Many of Ed Lee’s opponents in the mayoral race have been quick to say he has no vision for The City’s future. But after the mayor unveiled details of his jobs plan Tuesday, his rivals were quick to claim Lee poached ideas from their own visions.
Lee gathered with small-business owners Tuesday at the Rickshaw Bagworks manufacturing facility in the Dogpatch neighborhood to lay out a 17-point “road map” for job creation, which includes further reform of The City’s payroll tax and a “Job Squad” of city workers deployed to help businesses obtain necessary permits.
As it has with most of Lee’s campaign activities, City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s campaign quickly shot back with criticism that Herrera released a similar plan in June — which also happens to include 17 points — with about seven strikingly similar points. Herrera campaign spokesman Matt Dorsey said that in an email sent by the Lee campaign to supporters about the job plan, one phrase constitutes direct plagiarism of Herrera’s original “city that works” campaign slogan: “By addressing each of my 17 points, we can build a city that works.”
“We’re actually flattered by Ed Lee’s plagiarism,” Dorsey said. “Because up until now, he’s only been claiming credit for Gavin Newsom’s work.”
Dorsey was referring in part to Lee’s fondness of mentioning the so-called “Twitter tax break” that he has been touting as a seminal move toward revitalizing the blighted Mid-Market neighborhood, but which was devised before the interim mayor’s appointment in January.
Tony Winnicker, Lee’s campaign spokesman, said he hadn’t heard of Herrera’s 17-point plan before Tuesday’s event, and he’s not surprised at the attack.
“This is a ridiculous and absurd distraction, yet again, from Dennis Herrera’s campaign, although we are glad for the debate to finally be about jobs,” Winnicker said. “Like any mayor, he or she benefits from the work of mayors that have come before.”
State Sen. Leland Yee’s mayoral campaign is preparing to release its own 37-point plan at a community rally Saturday. The senator’s plan includes establishment of a municipal bank and a fund to bolster green infrastructure, as well as many of the points covered in the plans of Lee and Herrera.
Venture capitalist and candidate Joanna Rees said she’s well acquainted with The City’s job creation issue, having invested in dozens of tech startups that sometimes don’t feel welcome or appreciated by San Francisco’s city departments.
She said the Job Squad idea of streamlining permits for businesses was one of the reasons she decided to run.
“I know where he got that idea,” Rees said of Lee’s plan. “From me.”
Ed Lee’s initiative
- Lure tech, biotech and clean tech industries
- Launch “Job Squad” of city workers to streamline permitting for businesses
- Further reform of The City’s payroll tax
- Make solid international trade partnerships with the Far East and elsewhere
- Invest $5 million in small-business and jobs investment fund
Source: Mayor Ed Lee’s campaign