Fundraiser at House of Shields attracts opponents of minimum wage, Healthy San Francisco
By Tim Redmond
APRIL 2, 2015 – I’m sorry I missed the fundraiser for Julie Christensen at the House of Shields. Sounded like a great event, what with party-goers like Gwyneth Borden of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, which opposed the city’s minimum wage law and sued to block Healthy San Francisco.
In fact, Borden is convinced that her candidate is going to face something “ugly” – the prospect of voting on controversial legislation.
“This is going to be an ugly, ugly race. (Peskin) is going to have his allies on the Board of Supervisors put forth controversial things to try to make (Christensen) look bad in the district. We are going to have to be strong for Julie,” Borden said.
Wait: Isn’t that what being a supervisor is about? I mean, voting on legislation? Peskin has a long record of votes on controversial legislation, and on some of those votes I bitterly disagreed with him. But agree or disagree, you don’t have to look far to see where he stood, in the course of eight years on the board.
Christensen at this point has almost no record. So of course she’s going to have to vote on issues, and some of them won’t be easy. If that’s a problem for her, she’s in the wrong line of work.
But here’s what’s interesting about what would otherwise be a typical event:
Leary offered an open bar to Christensen’s supporters, but he did have one favor to ask: “There is one whiskey that I would prefer you not touch, which is the Pappy Van Winkle 15 Year Reserve. I’d much rather sell that to a 27-year-old senior Yelp or Twitter executive.”
That’s because a shot costs $85.
An open bar? On the bar owner? Well, the House of Shields can’t offer free drinks to Christensen supporters at a fundraiser, because free drinks count as a campaign contribution, and the restaurant is a corporation, and corporations can’t make contributions to candidates for supervisor. I suppose if Leary is going to personally cover the tab, out of his own pocket, that’s legit – as long as it doesn’t exceed $500, at which point it would bust the contribution limit.
Wouldn’t take too many $85 shots to hit $500.
I left messages for Leary at his various bars and restaurants, and I sent him an email with my questions, but haven’t heard back. I called Maureen Erwin, the political consultant doing the Christensen campaign, and she agreed with my analysis.
“I wasn’t at the event, but if it exceeded $500, the campaign will have to pay for it,” she said. How would we know how much Leary served and how he is going to reimburse the restaurant? “I’m sure he has some way of keeping track.”