Scratch two candidates names from the list for consideration of recommendation for mayor of the LPSF. Both are going to be sticking their hands into the wallets of all San Franciscans to finance their campaigns for mayor. Tony Hall and Chicken John Rinaldi.
The second article is a late breaking news item of Earthlink bowing out of the City Wi-Fi deal. That means a definite recommendation of Vote No on Proposition J. It's time to look at WiMax - that is if such a network is really needed - since the onlyones convinced it's needed are the politicians and those who will gain at the taxpayers expense.
Look for the up to date initiatives list next Tuesday 9-4 for the LPSF initiatives vote recommendations at the LPSF meeting Saturday Sept. 8 at 3:00 pm at Milano's.
2 S.F. mayoral candidates qualify for public campaign funds
John Wildermuth, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Former Supervisor Tony Hall and Chicken John Rinaldi, a onetime bar owner and self-described showman, were the only two candidates for San Francisco mayor to meet a Tuesday deadline that could make them eligible for as much as $850,000 in city-provided campaign money.
Both Rinaldi and Hall showed up at the city's Ethics Commission office on Van Ness Avenue less than a half hour before the 5 p.m. public financing deadline. Each turned in a list of San Francisco residents who had provided them each with more than $25,000 in small contributions, qualifying them for matching money from the city.
"I'm beat," said Rinaldi, who turned in a pile of moderately disorganized folders stuffed with the required information. "I've got to catch a plane to Burning Man in 21/2 hours, and I needed to raise $8,000 today."
Hall and a supporter came with a neatly clipped stack of signature cards and documentation, but he admitted it had been a sprint to get his information ready on time.
"We've been working on this for the past month, but the bulk of the money came in over the last three days," Hall said.
While most of the other 12 candidates probably weren't able to collect enough contributions to qualify for the city money, that wasn't why Mayor Gavin Newsom ignored the public financing effort.
Newsom already had told the Ethics Commission that he plans to disregard the city's voluntary $1.37 million spending limit for the mayor's race, since he already has collected more than that for his re-election campaign. That made him ineligible to receive public money.
By the end of June, Newsom already had raised more than $1.5 million for the November campaign and had nearly $700,000 in the bank.
While San Francisco has had public financing for supervisorial races since 2002, this is the first time the program has been extended to the mayor's campaign. For candidates who qualify, the flood of city money can make it possible to run a competitive race, even against a candidate as well-funded as Newsom.
If a candidate for mayor can collect $25,000 from San Francisco residents in contributions ranging from $10 to $100, he or she will get $50,000 in public money. The next $100,000 a candidate raises, either from within or out of the city, will be matched 4 to 1, which could bring in $400,000 of city funds.
The city also will match the next $400,000 raised on a dollar-for-dollar basis, which means a candidate who collects $525,000 from donors will pick up an additional $850,000 in campaign money from the city.
Hall turned in information about $27,000 in qualifying contributions Tuesday and said he already has collected thousands of dollars more.
"I don't know how much money I'll raise, since that depends on the people's support," he said. "But it's clear that our support shows that this isn't just a campaign of nobodies."
Among the candidates seeking Newsom's job, Hall is the only one who has held public office. Quintin Mecke, program director of a city-funded social service agency, received the endorsements of Supervisor Chris Daly and BART Director Tom Radulovich last week and hopes to attract the city's progressive voters. But the other candidates, including a nudist, a homeless cab driver and the owner of a sex club, are little known and poorly financed.
While Rinaldi estimated that he provided information for about $26,000 in contributions Tuesday, he admitted that he and his backers hadn't really had time to do a full count.
"There's more (donation information) at home that we didn't have time to turn in today," he said. "And there are even more contributions from people who don't live in San Francisco."
City officials still have to check the signatures and addresses to verify that the contributions came from San Francisco residents and met a variety of other requirements. If all goes well, Hall and Rinaldi should receive the first $50,000 of their public funding by the end of September.
While the public financing will provide a big boost for the two campaigns, history shows that it's far from an indicator of success on election day.
Of the 17 supervisors elected since 2002, only six of them took public funds. Last year, for example, Daly was the only winning candidate who accepted the city money. Like Newsom, many of the candidates who didn't participate in the public financing program were able to raise more money on their own.
Earthlink bows out of San Francisco Wi-Fi deal
By LISA LEFF, Associated Press Writer
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
(08-29) 19:36 PDT San Francisco (AP) --
The financially struggling Earthlink Inc. on Wednesday bowed out of a deal to join Google Inc. in providing free wireless Internet access throughout San Francisco, according to the mayor's office.
Earthlink Chief Executive Rolla Huff told Mayor Gavin Newsom during a telephone call "they were not going to be able to fulfill their end of the bargain," said Nathan Ballard, Newsom's spokesman. "Mr. Huff made it clear it wasn't going to happen with Earthlink; they are getting out of the Wi-Fi business."
Huff delivered the news a day after he announced that the Atlanta-based Internet service provider planned to cut costs by eliminating 900 jobs, about half its work force, and closing its offices in four cities, including San Francisco.
Earthlink and Google beat out five other contractors who bid last year on the contract to create a citywide wireless network here. Like Philadelphia, Chicago and several other cities, San Francisco has been competing to become the first large U.S. city to make the Internet available throughout its borders.
Under the four-year agreement, which was never finalized due to a political tug-of-war between the mayor and the governing Board of Supervisors, Earthlink was supposed to bear the estimated $14-to-$17-million cost of building and maintaining the Wi-Fi system.
Google planned to sell ads to help subsidize the free service, while Earthlink planned to try to recoup its investment by charging $21.95 per month for a premium Wi-Fi service that would allow subscribers to surf the Web at speeds three to four times faster than with the free service.
Current projections had called for the system to be up and running by early next year.
EarthLink spokesman Jerry Grasso confirmed Huff spoke with Newsom Wednesday, but couldn't comment on what was discussed.
"We look forward to talking to city officials about exploring other options," Grasso said.
Attempts to reach Google for comment Wednesday evening were unsuccessful.
EarthLink estimated in January that it expected to make about $6 million a year from subscription Wi-Fi sales in the city. But even before Huff took over as Earthlink's CEO in June, questions about customer demand and the viability of the technology the company was testing in four cities led it to announce that it was reviewing plans to deploy additional networks.
Ballard said Wednesday that although the joint deal with Google and Earthlink is now history, the city would regroup and issue a second round of proposals from interested vendors. Officials hope Google, which "has been a valuable partner throughout all this," will want to participate, he said.
To build support for the project, Newsom and the president of the Board of Supervisors put a measure on the November municipal ballot earlier this month asking voters to approve the concept of a citywide Wi-Fi network created with public and private resources.
"We are still committed to free Wi-Fi, and we are going to get it done — quickly," Ballard said. "We are disappointed, but we will not lose momentum here."