By Tim Redmond
State Sen. Leland Yee, who was conspicuously absent from the tenant rally in Sacramento, is raising campaign money from some of the most radical pro-eviction forces in San Francisco.
Andrew Zacks, a lawyer who represents landlords in eviction cases and is notorious in the tenant community, and the Small Property Owners of San Francisco, a group that opposes even modest Ellis Act reform, will host Yee at a March 13 fundraiser at Zack’s law office.
Yee has a very mixed record, at best, on tenant issues – but this is a step way, way beyond. Sup. David Chiu was forced to give back all the money he raised at a recent event held by an attorney who does Ellis evictions, and tenant anger in this city is so high that any politician siding with the most radical of landlord allies is going to be under immense pressure.
Yee is running for secretary of state – not a job that directly involved tenant issues. But he will, like any politician in San Francisco, be looking for support among progressive organizations – and I suspect that his connection with Zacks and the Small Property Owners will be enough to guarantee he gets nobody on the left on his team.
Everyone running for office these days gets real-estate money. I pointed out that Sup. Scott Wiener has raised a lot from that industry, but he’s not alone.
Still, it’s one thing to get a few donations from landlords, developers, and architects – it’s another to be in bed with people who don’t believe there should be any restrictions at all on the right of a landlord to evict a tenant under the Ellis Act. And that’s where the Small Property Owners stand.
I have left a message for Yee’s campaign, but have not heard back yet.