December 28, 2007
To Which We Respond: Michael(s) Be Nimble, Michael(s) Act Quick
Next month Michael Cohen, a former deputy city attorney, will replace Jesse Blout as the head of Mayor Gavin Newsom's workforce and economic development department.
Cohen said much of his energy will be focused on improving the development process for builders and developers. In an interesting move, Cohen has hired Michael Yarne of the Martin Building Co., a land use attorney and developer who has publicly expressed frustration with the city's slow and unpredictable entitlement process.
Yarne successfully led the public-private partnership that built the new Mint Plaza off of Fifth Street.
Aiming to be more strategic as well as proactive in attracting fast-growing Chinese companies to San Francisco, Cohen acknowledged, "to do this right, we need to be nimble," a word which isn't at the tip of our tongues when it comes to describing San Francisco's current planning and entitlement process.
∙ New city exec aiming to speed up development [Business Times]
First Published: December 28, 2007 8:00 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
As long as the establishment progressives continue to insist that businesses are cash cows for their pet -- and largely useless -- social programs that keep the homeless and trash on the street, no businesses will move to SF. Unless their CEO lives here, of course, and that's not a business decision.
Posted by: Usually Named at December 28, 2007 8:37 AM
Well, maybe some of those Supervisors who stand in the way of the City's economic growth and whose policies actually chase the middle class out of the City by making it too expensive for the couple wanting to have children and making $75,000 a year to live here will be uprooted in November. That's my hope ... to see one, maybe two Supervisors recalled in November.
Posted by: Jamie at December 28, 2007 9:58 AM
Good thing SF has Silicon Valley right down the road. At least SF can function OK as a bedroom community for Palo Alto.
Posted by: zzzzzzz at December 28, 2007 10:10 AM
Wow, I like that phrase "establishment progressives." I'll take it and include under it's banner a full scale-effort to make sure that China-funded development projects in San Francisco don't leave us scarred with the development equivalents of toxic toys, dodgy dog food and funky pharmaceuticals. I will also be relying on our establishment progressives to make sure these projects are financially feasible, or in other words, not built upon that inflated asset bubble in Shanghai and the funny money we sold China in the form of collateralized debt obligations, mortgage-backed securities, collateralized loan obligations, structured investment vehicles, credit default swaps and collateralized loan obligations....
Posted by: Christopher Carrington at December 28, 2007 11:00 AM
It's too bad when people discuss things on the Internet that they take an extreme corner case and use that as some apparent valid argument.
Establishment progressives don't protect us from those things -- they are just looking to line their pockets like all the other corrupt politicians in San Francisco history.
Posted by: Usually Named at December 28, 2007 11:14 AM
i will second CC's previous post, and add: those same "establishment progressives" are the ones responsible for keeping Golden Gate Park from becoming a freeway on-ramp and making sure that the "nimble" development interests included open public open space in what is now the crown jewel of SOMA - Yerba Buena Gardens...
Posted by: here here at December 28, 2007 11:23 AM
Nonsense, CC. The current crop of establishment progressives are fundamentally hostile to the private sector economy, period, and tolerate private business only to the extent it serves as a giant ATM machine for redistributive social programs. They are a menace to job creation (except for non-profit social services and government jobs, of course) and to SF's economic well-being.
Posted by: zzzzzzzz at December 28, 2007 11:30 AM
Genuine concern about the quality of Chinese-run investments, products, companies, and finances hardly stem from "extreme corner cases." Further, the assertion of some "establishment progressive" entity running the show suggests a profound lack of understanding of the actual economic and financial infrastructure that sustains and controls politics in our fair city. One might consider reading up on the matter:
Brechin, G. 2006. Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin. Univ of California Press.
DeLeon, R. 1991. Left Coast City: Progressive Politics in San Francisco.
I know reading doesn't come easily to most Americans these days, but I do know if you really want to be part of the establishment progressives, it can't hurt.
Posted by: Christopher Carrington at December 28, 2007 11:38 AM
Can somebody paste the entire Biz Times article?
Posted by: notcdaly at December 28, 2007 12:06 PM
We need some libertarians or republicans to bring some fiscal sense to our wasteful and beauracratic city! I'll settle for Yarne in the meantime.
Posted by: truly concerned at December 28, 2007 12:07 PM
I'm a biotechnology worker making the median income for a San Francisco household and I have my first baby due in a month. You could fire the entire board of supervisors and replace them with the ghost of Milton Friedman and I'd still have to move out of town within two years. Railing against The Liberals as though they're the reason a house costs $700,000 in this town is silly and reductive.
Posted by: DavidQ at December 28, 2007 12:23 PM
that's a great point david. they are not the sole reason you cannot afford a house here. they are in large part the reason why our city will go bankrupt trying to pay for health care benefits for our retirees or why the public school system has become the travesty that is has, or why we have a 5bil budget for a city of 750k people.
it's all related at the end of the day. the liberals just don't seem to get the fact that spending money you raise in the public sector is a zero sum game.
Posted by: james at December 28, 2007 12:29 PM
The personal attacks, such as unsubstantiated suggestions of our Mayor's cocaine use during City Hall meetings, are exactly what makes me want to vomit. We are no better than the Republicans who tossed gay marriage ballot measures around in 2004 and run the Swift Boat ads against Kerry (not a fan of Kerry, but the tactic is relevant) when we lower ourselves to vicious personal attacks as a means to win public policy debates. Public policies are not a cult of personality but rather affect everyone who is a stakeholder and governed by the entity involved.
Posted by: Jamie at December 28, 2007 12:34 PM
"We are no better than the Republicans who tossed gay marriage ballot measures around in 2004 and run the Swift Boat ads against Kerry (not a fan of Kerry, but the tactic is relevant) when we lower ourselves to vicious personal attacks as a means to win public policy debates"
Although i disagreed with both tactics above, they won with this. The democrats need to grow some balls and play tough every once in a while as well. Of course, this is on a national level. The people who call themselves democrats in SF are not democrats in my book. They are more like socialists who are homeless enabling, pro drug abuse and alternative lifestyle, pro spend what you don't have, anti-family and anti-law enforcement proponents. daly is the posterboy, but gavin is not that much better
Posted by: Spencer at December 28, 2007 12:54 PM
One can hardly claim that Daly doesn't have balls. I don't completely share his view of development issues, but one must acknowledge he has stood in the face of some powerful entities. And what is all of this weirdness from Spencer about drug abuse, alternate lifestyles, and family politics. If you don't like the people who live here, I can recommend countless other American cities and towns that share your politics and then you won't be so miserable all the time and you won't have to rage about living under the tyranny of the progressive establishment.
Posted by: Christopher Carrington at December 28, 2007 1:25 PM
2008 will be a landmark year for San Francisco politics. We have Ammiano, Peskin, McGoldrick, and Sandoval hitting the road due to term limits .... Mirkarimi and Elsbernd will likely cakewalk to repeat terms .... and there could easily be a telephone book full of City Charter propositions since they only need 14,000 or so signatures to get on the ballot courtesy the no-contest, low voter turnout for the Mayoral election. Folks frame it as Moderates versus Progressives ... I think of it as the humble versus the selfish
Posted by: Jamie at December 28, 2007 1:52 PM
"If you don't like the people who live here, I can recommend countless other American cities and towns that share your politics and then you won't be so miserable all the time and you won't have to rage about living under the tyranny of the progressive establishment. "
I love the people who live here and most of them do share my moderate views. It is the outspoken minority who gain access to public office that need to go. I would venture to say that the majority of people who live here would actually like for the homeless and drug abuse problem to be solved instead of enabled like the so called "progressives"...really more like regressives, since they are really anti-progress.
This is my city and i don't intend to move. I have faith that the uneducated populace will come to their senses soon.
Also, Chris daly doesn't have balls. He has an inflamed anal cavity.
Posted by: spencer at December 28, 2007 2:08 PM
"Folks frame it as Moderates versus Progressives ... I think of it as the humble versus the selfish"
jamie, i totally agree.
when i said undeucated populace, i meant the uneducated so called "progressive" loud minority.
Posted by: Spencer at December 28, 2007 2:10 PM
Yes, if it weren't for "pro alternative lifestyle" San Franciscans, who would have moved here in the '70's and fixed up all those Victorians? Spencer should be the poster boy for the anti-gentrification crowd who keep warning that building "luxury condos" for thousands more Spencers will alter SF's essential nature.
Spencer, I think I've found the perfect loft condo for you. City living, but just a short drive from outdoor recreation. Price is pre San Francisco bubble. No need to wear a Kevlar vest to protect you from the pinkos and the gays.
Posted by: Dan at December 28, 2007 2:16 PM
reading these comments you begin to wonder just how stupid people are in this town. the so called moderate mayor spent the first part of his term passing out phony marriage licenses and blocked attempts to make the SFPD get off their donut fed backsides and presided over a huge increase in crime, he blew out the budget with huge 40% pay raises for said police and then added more money for more bureaucrats....and it's the Board that gets the blame?
You people are morons. So are the so-called "moderates" whose welfare mentality, always having their hands out trying to pick MY pockets for the benefit of some wealthy out of town developer for big stadium developments and more...all with the promise of some vague thing about "sales taxes" later on.
Screw you guys. What you don't know about how City hall really works could fit in a warehouse . Try learning a little more. Oh and the moderates had no balls when it came to putting up real candidates against most "progressive" supervisors...and when they tried against Daly they picked a sour-pussed nobody who had all the charm of a rat trap at Mint Plaza.
Bzzt. Try again. Try talking TO people and not AT them and you might see progress. But you're too darn arrogant to do that you fools!
Posted by: sfcommentersarelame at December 28, 2007 2:30 PM
dan. nice self serving load of crap you just wrote. i never said i was anti-gay or anti-communist (for that matter).
My point is that sf politicians always favor the alternative path over every other even if it doesn't make sense. I'm all for gay rights and freedom of political expression, but a little more thought anf a little more truly progressive thinking should be put into local politics. Part of this would be for the mayor and the SFPD and the DAs office to take a little tougher stance on crime so our murder rate is not the highest it has been in 12 years. Would it be too much to ask for the drug pushers in the TL to actually be arrested? Are you not alarmed by the growing chemical dependcy rate in SF.
Dan, open your eyes. The homeless population is out of control. The drug abuse problem is out of control. The crime problem is out of control. We ahve higher drug abuse, violent crime, and homeless rates than LA, NYC and Chicago. What the current group of stupidvisors are doing is not working, yet we are continuing to spend much more than we ahve.
The city has run amuck. It's time to put the well being of the city as a whole as a priority over individual interest groups. THe politics and pandering seem worse in this city than in new orleans.
If you prefer the status qou, then move aside for those who us who actually care and want to improve our surroundings.
I don't live in a loft or like them very much.
I am, or at least in the past have been a socially liberal, fiscally conservative democrat. I am still that way ona national level, but not so sure anymore about the local level. It is time for the "progressives" to quit stopping positive progress.
Posted by: Spencer at December 28, 2007 2:32 PM
Spencer, I was responding to this quote of yours (before you wrote the succeeding posts):
"The people who call themselves democrats in SF are not democrats in my book. They are more like socialists who are homeless enabling, pro drug abuse and alternative lifestyle, pro spend what you don't have, anti-family and anti-law enforcement proponents."
Sorry, but criticizing SF Democrats for being pro "alternative lifestyles" and "anti-family" sounds intolerant to me. Thanks for the better explanation of your views.
There are many SF Democrats who would agree that changes need to be made in how the city is run. And many SF Democrats who believe that compassion for the less fortunate can be combined with enforcement of quality of life laws.
Posted by: Dan at December 28, 2007 2:47 PM
You're part of the problem. Typical San Franciscan -- read a book and now proclaim expertise in an area.
What's funny about many self-proclaimed educated San Franciscans is that they know only enough to be dangerous, which is why everything is so screwed up.
As for your ill-informed diatribe against Chinese companies, if Daly can get his hands in their pockets like he has with some developers here, he'd be the first to promote a chemical factory in the Tenderloin.
Posted by: Usually Named at December 28, 2007 3:11 PM
"Screw you guys... Bzzt. Try again. Try talking TO people and not AT them and you might see progress. But you're too darn arrogant to do that you fools!"
Funny, funny stuff. I liked the part where you call everyone a moron the most. Keep fighting the good fight!
Posted by: DavidQ at December 28, 2007 3:46 PM
Usually Named, I take great pride in being part of the problem if the problem is conceptualized as standing in the way of shoddy development schemes by "fast-growing Chinese" companies intent on circumventing the planning and entitlement process. And simply because you don't share that concern does not mean that I am "ill-informed" on the matter. It means we disagree. Further, what are you talking about when you go on-and-on about how everything is so screwed up? If everything is as bad as you say, then what are you, and everyone else, still doing in San Francisco? It appears to me that the city is growing at a healthy clip (population is up), new buildings are arising across the skyline, infrastructure improvements continue apace (the bay bridge, the sewer replacement, the hetch hetchy retrofit). All of this screaming about things being so screwed up, is well, it's just odd.
Posted by: Christopher Carrington at December 28, 2007 4:20 PM
I have a theory that in the event of a catastrophic earthquake, the value of San Francisco real estate would actually RISE DRAMATICALLY since now there would be tons of land available to be built up to its full zoned height. As a result, we would get tons of new residential development (much more valuable in terms of $/sq. ft.) that is now virtually IMPOSSIBLE to build given the insane zoning and planning board processes.
Another possiblity is a rain of fire and brimstone (a la Sodom and Gomorrah). We're certainly past due for that and it would help clear out some of the really crummy, rundown housing in the area.
Posted by: Jimmy (Bitter Renter) at December 28, 2007 4:20 PM
Since I am one of Daly's 'constituents' I wrote him a multi paragraph letter expressing my concern that SF needs to raise height limits dramatically in the downtown core in order to make use of any available positive development to our business and residential interests. And also the environmental aspect. He wrote back saying 'I agree, as long as the increased land values are shared with the
Take that as you wish.
Posted by: notcdaly at December 28, 2007 6:06 PM
I have to strongly second David Q's post here. Blaming liberals (or their counterparts) is indeed reductive: greed and wealth break down all political barriers, and influence all supervisors. Making housing affordable to the middle class just doesn't have a pay off for our supervisors.
I'm making as much as I ever will as a college English teacher; the closest this income will get me to a house here is when I write about one for Redfin. Wake me up when new construction includes something other than a phallic skyscaper stuffed with million dollar lofts. Since I know I'll only see affordable housing in SF in dreams, however, I too will be leaving this city for somewhere less ridiculous soon enough.
Posted by: firstname.lastname@example.org at December 28, 2007 6:32 PM
Anna- You think towers look phallic, and I think Victorians look like big vaginas. Who's opinion matters more?
Posted by: me at December 28, 2007 6:51 PM
interesting discussion. i was about to ask how many of you daly haters are ron paul supporters like myself.
affordable housing in our 7x7 square mile city is a ridiculous and irresponsible dream. that's what daly city, brisbane and south city are for. stop trying to make some of the most desirable land in the world affordable and get on with governing what we need to make this place safe and justifiable at the current market evaluations.
Posted by: james at December 28, 2007 8:33 PM
affordable housing is an "irresponsible" dream? How is driving the middle class and families out of the city "irresponsible"? And how is Daly City affordable? A single family house is in the high 600k range as opposed to the 800K range; teachers can't afford either.
Okay, and by the way, I can see how Victorians might look vaginal, so I guess we don't have to compare who's (sic) opinion matters more. Phallic tower or vaginal Victorian, I won't be able to own them.
Posted by: email@example.com at December 28, 2007 10:17 PM
Affordable housing is a ridiculous dream? This city was built out around, what, 1925? Yet the median house price didn't skyrocket to be 4X the national average until the last couple decades. What caused that?
As to the "liberal" dream or whatever. Again, what suite of gov't services justifies a $5B budget for 750K people? This budget is approximately the same as Chicago's, a real city of 3M people. You think you get 4X the services you get in Chicago? And Chicago has to do things like plow snow.
Posted by: david at December 29, 2007 6:33 AM
I find housing in SF to be quite affordable. I pay 12% of my gross income to rent a one bedroom apartment in my first choice neighborhood.
Of course, to BUY a house in my target neighborhood I would have to saddle myself with crippling debt servitude but that's another issue.
But seriously, if you want affordable housing then just tear down the bridges and shut down BART. It's the ability of workers to commute to the city that is allowing SF to morph into an upper income enclave and bedroom community of the greater bay area.
Posted by: diemos at December 29, 2007 8:09 AM
SPUR's comparison of San Francisco and Seattle found that most San Franciscans paid a smaller share of their income in rent than Seattle residents did. Rent control allows most longer-term residents, or those who room with them, to pay below market rent. However, the fact that renters cannot be evicted and rents cannot be raised means that landlords have little incentive to improve units. The apartment I rented in San Francisco (before I bought) had had few improvements since being built a century earlier. That is a trade off that San Francisco renters seem willing to make.
Posted by: Dan at December 29, 2007 10:18 AM
Landlords have little incentive to rent their rent-controlled units once the prior tenant dies or whatever. The selfish mindset behind the idea that everyone should be entitled through other taxpayers' dollars to live in this City is ludicrous. Every state has its more desirable areas - desirable because of good schools, maybe large lots of land, maybe a political environment that truly embraces personal freedoms ... and if the demand to live in those areas is very strong and pushes rents and purchase prices to very high levels compared to the average, on its own and without government intervening and pushing prices up further, then most people who do not expect others hand outs would surmize they simply cannot include that town/city/village as one that is affordable to them and should not appear on their list of options. The "affordable housing" in the Bay Area is in the Central Valley and the far reaches of Contra Costa and Alameda.
Posted by: Jamie at December 29, 2007 10:58 AM
call me old fashioned but i think the market should dictate the rent and the property values around here. you have no right to have anyone subsidize that to what you feel is affordable or fair. that is socialism.
that's how we got to the 5bil budget that will break all our backs in time.
same for the state budget.
Posted by: james at December 29, 2007 11:34 AM
Actually, the total is now well over $6 billion. That's more than the budgets of 20 states. Our ~28,000 city workers give us the highest number of city workers per capita of any city in the country. Even allowing for the fact SF is both a city and a county, the numbers are still grossly out of whack (we have more city workers than San Jose and Santa Clara counties combined, which have several multiples the population of SF). And take a look around at the dirty streets, the run-down parks, the dilapidated roads and sidewalks. The city and county of SF suck resources out of the private sector for a grotesquely bloated, self-serving bureaucracy which fails at the most basic tasks of running a city.
Posted by: zzzzzzzz at December 29, 2007 5:01 PM
"Further, what are you talking about when you go on-and-on about how everything is so screwed up?"
To pretend that things aren't screwed up goes to show what you are choosing to ignore. Homeless everywhere. Trash littering the streets. Businesses fleeing San Francisco. Small businesses closing shop.
"If everything is as bad as you say, then what are you, and everyone else, still doing in San Francisco?"
Because San Francisco is worth saving from the people like you who think things are going swimmingly.
Posted by: Usually Named at December 29, 2007 10:45 PM
I wrote Chris Daly, several multi paragraphed letters as well. This is the first time in my life I've ever written and phoned a politician. I even left my phone number and mailing address and invited a conversation.
I never heard back.
Of course, it could be because I expressed concern at his use of foul language in public forums and the fact that my neighborhood in SOMA has actually gotten worse in the last five years--more shootings, more crime, more homeless, more trash.
At this point I am so angry, I am planning to volunteer to help in the excelsior district election this fall to ensure Daly's aide is not elected there.
Daly is not a progressive. He magically got a below market rate apartment a few short weeks before the supes granted themselves a nice fat salary of $130k. In my mind, Daly Stole his BMR housing from one of his constituents. He's a hypocrite who is lining his pockets at my expense, and he must be stopped. I will support any and all efforts for a recall.
Posted by: Melinda at December 30, 2007 8:49 AM
James: I AM A TAXPAYER! What am I getting for my 1/3 a paycheck? Good roads? No, that's a gas tax and bridge toll expense, plus myriad bonds every election. So, do I get to go to college for free? No, I'll need to get some loans for that (plus fund a bunch more bonds). I got to go to public K-12 "for free" (we had to pay extra for sports, music and art classes, and yes, we had to vote in more bonds) but we had 40 people to a room so I have to admit I didn't learn much. Luckily, my tax money helps me subsidize a home! Whoops! Not that either. Okay, so, instead, with my money (taxpayer money!!) I get to fund huge and --as Usually Named and ZZZZZZ point out--inept bureaucracies that can't fix a single issue I care about. I also get to send Bush on vacation a lot and send young people over to Iraq to have their heads blown off.
Thank God we aren't even remotley socialist. For a second I was scared of this country's priorities.
Posted by: firstname.lastname@example.org at December 30, 2007 11:19 AM
Bravo, Melinda .... working to stop the election of more Supervisors who would not respect public dollars and the need to get the most benefit for EVERYBODY out of those limited funds (rather than benefitting friends' non-profit organizations) is one of the best uses of our time.
I'd also recommend concerned citizens attend the January 8th Board of Supervisors meeting scheduled for January 8th in the Legislative Chamber, Room 250 at 2 p.m. On January 8th, the Supervisors will tentatively be voting on placing a measure on the November ballot that would REQUIRE the City to spend approximately $2.7 billion for affordable housing needs during the next 15 years.
This is general fund money - money that would cover the basic City services that most of us believe the City is failing miserably to provide right now. Let's not forget $4.9 billion of retiree healthcare expenses (and going up every year as health insurance costs increase at a faster clip than inflation) that we have promised public employees (and I do not believe we should back away from those promises for current employees at all). Let's not forget the deficit our public transit department runs. Let's not forget the aging water and sewer system in the City that may need new capital to provide safe drinking water. Let's not forget the challenges and costs of finding a destination for our trash. Let's not forget that our police force is understaffed by about 300 officers currently and another 600 or so will be eligible for retirement over the next 3 years.
$2.7 billion of general funds over 15 years to be dedicated to benefitting the Tenderloin Housing Clinic and similar non-profits to house, among some good people, a lot of chronic inebriants and drug addicts. Maybe I should just say to hell with it and start killing myself with drugs too ... forget this whole "productive member of society" crap that has me working a full-time and a part-time job.
whatever you do - please do something to manage the Board of Supervisors in 2008 and forward. They're bankrupting our City ...
Posted by: Jamie at December 30, 2007 12:21 PM
Affordable housing charter amendment info. link:
Posted by: Jamie at December 30, 2007 12:36 PM
The problem with the affordable housing charter amendment is that it locks into the city charter an annual amount that must be paid to housing non-profits, no matter what other needs the city has.
This has been proposed just as the city is facing huge budget deficits in the years to come, with a huge obligation to cover pensions and health insurance for retired city employees, among other obligations.
The Board of Supervisors are free to allocated the money now for affordable housing. The affordable housing charter amendment locks these payments into the city charter in perpetuity (without pinpointing a source for these funds), rather than allowing future Boards to allocate funds as they see fit. That's not a way to run a city.
So the question is not whether or not one favors the construction of affordable housing, but rather whether a fixed portion of the general fund should be dedicated to this funding, above all other needs.
Posted by: Dan at December 30, 2007 12:54 PM
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of time" London and Paris in the Tale of Two Cities
fast forward 220 years
New York City crime at record low (from yahoo news today). San Francisco crime at record high (murder and violent crime rate).
When can we expect a Dickens' type classic? Can we pull out the guillotine for the board of stupidvisors, Gavin, Kamala and Heather Fong? Or do we just have to wait for the tigers and pitbulls and homeless and drug addicts and gangs to maul every one?
Posted by: Spencer at December 31, 2007 9:39 AM
great post anna. sounds like you are ready to vote for ron paul. there really is no other hope for our country.
Posted by: james at December 31, 2007 10:37 AM
I don't get these left leaning Ron Paul supporters. I guess people are so desperate to end the war that they will support a man who wants to privatize the entire country, get rid of the Dept. of Education, for one, and, oh, he's incredibly racist to boot. I used to like him too because of his anti- war stance but the more I learned, the more I realized he is just another Republican't whoring the country out to domestic and international corporations. Thank God he doesn't have a chance in hell (well, maybe hell...)
Posted by: [why ronpaul] at January 2, 2008 1:12 AM
Number of homicides in SF in 2007 was the highest since 1995, but not at record levels.
Posted by: [Dan] at January 2, 2008 1:14 AM
i'm kinda late to the ron paul camp and i really don't care about the war. it was his common sense approach to issues that affect us everyday that drew me in. check this out:
Posted by: [james] at January 2, 2008 1:19 AM
Solid Obama supporter here ... sorry
Posted by: [Jamie] at January 2, 2008 1:21 AM
Ron Paul is a crackpot. And the controversy for publishing racist crap is the least of it.
Into every Congress, he reintroduces his "We the People" bill, which would prevent the judiciary from protecting our civil rights from actions by state and local governments.
The bill would allow state and local governments to ban abortions and homosexuality, and allow states and local governments to establish state religion. Federal judges would be banned from ruling on these state laws, under penalty of impeachment.
To quote Ron Paul's bill:
"The Supreme Court of the United States and each Federal court--
(1) shall not adjudicate--
(A) any claim involving the laws, regulations, or policies of any State or unit of local government relating to the free exercise or establishment of religion;
(B) any claim based upon the right of privacy, including any such claim related to any issue of sexual practices, orientation, or reproduction; or
(C) any claim based upon equal protection of the laws to the extent such claim is based upon the right to marry without regard to sex or sexual orientation; and
(2) shall not rely on any judicial decision involving any issue referred to in paragraph (1)."
In the very unlikely event that the bill was passed and signed, and not ruled unconstitutional by the very Supreme Court it would handcuff, the bill would void enforcement of prior Supreme Court decisions, so that, for example, Texas' laws banning abortion, sodomy, and banning atheists from holding public office would again have force of law.
Posted by: [Dan] at January 2, 2008 1:25 AM
isn't he just trying to push law enforcement back to the states and minimize federalism? i really don't have a problem with that. it's a lot easier to prove to the folks in sacramento that people should be allowed to marry each other regardless of sex than it is to prove it to the entire country.
Posted by: james at January 2, 2008 10:32 AM
"isn't he just trying to push law enforcement back to the states and minimize federalism? i really don't have a problem with that."
I've disagreed with you a lot in the past, but on this you are right on! (and I'm no Ron Paul supporter, although many of his ideas are sensible IMO).
About the language quoted in the "We The People" bill from RP, anyone witheven the teeny tiniest understanding of what the American Experiment had been all about (I say "had been" because sadly I think we've gone beyound the point of no return) would also understand that the quoted language of the bill makes tremendous sense. It's tragic that the American public has proved itself willing to trade its liberty (and wealth through unending streams of taxation) for false promises of governmental largesse.
Posted by: Satchel at January 2, 2008 1:33 PM
Satchel, right on!
Loved this: "It's tragic that the American public has proved itself willing to trade its liberty (and wealth through unending streams of taxation) for false promises of governmental largesse."
This, IMHO is what the supporters of Chris Daly think---that they'd be better off under government wing than not. Meanwhile Chris and his buddies in the non profit sector profit off all the development in SOMA and who pays? Why you and I do, of course.
Socialism is evil. Communism is evil. It removes all incentive from people to strive.
Posted by: Melinda at January 2, 2008 1:56 PM