By Tim Redmond
There’s a poll in the field that gives the distinct impression it came from real-estate interests who oppose the waterfront height-limit measure – and it includes an inaccurate statement about Mayor Ed Lee’s position on Prop. B.
The mayor has made it clear that he isn’t getting involved in the Prop. B fight, on one side or the other. But the poll lists him as an opponent.
It’s hard to track most polls, since the polling companies never release them and all we typically get are the recollections of people who got called. But one of the people answering the phone this time taped the entire conversation – with the explicit permission of the pollster, who was taping, too. If you want to listen for 24 minutes, you can check it out here.
Most of it is pretty typical polling stuff, but you get the impression it’s a real-estate poll because the first thing the pollster asks is the person’s opinion about the Board of Realtors, the Small Property Owners, and the Chamber of Commerce. It then goes into a Yes or No on Prop. B.
And, in standard polling practice, the campaign that paid for it then tests to see what arguments might change the respondent’s position. That alone gives a hint of what the campaign might be about. “Supporters, including Aaron Peskin, former Mayor Art Agnos, and political consultant Jon Golinger, say ….” is the opening gambit. The goal, I guess, is to say this is all about Peskin – who wasn’t even involved in the early part of the campaign.
Then comes this: Opponents, including the San Francisco Democratic Party, Mayor Ed Lee, and the Association of Realtors” say that limiting housing on the waterfront is a bad idea and will reserve that part of town for the rich.
Starters: Ed Lee is NOT an opponent of Prop. B. The realtors would like it if he was, but he’s not. And virtually any new housing built on the waterfront will be sold only to the very rich anyway.
Maybe that’s just a mistake – but there are laws against lying in campaign material within 90 days of an election.
So we see the shape of what could be a No on B campaign: It’s Aaron Peskin supporting the rich who want exclusive rights to the waterfront. Oh, and Ed Lee’s against it.
Except that none of that is actually true.
Get ready for the TV aids and mailers – that is, unless this poll shows that it’s hopeless and Prop. B is going to win overwhelmingly anyway.