It's the Corruption Stupid

Savannah Blackwell

San Francisco Bay Guardian

Dear Savannah,

Your March 5th article, "It's the Corruption Stupid", stated that Tom
Ammiano was the only mayoral candidate who believed the Mayor's control
over the police should be shared. I am also running for Mayor. And I
also want to distribute the Mayor's power to the supervisors including
control over the police. In this race, it seems both the left and right
are calling for a "strong mayor". I am the only candidate supporting a
managerial rather than imperial role for the Mayor's office. District
elections gave more control to the people, where it belongs. The Mayor's
office needs to be more respectful of the people and rule of law. And
the police department needs to be more responsive to our community. I'm
going to tell you a little story.

Last Friday, I was on my motorcycle on the corner of Second and Mission.
All auto and pedestrian traffic was stopped in both directions. I asked
the police officer what was going on. He barked at me "police escort". I
asked who it was for. He looked at me with a look that said "Shut the
F*%k up" and ignored me. So I waited for about 5-10 minutes and nothing
happened while everyone was waiting around wondering what was happening.
Then one motorcycle officer came through with sirens scanning the crowd
for threats to the "parade". He was followed by15-20 motorcycle officers
and a squad car with lights and sirens blazing. Behind him was a small
group of cars, most young twenty-somethings in BMWs wearing cool shades
and a couple of larger limos with rich looking "swells" who were
enjoying that they could drive at high speeds through the city without
concern for traffic and the people. It was very clear that this police
department and Mayor are in it for themselves and the "swells" they
serve. We can't provide bathrooms so San Franciscans can pee, but we can
rudely delay our citizens while showing off our power to the rich and

The poor can never beat the rich in City Hall. So the best thing to do
is to dramatically reduce the power of the Mayor's office and the
police. We should be considering a more "citizen volunteer" approach to
our Police and Fire Departments, including their privatization. And we
should give the Police and Fire stations to the officers who currently
work out of them and let them compete with each other to provide service
to the community, their customers. With that, Police and Fire
Departments not perceived as serving citizen needs would soon be out of
business. The Vice department should simply be cut. Vices are not crimes
anyway. And these silly and arrogant police escorts, should not be
performed unless their entire cost is born by the visitor including the
lost time of thousands of our citizens. If the true cost was charged,
someone would have to feel pretty threatened to get a police escort. And
who wants someone like that around here anyway. But of course, it's
never been about "protection". It's about an arrogant display of City
Hall and Police power at the expense of the citizens and tax payers. In
short, it's business as usual.

Thanks to Tom Ammiano for his position on the police. Please let him and
your readers know that he has allies.

Thank you for your excellent article.

Michael F. Denny

Libertarian Candidate for San Francisco Mayor

Ph: (415) 986-7677 x123

Fax: (415) 986-4004


Michael Denny for Mayor Media Release


March 3, 2003


Contact: Christopher R. Maden

E-mail: chris@...

Telephone: (415) 845-8202

San Francisco, March 3, 2003 - Libertarian candidate for Mayor Michael

Denny today called for San Francisco Police Chief Earl Sanders to

voluntarily step aside, pending resolution of his indictment for

to obstruct justice.

Libertarians believe that all accused criminals are innocent until

guilty in a court of law. But Denny also says that the police department

must be above the slightest appearance of impropriety. Having indicted

suspects running law enforcement when civilian suspects are detained

bars will severely strain the relationship between the community and the

police, at the very least.

Accordingly, Denny called for Sanders and other indicted Police

command staff to voluntarily step aside until the issue is resolved, for

the good of the community, the City, and the Department.

"The police and City Hall have too much power," said Denny, "and they

too much to do." Denny called for decriminalization of victimless

including drug use and consensual sexual acts, and the decommissioning

the Vice Squad.

Denny believes that real crimes - including murder, assault, rape, and

theft - should be vigorously prosecuted, and that a more focused police

force would be much more efficient - and more popular with the

"The current adversarial attitude of the police is intolerable," he

About Michael Denny:

Michael Denny is a husband, a father of four children, a small business

owner, and a Libertarian candidate for mayor of San Francisco. His

Web site is Libertarians believe in personal

freedom, in both social and economic spheres, and in minimal government

protect those freedoms.