San Francisco Taxpayers Union meeting report (April 11)

I've been meaning to post some notes on this meeting I went to with
Sarosh last Monday morning. It really was much better organized and
attended than I'd expected. With the idea that I might lobby for a
libertarian direction for the group, I ran off 30 copies of some
materials I put together (see attachment), thinking that would be
plenty. After all, how many people would come to a meeting at 730am in
the morning? As it turned out, the answer was 60 or 70.

  It was a good cross-section of the conservative-leaning power players
in SF politics. Residential Builders leader Joe O'Donoghue was there.
Former Supervisor and Treasure Island director Tony Hall was there.
Journalists Adriel Hampton and Warren Hinckle were there (Warren with
his floppy-eared dog). GOP chair Mike DeNunzio was there. Someone from
Mayor Gavin Newsom's office (didn't catch his name) was there. Myrna
Lim, a candidate for Supervisor who I endorsed in District 11 last
year, was there. Other attendees included Scott Hauge of the Small
Business Owners; former Activist Forum speaker Steve Cornell of
Brownie's Hardware; Geary Merchants association leader David Heller;
and last but not least, the MC of the whole thing was the notorious
political consultant and Willie Brown crony Jack Davis.

  When I arrived, there were people at the door with information and
buttons for the San Francisco Taxpayers Union, and the place was
adorned with smart-looking banners and window signs. There was free
pastries, fruit and coffee. Davis gave a speech which was mostly just a
litany of thanking various people for their help and for showing up
(most of the individuals were in the room). I learned that they already
have a website (, a steering
committee which is composed of representatives of various groups, and
they have come up with a mission statement. When I heard that this had
already been done without Libertarians being invited, and that Davis
did not acknowledge us or that I was sitting there (in fairness he may
not have known who I am), I was kind of pissed. I approached him about
it afterward, and he stressed that we were certainly welcome to have a
seat on the steering committee, all we had to do was sign the mission
statement. This aroused my suspicions -- how good a pro-taxpayer
statement could a bunch of Republicans and business leaders, apparently
led by one of the city's top political wheeler-dealers, come up with?

  Well, again I was pleasantly surprised. It turns out that the answer
is "a very libertarian one." Here is the full text: