The Wages of Sin is Graft: How the ward-heelers get paid

The Official Online Archive of the San Francisco Investigator
Final Issue Vol. 2 Numbers 9 & 10 September & October 1998

According to a spreadsheet recently released by the San Francisco Controller, City Hall funds 528 non-profit institutions, ranging from Accion Latina ($12,000) to ZYZZYVA ($4,500). This year, the "community-based organizations" pulled down a grand total of $162,231,560. In case you missed that figure: its over $162 million!

Of course, many of these institutions do good work and are reputable. Unfortunately, the best way to squeeze money out of City Hall is to perform quid pro quos for the Mayor and his buds, such as getting out the vote for machine candidates, or signing off on twisted "community-based" policies and funding proposals not in the best interests of ordinary people.

Funds for these fat and politically-connected, profitable non-profits flow through fourteen city departments, ranging from the Police ($151,154) to the Arts Commission ($1,218,120). The Dept of Public Health has the second largest chunk of non-profit patronage to toss around ($54,712,003). This year's winner for sheer size of largesse thuds in at $59,765,393. And who is the fairy godfather? Mayor Willie Lewis Brown, of course. Sixty million bucks in discretionary funding can buy a lot of loyalty in our small town.

Naturally, the department heads who hand out an additional $101 million make sure that the gifts they have to give fall into hands blessed by the headman.

What's wrong with this picture?

Major beneficiaries of Willie Money include Catholic Charities @ $4,070,779; Episcopal Community Services @ $6,080,038; Glide (Memorial Church) Commercial Development Foundation @ $1,246,276; Lutheran Social Services of Northern California @ $1,487,142; Salvation Army @ $3,130,106; St. Vincent De Paul Society @ $4,943,264; Support Center for Nonprofit Management @ $1,012,713. So much for separation of church and state!

Who the heck is Professional Man Development Corporation? They were gifted with $3,520,093. Sounds sexist.

The smallest grant was $1,155 to something called "The SF Lesbian/Gay," which could be a single hermaphrodite, for all SFI knows.

But check it out. Who got the MOST? Who got $15,500,189? That is, who got $15.5 MILLION, i.e. nine and one-half percent (9.5%) of the entire year's non-profit graft budget? Walden House, that's who.

For those who forgot what Walden House is, it's a hard drug recovery institution that can brag of some modest success in assisting drug addicts to help themselves. More to the point, Walden House "volunteers" have registered living and dead voters; worked the polls; and physically transported, sealed and unsealed and counted real and phony votes for every election that has occurred under Willie Brown's regime.

If the long arm of the law ever deigns to investigate and prosecute the malefactors who stuffed and microwaved the "wet" ballots in June 1997 and who have tainted all recent elections with well-documented misdeeds, executives of Walden House will end up sharing a prison wing with W.L. Brown, Jack Davis, Germaine Wong, Naomi Nashioki, Steve Nelson, Bill Lee and a host of small fry addicts commanded to subvert democracy by the counselors who held the power of life and death over them.

Walden House does not need any City money. It has always been "self-supporting." It funds its operations by commandeering the welfare checks of its residents. Non-profit funding in the modern world is often just a kickback rewarding political loyalty - and much worse.

P.S. The second largest recipient of the Mayor's non-profit slush is Haight Ashbury Free Clinic ($6.4 million). A few months ago, Matt Isaacs of the SF Independent exposed this drug rehab as the official residence for oodles of dead - but registered and voting - voters.

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