Thursday, January 02, 2014

SF Mayor: No Records of Diplomats Party Costs; Chron Omits Expenses

(No conflict of interest here. Mayoral protocol office chief Matthew Goudeau celebrating the new year two days ago with BFF and SF Chronicle reporter Catherine Bigelow. Credit: Goudeau's Instagram photostream.)

Here's my followup to Monday's post about Mayor Ed Lee's annual gala shindig in December for diplomats based in San Francisco, and which was attended by Russian consul general Sergey V. Petrov and his wife.

Since the SF Chronicle's butt-kissing society columnist Catherine Bigelow dutifully gushed on the party last week and failed to say one word about the price-tag to taxpayers, I filed a public records request for an itemize breakdown of expenses with the mayor's sunshine staffer.

I also requested an electronic copy of the full budget for the mayor's Office of Protocol from Jan. 1, 2012, through December 25, 2013, and an itemized breakdown of all costs and fees paid by the City on behalf of Charlotte Maillaird Shultz and Matthew Goudeau, in their capacity as the City's protocol staff whether here at home or traveling abroad.

The mayor's office today said:

After completing a review of our office’s files, this office does not have any additional responsive documents.  We now consider your two Immediate Disclosure Requests closed.

(Mayor Ed Lee, seated at right, at his December 13, 2013, soiree for hundreds of folks on the first floor of City Hall. Credit: Catherine Bigelow, SF Chronicle.)

Well, isn't that special. The mayor's office has no public documents regarding the tab for entertaining dozens of members of the local consular corps, loads of City Hall staffers, friends of Charlotte Shultz and 100 buddies of socialite Dede Wilsey. He also has no documents for his protocol's staff's budget.

To top it all off, his sunshine staffer doesn't bother to say I should contact her again with any questions. They consider the matter closed.

Just one more example of how the City's elite 1 percent use the people's City Hall and our dollars to entertain their friends every year with questionable benefit to the 99 percent. I sure would like to know exactly why the party is necessary and why taxpayers have to fund it.

I won't be holding my breath for the SF Chronicle to tell us what the costs were for the party and other questions. As the photo above shows, the paper's society correspondent and the mayor's head of his protocol office party together in their off-hours, when they aren't partying on City dollars.

We can't expect the SF Chronicle editors to disrupt their allegiance to local socialites and City Hall power-brokers, and pose tough questions about and report hard numbers for soirees can we?

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