So why did the SF Weekly’s Matt Smith endorse a PG@E attorney for supervisor?

Pub date October 27, 2006
SectionBruce Blog

Matt Smith, a columnist for the SF Weekly/Village Voice/New Times, parachuted into the Sunset to check out the field of supervisorial candidates and ended up last week all but endorsing Doug Chan as the PG@E candidate for supervisor.

What Smith’s investigation didn’t turn up was the disturbing fact that Chan is an attorney whose law firm, Chan, Doi, and Leal, has received more than $460,913 in fees from PG@E in the past five years, according to documents on file with the California Public Utilities Commission. (See my earlier blog and our editorial for more details).
Chan is also the beneficiary of a tidal wave of sleazy independent expenditure mailings to Sunset residents, probably from the same PG@E/downtown gang creating the tidal wave of IE sleaze on behalf of Rob Black in the Chris Daly race. (See our stories). The PG@E gang want Chan and Black in City Hall. I asked Smith by email if this were a continuation of the PG@E-smitten campaign that then editor John Mecklin and then reporter Peter Bryne conducted on behalf of PG@E and against the two public power campaigns in 200l and 2002. He parried the question. Chan and the Weekly both ended up in the Guardian’s Hall of Shame after the PG@E victories.

The point: maybe, if this is how the New Times would go about endorsements, it isn’t such a good idea to raise the issue. Their politics appear to be desert libertarianism on the rocks, with stalks of neocon policy. What would the Village Voice/New Times position be on the war and Bush et al? Well, back to Dan Savage, the Voice/New Times sex columnist who has been known to slip an endorsement into his column. (See my previous blog).

P.S. Full disclosure: I live out in the West Portal district a few blocks from the Sunset District. And I am getting tired of supervisors like Sean Elsbernd and Fiona Ma and supervisorial candiates like Doug Chan who come on as “neighborhood” candidates but once in office quickly become anti-neighborhood, pro-PG@E, pro-Downtown supervisors and callup votes for the mayor, PG@E, and downtown. My alternative choices for the Sunset:
Jaynry Mak and David Ferguson, who understand the perils of PG@E and the virtues of public power. B3