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Friday, October 24, 2014

New York State Senator Calls David Chiu "Airbnb's Chief Water-Carrier," Fundraises for David Campos

Posted By on Fri, Oct 24, 2014 at 10:30 AM

click to enlarge It all comes out in the end...
  • It all comes out in the end...
Airbnb, its relationship with this city's housing stock, and how to regulate it are complex issues. 

Picking a side isn't. Nor is donating money. And that's happening. A lot. 

As SF Weekly has reported before, early Airbnb investors Reid Hoffman and Ron Conway have poured some $750,000 into a committee torpedoing Assembly candidate Supervisor David Campos. Of note is that Campos' opponent, Supervisor David Chiu, authored legislation legalizing Airbnb in this city — which stands to benefit Hoffman and Conway prodigiously. 

Well, people noticed. 

In New York, unlike San Francisco, elected officials, housing activists, and hotel interests have managed to put up a fight against Airbnb. And, today, one of the tech platform's more vociferous critics, New York state Sen. Liz Krueger, fired off an e-mail soliciting funds for Campos. 

New Yorkers aren't ones to mince words and Krueger refers to Chiu as "Airbnb's chief water-carrier in San Francisco." 


Krueger is a member of the "Share Better Coalition," a consortium of Big Apple politicos, housing activists, hotel unions, and others working to "oppose the impact of illegal hotels in New York City."

And here's what she wrote to her e-supporters: 

Dear Friends—

I am usually asking for your help for political candidates here in New York, and I frequently discuss the need for campaign finance reform to help limit big money special interests buying our democracy. And of course, you know of my commitment to protecting safe and affordable housing in our City.

Today, I want to take a few minutes to talk about how all these issues are interrelated and are impacting both New York City and San Francisco, where the same companies are violating state and local laws, putting communities at risk, and spending enormous money to effect elections when officials stand up to them.

I have been working with other elected officials and community groups who have come together as the Share Better Coalition. The coalition has made a lot of progress here in New York City to raise awareness and help spread the word about the rampant threat of illegal hotel operators, and the facilitators like Airbnb who profit off of them. But this isn’t just about protecting affordable housing in New York City.

This is a national campaign, and we need to help our allies push back against Airbnb and illegal hotels wherever the fight takes us.

That is why I am writing you today. The struggle for affordable housing is at a critical juncture in San Francisco, which is home to the most expensive housing market in the country. And right now, a fellow affordable housing advocate on the front lines of that fight in San Francisco needs our help.

True Progressive David Campos, a San Francisco City Supervisor and candidate for the California State Assembly, has been a leading voice in favor of stronger oversight of Airbnb, calling for the company to repay millions in back taxes and fighting to protect tenants and affordable housing in San Francisco.

David Campos is facing a tough election against David Chiu, Airbnb's chief water-carrier in San Francisco.

Just this week, Mr. Chiu was hit with an ethics complaint for not disclosing time spent with Airbnb lobbyists. And Airbnb-linked investors just pumped in $500,000 to fund a barrage of negative ads against Campos. It's no surprise that Airbnb would stop at nothing to elect Chiu – they wrote the bill that he introduced, a bill that legalized Airbnb’s operations in San Francisco.

And now Airbnb wants to buy him a seat in California’s State Assembly.

Airbnb's pay-to-play politics are costing real San Franciscans the affordable housing they deserve. We need to fight back and show our solidarity, because everyone in this country has the right to affordable housing, no matter the city. The election is less than two weeks away, and time is running out. A recent poll shows the race is neck and neck.

So, if you’re an opponent of illegal hotels and want to protect affordable housing, the time to act is now. Make your voice heard and support David Campos for California State Assembly, District 17.
Well, fair enough. In this war over "illegal hotels," both sides are going to the mattresses

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.

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