An Ear Inside – San Francisco Development Politics
After all, the beaming hosts who greeted the guests and urged them to help themselves to the ample bar food and flowing booze were the very same ones who had terrified them not so long ago. They were the Residential Builders Association, known to not a few San Franciscans as strapping lads with Irish accents who would threaten opponents to their building projects with lawsuits, criminal investigations, and worse.
The other hosts were Platinum Advisors. For such a powerful outfit, with massive contracts to develop such gems as Treasure Island, it seemed strange that nobody knew who was from Platinum, much less what they looked like.
Local politicians who had called for reform of one kind or another over the past eight or so years made short, humorous remarks. The atmosphere was at times almost giddy, with the thought that developers and neighbors might, at long last, have achieved their own detente, their own post-partisan cooperation. If Ireland and Northern Ireland could do it…
On his way out, former Mayor Willie Brown stopped to deliver a jolly parting riposte to Supervisor Chris Daly, who was possibly the biggest nail in the rolling rubber tire of San Francisco development. Brown’s face was alight with the joy of loading a killer punchline about to be delivered. “You know the real reason they threw this party?” he asked, and paused, making sure he had the attention of his very small audience. “The real reason was so they could finally tell all of these people: ‘Fuck you!’”
And with an immediate explosion of mirth, he went off into the evening.
Local talk of the event here.