Hence, the soon-to-be-termed-out legislator snubbed his invitation to be on the America’s Cup “Honorary Welcoming Committee,” turning down the opportunity to be a figurehead in aiding Oracle CEO/megarich dude Larry Ellison’s much-publicized effort to bring the yacht race to San Francisco in 2013. Not only that, he’s telling everyone who will listen — calling a hastily-organized press conference Thursday in the Tenderloin for the purpose — what a bad, awful, no-good idea it is to host the boats.
“It’s a billionaire’s regatta. Why are we going out to raise $270 million for Larry fucking Ellison?” asked a yachting-gear clad (see pic above) Daly, reacting to an announcement by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, that he is authoring a bill to use
$270 million in public financing to spruce up the SF waterfront, so that it can be shipshape for Ellison and his BMW Oracle racing team, which won the America’s Cup in Spain earlier this year. The bill is not yet written and the exact hit to S.F. taxpayers is not yet known, according to Quintin Mecke, an Ammiano spokesman.
“San Francisco should not be going so out of its way, using the people’s money so that a billionaire can have his yacht race,” Daly said.
Under Mayor Gavin Newsom’s plan, Ellison would get more than a pretty place to race a boat: Ellison would receive rent-free leases for up to 75 years and exclusive development rights on Piers 30-32, an adjacent parking lot, and Pier 50 in getting-ritzier. Newsom’s plan also relies on substantial private generosity: private donors would be called on to pitch in as much as $270 million to help get San Francisco cup-worthy.
In return, there’s money and jobs for us little people, according to race organizers.
Economic forecasts by the likes of the Bay Area Council — which represents corporate interests like Catholic Healthcare West, Clear Channel and Hathaway Dinwiddie — peg the money bomb coming the Bay Area’s way via the cup at $1.4 billion, and say that nearly 9,000 jobs will be created.
Daly dismissed both figures as fool’s gold, using rosy economic forecasts given ahead of money-draining Olympic Games as precedent.
“Whenever there’s an economic forecast to promote these events, they never pan out,” said Daly, pointing to the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta as prime examples. “The $1.4 billion is not going to go to homeless services… your average person in the Tenderloin, your average person struggling to make it by in San Francisco, is not going to benefit from the America’s Cup.”
Since he is termed-out, there is little Daly can do other than voice his opposition to the Cup. And that’s what he’s doing.
“It used to be that San Francisco was called a millionaire’s playground,” he said, offering one last barb. “So now it’s a billionaire’s playground?”