Inside tech billionaires' push to reshape San Francisco politics: 'a hostile takeover'
Source: The Guardian
Inside tech billionaires push to reshape San Francisco politics: a hostile takeover
Ali Winston, with graphics by Will Jarrett, of Mission Local
Mon 12 Feb 2024 12.00 GMT
Last modified on Mon 12 Feb 2024 13.34 GMT
Still, the political-influence machine that tech billionaires and venture capitalists have recently built in San Francisco stands out for its size and ambition. A new analysis of campaign filings, non-profit records and political contributions by the Guardian and Mission Local reveals the extent of this network, which is using its financial and organizational muscle to push the famously progressive city into adopting policies that are tougher on crime and homelessness, and more favorable to business and housing construction.
In the past six years, prominent tech and venture capital leaders including the hedge fund manager William Oberndorf, the billionaire investor Michael Moritz, the cryptocurrency booster Chris Larsen, the PayPal co-founder David Sacks, the Y Combinator CEO, Garry Tan, and the Pantheon CEO, Zachary Rosen have invested at least $5.7m into reshaping San Franciscos policies, according to the analysis of public data. Because not all of their donations are publicly disclosed, the sum of their contributions may be far higher.
In a solidly Democratic city, they have joined forces with traditional business and real estate elites in an effort to oust some of its most progressive leaders and undo its most progressive policies.
To achieve those goals, they have created a loose network of interlocking non-profits, dark money groups and political action committees a framework colloquially known as a grey money network that allows them to obscure the true scale of their involvement in San Franciscos municipal politics.
Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2024/feb/12/san-francisco-tech-billionaires-political-influence
How many decades have we fought for power to the people?
Local Tech CEO and Political Donor Garry Tan Tweets That Some SF Supervisors Should Die Slow In Late-Night Rant
If youre like many San Franciscans on Twitter, theres a good chance you are blocked by highly vocal local tech CEO Garry Tan. So you may not have seen a series of eyebrow-raising (and seemingly drunken?) tweets Tan posted late Friday night and early Saturday morning. Tan is best known for being the CEO of the VC firm Y Combinator, but has also donated well over $100,000 toward moderate causes in the last couple years, and serves as a board member of the very active tech-funded political group Grow SF.
But as Mission Local reports, Tan appeared to engage in a die slow motherfucker rant on Twitter in the wee hours Saturday morning, clearly directed at seven of the 11 members of the SF Board of Supervisors. The thread has since been deleted.
Fuck Chan, Peskin, Preston, Walton, Melgar, Ronen, Safai, Chan as a label and motherfucking crew, Tan posted to his 400,000+ Twitter followers at 12:25 a.m. Saturday morning. Die slow motherfuckers.
there would not be so many desperate people living on the edge of poverty, crime, helplessness, and homelessness.
If billionaires wanted a better world, they could offer secure and productive jobs, affordable housing, and a social safety net that protects folks from hard times.
Instead, they want power, control, and the ability to squeeze more and more out of the pockets of the common people.