Commentary: Quentin L. Kopp

Voting Recommendations

Upon reviewing local and state ballot measures, your scribe was reminded of an anonymous quip: “America is a land of opportunity. Everybody can become a taxpayer.”

Question of the month: When will Shamann Walton resign from presidency of the Board of Supervisors and, better yet, from the Board itself? His repeated use of a racial slur and vulgarity to a sheriff’s cadet ensuring Walton entered City Hall without any prohibited weapons constitutes disparagement and an insult of the most disgusting nature. Yet the Board of Supervisors does nothing to this loathsome member of the City “family!” One “family” member stated to me last month he would never vote to disrobe Walton. Don’t you love double standards?

As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to reopen for oral arguments and written opinions in legal disputes it has agreed to review, California suffered last spring invalidation of quota laws created by the one-party legislature and governor: Last April, it was a requirement that publicly traded corporations doing business in our state include identified minorities as a governing board member from a list of minorities approved by state government. In May, another law which required women on corporation boards of directors was judicially nullified as violative of the California Constitution’s equal protection clause [Article I, Sec. 7(a)].

As Zachary Faria wrote in the Washington Examiner, “… (legislators) must be back to the drawing board and find another way to tell women and minorities they aren’t good enough to be promoted on their own.”

I hereby confess an error: Chesa Boudin, esquire will not run for district attorney on Nov. 8. George Soros spawned his ilk in Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles and Travis County, Texas by spending more than $40 million to elect disbelievers in prosecution between 2014 and 2021, according to a Virginia-based Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund report. (Unfortunately, a second effort to recall George Gascon in Los Angeles failed to secure enough voter signatures last month.)

Meanwhile, I’ve endorsed mayorly appointee Brooke Jenkins for district attorney on Nov. 8 and urge readers to do so. She is a remarkable woman, with a career of two decades of prosecutorial trial and management experience, maybe better than even Terrence Hallinan, San Francisco’s last genuine D.A. more than two decades ago.

Since many voters exercise their rights this month by mail and otherwise, I also pronounce strong support of Board of Education Commissioner Ann Hsu from the Richmond District who was appointed last spring by Mayor London Breed and is the only Board member to vote against an unconstitutional resolution establishing two new public school holidays based upon Muslim holy days. 

Paul Scott, esquire, a public school parent from Telegraph Hill, by letter dated Aug. 18, demanded the Board repeal its Aug. 9 resolution, adopted by a 5-1 vote, for non-compliance with Brown Act notice (to the public) and agenda requirements and violation of the United States Constitution Establishment Clause and Article I, Section 4 of the California Constitution (establishment of religion). At press time, the School District hasn’t complied. I predict a suit this month by the San Francisco Taxpayers Association (of which I’m president) to protect taxpayer funds from dispensation to holiday-enjoying teachers and administrators, plus costs incurred by parents who would need care for their children on such unexpected holidays.

The only vote against the illegal resolution was by Commissioner Hsu who understands the rule of the law and has children in the floundering school district, not in private schools. Unless convinced otherwise, I won’t endorse any other Board candidate in a school district whose enrollment has declined to about 48,000!

I think it’s timely to recommend (as I traditionally have done since my first year on the Board of Supervisors in 1972), ballot measure votes and candidate elections. 

I’ll vote “yes” on local Propositions A, B, I and N; I recommend a resounding “no” on Propositions C, D, E, F, G, H, J, K, L, M and O. I’ll vote “no” on State Proposition 26, 27, 28, 29, and 30. I’ll vote “yes” on Propositions 1 (abortion) and 31 (banning sale of flavored tobacco products). Regarding Proposition I, the iniquity of banning motor vehicle driven from JFK Drive and the Great Highway is reflected in current gas taxes here in California which are the highest in the U.S. at 68.5 cents per gallon. Car drivers also pay 18.4 cents per gallon in federal taxes. Bicyclists and Walk S.F. members pay zero.

  I’ll also vote for Trustee John Rizzo’s re-election to the City College Board of Trustees. The union is running a competing slate of candidates who would bankrupt City College by re-hiring union members released because of insufficient funds, thereby averting another state takeover. Rizzo is financially conscious, experienced and honest. Until we restore at-large election of supervisors, I’m not enthusiastic about any of these lightweights. The woman I endorsed in District 4 (Sunset, Lakeshore Acres, Merced Manor) seems ineligible for lack of residency in the district and attacked a reporter last month by using his Jewish heritage in an unbecoming way. I’ll re-evaluate District 4 and other candidates next month. Assessor Joaquin Torres has no opposition, neither public defender is worth our time and BART Board aspirants will be evaluated next month. Incidentally, Sept. 10 constitutes the 50th anniversary of BART’s operating inception.

As the son of a legal 1912 immigrant from then-Russia and husband of a legal post-WWII immigrant from Latvia, I oppose so-called “sanctuary” cities which authorities harbor illegal aliens and order their law enforcement authorities not to notify Immigration and Custom Enforcement Service (ICE) of release from jail of illegal criminally convicted aliens, who should be seized for deportation. Non-citizen immigrant military veterans should be processed for U.S. citizenship speedily and not deported. Border security and visa procedures should discourage and reduce illegal immigration. It’s estimated there are 14 million illegal aliens in our country, including an estimated 45% of whom arrived legally, then overstayed their visas! (99% of their “overstays” aren’t even investigated!)  California has the highest illegal alien population in the U.S. with about 3,042,000. (Texas is next with 2,072,000.) Whatever its virtues, the current national administration fails the American people in stopping such lawbreaking. Deportations decreased 63% from 2009 to 2019. Twenty-one states grant in-state college tuition to illegal aliens, California included.

Concerned that his son was spending too much time on video games, a father told him: “When Abraham Lincoln was your age, he was studying books by the light of the fireplace.” “Oh yeah,” replied the son. “Well, when Abe Lincoln was your age, he was president of the United States.” Happy Labor Day.

Quentin Kopp is a former San Francisco supervisor, state senator, member of the SF Ethics Commission and retired judge. 

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