Like many other cities across America, San Francisco is attempting to raise its minimum wage and fill a gap caused by federal and state incompetence. The city's voters in the upcoming election will decide whether to up the local minimum wage from $10.74 to $15 an hour, boosting incomes of the most vulnerable workers in the hyper-gentrifying city.
Last night, California Attorney General Kamala Harris spoke "truth to power" at a fundraiser hosted at Airbnb's new crisp and airy Soma headquarters. But the only fat cats in the room were the Silicon Valley millionaires and billionaires who are helping to finance her reelection, including Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky and Airbnb investor Ron Conway.
Since Friday, I have received four emails from Facebook billionaire Sean Parker. His tone was cordial and calm. He asked me to relay his email address and, later, a private message to his neighbors and I did. That must've been his Dr. Jekyll side. In an "epic rant" to Page Six about the same subject, Parker repeatedly compared me and my employer to attack dogs owned by Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's genocidal propagandist.
Former Facebook president Sean Parker may be almost as disruptive to his New York City neighbors as he was to the California redwoods. A tipster told Valleywag that the outspoken billionaire turned 10th Street in Greenwich Village into a "total clusterfuck" today in order to have Verizon FiOS installed at his $20 million home.
When Jessica Wigsmoen first met Napster cofounder Shawn Fanning at a party at Sean Parker's West Village party house, she didn't think it would end like this. "I lived in New York, I had a really good life," Wigsmoen told me by phone last week. "I met this guy who acted like prince charming." Now, she claims Fanning is denying child support for their 2-year-old daughter, Scarlett. [Update: Valleywag received new information that Fanning has been sending significant, regular payments for Scarlett's care for two years. Full details at the bottom of the post.]
Sean Parker has a rocky relationship with the press unless (1) there is no word count or (2) it's about a subject he wants to discuss. A new article by Steven Bertoni, who covers the billionaire beat for Forbes, falls into the second category—judging by a sponsored post on Facebook where Parker paid to surface a link to Forbes.
A month before San Francisco's last mayoral election, when Ed Lee's rivals struggled to raise funds, Lee was helped along by independent committees like San Franciscans for Jobs and Good Government, a group funded by Ron Conway and Sean Parker. In one quarter alone, they raised $364,000, half from Conway and $100,000 from Parker.
Salon's Andrew Leonard has a very thoughtful profile of Ro Khanna, a Democratic Congressional candidate in California and "Silicon Valley’s chosen one." Tech execs like Ron Conway and Marissa Mayer hope Khanna will keep taxes low and government as minimalist as Jony Ive design. It's just the beginning of Silicon Valley's march to Washington and Khanna is its beta test.