LPSF Ballot Recommendations

At its meeting of 14 September 2002 and previously, the Libertarian Central Committee of San Francisco made the following endorsements and recommendations for the 5 November ballot.

Elected Offices

United States Congress, 8th District: Libertarian candidate Ira Victor Spivack

Ira is a long-time Libertarian activist and a former Vice Chair of the LPSF, and has been involved with many San Francisco neighborhood groups. He is challenging the incumbent "Queen of the Democrats," Nancy Pelosi. Unanimous endorsement.

United States Congress, 12th District: Libertarian candidate Maad Abu-Ghazalah

Maad is an immigrant who understands first-hand the human rights issues faced by new and would-be American citizens. He is challenging the Democratic incumbent, Tom Lantos, who appears from his voting record to have forgotten his own immigrant past. Unanimous endorsement.

California State Senate, 8th District: Libertarian candidate Robert Fliegler

Rob is an activist with the LP of San Mateo County, committed to protecting the entire Bill of Rights. He is challenging the Democratic incumbent Jackie Speiers, one of the most aggressive statists in the Senate. Unanimous endorsement.

California State Assembly, 12th District: Libertarian candidate Michael Denny

Mike goes head-to-head with the state daily, whether in running his wine logistics business or challenging San Francisco's racist ballot designation policies. He is competing for an open seat again Democratic city Supervisor Leland Yee and Republican Howard Epstein. Unanimous endorsement.

California State Assembly, 13th District: Libertarian candidate Christopher R. Maden

Chris is the Chair of the LPSF, and his platform is "Legalize Love - Legalize Health - Legalize Work." Specifically, he'll work to remove the state from the spouse-spouse relationship, from the doctor-patient relationship, and from the employer-employee relationship. He is competing with Democratic city Supervisor Mark Leno and Republican Gail Neira. Unanimous endorsement.

BART Board, District 8: Libertarian candidate Vesko Marinov

Vesko was recruited by the state's Operation Breakthrough. He is a twice-over doctor of engineering with real-world transportation experience who will hold BART accountable to the taxpayers it purports to serve. He is challenging the incumbent Republican James Fang. Unanimous endorsement.

Board of Education: Libertarian candidate Jason Jones

Jason has been an active Libertarian recruiter with the Membership Committee. He is competing for one of three open seats with a field of nine candidates, including two incumbents. Unanimous endorsement.

Board of Supervisors, District 2: no recommendation

Our thanks to Lynne Newhouse Segal, who replied to our questionnaire and took the time to attend our candidates' forum. Unfortunately, none of the candidates appear to be interested in reducing the size of the city's government.

Board of Supervisors, District 4: no recommendation

Thanks to Ron Dudum, Barry Hermanson, Ed Jew, Krista Spence Loretto, and Joel Ventresca for attending our forum. In a contentious discussion, some members believed that former Republican Jew would be an ally and a balancing factor in liberal City Hall, while others pointed to Ventresca's position on civil liberties. Others felt that while both candidates had some merit, neither was sufficiently committed to the deep cuts that the city needs. Jew: 6 votes; Ventresca: 2 votes; no recommendation: 5 votes; 1 abstention.

Board of Supervisors, District 6: Libertarian candidate Robert Northington Power

Rob is the acting Vice Chair of the LPSF and a committed activist. He organized our activity at San Francisco's Pride celebration, and founded the Bay Area chapter of Outright Libertarians. Previously, he served on the board of the San Francisco AIDS Quilt chapter. He is competing with eight other candidates including incumbent Chris Daly. Unanimous endorsement.

Board of Supervisors, District 8: Libertarian candidate Starchild

Starchild is a past Chair of the LPSF and currently serves as Outreach Director. His activism and commitment is well-known to Libertarians nationwide, including his service on the state Executive Committee this past year. He is competing with five other candidates for an open seat. Unanimous endorsement.

Board of Supervisors, District 10: no recommendation

Incumbent Sophie Maxwell is the only candidate for this seat. Her record speaks for itself.

Community College Board: Libertarian candidate Amarcy D. Berry

Marcy is the Secretary of the LPSF and would work to hold the Community College fiscally accountable to the taxpayers while exploring avenues to free the system from tax-dependence. She is competing for one of three open seats with a field of six candidates, including three incumbents. Unanimous endorsement.

We wish to thank Johnnie L. Carter, Jr. and Lawrence Wong for attending our candidates' forum. However, while both men are well-intentioned, we disagree with their belief that higher education is a vital function of government.

Ballot Initiatives

With our Board of Supervisors piling fifteen measures onto the ballot on top of two from the mayor and two from petition drives, it took a Herculean effort to consider all of them and come up with considered recommendations on all of them. The Chair thanks all of the members who made the patient effort.

Proposition A: NO

Proposition A is a $1,628,000,000 - that's 1.6 billion dollar - bond measure to finance improvements to the city's water system. This bond is needed, we are told, because the city has siphoned off nearly a billion dollars in real money from the water system revenues for the city's general fund. Now they want to double the city's water bill to pay for their own fiscal malfeasance. The city should instead seek free-enterprise solutions to water delivery at a reasonable cost. NO: 12 votes; 2 abstentions.

Proposition B: NO

Proposition B is an unmitigated boondoggle. The 1996 affordable housing bond was squandered, with only about a third of the promised units built according to the proponents' own calculations. The private market will do a much better job providing housing if barriers to development are lowered, instead of raising taxes on current homeowners to pay for more nonprofit lobbying. Unanimous recommendation.

Proposition C: NO

Proposition C is another bond which will raise property owners' taxes. The Veterans Building should be sold or licensed to a private entity that will take care of its own property rationally, rather than leaving it in the hands of neglectful public servants who come begging for taxes periodically to pay for long-delayed maintenance. Unanimous recommendation.

Propositions D and E: NO

Propositions D and E reorganize the Public Utilities Commission to allow it to issue revenue bonds without explicit voter approval. This is a blank check that we literally can not afford to put in politicians' hands. They are also ground work for public seizure of privately-held assets since the voters already rejected a Municipal Utilities District. Unanimous recommendation.

Proposition F: no recommendation

Proposition F changes how appointments to the Entertainment Commission would be made, to let the Supervisors appoint half of the Commissioners. There was some feeling that this would make the agency more accountable to the voters, but there was also a feeling that this is akin to rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, that the composition of an inappropriate body is moot from a libertarian viewpoint. YES: 4 votes; NO: 2 votes; no recommendation: 7 votes; 1 abstention.

Proposition G: no recommendation

Proposition G undoes a badly-written section of an initiative from the previous election, concerning when city employees can assist the Department of Elections with their tasks. There was some feeling that the potential cost savings made this worthwhile, but there was also a sentiment that it would compromise the independence of the Elections Department. YES: 5 votes; NO: 4 votes; no recommendation: 4 votes; 1 abstention.

Proposition H: NO

Proposition H raises the benefits for city firefighters and police. It raises the cost of government. If that weren't enough, the proposed benefits would far exceed any that might be granted by private organizations. Unanimous recommendation.

Proposition I: NO

Proposition I would provide paid parental leave to city employees. While the city should treat its employees fairly, the government should look to reducing itself to its essential functions before taking on new costs of employment. NO: 13 votes; 1 abstention.

Proposition J: NO

Proposition J would double the pay that Supervisors receive. They should give us less government, not ask us to pay more. NO: 13 votes; 1 abstention.

Proposition K: YES

Proposition K strikes down a race- and gender-based preference system for selecting the city's official newspapers. On principle, this is unambiguously a good thing; in practice, it allows the Supervisors more latitude to select a politically favored paper. However, we came down on the side of principle in the hopes that some day we will have a Board of Supervisors that also has principles. YES: 12 votes; NO: 2 votes.

Proposition L: NO

Proposition L doubles the transfer tax on properties worth more than $1,000,000. This is unacceptable. NO: 13 votes; 1 abstention.

Proposition M: NO

Proposition M adds to the duties and funding of the Office of Economic Development. It's more government in an area where less is more. YES: 1 vote; NO: 12 votes; no recommendation: 2 votes; 1 abstention.

Proposition N: no recommendation

The "Care not Cash" initiative may have the effect of reducing homelessness, and thereby reducing the cost to government of caring for them, and so a libertarian might reasonably support it for its effects. However, replacing a cash handout with a surfeit of services and the bureaucracy to manage them hardly passes muster with the Party of Principle. YES: 5 votes; NO: 1 votes; no position: 10 votes.

Proposition O: NO

"Exits from Homelessness" is a poorly-thought-out last-minute competitor to "Care not Cash" which includes unfunded mandates and city oversight of private services. NO: 12 votes; 2 abstentions.

Proposition P: NO

Proposition P creates a PUC Bond Oversight Committee that would be charged with ensuring that the money from PUC revenue bonds was spent appropriately. However, the watchdogs would be bred from the same stock as the wolves, providing a veneer of accountability to no real purpose. It is up to the citizens to keep an eye on the city finances, not machine-appointed proxies. Uaninmous recommendation.

Proposition Q: YES

Proposition Q forbids recipients of tax money from engaging in political lobbying. This includes contractors and recipients of grants. Too often, non-profit charities in this city attempt to fulfill their mission by using government grant money to lobby for more government grant money. Their alleged clients would be far better off if money, whether governmental or private donations, were spent directly on assisting them. YES: 14 votes; 2 abstentions..

Proposition R: YES

The "Home Ownership Program for Everyone" has the long-term libertarian goal of increasing property ownership, breaking up the tenant bloc, and thereby bringing more fiscal sense to the electorate. It contains some concessions that are troubling to some libertarians, but it is a first step to a freer property market in San Francisco. YES: 10 votes; NO: 4 votes; 3 abstentions.

Proposition S: NO

Proposition S would ask the city to consider whether to grow and distribute medical marijuana. The LP is fully behind the right of patients - or anyone else - to consume whatever substances they see fit, and we recognize the symbolic message that this measure's passage would send. But asking government - however local - to get into the medicine or drug business is not the solution. Providing local police protection against federal agents would be one approach, but not one provided for by this measure. YES: 4 votes; NO: 10 votes.