Column: What $104 million could buy, instead of a failed mayoral run
In this Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2011, photo, the headquarters of the San Francisco Police Department, where a bomb threat was phoned into the police station in San Francisco. The mayor’s office on Friday, Nov. 31, 2016, rejected a request by Supervisor Aaron Peskin to give San Francisco voters an opportunity to overturn a voter-approved pension increase. San Francisco voters approved a $98.5-million pension increase by a margin of 54 percent to 46 percent on Sunday. The City Council approved the proposal on Nov. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Photo by John Storey
We’ve seen this story before: In October 2013, when a Republican senator named Scott Brown vowed to run for the Senate in Massachusetts, a Democratic mayor from Boston said he’d back Brown and urged him — not out of a desire to stop Republicans, but out of a desire to send a message to the Senate GOP.
And the message was clear: “You can’t put us in that position.”
The same message can be sent to Mayor Ed Lee and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
The three Democratic supervisors who control the board, and have been instrumental in pushing for a pension deal, would say that with an additional $104.3 million, they could retire and still live like wealthy sine die members of the upper middle class — a class that, even if some of it does pay taxes, does not live as close to the poverty line as most of the city, or the country, for that matter.
While not everyone from the San Francisco Democratic party is in agreement with Mayor Lee or the current Democratic leadership at City Hall, it is worth examining the political math.
As Supervisor David Campos, who also voted for the pension agreement, likes to say, “You don’t get much higher than 65%.