Monday, August 06, 2007

San Francisco updates


It looks like we are indeed going to be living in a gang injunction zone as I discussed awhile ago. D.A. Dennis Herrera has will argue for the injunction at a hearing on Sept. 18.

Thanks to the invaluable Real Cost of Prisons blog, I found this discussion of the injunctions written by San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi:

Will the injunctions reduce gangs and gang violence in San Francisco? According to a recent report issued by the Justice Policy Institute, a Washington-based think tank, injunctions do not work. ...

I met with a dozen people who have been named in San Francisco's gang injunction. I learned that some have been crime-free for years, working at full-time jobs and volunteering in anti-gang programs. One person who police claimed was covered with gang tattoos had his tattoos removed three years ago and was no longer involved in a gang. Several people named in the injunction are brothers, including two who work together at a small business. Ironically, these two brothers would be barred from working together, being outside past 10 p.m., and could face jail time for associating with each other in public or wearing the color red.

Because there is no right to a lawyer in civil court, an individual named as a gang member who cannot afford a lawyer has little choice except to submit to the injunction.

The gang injunction is permanent, meaning that the person will carry the label of "gang member" for life. There is no procedure for removing one's name from the injunction and no mechanism to hold police accountable for errors.

Because these records are public, the alleged "gang member" may lose his job, as did two people named in the Bayview-Hunters Point injunction.

Public Defender Adachi is a good guy and, as far as I know, a good public defender. I often cite him as the model of the perfect candidate for electoral office. (Yes, we elect our Public Defender here; I know that is unusual.) When blocked in his path to the office by some slightly sleazy politics, he made the decision to beat the establishment at the ballot box and devoted himself to being a candidate for a year. He worked himself to the bone to win -- and knew why he wanted the office. And he stuck to his principles: of Japanese-American heritage himself, within days after 9/11 he began to speak out against anti-Arab and anti-Muslim incidents.

I'm willing to listen to Jeff about the gang injunctions. If he says they are bad policy, I trust him.
***


Assemblyman Mark Leno has scored a pretty tough hit on State Senator Carole Migden in his primary battle for her seat. (We don't do Republicans -- whoever wins the primary gets the seat.)

Leno is telling the state Fair Political Practices Commission

-- That Migden, D-San Francisco, illegally kept in her Senate account nearly $500,000 left over from her 2001 Board of Equalization campaign.

-- That she illegally transferred nearly $1 million from her Assembly re-election committee to a Senate account - spending about a fourth of it.

-- And that she failed to itemize nearly $400,000 in credit card campaign expenses on state reporting forms from 2000 to 2006.

SF Chronicle

Migden's political consultant Richie Ross isn't even denying the charges; he says they are "absolutely legitimate."

Frankly this sounds like classic Migden: she has long been able to raise bundles of cash; she has often acted as if rules and limits were for someone else.

Don't know whether the electorate will care about this; San Francisco is used to stringent election finance laws being evaded by winning candidates. If Leno can convince enough voters that she's a bit contemptuous of the law, it might help him, as will any restrictions on her use of her war chest. But I don't doubt her ability simply to raise more.

I remain neutral on the race. I didn't like either of them on the Board of Supervisors; both of them, in their own ways, have been good reps at the State Capital. All very interesting.

2 comments:

sfmike said...

Totally agree with your political analysis of both candidates (not so good on the city board, surprisingly good as state legislators) but Ms. Migden really is insupportable just as a human being. Her sense of entitlement, exemplified so beautifully in her recently publicized casually reckless driving (with lots of follow-up on the internets with people writing in, "hey, she just about ran me over too"), has pretty much spelled her doom.

By the way, if Jackie Speier goes after Tom Lantos, are you going to help? Now that might be an interesting race.

Jane Meyerding said...

That gang listing sounds like another no-fly list, eh?

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