Thursday, March 4, 2021
News + Politics Police union helps pay for Arce literature

Police union helps pay for Arce literature

Cops, Dede Wilsey help underwrite independent expenditures in D9

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Guess who is funding those brand-new Josh Arce for supervisor signs and fliers that we’re seeing in District 9?

The cops, Dede Wilsey, and mega landlord Russ Flynn.

48hillsarcecops

That’s right: The dark orange signs (which have the unfortunate look, as one observer told me, of someone who ate too much pumpkin pie and then had diarrhea) are funded by the Police Officers Association and the rather controversial head of the SF Fine Arts Museums, among others.

Arce has tried hard to separate himself from the police union, which is so reactionary that it’s hard to imagine how its endorsement could play well in D9. But a recent filing with the SF Ethics Commission lists the POA as a $5,000 contributor to the Alliance for Jobs and Sustainable Growth PAC, which is paying for the signs and mailers.

Wilsey, who recently had to give up part of her authority at the city-owned museums after a payment scandal, put up $50,000.

Flynn was relatively stingy, with just $1,000. The Laborers’ Union, where Arce works, put up another $40,000.

Flynn is one of the city’s biggest landlords.

Arce told me a couple of weeks ago that

I understand that the POA has insisted that none of their money that you reference may be spent in the District 9 race because they are not supporting any of the candidates.

But that’s clearly untrue, since this mailing and sign deal is directly paid for by a committee funded in part by the POA.

Why does Wilsey care that much about who is the District 9 supervisor? I can’t imagine that she does – unless the mayor and his allies asked her to put the money up.

I doubt Wilsey wants anything specific from Arce, but that’s often not how this works. What campaign money shows, more than anything else, is who the powerful interests trust to represent them at City Hall.

In this case, the cops (whose water Arce has carried in the past) have made their preference clear. So have the allies of Ed Lee.

Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond has been a political and investigative reporter in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He spent much of that time as executive editor of the Bay Guardian. He is the founder of 48hills.

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