Mayor pushes 3 ballot measures 

Mayor Gavin Newsom is asking voters in November to make it illegal to sit or lie on San Francisco’s sidewalks, close a hotel-tax loophole and prohibit local elected officials from also serving on a political party County Central committee.

Races for five seats on the Board of Supervisors, a bid to fix Muni and tax increases are already in the mix for the election.

On Tuesday, Newsom added three measures, just minutes shy of the 5 p.m. submission deadline.

San Francisco’s coffers could see $6 million more if voters approve a measure Newsom said closes a hotel-tax loophole where online travel websites purchase rooms, pay the hotel tax at one rate then turn around and charge a higher hotel tax and pocket the difference.

Another measure goes after progressive politicians’ takeover of the Democratic County Central Committee, the local Democratic Party group that makes endorsements, fundraises for the party and registers voters.

Two years ago, then-Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin and progressive allies successfully ran for seats on the committee, traditionally a place for those new to the political scene. Several progressive supervisors currently sit on the DCCC.

Newsom spokesman Tony Winnicker said the measure was about “clean money and good government.” The dual office-holding “clouds the issue of who they are raising money for and for what purpose.

Peskin called the measure “empty politics” and thought it ill-advised for Newsom to be “creating a distraction” when Democrats should be focused on getting party members elected to state and federal offices.

Newsom also turned to voters to settle one of the most divisive and politically charged debates in recent years: whether to make it illegal to sit or lie on sidewalks between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m.

The Board of Supervisors rejected legislation in an 8-3 vote last week that would have adopted the sit-lie law.

Opponents say it’s unnecessary because police only need to enforce laws already on the books and it will result in unfair treatment of certain people, like homeless and day laborers. Supporters say the law is necessary to crack down on unruly behavior that’s intimidating residents and hampering merchants.

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