In the family-filled Sunset District, local cred matters.
How long have you lived there? What’s your favorite pub? Where did you lay down roots?
Well, if campaign donations are any indication, supervisor candidate Jessica Ho — who is vying to represent the Sunset and Parkside — has roots planted firmly outside San Francisco that are helping her sprout most of her green.
On Guard has learned Ho held recent campaign fundraisers in Sacramento (where she previously worked) and in Los Angeles (where she’s from). That also dovetails with Ho’s other source of major support — a shadowy Political Action Committee filing in Sacramento with at least $150,000 on hand.
All told, roughly 55 percent of Ho’s donations are from outside good ol’ Ess Eff. Her donors stretch down to Southern California and up to Sacramento, jibing with her recent fundraisers.
Ho did not respond to an email request for comment.
Campaign fliers show one of her fundraisers took place on September 12, from 6-8 p.m. in Sacramento in the “Fabulous Forties” neighborhood, which one real estate blog described as a place the Capitol’s politicians and lobbyists call home. Another of her fundraisers, on Friday, September 21 from 5-7 p.m. saw her raising dollars at “Far Bar” on 347 East First St. in — you guessed it — Los Angeles.
That also makes sense, as Ho hails from Southern California. She’s lived in San Francisco only since March.
By contrast, Ho’s closest opponents, Gordon Mar and Trevor McNeil, have raised 77 percent and 88 percent of their funding in San Francisco, respectively.
Those three District 4 (Sunset and Parkside) candidates lead the pack in fundraising: Ho raised $93,543, Mar raised $80,799, and McNeil $30,670, according to the latest info from the SF Ethics Commission filed just this Thursday.
The metaphorical sacks filled with cash didn’t sit well with Albert Chow, owner of Great Wall Hardware on Taraval Street. Chow is a local merchant leader, though he was speaking to me as an individual. Though he has an open mind about who he may ultimately support on a personal level, he told me, this news did not win him over.
“For the Sunset? That’s not what I expect,” he said. Chow likes Ho, and has worked with her in recent months. “But that kind of money concerns me. Is it in the interest of us? Or in the interest of the people who pay to play?”
Took the words right out of my mouth, Albert.
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Speaking of the sleepy fog-filled Sunset District, fog of the non-oceanic variety has stirred the pot of late, so to speak. As my colleagues have reported previously, District 4 supervisor candidate Gordon Mar has tapped into the anti-pot shop fervor to fuel his candidacy. That sparked a thought, however — Does Mar actually think cannabis is harmful?
I mean you’ve gotta understand, during the anti-pot furor at City Hall, Chinese-American public speakers were openly comparing cannabis to opium, calling it an addictive, harmful drug that would tear the fabric of family life apart at the seams, spurring calls for the pot shops to be located far from schools. You’d think reefer-maddened, high-as-a-kite psychopaths were creepily offering kids candy by the dozen. (They’re not.)
During the San Francisco Examiner’s recent endorsement meeting, I needled him on the topic. “Do you, or do you not, think pot shops in neighborhoods would be harmful to children?” I asked. Repeatedly. Perhaps obnoxiously. Hey, it’s my job, OK?
Mar ducked and weaved like a seasoned pugilist. He answered, again and again, that it wasn’t about his personal preference, it was about the neighborhood’s preferences. Finally after the meeting I cornered him in a small meeting room in our offices.
To the child-fearing question, Mar said “I personally don’t feel like having a cannabis dispensary in my neighborhood, and the fourth one is supposed to go in about five blocks away from my house, would necessarily have a bad influence on her,” he said, referring to his daughter.
“But I understand every parent is different,” he said. “I’m more concerned about her iPhone addiction.”
* * *
A Green Apple a day keeps the doctor away, and isn’t San Francisco lucky to have a great bookstore like Green Apple to keep us sane in this time of country-wide fear? The much-loved Clement Street bookstore just signed its next six-year lease, the shop announced on Twitter, to a round of social-media applause and love.
“You’re gonna buy more and more books here as our labor and occupancy costs go up, right?” the shop’s owners asked, via social media.
Well, I can tell you dear readers, I’m doing my part. I popped in Green Apple just two weeks ago to buy the scariest bedtime tale ever, “FEAR,” by venerable journalist Bob Woodward. It’s a departure from my usual purchase, as its one of my favorite spots to feed my graphic novel addiction (read: paperback comic books). Image Comics, I’m lookin’ at you! (Seriously people, if you haven’t read Saga, LOW, East of West, Descender, Bitch Planet or Paper Girls, you need to get steppin’.)
If you hit up Green Apple this week, tag me in a photo on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and show me what you picked up — my deets are in the tag, below.
On Guard prints the news and raises hell each week. Email Fitz at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him on Twitter and Instagram @FitztheReporter, and Facebook at facebook.com/FitztheReporter.
Correction: This column incorrectly identified one of the dates of the fundraisers Ho hosted as October 12, the date was actually September 12. The columnist regrets the error.