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The richest girl in town.

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Pro-tenant = terrorist. [Saturday, Apr. 12th, 2008|05:58 pm]
The richest girl in town.
In case you were wondering who's bankrolling Proposition 98, the June ballot initiative that would amend the California Constitution to ban rent control and make many tenant protections like the 60-day notice requirement, just cause for eviction, inclusionary zoning, and many environmental protections illegal, here's an article that highlights some choice words from Dan Faller, the founder and president of the American Owners' Association, one of the country's largest landlord trade organizations.
In the post-9/11 world, calling someone a “terrorist” is a serious accusation – but Faller refers to pro-tenant elected officials who oppose Prop 98 as “terrorists” or “suicide bombers” at least seven times. “The bombs and explosives they are throwing at us,” he writes, “are rent control, eminent domain, inspection laws, building codes, requiring 60-day notices so tenants can steal more time from you, eviction laws that allow tenants to live rent-free for several months, relocation fees, inclusionary zoning that drives up the price of housing so they have another excuse to justify even more laws. These elected officials are dangerous.”

Urging his fellow landlords to fight this “war” on the “terrorists,” Faller says the solution is to hit them with the “big bomb”: Proposition 98, which would invalidate all these existing laws and then some. “Help to permanently take away their weapons that allow unfair eminent domain and rent control,” he writes before asking for campaign contributions. “This is certainly one war that we all believe in and can hold our heads high as we fight to win! You are either for us or against us in this fight for your freedom and property rights.”

But it’s not just the “terrorist” politicians that Faller has a bone to pick with. He demeans people who can’t afford to buy California real estate as lazy and ineffectual. As he urges landlords to “join this war” to pass Prop 98, Faller says “you’ve worked hard providing housing for others who chose not to provide for themselves … You gave up a lot of weekends to make it possible – something others were not willing to do.” Apparently, it’s okay to berate the state’s 14 million tenants because they “obviously” did not work hard enough to buy property themselves. Hyperbole is one thing; personal insults are quite another.

Does the fight over Prop 98 match the battle against Nazis and fascists in World War II? Dan Faller seems to think that it does. Recalling his childhood memories in Los Angeles when he feared that “the enemy was going to land their troops in Long Beach and along our coast,” the AOA President puts the fight to pass Prop 98 on a similar plane. “There were big signs and advertisements that read ‘Uncle Sam Needs You!’ during WWII,” he writes. “There’s a big AOA sign today that says ‘Freedom Loving Americans Need You!’ We need your support to win this War to protect your property rights!”

It would be easy to laugh at these outlandish statements if Dan Faller was just your crazy uncle who makes offensive jokes that amuse only himself. But he’s the President and Founder of the American Owners Association – a national trade association of landlords that boasts more members in California than any other group. Faller is on the Board of Biopharma, the owner of a commercial brokerage firm, and used to be a Wall Street broker. The AOA’s monthly newsletter – which printed his “Yes on 98” screed – is the most widely read landlord publication in the country.
http://www.beyondchron.org/news/index.php?itemid=5480
linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: baconmonkey
2008-04-13 01:30 am (UTC)
Buildings constructed after June 1979 are not subject to rent control in CA. I learned this the hard way. My place is not subject to rent control. If my landlord was negligent in repairs (like he is), I could raise a stink with the city, he'd ahve to fix certain things, and he couldn't raise rent for 6 months. After that period, he could raise it pretty much as high as he wanted to, as often as he wanted to.


This article from 2000 suggests that cities with rent control always see skyrocketing rent, and decreases in home construction.
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3827/is_200009/ai_n8916160
It does not, however, examine if cities enact rent control when they find the supply of horizontal housing beginning to dry up. i.e. do cities that run out of places to build new housing enact rent control, or does rent control reduce housing construction?
SF has very few places that homes can be built. The only real places to build new homes is upwards, and the city is generally pretty hostile to that sort of thing.


Regardless, I don't trust Faller one bit. Anyone invoking war, terrorism, and similar scare tactics pretty much gets an automatic middle finger from me.
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[User Picture]From: fightingwords
2008-04-13 06:32 am (UTC)
Further, I find it curious that they'd pick now, in the midst of a real estate climate that is driving housing prices down and rental prices way up, to try to pass this. The rental market is expanding because people's houses are being foreclosed on, the apartment buildings they live in are being foreclosed on--which is a whole 'NOTHER story (banks refusing the pay water bills and having utilities shut off, thereby making properties inhabitable to force out tenants illegally), or they're not able to buy.
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[User Picture]From: baconmonkey
2008-04-13 07:30 am (UTC)
There's nothing curious about it. it's a pure money grab. I expect that in a short while, we'll see loads of houses being bought up by giant rental companies.

Feudalism and serfdom is so ironically retro kitsch.
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[User Picture]From: fightingwords
2008-04-13 06:27 am (UTC)
Buildings constructed after June 1979 are not subject to rent control in CA.

Actually, that's specific to San Francisco. Rent control ordinances differ from city to city.

I've read plenty of arguments in favor of ending rent control, and I think they're all bunk. It's like the landlords association we picketed a few weeks ago claiming that they are in favor of rent control for low-income folks. Funny that they aren't trying to pass "smart" rent control that would protect them; they're trying to abolish it now and prohibit any further rent control from being enacted in the future.

Further, the idea of rent stabilization started in times of housing shortages. The idea that rent control creates that condition is spurious. Finally, I have little sympathy for landlords who have a 2% cap on their property taxes but think a 3-6% cap on rent is unfair. One of the reasons CA public schools are bankrupt is the revenue that's been lost since Prop. 13 passed in '78. And guess who wrote both 13 and 98? The same landlord-run association.
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[User Picture]From: baconmonkey
2008-04-13 07:27 am (UTC)
Actually, that's specific to San Francisco. Rent control ordinances differ from city to city.


Apparently not.
also, in these internet times, SFTU is a terrible acronym for a website. I keep reading it as STFU.

http://www.sftu.org/rentcontrol.html

Rent Control Coverage
If you live in San Francisco, you are covered by rent control unless you fall into one of these major exceptions:

1. You live in a building constructed after June of 1979. This "new construction exemption" is the biggest exemption in SF and can not be changed locally because it is mandated by state law. Click here for link to Assessor's database, where you can usually find out the date your building was constructed
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[User Picture]From: fightingwords
2008-04-13 06:52 pm (UTC)
Rent contol only applies to new construction after 1983 in Oakland. See the JCO site.
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[User Picture]From: baconmonkey
2008-04-13 09:48 pm (UTC)
Interesting...
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[User Picture]From: cindymonkey
2008-04-13 06:25 am (UTC)
high voter turnout in the areas with high renter concentration (LA and SF) is really the only option to defeat this. it's being sold as protecting homeowners from eminent domain so it's likely to have a lot of conservative support and june elections tend to bring out an older and more conservative crowd - so unless people hustle - it is VERY likely to pass.
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[User Picture]From: haddayr
2008-04-13 03:00 am (UTC)
holy fucking SHIT.

To keep America safe.

Those bastards.

Arie asked me if it was bad to be a landlord tonight and I told him it wasn't bad or good, although there were bad and good landlords.

Now I wish I could take it back.
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[User Picture]From: haddayr
2008-04-13 03:01 am (UTC)
Oh, right. And I'm also wondering what the political reality is of it. Is it likely to pass, as unusualmusic asks?
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[User Picture]From: cindymonkey
2008-04-13 06:26 am (UTC)
very very likely to pass unless we have an unusually high voter turnout in the urban centers of CA.
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[User Picture]From: haddayr
2008-04-13 02:51 pm (UTC)
woah.
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[User Picture]From: tuckova
2008-04-13 05:22 am (UTC)

Reductio ad somethingoranotherum

So terrorists are the new Nazis, it seems. And we can still invoke the Nazis! Awesome. Rhetoric in the 21st century is clearly an adults-only sport.

Sigh.
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[User Picture]From: gordonzola
2008-04-13 04:51 pm (UTC)
as Jello once said,

There's rats chewin' up the kitchen
Roaches up to my knees
Turn the oven on, it smells like Dachau, yeah
Til the rain pours thru the ceiling

But we can, you know we can
Let's lynch the landlord man
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