CPMC Committee Trench Warfare With The Mar Family

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With the SF Planning Commission approving California Pacific Medical Center’s $2.5 billion project, including a new Cathedral Hill campus, the battle shifts to the Land Use and Economic Development Committee trenches sometime after May 8 at the SF Board of Supervisors. There, the package, including Mayor Ed Lee’s development agreement awaits discussion by Chairman Eric Mar (District 1 – Richmond), Vice Chair Malia Cohen (D10 – Bayview) and committee member Scott Wiener (D8 –Castro). Assuming Board President David Chiu (D3 – Chinatown/North Beach) does not change Committee membership affecting the outcome of the 11 piece CPMC legislative package, Mar could potentially derail it, especially considering brother Gordon has been leading CPMC criticism. Meanwhile, Wiener and Cohen –allies of Mayor Lee who negotiated the package – could outvote Mar and forward it to the full eleven member board. Chiu, Cohen and Mar – who faces re-election in November – represent major APA constituencies…

AND THE FULL BOARD?: At the full board, how would the four APA legislators – Jane Kim, Carmen Chu, Chiu and Mar – eventually vote? No supervisor so far has co-sponsored the mayor’s package….The four could split like the APA planning commissioners. On the 5-2 vote on April 5, mayoral appointee and President Rodney Fong supported CPMC while supervisor appointees Hisashi Sugaya and Cindy Wu opposed starting the permit process. On April 26, Fong and Sugaya supported the important CPMC Environment Impact Report on a 5-1 vote, but Sugaya and Kathrin Moore objected to the deal’s sweetener – a development agreement of $1.1 billion in community benefits and thousands of jobs which passed 4-2…WU M.I.A.: Although Wu’s vote would have not changed the outcome, Board President Chiu’s nominee – who was confirmed by supervisors – was glaringly absent from the 10-hour marathon, representing one of city’s most contentious development votes…

HOUSING DIVIDES APA PLANNERS: Among key divides – housing in the Development Agreement. Wu – a planner for non-profit housing developer Chinatown Community Development Center – in her first vote questioned the sufficiency of housing. On April 26, Sugaya said, “The city should have negotiated for $73 million in the first place,” he said, arguing for more funds to build housing and loan assistance for new CPMC employees at the expanded campuses. However, President Rodney Fong contended “220 [housing] units are significant. It may not be enough, but it is new [SF] housing…” Fong, praising the loan assistance, expressed concern about hospital first responders living in the city especially during natural disasters or crises…

School Board Vice President Norman Yee

OXYMORONIC MAJORITY APA BOARD: APAs, ready to take over San Francisco City Hall this November? SF School Board member Norman Yee has a shot at winning the District 7 (West of Twin Peaks) seat, while it’s likely an APA will return District 1 (Richmond) seat – in either incumbent Eric Mar or challenger David Lee of the Park and Recreation Commission. Despite war bongos by Rose Pak, Board President David Chiu should be the District 3 (Chinatown/North Beach) favorite. And what if labor leader Leon Chow unseats incumbent John Avalos in District 11 (Excelsior/Inner Mission)? Add them to District 4’s (Sunset) Carmen Chu, Jane Kim of District 6 (Little Saigon). While that’s six APA supervisors of 11 total legislators, APA unity is an oxymoronic label given they come from different sides of the political spectrum with progressives Mar, Kim and Chow and liberal-centrists Chiu, Lee and Chu and go-figure guy like Yee…

2014 FORECAST: Strong APA candidates break California constitutional glass ceiling in two years, Assemblyman Paul Fong prognosticates…. TREASURER: Current Controller John Chiang for Treasurer. “He’s very popular because he took money away from” the legislature which isn’t “liked by the voters”…Fong said, “We’d like him to run for governor but he’s not ready”…CONTROLLER: Board of Equalization member Betty Yee’s “the most difficult seat” in her tough contest with incumbent Treasurer Bill LockyerEQUALIZATION: Looking to succeed Betty is Fiona Ma, certified bean counter and Assembly majority leader who’s “well liked”…SECRETARY OF STATE: State Senator Leland Yee for Secretary of State. “I don’t know [his] electability” for the office.” Except for a bill on translating Chinese names of candidates, Yee has rarely focused on election issues for an office once supervised by

Supervisor Eric Mar

Fong Eu from 1975-1994. However, for a statewide race the hardworking Yee can raise money, which is “half the battle”…

MR. SUNSHINE: Former school boarder Yee’s keeping educators on their toes over high pay and open government. He also won the Sierra Club’s Phil Burton Badge of Courage award in March…

NOT ONE OF THE BOYS: The Eric Mar-David Lee supervisor battle is one to watch, given how progressives want to retain Mar. However with two Chinese Americans ready to beat each other to a pulp, that opens the race to a third or fourth candidate from outside the APA community…One could be Janet Reilly – the Golden Gate Bridge District board director who took a prominent emcee role introducing Marily Mondejar as a woman’s candidate for SF Democratic County Central Committee. Although Reilly’s coming off two stinging defeats – a loss to Fiona Ma for State Assembly in 2002 and Mark Farrell for supervisor in District 2 (Marina/Pacific Heights)…Reilly’s in the district according to sharpie warped brain of political mapster Chris Bowman. District maps had erroneously placed Reilly in the old District 2 in 2010, where she lost a supervisor bid to Farrell, when her Seacliff home is in old District 1. Reilly’s in the newly redrawn District 1…

KICK ME OFF THE ISLAND: While quite the contrary Mary Hayashi is looking at Nadia Lockyer’s Alameda County supe seat (see “Potstickers” 4/26/12), Hayashi’s assembly seatmate Fiona Ma ruled out a Hayashi scenario at her “Building China’s Urban Future” National Association of Asian American Professionals presentation. She won’t return to her political roots as San Fran county supervisor – calling it an eleven-member game of “Survivor” – in who has bumping rights off the island. With Ma leaving office for two years starting in 2013 and galloping for termed out Betty Yee’s California Board of Equalization’s seat in 2014, she might want to stay high profile via appointment or another elective office….BISON, JOSS & COWGIRL: Her $250,000 campaign last week with Assemblyman Wes Chesbro (CA-1st District), Ma Squad and intern Eva Ong at the Chinese Historical Society of America to keep open the California State Park Taoist Joss House in Trinity County’s Weaverville provides a clue. She’ll need to shore up rural parts to win the BOE district a la her September cowgirl-themed wedding and restoring the bison in the Golden Gate Park paddock…

WHAT EVER GOES AROUND: Comes around. Ma essentially rules out a scenario where Mayor Ed Lee could appoint her to return to her old District 4 (Sunset) seat held by Carmen Chu who’s a candidate for mayoral appointment to Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting’s job, assuming he wins the State Assembly seat now held by Ma…Although, the Mayor could pick Fiona for Assessor. She holds a CPA and MBA…

PLAYING AROUND: Hypocrisy rhymes with democracy…Highly political senior non-profit exec involved in harassment hush-hush settlement…BIG MOUTH: Loose lips campaign finance guy violates client confidentiality code of his profession…

MISS ME?: Follow me on Twitter at @SFPotstickers and email Samson Wong at potsticker@prodigy.net.

About the Author

Veteran columnist has appeared in up to 450,000 households weekly in the SF Independent, Examiner (2000-04) and AsianWeek since 1996. As Editor-in-Chief (2003-07), AsianWeek and Samson received wide recognition from the California Legislature, New American Media, League of Women Voters, GLAAD, Organization of Chinese Americans, SPUR and APA civic groups. Thru the SF Citizens Advisory Committee on Elections, SF Elections Task Force and Chinese American Voters Education Committee, Wong helped boost APA influence from 25,000 in the 1980s to over 50,000 voters by the early 1990s.