Intel would pay a percentage of any computer ad if the ad displayed the Intel-Inside logo.

The second mandate is to disseminate information in popular formats, primarily a website and some type of printed material like a small phone book. Examples of information to be disseminated would include basic facts on all candidates, such as political history, voting records, positions held, fundraising records, and known affiliations. It would also contain candidate submitted information on themselves such as where they stand on all the issues. It should also contain a fact resolution section, similar to factcheck.org.  This section could put claims into 3 groups: “verified facts” that candidates could promote if they wish, “unverified” for new or hard to prove claims, as well as a section for claims that were verified to be not true.  The fact resosution information should be disseminated in a way to promote candidates to make truthful claims about themselves and opponents, like by placing a truth meter or truth percentage next to each candidate’s profile indicating how many verified facts versus all others are found in their ads. Eventually people would learn to not trust anything unless it was a verified fact.  In the event a message is promoted containing late-breaking news, a response team must be available to address it quickly (such as Illinos governor’s arrest for attempting to sell Obama’s senate seat).  The website could also have a way for people to express themselves by answering polls, choosing candidates the intend to vote for, and unofficially voting on specific hot issues.

This solution would allow candidates to continue to reach voters, but equally promote a trusted and accurate voter information source. Fundraising would still occur in order to promote a candidate, although the balance mentioned above must be closely monitored.

Funding for the voter info organization could be funded the way suggested in (1). Another way to fund this would be to impose a fundraising tax – 10% of all money raised by candidates must go to this voter info organization, with the federal government funding if candidate fundraising doesn’t cover the costs of the organization (highly unlikely).

Now back to answering Lessig’s questions …

2) Senators Dick Durbin and Arlen Specter sponsored a bipartisan bill last Congress that would make TV broadcasters pay a fee that would be the sole source of revenue for the central fund that candidates draw from. These broadcasters get access to our public airwaves for virtually free and make billions of dollars in revenue as a result. Under this scenario, no tax dollars would be used – eliminating the central talking point by reform opponents. What do you think about a fee on broadcasters to fund this reform?

A viable solution, but what if broadcaster’s funding falls below required levels? newspapers are going bankrupt and broadcasters revenues are declining as more people spend time on the internet.

3) “Public financing” was the old name for this issue – which would no longer be accurate if the Durbin/Specter proposal passed. And the name’s not that good anyway. What do you think we should call this reform? Clean elections? People-powered elections? Citizen-funded elections? People-funded elections?

The 2 key components being modified are fundraising and candidates. So how about “Candidate Fundraising Reform” ??

However, my proposal goes beyond just fundraising to include information, so how about “Voter Info Reform” ??

4) Barack Obama is on the record supporting the reform of presidential public financing. Some reformers want to pass presidential financing reform first, then pass a separate congressional bill down the road. Others want to merge the two bills and have one joint national debate. What do you think?

When just considering fundraising, presidential campaigns are a different beast due the magnitude of money involved ($600 million in obama’s campaign), so I think it should be handled differently. The next presidential election is 4 years out, but congress elections are less than 2 years, so congress should come first or they should be done together.

What do you think of my Voter Info Reform?

Vote November 4

November 3rd, 2008

I like making a voting guide (cheat sheet) for myself.  The process forces me to spend time researching the issues and the candidates, which is almost as important as voting.

obama-change

This will be the first time I voted outside of California in 13 years, and Illinois is a bit different – each name has a unique number in parenthesis (great for cheat sheets), and no state or city propositions on the ballot, just elected officials (mostly judges). Voting on Election Day goes from 6am to 7pm in Chicagoland.

USA
President: (1) Obama/Biden, Democrat
US Senator: (10) Kathy Cummings, Green
US Representative, 4th District: (13) Luis V Gutierrez, Democrat

ILLINOIS
Constitutional Convention: No
State Senator, 20th District: (17) Iris Y Martinez, Democrat
State Representative, 39th District: (21) Jeremy Karpen, Green
Metro. Water Recl. District Comm. choose 3 of 9: (29,30,31) Picking all 3 Green candidates
State’s Attorney: (32) Anita Alvirez
Clerk of Circuit Court: (35) Dorothy A Brown
Recorder of Deeds: (38) Eugene Moore
Board of Review, 2nd District: (41) Joseph Berrios
Judges:  Only one choice, skipping this section.

Basically I am voting either democrat or green.  It was difficult to find details on local candidates, I would often have to google for a specific name and the office they were running for to get information.  However I did like this Chicago Voting How-To Guide and thevoterguide.org.  Also check out a sample ballot for my neighborhood.

This is also the first time Illinois is offering early voting for a presidential election – 18 days (?) ending October 30, 2008.  260k people voted early, which is about 5% of the total Illinois votes cast for president in 2004.

Financial Bailout

This is the hot topic of the year, if not the decade, so I might as well comment on it. First let me summarize some well known facts, than I’ll point out a few things I learned after some digging in Wha? below.

As you may know, last Friday October 3 the 451 page “Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008” was passed – $700 billion bailout of the financial markets by US Government – $250 billion now, $100 billion later with president approval, $350 billion later with congressional approval.  Money comes with an oversight board, new office of financial stability, and a few other good moves.   It also contained an estimated $150 billion in earmarks or pork spending.  “Thats just the way things are done in Washington DC” – Senator McCain. Some of these are not bad, but they have nothing to do with the financial bailout. US Government must end this “bill rider” practice (earmarks, most importantly).

Here are top 10 sweeteners (all are basically federal tax breaks)

  1. Wooden Arrows .. worth $200,000 to Rose City Archery in Oregon
  2. Motorsports Racing Tracks .. worth $100 million
  3. Rum imported from Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands .. $192 million
  4. Research in US .. $19 billion (Microsoft, Boeing, EDS, etc)
  5. Exxon Valdez plaintiffs ..$49 million
  6. Subsidize Rural Schools .. $3.3 billion (OR, ID)
  7. Deduct sales tax from federal income tax .. $3.3 billion (TX, NV, FL, W,A, WY)
  8. Keep Film/TV production in US.. $478 million (CA)
  9. Wool Fabrics .. $148 million
  10. American Samoa .. $33 million
  11. BONUS – Employers paying employees commuting on bikes .. $10 million (OR)


WHA?

Getting back to the bailout – What caused this problem? That’s the hard question, and nobody knows the answer, but there are several contributing factors – Banks should not have given loans to people who could not pay them back.  Financial markets should not have blended and repackaged these riskier loans into things that were considered “safe”.  Government should not have left the CDS market unregulated.

What is CDS?  Credit Default Swaps.  This is a relatively new market that is entirely unregulated and limited to huge financial institutions.  When i say huge, i mean those that afford to pay billions.  For example, a hedge fund might want $1 billion insurance on Risky Corp. So they pay morgan stanley $20 million a year, and in return, Morgan Stanely would pay the hedge fund $1 billion if Risky Corp went bankrupt. Sounds like insurance, right? Well, if it was, insurance laws would require Morgan Stanley to keep cash reserves to cover the $1 billion, making it safer. So it is not called insurance .. keeping all that cash around to cover your promises limits how much you can promise, limiting the amount of profit you can make on these promises. In fact, in 2000, Everybody (president, senate, house, sec. treasurer, SEC, greenspan) agreed to keep the CDS unregulated.

How bad did it get in the CDS markets? First you have to understand hedging. In the example above, we have Morgan Stanley promising a hedge fund $1 billion if Risky Corp goes bankrupt, in return hedge fund pays 2%/year to Morgan Stanley. This is the CDS Contract. Now Morgan Stanley might turn around and buy $1 billion insurance on Risky from Lehman. Therefore if Risky goes bankrupt, Morgan can pay the hedge fund $1 billion using the $1 billion they get from Lehman. That is hedging – covering one position with an opposite position. Now understand speculation. If Risky looks like it is more likely to go bankrupt, more hedge funds buy $1 billion CDS contracts on it – they wanna get paid big if Risky goes under. Of course, they will be charged a higher fee per year, maybe 5% or 10%. But a smart hedge fund speculating on dozens of companies going bankrupt will bring in far more cash on bankrupt payouts than cash spent on those fees. That is speculation – betting on an asset going up or down. So lets say in the end, there are 10 CDS contracts on Risky Corp, $1 billion each, totalling $10 billion on the CDS market on a $1 billion company. Risky goes bankrupt, only able to pay off half its debt to its investors. Investors lose $500 million. However, $5 billion is lost on the CDS market. OUCH. One of the key things here is that you can buy/sell CDS contracts on any company at any time. This speculative nature in CDS markets is bad. In 2008, CDS maket was $60 trillion in contracts on $5 trillion in assets.

Let me repeat.  In 2008, there was $60 trillion in an unregulated CDS market – that’s more than all the money in all the stock markets in the world.  Thats insane. This is why Warren Buffet famously described derivatives bought speculatively as “financial weapons of mass destruction.”

Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS) are also problematic.  When you get a home loan from your bank, the bank packages up various loans and they turn into MBS.  These are regulated, unlike CDS, but the risk was not accurately rated.  No need to dissect this one – you’ve heard it all before – banks should not have been giving loans to people who couldn’t pay, markets should not have been buying these risky things and trading them like they were not risky, and these big banks should not have put all their eggs in one risky MBS basket.

A bit confusing, a bit interesting.  So what does that tell you?

I’ve learned that at least one area needs work – Assigning risk accurately.  Also, debt in the financial system is made extremely complicated by very smart people, so nobody really knows how big the problem is.

What’s the solution?  I’m not sure regulation helps, but transparency does.  Create rules that require transparency, and fine heavily (millions) when people do not abide.   For time-sensitive things, force transparency to a neutral agency that will hold information for a short time, fining heavily those whose actions don’t match what they said they did. Transparency helps math geniuses at the financial institutions assess risk more accurately, and leaves a trail for CEO accountability.

CEO’s who move debt around for years while they pay themselves millions should be forced to return cash when debt is revealed. If a bank robber steals $100 million, the bank and the feds go after the robber and the $100 million, even if the robber gives the $100 million to his mom as a bonus.  So if a corporation goes bankrupt, why do the CEO’s get to keep the millions they received?

Thats all for now .. if i missed any big points, please leave a comment.

Vote: Feb 5 Primary

Update: Election Results in Parenthesis  182K (45%ish) votes cast in SF (from Usual Suspects), California results from sfgate, from LA Times. Now back to original.

Everybody should vote – AND should spend some time understanding what they are voting on. Like my voter guide last fall, i’m listing my recommendations with links to more info. Do your homework – Official SF Dept of Elections and these local voter guides – SFBG, SPUR, Green Party, SF Chronicle, Usual Suspects. Here’s my recommendations for San Francisco – Endorsements for February 5, 2008:

USA
President, Democrat: Obama (Obama: 52% in SF, 42.4% in CA; Clinton: 44% SF , 51.8% in CA)
President, Republican: McCain (McCain: 53% in SF, 42% in CA; Romney: 22% in SF, 34% in CA)

CALIFORNIA
Proposition 91: No – Gas Tax (No 58%)
Proposition 92: No – Community Colleges (No 57%)
Proposition 93: Yes – Term Limits (No 53%)
Propositions 94–97: NO – Gambling (Yes 56% – all 4 same)

SAN FRANCISCO
Proposition A: YES – Parks Funding Increase (Yes 72%)
Proposition B: No – Police Retirement (Yes 65%)
Proposition C: No – Alcatraz into Peace Center (No 72%)

DETAILS

PRESIDENT

Oh jeez. this is a national issue, with lots of coverage. Here’s a few summary ones: On The Issues, 2008 Election ProCon, Financial view from opensecrets, NYTimes, and as a honorable mention sidenote: GlassBooth, MoveOn, Vote Smart. And everybody has their opinions on the candidates, so here’s mine. For Democrats, i like Obama for his vision, speaking skills, where he stands on many issues, and things he says he will do. But I also like Clinton on many issues. Most importantly, I think she has the experience to get her agenda accomplished. I like McCain alot for a republican. He’s a non-nonsense, tough fighter – wants to end global warming (YAY), fiscal conservative (yay), fix campaign financing (YAY) but also wants to stay in Iraq (Boo). He’s also been around, and will make a good leader. Did i successfully avoid the question? Maybe I should get into politics.

Update: Voted for Obama. Why? well, I think an Obama-McCain battle will be better for Dems. I also feel idealistic, wanting a strong leader and change .. even if he doesn’t have experience. And it seems republicans really hate Clinton, often for personal reasons, which makes me think more would rally for McCain if he was against Clinton in November. However, I learned Obama’s health plan is not as good as Clintons.

Prop 91, transportation funding: Strong NO

Everyone’s voting no on this – shouldn’t even be on the ballot (but legal foo keeps it there). Something about Gas tax.

Prop 92, community college funding: Weak No

In 2004, when the legislature raised student fees to $26 a unit, 305,000 students dropped out. By comparison, the UC system has 180,000 total students. Wow. I guess we better give Community colleges more money. Wait a second .. this does alot more than that, good for community colleges but good for education? And it doesn’t specify source of funds. UC system will prolly lose, as other things from the general fund. Another sounds good, but financially unsound. And with budget issues in sactown .. i say no.

Prop 93, term limits: weak Yes

This one is tricky. Right now elected officials can do 6 years in state assembly (3 2-year terms) and 8 years in the state senate (2 4-year terms) for a total of 14 years. This proposition changes the term limits 2 ways – from 14 years max to 12 years max, but allowing those 12 years to be in either senate or assembly (so can do 6 2-year terms or 3 4-year terms). Some say prop 93 is an attempt to shift power from lobbyists back to elected officials – lobbyists don’t have term limits, and often win over newly elected officials. I never found any statistics that showed how many senators/assemblymen hit that 14 year mark, not sure how that matters. But it will allow incumbants to keep on doing what they’re doing. Specifically, 42 incumbants who are being forced to retire due to term limits, will have more time if prop 93 passes. Some say the real problems still exist, such as gerrymandering, and this does nothing to fix that, making elections more competitive. I’m not a fan of prop 93 per se, However, i say yes cuz i think it sends a message that we want to fix things.

Props 94-97, Native American casinos: Weak No.

Propositions 94, 95, 96 and 97 are basically the same, just different tribes. They seem to help the richest tribes, and not help most of the poor ones. Doesn’t really help out California budget issue, either, altho it does give some money. No clear reason to vote yes.

Prop A, park bond: Strong YES

This bond will give $186 million to new and existing parks in SF. The money spent will be monitored more closely than before, with monthly reports available on the web, hopefully raising the bar for financial accountability in our government. I love parks, and it would take alot for me not to vote for them. I am also fiscally responsible, and even tho this one ain’t perfect, it tries.

Prop B, police retirement: Weak No

SF needs help with its police force, especially since many of them will be retiring soon. This prop allows retiring police officers to defer retirement for 3 years. Financially, its unclear if this is good or bad – retiring officers get paid more than younger ones, but not if you include training. I agree police need help, but this clearly does not solve the problem of police force size, it merely delays the problem. Some suggest having civilians do desk jobs, and put those officers on the streets. Cbanging policy so police focus on violent crime will work. Of course hiring more young officers is beneficial.

Prop C, peace center: Weak No

Having a peace center on alcatraz does sound appealing. But i like history, and i enjoy the alcatraz tour, so losing that does not sound appealing. And since this plan for the peace center is a plan without alot of details, i can not endorse it.

Billions for Pork

January 25th, 2008

Wow .. pass the bacon. According to FactCheck, “CAGW .. estimated that pork projects cost $29 billion in 2006″. That’s awesome.

(CAGW defines “pork” as “a line-item in an appropriations bill that designates tax dollars for a specific purpose in circumvention of established budgetary procedures.”)

SF Voter guide

Update: Elections Results added in parenthesis
From sfgov – 35% voter turnout: 150,000 of 420,000 registered SF voters

Everybody should vote – AND should spend some time understanding what they are voting on. Do your homework – Official SF Dept of Elections (my sample ballot) and with these voter guides – False Profit, SFBG, SPUR, Green Party, SF Chronicle, Usual Suspects.

Here’s my recommendations for San Francisco:

Mayor: Newsom will win by a landslide, so have fun – Chicken John (Newsom got 74%)
Sheriff: Michael Hennessey (74% for Hennessey)
A – Yes – Muni reform (Yes 55%)
B – Yes — Commisioner Hold-over (71% Yes)
C – No — Ballot reform (68% Yes)
D – No — library (74% Yes)
E – Yes – Mayor MUST meet with Supervisors – (51% No)
F – No — Airport Police – (51% Yes)
G – No — GG Park Stables – (55% Yes)
H – NO — Parking – (No 67%)
I – Yes – Local small business – (59% Yes)
J – Yes – Wifi – (62% Yes)
K – —– Street Ads – (62% Yes)

A – Muni reform – Yes

Muni has got problems, so you might want to vote no on this, but more important is that we send a message that saying public transportation is more important than adding more parking spots

B – Commisioner Hold-over – Yes

Closes loophole reducing political pressure commissioners and board appointees, letting them focus more on their jobs.

C – Ballot reform – NO

In effect, fixes half of a broken system, allowing special interests to get away with stuff.

D – library – NO

This seems good, but not fiscally responsible enough. Hopefully this will fail and a better one will appear on the ballot next year.

E – Mayor MUST meet with Supervisors – Yes

Forces Mayor to do Q&A with Board of Supervisors once a month. Last year 55% voted yes on a similar measure – but that one was not legally binding, this one is. Some say this is just squable between Mayor Newsom and Chris Daly, some say it may won’t help and just take people’s time away from other things .. i say its a step in a right direction,

F – Airport Police – No

Give airport police retirements same as SFPD. I say no, SFPD is tougher job, more expensive city, they should get more retirement

G – GG Park Stables – No

Not fiscally responsible – doesn’t follow normal procedures – why are stables that much more important than other stuff?

H – Parking – NO NO NO

Backed by billionaire Don Fisher, this just adds parking downtown so he can easily sell more condos. Bad. But worse, is the magnitude – you want 20,000 more parking spots? HELL NO.

I – Local small business – Yes

Help local small businesses get on their feet – Good for SF, doesn’t cost much. Matches with my theory that big corporations are better for many things economically, but not ALWAYS better for society. This gives local small businesses more of an even playing field.

J – Wifi – Yes

A step in the right direction on helping get wifi to everyone

K – Street Ads – Maybe

I don’t really care about this one. Gives muni money for selling ad space on bus shelters. Good cuz it brings in money to Muni, bad cuz we don’t need more clear channel ads.