Tuesday, May 18, 2021
News + Politics The sleaze reaches high tide in D5

The sleaze reaches high tide in D5

Bizarre attack on Dean Preston defies facts, logic, and reality -- but that doesn't stop Big Real Estate and Big Tech.


The Big Money sleaze in D5 has reached high tide. In a new set of mailings, the real-estate and tech industry, with the support of big GOP donors, is actually arguing that Dean Preston, who has spent his legal career protecting tenants, was involved in evictions.

It’s a stunningly convoluted argument: The best the sleaze merchants have is that Preston worked for a nonprofit called the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, where he fought evictions and did advocacy for tenant rights.

But THC also manages low-income housing, and that makes the group a landlord (or sorts), and sometimes tenants become so dangerous and disruptive that, like any nonprofit housing provider, they decide they have to evict them.

I’m not defending that practice. (Neither, by the way, does Preston.)

But Preston had nothing to do with it. The THC law office, that did and does nothing but fight evictions and sue bad landlords, had zero affiliation with the other arm of the organization.

Of course Preston couldn’t represent tenants fighting the organization that employed him. That would violate the state Bar Association rules on conflict of interest.

But he never advised THC’s real-estate arm on evictions. “I have never represented any landlord or given any landlord any advice on any eviction,” he told me. “The THC law office has nothing to do with property management.”

So what’s going on here? This big-money group is trying to get rid of people on the board who aren’t supported by Mayor London Breed, and Breed is backing Vallie Brown, who actually did evict tenants.

So they are playing the Swift-Boat game to try to smear Preston – on the most basic thing he has never done.

It gets more and more disgusting. This whole campaign is Trumpian – facts don’t matter a bit.

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.


  1. It cracks me up when trolls such as Chaz accuse others of being “right wing trolls” because they disagree with their opinions.

    It’s furthermore hilarious when Chaz types have absolutely no idea what they are talking about.

    Mr. Preston comes from wealth, he has made a killing in tech stocks (while simultaneously vilifying tech), just like he’s seen the value of his Alamo Square mansion shoot through the roof on account of the continuing massive housing shortage due to 40+ years of NIMBY-led anti-housing policies. Policies that he continues to double down on.

    As such. Preston is profiting off the suffering of others — especially young people, those newly arriving to the City and those of modest means.

    Preston is hardly progressive; as the anti-housing policies that he advocates for have manifestly failed San Francisco and in this fundamental regard he can be understood as a reactionary.

  2. Cracks me up when right-wing trolls like Sparky try to attack progressives from the left, as if he is anti-millionaire himself.

    Of course Dean Preston is comfortably well-off. He’s a tenant’s attorney who gets big payouts for his clients from rich, sleazy, greedy landlords! He also does daily pro bono work for his constituents in the form of counsel and advice, whether their problem is eviction or any other neighborhood issue.

    If you’re in D5, give his office a call and set up a meeting with him and/or his staff. You will get a response. This was the case before he was in office, too. I doubt any other supe offers so much easy access. Truly why we want to keep him in City Hall.

  3. The simple bottom line is that the Republicans are pouring money into propping up London Breed. Breed is a classic DINO, Democrat in Name Only. She solicited support from Republicans when she ran against Leno and Kim, and that is almost certainly what provided the razor thing margin that elected her. Now, the Republicans are trying to save Breed from having a BoS that is working to undo the damage caused by corruption.

  4. In addition to the attacks funded by billionaires through independent expenditures, we are receiving mailers paid for by Vallie Brown’s own campaign cynically alleging that Dean was responsible for hundreds of evictions. These were so bad that Randy Shaw himself called her out for these lies on Twitter. Even before this, her campaign lit reflected the IE attacks on Dean, fomenting fear of the homeless population with photos of tents. Vallie Brown tried to distance herself from the “Fight Club” mailer, which was not hers, but she has not tried to put the truth about these allegations on record, that this fight was an attack on homeless people by outsiders, and that the people involved had nothing to do with the safe sleeping village at 730 Stanyan.

  5. Dare I challenge the “Party” here? But didn’t Preston use attack ads against his opponent 4 years ago for using the local eviction laws to conduct an a legal unlawful detainer action? And didn’t Preston also promote, back and fund a ballot measure that provided city-paid legal advice that benefited his very own business. C’mon man! I guess the race must be tight. Better get the teachers union to drop more buckets of dollars into the race to ensure they keep not educating kids in person.

  6. Sparky,

    Thou dost speak with a forked tongue.

    And, an anonymous one at that.

    Nice work, Tim.

    Preston in D-5!!

    Avalos in D-11!

    Nguyen in D-7!

    Chan in D-1!

    Peskin in D-3!

    Ronen for Mayor!

    Gascon for DA in LA!

    Go Niners!


  7. Multi-millionaire and notorious NIMBY, Dean Preston’s anti-housing policies, have been and will continue to be a disaster for renters and those truly interested in making San Francisco more affordable to young people, newcomers and those of modest means.

Comments are closed.

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