No Fraud. Honest. Not even a little bit. Trust Us!

Ken McCarthy, E-Media
June 20, 1997

Anyone who can read critically and wasn't born yesterday will see that there are some very unusual things about the today's fraud "coverage" in the Chronicle.

First, the office accused of tolerating and/or engaging in the fraud is quoted in the headline as the source of authoritative information about the case.

Second, the signature checking procedure is called "unusual," but the events leading up to the request for signature verification are omitted from the story.

Third, the group that called for the verifications is not quoted, but the Registrar of Voters and the opposition is. Jim Ross, referred to as "a leader" of the anti-stadium campaign was a hired hand and would just have easily taken the "Yes" side of the campaign had he been offered the job.

Now for some facts:

1. Of the 15 precincts checked, there were 15 to 30 questionable signatures per precinct. This is a far cry from the "about seven" total, claimed by the Director of Elections. By the way, there were over 500 polling places in the election. Proposition D "won" by 1,522 votes and Proposition F "won" by 1,200.

2. Examiners have been barred from examining the records for over one week, after the former President of the San Francisco Public Housing Commission found 14 questionable signatures out the first 20 she researched.

3. The "new procedure" for signature checking, instituted after a personal visit to the Elections Office by Mayor Brown, requires examiners to stand "arms length" (one yard) from the records and check them over the shoulders of election office personnel and may not speak to them as they turn pages.

copyright: Ken McCarthy, 1997.