Scott Wiener’s Statement on Swift-Boat Attacks

In the last few weeks, you may have received swift-boat attacks on me via mail, phone, and email.  These false attacks run the gamut — claiming that I will repeal rent control, that I took a huge check from a Republican landlord, that I will close hospitals, that I will cut HIV services, that I am a closet Republican comparable to George Bush and Meg Whitman, and that I favor deporting immigrant children.

It’s unfortunate when one’s opponents get desperate enough to launch these kinds of false attacks.

Here’s the truth:

I SUPPORT RENT CONTROL

I support rent control.  I actively campaigned against Prop 98, which would have repealed rent control.  The head of the Tenants Union said that I have a “pro-tenant voting record” on the Democratic County Central Committee.  Thus, the attacks claiming that rent control will somehow be repealed if I am elected, and that people will lose their homes, are false.  This is a desperate scare tactic that has no basis in reality.

NON-EXISTENT CONTRIBUTION FROM REPUBLICAN LANDLORD

Another false attack is the claim that I accepted a $225,000 contribution from Thomas Coates, who sponsored Prop 98, which would have repealed rent control.  As noted above, I campaigned against Prop 98.  More important, I NEVER ACCEPTED A PENNY FROM MR. COATES.  This claim is an outright lie.

I’M ABOUT AS BIG A DEMOCRAT AS THEY COME BY

Here’s the most absurd and over the top claim — that I am somehow aligned with Republicans.  I am a lifelong Democrat and served as Chairman of the San Francisco Democratic Party.  Under my leadership, we rebuilt the party and registered 15,000 voters.  I also co-chaired the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club, served on the California Democratic Party Executive Committee, and worked hard to elect Democrats across the country.  I am proud to have the support of Democratic leaders like Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Congresswoman Jackie Speier, Senator Mark Leno, and Mayor Gavin Newsom.

I SUPPORT HOSPITALS AND HIV SERVICES

Another lie is that my election will somehow result in the closure of Davies Medical Center and St. Luke’s Hospital and that I will cut funding for HIV/AIDS services.  Again, this is a lie.  I have fought for years to create health care access.  I supported Healthy San Francisco, our city’s universal health care plan.  I’ve advocated for funding for HIV services and have protested when the Governor cut that funding.  I am committed to our community hospitals, including Davies Medical Center, which is my own neighborhood hospital.  As a gay man who has lost friends to HIV and has friends living with the disease, I find it despicable that political operatives would level these false charges.

IMMIGRATION

I am a strong supporter of our immigrant communities.  Immigrants in San Francisco contribute significantly to our economic and cultural life.  No one respects our immigrant neighbors more than I do.  I am proud to have the endorsements of the janitors union (SEIU Local 87) and United Healthcare Workers West.  These unions are primarily comprised of immigrants.  I support San Francisco’s sanctuary policy — a policy that protects our immigrant families.  What I do not support is extending that policy to people who commit crimes.  I stand by that position.  The claim that I am against sanctuary is simply false.

***

Elections create pressures to win at all costs.  Ethical campaigns resist this temptation and tell the truth — focusing on the differences on issues among the candidates.  Desperate campaigns lie.  Join me in rejecting my opposition’s swift-boat tactics.

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