Notes from a press event with Mayor Gavin Newsom on Monday:
On the housing bond – A couple people “who want to throw bombs” stand in the way of a successful proposal. Supervisor Aaron Peskin is reaching out to one or two supervisors who have questions. It’s not “my” bond. The only guidance I gave was “build consensus, make sure it will win.” The total need is probably $3 billion. I will be a strong, vocal supporter for a consensus measure. Detractors won’t break the effort if the group holds. Having a little bit for everybody “would be unique in our history.” It if it unravels at the board, a few people can have drink and say ‘how powerful we are!’ There’s nothing noble about these “negative naysayers.”
On his proposal for a quarter-cent sales tax increase – It needs just 50 percent of the vote and would put S.F. on par with Alameda County. People who come from out of town would pay much of it. “I hardly like promoting taxes.” It’s political suicide, especially in my party. It’s a balancing act. Without taxes, government wouldn’t exist; you’d have huge crime waves. They are not inherently bad. Analogy: You want to eat more, so you eat less so you can live longer. Biotech companies complain about our 1.5 percent payroll tax, so I’m looking, with Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier, at exempting them from payroll taxes for a time.
On Ronald Reagan – I was “inspired by President Reagan’s optimism, his love of country.” He had constancy, he never bent. His passion was infectious. Of course I had a lot of differences of opinion, “but that’s not for now.” Growing up, Bobby Kennedy and others inspired me with their policies. Reagan had a huge impact on how I view politics, maybe a negative one. For governor, he beat a great friend of my family, Pat Brown. In that race, people took George Christopher seriously. Schwar- I mean Reagan – came out of nowhere.