It may become a new rite of passage in lame duck administrations that top staff start taking lobbying positions for the lawless scandal factory that is Uber. That’s a thread we see in two Chronicle stories this week, one being today’s Matier & Ross column about Ed Lee staffers taking lobbying jobs with Uber, and the other being a state of the fundraising race in supervisor and mayoral elections. Turns out that large campaign donations are coming in from oh golly you're never gonna believe this! Ed Lee staffers who just took high-paying lobbying jobs with Uber.
Popping up in both articles is Tony Winnicker, Mayor Lee’s former press secretary (or “henchman”, if you believe the late Rose Pak). Winnicker is freshly hired as an Uber communications consultant and he's also a top donor to Sup. Jeff Sheehy’s reelection campaign, a campaign with a substantial cash lead over all other supervisor candidates (NOTE: This is now being disputed by a rival campaign, which is addressed below). Also making the jump to Uber is Lee’s City College board appointee Alex Randolph, who will be an Uber public affairs manager presumably with plenty of fires to put out regularly, and former Aaron Peskin aide David Noyola is already an Uber flak.
“We are building a strong team with deep ties to the San Francisco community to strengthen partnerships in our hometown,” Uber spokesperson Davis White told Matier & Ross. And by “deep ties to the San Francisco community” he means “they know where the bodies are buried.”
Meanwhile in the 2018 Supervisor races (the primaries are less than a year away!) Sup. Sheehy, as mentioned above, leads all candidates with $105,414 raised. In second place, we have his D8 progressive opponent Rafael Mandelman, whose challenge Sheehy will have to fend off in order to keep his appointed seat. Sheehy’s sizable lead comes courtesy big checks from the aforementioned Winnicker and tech lobbyist Alex Tourk. Hey, know any good stories about him?
Update: D8 progressive opponent Rafael Mandelman disputes the Chron's math here. In a just-posted Facebook status, Mandelman says "In just 75 days, our campaign brought in $107,665 from more than 350 contributors, leading our nearest competitor by more than $2,900."
The rest of the reported fundraising totals are pretty pedestrian and in the $20,000 to $30,000 range. The shocker in the district data is not in the numbers, but in the names. Specifically in District 6, where Jane Kim will be termed out, and the only people who’ve filed to run for her seat are development-happy public comment session microphone hog Sonja Trauss, and “barista” Jason Lee Jones. Cheer up, D6, former SFist contributor Sunny Angulo may throw her hat in the ring! (Angulo also has a real job on Sup. Peskin’s staff, and used to work for Kim too.)
Only one mayoral candidate has declared for the 2019 mayoral election, and that is of course Mark Leno who has raised more than $166,000. But we are delighted to speculate about his potential opponents, who may include board president London Breed, Sup. Mark Farrell, Sup. Jane Kim, Sup. Aaron Peskin, City Attorney Dennis Herrera, and Assessor-Recorder Carmen Chu.