Newsom doesn’t anticipate ‘material’ benefit from alcohol-fee veto

Mayor Gavin Newsom told the Ethics Commission in a memo Tuesday that a proposed fee on alcohol that he vetoed would not have had a “material financial effect” on his bank account.

Newsom has financial interests in three businesses that make or sell alcohol: Moswen, LLC; Airelle Wines, Inc.; and Villa Encinal Partners, which is the umbrella business for the Plumpjack and CADE wineries. As The San Francisco Examiner reported earlier, about 2 percent of those businesses’ total sales occur in San Francisco and would be directly impacted by an alcohol fee.

But in the city attorney’s opinion, given to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday in a failed bid to override the mayor’s veto, it doesn’t really matter if Newsom benefits financially or not. He is, after all, the only one who has the power of veto, so he can’t really recuse himself (it’s good to be the boss).

But “in an abundance of caution,” Newsom’s office told the Ethics Commission that the “mayor does not anticipate that the ordinance would have a material financial effect.”

bbegin@sfexaminer.com

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