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News + PoliticsGarry Tan gave almost $200K to local campaigns; Milk Club says give...

Garry Tan gave almost $200K to local campaigns; Milk Club says give it back

Should candidates take money from tech baron whose tweet spurred death threats against local officials?

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In the wake of tech mogul Garry Tan’s violent tweets, and the growing concern of actual violence and threats to city officials, The Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club is calling for candidates and political groups that received donations from Tan to return them immediately.

Garry Tan has given $190,000 to local campaigns.

In an Action Network petition, the club notes that

While Garry Tan and his defenders attempt to downplay the gravity of his violent call to action, Tan’s words carry real-world consequences. At least two named supervisors received direct threats to themselves and their families in written letters sent to their homes, calling for a “slow and painful death.”

Several supes have now filed police reports on the threats.

Tan is a prolific contributor to conservative local causes. Since 2015, he’s given $190,500 to local issues and candidates, according to a list compiled by the League of Pissed Off Voters from public campaign finance records.

Among those who received money this year (list from the petition):

  1. Bilal Mahmood for DCCC Member 2024 ($5,000)
  2. Nancy Tung for DCCC 2024 ($5,000)
  3. No on B, Stop the Cop Tax ($2,000)
  4. Jade Tu for Democratic County Central Committee 2024 ($1,000)
  5. Trevor Chandler for Supervisor 2024 ($500)
  6. Re-Elect Mayor London Breed 2024 ($500)
  7. Grow SF “Dump Dean” PAC ($50,000*)

Among those who have taken his cash in the past: Sup. Matt Dorsey, Rafael Mandelman, and Joel Engardio, and District Attorney Brooke Jenkins. There’s a complete list here.

The petition also calls for him to step down from the board of GrowSF, a billionaire-backed organization that seeks to oust progressives from SF politics.

“Rejecting violence is essential in San Francisco, rooted in our club’s history and the tragic murder of Harvey Milk,” Jeffrey Kwong, the Milk Club president, told me. “Once fueled by homophobia and death threats, now it’s venture capitalists attempting to undermine our city’s values.”

Some of Tan’s colleagues in the tech world are saying his comments were unacceptable, and he has sort-of apologized. But so far, not a word from Mayor Breed or any of the supes or other candidates who have received his money.

48 Hills welcomes comments in the form of letters to the editor, which you can submit here. We also invite you to join the conversation on our FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

Tim Redmond
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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