San Francisco moneymakers shake for Dennis Herrera's mayoral campaign 

As city attorney, Dennis Herrera has very publicly shut down illegally operating nightspots and strip clubs. Now, his mayoral campaign is flush with cash from the strip clubs that benefited from such enforcement.

Records released Monday show Herrera received seven $500 donations — for a total of $3,500 — from strip clubs throughout San Francisco, including Déjà Vu Showgirls, the Gold Club and the Market Street Cinema.

In 2009, Herrera shut down Heaven Mini Theater, a North Beach strip club operating without permits that Herrera said was a front for prostitution.

“The enforcement actions are there to protect the vast majority of law-abiding businesses that provide entertainment to residents and visitors alike,” said Matt Dorsey, a spokesman for the City Attorney’s Office.

An even more-publicized case that year was the closure of Pink Diamonds, a Tenderloin strip club Herrera said was a “magnet” for violence and stayed open later than allowed.

Pink Diamonds’ landlord was Terrance Alan, a former Entertainment Commission member who also ran the San Francisco Late Night Coalition, a lobbying effort for the nightlife industry.

Alan gave $500 to Herrera’s campaign, as did the Late Night Coalition, records show.

Herrera has a comprehensive plan to create jobs in San Francisco that includes establishing an entertainment zone in the South of Market area and supporting an expedited permitting process for businesses there that will create local jobs, according to a spokeswoman for his campaign, Melissa Blaustein.

“While supportive of San Francisco’s late night economy, he vigorously enforces codes violation,” she wrote in a statement. “Contributions to his campaign are consistent with his record.”

Getting money from the sex industry isn’t exactly scandalous in San Francisco, where a measure to legalize prostitution garnered 42 percent of the vote and a self-professed “erotic service provider” named Starchild has run for several different offices, including the school board.

Herrera isn’t the only one to get a financial boost from the sex industry. Former Supervisor Bevan Dufty, for example, got a $100 donation from Michael Phillips, aka gay porn star Michael Brandon, records show.

And state Sen. Leland Yee received donations from several nightclubs South of Market, including $500 from the Endup and $500 from the Catclub.

bbegin@sfexaminer.com

Revealing donations

Mayoral candidate Dennis Herrera’s campaign donor list includes contributions from several adult-entertainment venues and companies.

Déjà Vu $500
Déjà Vu Showgirls $500
Gold Club $500
Market Street Cinema $500
SFBSC Management $500
Garden of Eden $500
Roaring 20s $500

Source: Ethics Commission

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Brent Begin

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