Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Wicked Real Estate Developers: No on G



The Florida-based crime novelist John D. MacDonald (1916-1986) was one of my favorite writers in the 1960s and 1970s, particularly his 21 Travis McGee novels which all had the name of a color in the title. The latter followed a fairly simple formula, which was having the sexy and cynical houseboat stud Travis Magee being hired to help somebody out of a jam, finding a woman in the process, and then discovering that the problem was much bigger and more evil than anticipated. The woman was usually killed at some point in a sexually sadistic manner by the villains, McGee would entrap the villains and either put them behind bars or make sure they ended in a watery grave, and an air of evil would emanate from the book long after it was finished. Another recurring detail is that the villains were invariably real estate developers destroying Florida.



MacDonald's acknowledged successor, who trades more in whimsy than hardboiled crime, is native Floridian Carl Hiaasen, who has written a dozen bestsellers over the last decade where the villains are invariably real estate developers destroying Florida.



The Lennar Corporation is a huge Florida real estate development company that could be out of the pages of either MacDonald or Hiaasen's books, and one of their particular specialties has been to buy out politicians on a national level so they can redevelop all the military bases that were decomissioned during Clinton's tenure as President. (Remember when there was, briefly, a balanced federal budget? That's pretty much how they did it.)



In any case, Lennar has been handed the redevelopment rights to Mare Island, Treasure Island and now Bayview/Hunter's Point through their close ties to the deeply corrupt local Democratic party structure, which is Pelosi, Feinstein, Willie Brown, Jr., and Gavin Newsom who are all figureheads for those who actually own everything. They are spending millions of dollars on a small election to make a few changes in the San Francisco planning code so they can continue poisoning the mostly black residents of Bayview/Hunters Point while building rich people's condos along the waterfront. They are also handing out money to black ministers and community leaders to drum up support through Sam Singer's public relations company, which stinks to high heaven.

I urge you to vote No on G today.

11 comments:

Joe Lynn said...

Lennar broke state and perhaps national records for most spending on a local ballot measure, over $3.8 million. This plays havoc with the century-old reform of the ballot measure. Rather than reflecting popular will, it reflects corporate greed. We should all hold accountable the politicians who allow the ballot measure process to be so corrupted.

rootlesscosmo said...

Hear, hear, and thanks for reminding me of the "peace dividend." Man, that sure didn't last very long!

One hopeful note re Prop. G is that (because Lennar has made clear that pasage of Prop. F is a deal-breaker), there are three good outcomes out of a possible four: F & G both pass (good), F & G both lose (good), F passes and G loses (good); only if F fails and G passes does Lennar get its way. But we'll know in the morning.

sfmike said...

Actually, rootlesscosmo, we know tonight. Lennar got its way, but this is a battle in what's shaping up to be a bit of a long war, and the real estate market is tanking so wildly that the corporation will probably be out of business soon, selling its "rights" to the highest bidder. And then the circle goes round.

rootlesscosmo said...

That's what I get for turning in early--the vote count was under 1% so I figured I'd wait for this morning's Chron.

Your John D. MaDonald/Carl Hiaasen references were very apt. Did you ever see an Australian movie called "Heat Wave," with a young Judy Davis? Similar theme, much more realistic downbeat resolution. Worth checking out.

janinsanfran said...

Yes -- Prop. G should only lead to the next installment of the endless war over who owns the city -- residents or developers.

My favorite MacDonald is Condominium, a vivid picture of what hurricanes do to the speculative developments so profitable for their zillionaire builders, so deadly to the dupes who bank their retirement on them.

namastenancy said...

My artist friends at Hunter's Point are watching the bulldozers come closer and closer. I suspect that Lennar will find some reason to close Building 101 (the main artist's building left at Hunter's Point) some time in the next 5 years. In the mean time, they will be building expensive condos and town houses on polluted land and within sight of the run down housing projects - a recipe for disaster. Does anybody remember the "Love Canal" and the dozens who got cancer or other environmental causes illness by living in houses built on that land. Want to bet that we will be reading headlines about something similar in 2020 (should we still be around).

Henry Holland said...

Well, if you lot up North had done your patriotic duty and publicly financed every penny of a new 49ers stadium near the 'Stick like the team and the NFL wanted, Hunter's Point wouldn't be in the pickle it's in now.

/sarcasm

Matty Boy said...

Sorry to hear the election went so bad. 89% for Pelosi is a travesty, though I expect few who post here are in that wretched number.

Monica said...

Speaking of Florida and black folks being displaced by developers, did you ever see "The Sunshine State," directed by John Sayles? Great little flick in the vein of Hiaassen, and a reminder that there's usually someone who's been bought out on the inside, as well. Keep fighting the good fight, SFMike!

rootlesscosmo said...

I second the recommendation of "Sunshine State." Enthusiastically.

momo said...

Who was it who said "culture of corruption"?