Monday, April 15, 2013

Chronicle Cribs City Attorney Junket Tab Story from My Blog?

(Herrera, third from right, and some of his staff at SCOTUS in March. Courtesy photo from City Attorney's office, via the taxpayers.)

This is all pretty weird. Remember by blog post on Tuesday about the tab City Attorney Dennis Herrera was sticking to the taxpayers for his junket in March to be at the Supreme Court for the Prop 8 hearing? The City Attorney's office invoked a 14-day delay and told me to wait for responsive documents.

Clearly I was on to something here because Tim Redmond of the Bay Guardian picked up on my post, even if he ridiculously saw nothing wrong with wasting city dollars for a pol's junket to DC:

If you think he shouldn't have gone (as Michael Petrelis clearly thinks), then that's a political discussion. It's appropriate to ask about it, to point out how much money was spent on the trip, to analyze his expenses, and to challenge him about it when he's next running for office. But it's not a corruption probe -- and frankly, I'm happy that some corporate bond-counsel firm that wants the city's legal business didn't pay for the trip and send a lobbyist to hang out with Herrera the whole time.

The City Attorney coughed up some documents on Wednesday and said more were coming, so I delayed writing a follow up with the first batch of travel expense reports. Here's the breakdown of what was provided:

1. Christine Van Aken

2. Aileen McGrath

3. Marisa Moret

4. Mollie Lee

5. Sarah Eisenberg

6. Vince Chabria

7. Dennis Herrera

8. Matt Dorsey

Total: $12,228

Noted lesbian litigant Terry Stewart was missing from the documents and I should have simply shared what the City Attorney gave me and provided rolling updates.

Well, today scummy hacks Phil Matier and Andy Ross at the San Francisco Chronicle picked up on this whole matter, and of course give this blog no credit. As if Matier and Ross are capable to creative reporting on their own! The paper reports a total tab of $17,000 for Herrera's junket.

I think this shows a few things. First, the City Attorney's office clearly treats public records requests with bias depending on who's doing the asking. Why did this office provide the Chronicle with the full travel expense reports ahead of me?

Second, asking questions about the tab to taxpayers has nothing to do with being for or against gay marriage and anyone who argues that is clearly a terrible debater.

Third, it's funny to see how the Chronicle, which is no fan of mine, has agreed with me that this whole money matter is newsworthy and the paper also questions the expense, while the Guardian, which is usually all over junkets by other city officials, thinks it was fine for Herrera and staff to go on this junket.

You gotta wonder who else Matier and Ross and other Chronicle writers crib from and don't properly credit!

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