Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

From the people -- for the people

By Aussiegirl

There will be more of these sorts of "public/private" partnerships after the Supremes decision the other day. Hold on to your houses, people, there's a bulldozer in your future -- and a lot of bucks in the pockets of corrupt pols and greedy developers. Frankly, I even think "blight" is no reason to seize private property.

Donations flowed to key state officials in deal for S.F. piers

A company that sought state approval for a lucrative development deal on the San Francisco waterfront contributed tens of thousands of dollars to the campaigns of politicians who held the fate of the project in their hands, records show.

Mills Corp., which long has lobbied to build a $210 million retail and sports complex on Piers 27-31, gave at least $53,250 to Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, state Controller Steve Westly -- who recently announced a bid for governor -- and state Attorney General Bill Lockyer in the months before and after their endorsement of the project, according to campaign finance records.

. . . "In a sense, it's legalized bribery," said Bob Stern, who helped draft the state's Political Reform Act of 1974 and now heads a reform group, the Center for Governmental Studies. "They expect that their money will get them something."

Bustamante and Westly sit on the three-member California State Lands Commission, the body that manages millions of acres of land and regulates public access to waterways. In June 2003, they made up the 2-0 vote in favor of the Mills plan.

Lockyer's office provides legal counsel to the commission and determined that the project met state standards for development of the publicly owned piers.

Of course -- they did it for "The People", dontcha know:

. . . Russ Lopez, communications manager for Westly, said the state's chief financial officer endorsed the development project because he hoped it would bring economic development to San Francisco.


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