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News, The Snitch

Fight Ends For Good Government Advocate Joe Lynn, Who Dies at 64

Over the summer, Joe Lynn's condition grew so dire that his close friends gathered for somber discussions about the pending decision to pull the plug. At the time, one of them told me "It will take a miracle" for…
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News, The Snitch Supervisor Asks Ethics Commission to Investigate Mayor ... Whom Commission Depends on for Its Funding.

Supervisor Asks Ethics Commission to Investigate Mayor ... Whom Commission Depends on for Its Funding.

By now, political junkies are well-informed about the gathering storm regarding Mayor Gavin Newsom's office leaking a confidential city attorney's memo to the Chronicle. Whether you buy into Newsom's rationale -- which echoes King Louis XIV's pronouncement of l'etat, c'est…
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News, The Snitch

Good Government Advocate Joe Lynn Rises From the Dead -- Almost

Joe Lynn -- a former commissioner and staffer with the Ethics Commission and a self-admitted good government kvetch who was a fixture at the commission's meetings -- is now able to do something many people dream about, but few…
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News, The Snitch Ethics Commission Punishes the Responsible, Rewards the Slackers

Ethics Commission Punishes the Responsible, Rewards the Slackers

"Put it off, put it off, blow it off" may be the most entertaining high school yearbook senior quote to come down the pike in many a year. But it is not the optimal manner in which to run a…
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News, Sucka Free City The Labor Lobby

The Labor Lobby

Last week an eye-catching ad appeared on the San Francisco Chronicle's home page; clicking on it led to the Web site www.saveourfirehouses.com. You won't find out who wants you to save our firehouses from budget-induced closures (by deluging members of…
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News, The Snitch Critics: Firefighter Union's 'Save Our Firehouses' Campaign Exposes Weakness of S.F. Lobbyist Laws

Critics: Firefighter Union's 'Save Our Firehouses' Campaign Exposes Weakness of S.F. Lobbyist Laws

On Friday we reported on how an ad campaign pushed by San Francisco's firefighter union -- but conspicuously not listing the union's name -- apparently violated San Francisco's lobbying laws. In this city, lobbyists must register with the Ethics Commission…
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News, The Snitch Where's the Fire? Union's Chron Ad, Campaign Stir Accusations of Improper Lobbying.

Where's the Fire? Union's Chron Ad, Campaign Stir Accusations of Improper Lobbying.

Whether an orchestrated campaign to spur the general public to call or write their city councilmen is benevolent or nefarious depends upon the cause at hand. But to argue that such a campaign doesn't constitute "lobbying" is to take up…
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News, The Snitch A 'Gold Mine' Denied: Ethics Commission Spurns Rule Changes That Would Have Eased Big Donations -- For Now

A 'Gold Mine' Denied: Ethics Commission Spurns Rule Changes That Would Have Eased Big Donations -- For Now

Like a bloody steak, the Ethics Commission earlier this week sent back a bevy of proposed rule changes for more cooking and seasoning. Along with good government types, even some members of the commission were flummoxed by the staff-generated proposed…
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News, The Snitch Ethics Commission Officer: Large, Delinquent Donor -- Think Mormons, Prop. 8 -- Would Have 'No Repercussions' in S.F.

Ethics Commission Officer: Large, Delinquent Donor -- Think Mormons, Prop. 8 -- Would Have 'No Repercussions' in S.F.

We wrote earlier today about how the Mormon Church, under scrutiny from the Fair Political Practices Commission, disclosed it contributed nearly $190,000 to pass Proposition 8. While the secretary of state and the FPPC monitor expenditures for statewide elections, here…
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News, The Snitch Sunshine Smackdown: I’ve Got Your Ethics Commission Right Here!

Sunshine Smackdown: I’ve Got Your Ethics Commission Right Here!

A recent city ruling poses the question: Is complete transparency in government always a good thing? By Joe Eskenazi What do you do when the Ethics Commission is deemed to have acted unethically? This koan-like scenario recently became a…
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