Olague answering to builders, not voters

Nobody was surprised to see this pro-high-rise Board of Supervisors affirm its earlier support for a huge waterfront height-limit break for the 8 Washington St. luxury condo project, which now goes to the voters to decide (“Board upholds support for 8 Washington plan,” Wednesday).

But it was mind-boggling to hear Supervisor Christina Olague attempt to defend her vote for
8 Washington as morally superior by saying she “felt like a schoolgirl being bullied on the playground” after hearing from many of her constituents who urged her to vote differently.

In her remarks, Olague conveniently neglected to mention the fact that just days after her first vote for 8 Washington, she was the beneficiary of $46,000 in campaign contributions from 8 Washington lobbyists, developers and construction contractors at an exclusive fundraiser thrown by 8 Washington backer Rose Pak.

When politicians blatantly choose to pander to the interests of their big campaign donors instead of representing their constituents, at least they shouldn’t call themselves the victims.

Jon Golinger
Campaign director, No Wall on the Waterfront
San Francisco

Spread economic blame

Blame for the 2008 economic meltdown must be shared by both political parties. Democrats pushed banks to loosen lending criteria for disadvantaged communities, which backfired when the economy faltered.

Lenient lending led to inflated home prices, greater borrowing and speculative housing developments. President George W. Bush executed legislation created by a Democratic House and Senate, even though economists predicted this bubble would eventually pop, as it surely did.

Instead of reducing the real cost of housing, cities such as San Francisco made things worse by adding expensive mandates, huge fees and regulations. These were passed onto new home prices, which continue to push working families into suburbs, far from job centers and public services, and where foreclosures have been concentrated. It should be no surprise that banks tried to dilute and camouflage the risky subprime mortgages they were pressured to finance, which then destroyed retirement and investment portfolios across the nation when mortgaged-backed securities collapsed.

Judy West
San Francisco

Mar failing the Richmond

In response to your story about the upcoming election (“District 1 challenger says Mar isn’t doing job,” Tuesday), I hope it is now becoming evident to Richmond district voters that Supervisor Eric Mar has become a laughingstock at City Hall.

Rather than focusing on serious city problems, what does Mar spend his time on? Banning toys at McDonald’s, passing foreign policy resolutions and  introducing a resolution attempting to impact the outcome of the Grammy Awards.

If San Francisco residents ever wonder why serious city problems get worse year to year, it is the looney priorities of supervisors like Mar that answers that question.

I hope this November, Richmond district residents have the good sense to vote Mar out of office. Otherwise, they will have nobody to blame but themselves for the dysfunctional theater of the absurd at City Hall.

E.F. Sullivan
San Francisco

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