Ever wonder why contractors with the city don’t run political websites?….cause it’s illegal
also posted on ProSF
“Thankfully, Prop 98 lost badly – despite a bad ballot for progressives. To defeat Prop 16 in June, we will have to do much of the same kind of work to marginalize PG&E.” Paul Hogarth in BeyondChron, funded by Tenderloin Housing Clinic, a contractor with the City and County of San Francisco
San Francisco’s standard provisons of all contractors with the city, in part
Article 18.10 of this legally binding agreement, entitled, Prohibition on Political Activity with City Funds states, “In accordance with San Francisco Administrative Code Chapter 12.g, no funds appropriated by the City for this Agreement may be expended for organizing, creating, funding, participating in, supporting, or attempting to influence any political campaign for a candidate or for a ballot measure. Furthermore, this same article states, “In the event Grantee, or any staff member in association with Grant, engages in any Political Activity, then (i) Grantee shall keep and maintain appropriate records to evidence compliance with this section, and (ii) Grantee shall have the burden to prove that no funding from this Agreement has been used for such Political Activity. Grantee agrees to cooperate with any audit by City or designee in order to ensure compliance with this section
from Rita O’Flynn as sent to the San Francisco City Attorneys office and the Board of Supervisors
City Attorney, Dennis Herrera stated in BeyondChron, “…San Francisco expects its grant recipients to live up to their obligations…”
To that end, attached please find the grant agreement between the City and County of San Francisco and the Tenderloin Housing Clinic from the Mayor’s Office of Community Investment or the Mayor’s Office of Housing (“MOCI/MOH), entitled Counseling and legal services to prevent tenant displacement and eviction primarily for Spanish-speaking SRO renters” for the fiscal year 2008. Funding for this grant was provided by HUD and distributed by the MOH, apparently, as part of a Community Development Block Grant.
Article 18.10 of this legally binding agreement, entitled, Prohibition on Political Activity with City Funds states, “In accordance with San Francisco Administrative Code Chapter 12.g, no funds appropriated by the City for this Agreement may be expended for organizing, creating, funding, participating in, supporting, or attempting to influence any political campaign for a candidate or for a ballot measure. Furthermore, this same article states, “In the event Grantee, or any staff member in association with Grant, engages in any Political Activity, then (i) Grantee shall keep and maintain appropriate records to evidence compliance with this section, and (ii) Grantee shall have the burden to prove that no funding from this Agreement has been used for such Political Activity. Grantee agrees to cooperate with any audit by City or designee in order to ensure compliance with this section.”
As you are most likely aware, in 2004, the Tenderloin Housing Clinic formed an online website called BeyondChron, LLC. In its workplan for this grant (part of the attached Grant Agreement), the Tenderloin Housing Clinic describes this web site as one that “provides extensive coverage on housing and tenant issues in San Francisco”. An examination of many of the articles presented by BeyondChron since 2004, however, raises questions regarding the Tenderloin Housing Clinic’s compliance with the NO POLITICAL ACTIVITY clauses of their grant from MOCI/MOH. Examples of such publications include but are by no means limited to:
1.The Raid on San Francisco’s Public Financing Fund
by Joe Lynn‚ Jul. 01‚ 2008
“Were this proposal to move forward, the public financing program would be short $1.7 million – $4.3 million in the next mayoral election, according to spending projections by the Ethics Commission.
Rob Arnow is asking folks to communicate with the members of the Budget Committee, in particular, Chairman Jake McGoldrick, so that he understands that this is a very dangerous proposal. Word on the street has it that Supervisor McGoldrick does not understand that there is nothing the Board can do to make the Mayor’s promise to return the money enforceable. Polite, but firm, letters and emails should be directed to him, Jake.McGoldrick@sfgov.org”
2. Claudine Cheng Silent on Revenue Measures
by Paul Hogarth‚ Jul. 03‚ 2008
“But when it comes to basic bread-and-butter questions about our City’s future, supporting Peskin’s revenue measures is far more important down the road.”
3. Progressives Must Reject Prop 93
by Randy Shaw‚ Jan. 28‚ 2008
“But Prop 93 is a disaster for progressive interests. Its primary impact is twofold. First, it would keep the politically ineffective and non-progressive Democratic leadership team of Fabian Nunez and Don Perata in place for another four years. Second, Prop 93’s passage would enable Governor Schwarzenegger to continue to escape blame for the state’s “Perata hfiscal problems, as Nunez and Perata have proved incapable of rallying broad public support against the Governor. New leadership in Sacramento requires Prop 93’s defeat.” “Why in the world would any progressive vote to give Nunez another six years as Speaker?
Unlike Nunez, Democratic Senate leader Don Perata never had progressive credentials. Perata’s entire political career has been designed to keep himself in power, and Prop 93 would give him four more years even though he was elected to the State Senate in 1998.” “Perata has done nothing in the past decade to justify the voters giving him another four years in leadership”
4. Prop 92 Divides Education Advocates, But it’s a Good Idea
by Paul Hogarth‚ Jan. 24‚ 2008
“We must raise taxes for the rich, repeal Prop 13 (or at least exempt commercial and industrial property), and take other bold measures that would solve our state’s revenue problem. But all these proposals will be far more difficult to pass politically. In the meantime, making sure that community colleges get a piece of the – very small – pie of education funds is the right thing to do.”
5. Defend ACORN Against Right-Wing Attacks
by Randy Shaw‚ Feb. 24‚ 2009
“It takes time and money to combat these right-wing attacks, and California ACORN is having a fundraiser featuring Congressmember Barbara Lee and other progressive leaders on March 12 to raise some badly needed funds. Here are the event details.
From the invite:
California ACORN is pleased to invite you to our 2009 Annual Reception, to be held the evening of Thursday, March 12 at the Downtown Oakland Marriot City Center, 1001 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94607. We come together with friends, allies, and co-workers to celebrate the work we have done, but also to share ideas and excitement about the plans and opportunities ahead of us! Join ACORN’s community leaders in honoring some special friends, including Congresswoman Barbara Lee, actress/Comedienne/Activist Roseanne Barr, State Senator Loni Hancock, Director of Urban Strategies Council Junious Williams and California United Food and Commercial Workers.
Please register for this very important and worthwhile event.”
6. Supervisor Candidates Find Ways to Skirt Around Limit
by Paul Hogarth‚ Feb. 03‚ 2010
EDITOR’S NOTE: Paul Hogarth considered a run for District 6 Supervisor this year, and has endorsed Jane Kim for that race (along with Eric Smith in District 10.)
Additionally, BeyondChron posts articles regarding State and or National issues from employees of the Tenderloin Housing Clinic who are “on the road” at the the time, most often without clearly stating whether these employees are on vacation or unpaid leave seems to be be required by the grant conditions.
Section 18.10 of the attached contract further states, “In the event Grantee violation the provisions of this section, City may, in addition to any other rights or remedies available hereunder, (i) terminate this Agreement and any other agreement between the Grantee and the City, (ii) prohibit Grantee from bidding on or receiving any new City contract for a period of two (2) years, and (iii) obtain reimbursement of all funds previously disbursed to Grantee under this agreement.”
In their IRS Forms 990 for 2007 only, The Tenderloin Housing Clinic documents almost $15million in funding, much of it from the City and County of San Francisco. Given the City’s billion dollar budget deficits, San Francisco must step up to the plate to make “grant recipients to live up to their obligations”.
My intent is not to criticize the content of BeyonChron. Rather it is to support Dennis Herrera and MOH in their efforts to ensure that contracts with the City are being fully and compliantly conducted to the terms and conditions of each and every legally binding agreements. If non-compliance is determined, swift and effective action should be undertaken with any and all action undertaken applied fairly and consistently to all grantees.
Should this request be considered too trivial a financial matter for follow up by the City, I am also forwarding an e-mail regarding the “significant deficiencies” in financial management and other issues noted by independent auditors of the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, that was previously provided to your office along with its associated attachements. Perhaps, with the preponderance of concerns raised to date, appropriate action will be undertaken by your office.