Investigation into Allegations of Organized Fraud
in the June 1997 Stadium Bond Election in San Francisco
Exclusive Internet report
Review the evidence and
This web site has been on the case since June 5, 1997
decide for yourself
If you are a witness or if you would like
regular updates on the case
write to us
Web Site Overview
This site is dedicated to the memory of Dolores Evans, polling place supervisor and an active and generous member of the Bayview-Hunters Point community, who died in a suspicious fire - along with five children - just days before she was to have been interviewed by a private investigator about this case.
In a highly uncharacteristic act, Mayor Willie Brown personally visited Evans' public housing apartment the day after the fire pointing out flaws in the building's construction to news cameras. The Fire Deparment ruled out foul play - before they had completed their investigation.
Bystanders say that help was slow in coming. "A man whose name was not released by authorities but was
identified by neighbors as Henry Redmond was reportedly seen calmly leaving the apartment at 132 West Point Road minutes before it ignited." "None of the victims were able to escape the apartment even though their access to the fire escape was unobstructed."
The final police version of events as reported by the Examiner makes little sense. Redmond's claim that he sought help was contradicted by numerous eye witnesses. Evans' role as the polling place supervisor of the most suspect precinct in the most suspect
election in recent San Francisco history was never reported by the local media.
Over 15,000 San Francisco voters have signed the petition calling for a new election in the face of a total news media blackout
Here's what the local media refers to
as a "thorough investitgation"
The city's two "newspapers," the Chronicle and the Examiner published headlines declaring there was "no fraud" just days after the election before the matter had even been investigated.
California Secretary of State Bill Jones issued a report debunking fraud allegations that had been drafted in part by the City Attorney of San Francisco Louise Renne at the same time she was defending the mayor against a lawsuit alleging fraud in the stadium election.
The San Francisco District Attorney, an ardent supporter of the
stadium deal, chose to give the "Yes of D & F" precinct captain who was
caught voting twice under an assumed name (a felony), a slap on the wrist.
The San Francisco judge who refused to hear a civil lawsuit against the city on the allegations then ordered the Department of Elections to reject a petition signed by over 15,000 citizens seeking to hold a referendum to overturn the results of the stadium election.
Learn how the local San Francisco news media has participated in suppressing information about this story. Less than 1% of what appears on this site has been reported to the public.
In a letter dated May 17, 2001, then Acting Director of the San Francisco Department of Elections, Dr. Phillip Sanches-Paris alleged, in the words of the San Francisco Chronicle, "a series of misdeeds and potentially criminal acts in the city's Department of Elections." The letter was addressed to City Attorney Louise Renne and was entitled "Re: Second Request for Outside Counsel due to City Attorney's Conflict of Interest"
The City Attorney responded by investigating Dr. Sanches-Paris. The local press acted confused and specifically did not publish the text of his allegations though the letter appeared on numerous web sites including this one. The mainstream press acount:
Effect of lost S.F. ballots on last November's election downplayed - Business as usual in Scam Francisco.
'Investigators' hired by City Attorney Louise Renne have declared that Dr. Paris' assertions do not merit further investigation.
As a result of threats made by Dale Minami of the law firm of Minami, Lew & Tamaki
on behalf of Christiane Hayashi and Jennifer Novak, the original text of the Sanches-Paris letter - a letter from a public official to a public official about a matter of public interest - has been removed from this web site. In the absense of anyone stepping foreward to assist in defending against these threats, the Trustees of the First Amendment Defense Trust have regretfully decided to remove the letter so that we can use our limited resources to continue reporting news that 'mainstream' news outlets will not.
We agree with many election fraud investigators, including University of Virginia Professor Larry J. Sabato (author of "The Persistence of Corruption in American Politics"), who have stated that it is institutionalized incompetence and mismanagement that makes election fraud possible and so widespread in the United States.
May 18, 2001 - Ronnie Davis, Willie Brown pal and operator of sercret public
housing polling places, is in hot water again. This time federal auditors
say $18,000,000 in public funds he had control of as head of San Francisco
public housing cannot be accounted for
Full text of the indictment
March 23, 2001 - Ronnie Davis, who opened secret polling places with HUD money on behalf of the 49er stadium campaign, indicted for theft and fraud by an Ohio Grand Jury. Davis is a close friend and ally of San Francisco mayor Willie Brown.
This is the second major player in the election fraud story to be indicted on serious corruption charges, the first being Eddie DeBartolo who bankrolled the campagin. Details on the Ronnie Davis indictment. Note: the last San Francisco Public Housing official to receive attention like this was Jim Jones of Jonestown infamy, who coincidentally (or not) was implicated in an election fraud scheme that benefited Willie Brown.
November 2, 1999 - The official response to election fraud in San Francisco as quoted in today's Wall Street Journal:
"Despite worries about the possibility of voter fraud in San Francisco elections, city officials can do little more than hope for the best when it comes to protecting the ballot box."
This statement, which appeared in the the San Francisco Chronicle, sums up the situation perfectly. In the total absense of enforcement of election laws by the SFPD, DA Terrence Hallinan, Secretary of State Bill Jones, and the San Francisco judiciary, "hope" is the only thing protecting San Francisco's ballot boxes. The problem is clear. The only question now is what are San Franciscans going to do about it.
October 25, 1999 - Your pre-season guide to this year's election fraud, provided, remarkably enough, by the San Francisco Chronicle.
Get ready for a strong sense of deja vu: fraudulent registrations organized by Brown allies; DA Hallinan sits on the evidence; Secretary of State Bill Jones feigns concern, does nothing. Both papers do their best to not discuss the fraud in the 1997 stadium election or the long history of election fraud in the city. Information about ongoing citizen efforts to prevent election fraud in San Francisco, including poll watching in this election, is, characteristically, not provided.
October 23, 1999
October 25, 1999
October 18, 1999 - The Bay View/Hunter's Point Pay Off: Here's what turned up recently in the Examiner - like everything else in San Francisco "journalism", a day late and a dollar short. Or in this case two and a half years after even the greenest reporter could have dug it out of the public record:
"Walker led voter-turnout efforts in Hunters Point for the mayor's 49ers
football stadium initiative, which was narrowly approved in 1997."
Three days after the vote, on June 6, 1997, Brown told Redevelopment
Director Jim Morales to give $100,000 to the (Walker's) Third Street firm,
city documents show..."
"Mayor Willie Brown's office can't seem to get mayoral friend Charlie
Walker to show that a corporation he founded was legally entitled to
receive a $100,000 city grant..." - Examiner story
October 15, 1999 - Nearly ten years after he arrived in San Francisco to babysit Edward DeBartolo's son, the felon Eddie Jr, and one year after he left town, the San Francisco news media finally discovers the pre-49er career of Carmen Policy: top mob lawyer between New York and Chicago.
"... he certainly defended the best-known Mafioso, at a time when the mobsters were bombing and shooting each other to death with unprecedented regularity." - SF Weekly Story
"Policy" is mob slang for numbers, a form of illegal betting, not an Italian surname. It would be interesting to trace how Policy got his name.
October 27, 1998 -Twenty two years of citizen
protest against election fraud in San Francisco.
October 24, 1998 - A petition with the signatures of 15,000+ San Francisco voters calling for a new stadium vote is presented to the Elections Department (only 10,500 signatures are required to put it on the ballot.) Naomi Nishioka, acting director of the Department of Elections, says she will ignore the petition.
October 7, 1998DeBartolo pleads guilt to felony in Louisiana bribery and political corruption case. Official San Francisco expresses its sympathy for the "ordeal" he suffered.
August 19, 1998 - The San Franciso Weekly becomes the first locally published paper to report on the connections between TURF founder Thomas Mayfield, Willie Brown, and the employment of drug dealers by the San Francisco Housing Authority more than one year after this web site raised the question.
August 12, 1998 - The San Francisco Weekly reports details on some of the criminals, crack dealers, and violent offenders who
have been hired by San Francisco Public Housing since Willie Brown was elected mayor.
Several of these men have ties to TURF, an organization which participated in the 49er "get out the vote" campaign and served as "official" poll observers. TURF members were also employed by the Election Department during this same election. Note: Under Germane Wong, the records of the names of the people who transported ballot boxes the night of the 49er election were destroyed.
July 3, 1998 - Without comment, a three-judge panel headed by presiding Judge Gary Strankman upholds the ban against the Committee to Stop the Giveaway's petition. Over 10,000 San Franciscans (population approx. 700,000) have signed it.
Here is a statement from the Voting Integrity Project.
June 28, 1998 - The investigation of Ronnie Davis on fraud and corruption charges by the FBI and HUD for his activities as COO of Cleveland Public Hosuing has been completed and a Grand Jury will be convening this coming week to hear testimony. Davis, handpicked by Willie Brown to head SF's Public Housing Authority, worked with the mayor's office to set up early, secret polling places on behalf of the 49er campaign.
June 21, 1998 - Mayor Brown is leading a behind-the-scenes campaign to derail State Senator Kopp's bill to
regulate early polling places. Coincidentally, today's Sunday paper has an article on the effect of Brown's
budget on San Francisco's most vulnerable citizens.
June 19, 1998 - San Francisco Superior Court Judge Raymond Williamson officially bars the Department of Elections from accepting the petitions of San Franciscans seeking to overturn the June '97 49er stadium election. Without examining any of the evidence, the judge calls the petition's claims "flat out untruths." Judge Williamson retired shortly after issuing this decision.
Specifically, he denies that:
The city set up secret polling places
Electioneering and campaigning for the stadium was subsidized by municipal funds
The secrecy of the ballot process was compromised
An account of these infractions as well as many others others has been publicly available since June 17, 1997, yet no official from the City of San Francisco or the State of California has bothered to contact any of the eye witnesses or examine the documentary evidence.
Now available: A video of public hearings in which witnesses came forward testifying to the above as well as shocking footage of the San Francico Department of Elections on election night.
The local media continues their iron clad policy of failing to disclose the evidence in the case.
June 9, 1998 - The DeBartolo Family, owners of the 49ers, sues grassroots citizens group to block their petition gathering efforts to overturn the stadium election.
May 11, 1998 - Petition to overturn the stadium election hits the streets of San Francisco.
April 27, 1998 - Recently uncovered documents cast doubt on the integrity of Secretary of State Bill Jones' January report on the June election.
March 16, 1998 - The Baltimore Sun reports that the FBI has targeted
the Public Housing Authorities of New Orleans, Baltimore, and San Francisco
for special investigations. Suspicion of widespread fraud, corruption, and misuse of federal funds are cited as the causes.
March 3, 1998 - The FBI is actively investigating members of TURF for cocaine dealing in city housing projects. Mayor Brown and the "Yes of D & F" campaign made extensive use of the TURF organization, an association of ex-felons, drawing on it for both campaign and election night workers.
Since becoming mayor, Brown has arranged for hundreds of thousands of dollars in city contracts for the group. Acting Housing Authority Director Ronnie Davis, who invited TURF members into city housing projects as temporary employees, is the same individual who arranged for the illegal and early polling places in the Bayview-Hunters Point projects.
FBI Probes Drug Sales In Projects
Members of Brown's S.F. youth patrol among targets
Housing chief calls voter data "irrelevant'
Mayor's aide tapped tenants for 49er votes
January 27, 1998 - District Attorney Terence Hallinan,
long time ally of Mayor Brown and an ardent supporter of the stadium ballot measure, declares
"legal" the secret polling places opened by operatives from the mayor's office on behalf of the "Yes on D & F" campaign based on a 24 hour investigation. Source:
San Francisco Chronicle
Several months back, DA Hallinan declined to press felony charges against "Yes on D &F" precint captain John Griffin who was caught voting twice, once under an assumed name, in the stadium election.
As established in public testimony before the Board of Supervisors on October 29, 1997, the polling places in question:
- Were opened without public notice
- Were concealed from voters who called the Department of Elections to ask about early voting options
- Were known only to the "Yes of D & F" campaign and
- Were advertised at a "Yes of D & F" rally in Bayview/Hunters Point the weekend before the election at which Mayor Brown appeared
Election fraud in San Francisco?
The Mayor* denies it
The Department of Elections won't
let the public see the records
The District Attorney Terence Hallinan let off the one person who was
caught with just a slap on the wrist
The Board of Supervisors don't care
The City Attorney sees no problem
"Danny" Lungren*, California Attorney General and Edward DeBartolo's old college buddy, has "no comment"
The Secretary of State's* investigation moved at a leisurely pace and
its final report was disappointingly superficial.
* These individuals are known to have received campaign contributions from
the gambling industry.
January 26, 1998 - Nearly eight months after
the election, the California Secretary of States releases a disappointingly superficial and poorly informed report on irregularities in the June election.
January 26, 1998 - Details about the ongoing, and as yet unreported, coverup in the Department of Elections.
January 12, 1998 - An Examiner editorial acknowledges that aspects of the
June election merit investigation. The Chronicle, Northern California's largest circulation paper, continues to fail to take the story seriously.
December 28 - The Examiner finally reports that Mayor Brown's office was directly involved in the opening of "secret" pro stadiun-only polling places in Bayview/Hunters Point.
Documentation regarding these polls, their illegality, and the fact they were opened by city government operatives and paid for with federal housing funds was presented on this web site on June 24, 1997
December 9 - The California Secretary of State issues a statement calling San Francisco's conduct during the June election illegal. The Examiner puts the news
on its front page. The Chronicle doesn't report it.
A complete discussion of the illegality of the ballots used by the city
for the stadium election was presented on this web site on July 13, 1997
December 3, 1997 - Lawsuit filed by the Voting Integrity Project and local activist Doug Comstock to overturn the results of the stadium election
The publishers of the Chronicle bury this news in their back pages. Meanwhile, it's a front page story in the San Francisco Examiner and the San Jose Mercury and
mentioned in an article in Time Magazine.
December 1, 1997 - Edward DeBartolo resigns as chairman of the 49ers. The reason? He was caught in a federal probe into political corruption in Louisiana.
Visitors to this web site knew this was a possibility months ago.
October 29, 1997 - The Chronicle and Examiner report that Director of Elections Wong ignored the
Secretary of State's warning about early polling places.
The text of Secretary of State Bill Jone's memo regarding early polling places was posted to this site on
June 24, 1997.
October 26, 1997 - The Examiner finally hints at the extent and seriousness of the polling place irregularities.
Documentation of these irregularties was presented in full detail on this web site on June 17, 1997
AP and CNN pick up the story and do what the local San Francisco papers still won't do as of May 15, 1998: give people the address to this web site - August 31, 1997
Brief Summary of the San Francisco case
Web Site Overview
Background and Analysis
* Obvious signs: Why the 49er stadium election merits investigation
* The cast of characters
* The gambling connection
* The real Bayview-Hunters Point vs. the media image: the key to understanding the scam
* Random pointers: municipal bonds, stadiums, and organized crime
* How modern cities respond to official corruption.Three cases studies: Chicago, Hong Kong, and San Francisco
* Everything old is new again: San Francisco 1907
Beyond San Francisco
* The Voting Integrity Project. This group investigates, documents, publicizes, and takes legal action against election fraud throughout the U.S. They are the only group of its kind in the United States that provides this essential service. After a thorough examination of the preliminary evidence, they stepped forward to bring the San Francisco case to court.
* Dirty Little Secrets: An important book on the subject of election fraud
* Election fraud: a growing national problem
* Why this story matters
File Your Report - Did you observe irregularities on election day?