Big Business Spends Big Money Attacking Prop. B

For Immediate Release:  Monday, June 4, 2012                                                                                      

News Release


Family of Lillie Hitchcock Coit Urges Voters to Reject Attacks, Vote Yes on Prop. B

Campaign finance records show that big business interests led by the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, PG&E and Committee on Jobs have poured more than $177,000 into two political committees running last-minute negative tv ads and mailers attacking Proposition B, the Coit Tower Preservation Initiative on Tuesday’s San Francisco ballot.  The family of Lillie Hitchcock Coit, whose bequest funded the construction of Coit Tower 79 years ago, urged voters to reject the misleading attack ads and pass Prop. B on Tuesday.

 “The Coit family strongly supports Prop. B to protect Coit Tower from over-commercialization and preserve its historic murals from neglect and decay,” said Michael Coit, whose great-great aunt was Lillie Hitchcock Coit.  “Coit Tower perfectly reflects a city of civic minded people.  By passing Proposition B on Tuesday, San Francisco voters can show their appreciation for my great-great aunt’s generous gift to the city she loved.”

Filings late last week with the San Francisco Ethics Commission reveal that two “independent expenditure” committees quietly set-up to oppose Proposition B took in a total of $177,150, with most of the money coming in over the last few weeks.  The Los Angeles-based Golden State Leadership Fund PAC and the Parks Alliance Independent Expenditure Committee received contributions to oppose Prop. B from 19 business groups, corporations, and individuals, including $30,000 from the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, $25,000 from the Committee on Jobs, and $20,000 from PG&E.  The money is being spent on a series of negative and misleading television and internet ads, mailers, and doorhangers falsely claiming that, if Prop. B passes and the city begins restoring and safeguarding the damaged Coit Tower murals and building, it “drastically reduces the amount of spending that the San Francisco Parks Department can spend on city parks” and steals funding from playgrounds and parks across the city.

“These false attack ads make such absurd arguments that I wouldn’t be surprised if their next ad claims Coit Tower will topple over if we pass Prop. B,” said Jon Golinger, Chair of the Protect Coit Tower Committee.  “But Coit Tower holds a special place in the hearts of every San Franciscan and it belongs to the people of this city, not to the Chamber of Commerce or corporate interests.  I believe the voters will pass Prop. B on Tuesday so that we will finally be able to start fixing the damaged Coit Tower murals and making sure Coit Tower and its art are permanently protected and never neglected again.”

Proposition B will put in place a new city policy prioritizing the funds raised at Coit Tower for preserving the murals, protecting the Coit Tower building, and beautifying Pioneer Park around Coit Tower and strictly limiting commercial activities and private events at Coit Tower to maintain Coit Tower as a public place.  Prop. B is supported by daughters and descendants of the Coit Tower muralists and a citywide coalition of artists, environmental, and neighborhood groups including the Sierra Club, the Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods, the Labor Council, and the Democratic Party. 

Polls will be open in San Francisco on Tuesday from 7:00 am until 8:00 pm, with early election results available beginning at 8:45 pm.  Supporters of Prop. B will be gathering to watch the results at their election night party at Original Joe’s in North Beach.

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Paid for by the Protect Coit Tower Committee – Yes on B

P.O. Box 330476

San Francisco, CA 94133


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