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SF Assemblyman Phil Ting and Political Death by a 1,000 Papercuts

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A San Francisco publication is signaling that California Budget Chair and San Francisco Assemblyman Phil Ting is experiencing a political demise.

It couldn’t be happening to a nicer guy. <heavy sarc>.

In My Orbit with Jennifer Oliver O’Connell is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

Phil Ting is one of the most powerful politicians in San Francisco, having represented the western side of the city in the State Assembly for a decade. With no serious competition in the June 7 primary election, he’s virtually guaranteed to win the primary election and a sixth term in office this November. 

But some civic clubs who once supported him are not endorsing him this time around. They cite revelations from 2020 that Ting allegedly impersonated another assemblymember while paying for a date on a website called “What’s Your Price,” then subsequently had an extended affair with the woman, a domestic worker experiencing homelessness. Even more egregiously in the eyes of critics, he also had her testify for a bill aimed at protecting gig economy workers. 

It’s not the extramarital affair that is the problem, said Steven Buss, co-founder of GrowSF, a new civic group that sits on the moderate side of the local political equation and declined to endorse Ting.

“What I find really inappropriate is his abuse of power over this woman that he was having an affair with, and allegedly using the image of his coworker,” Buss said. “It’s a severe ethical lapse.”

While the publication links to a Cal Matters piece, the story about the Carmel Foster-Phil Ting affair was broken by yours truly at Communities Digital News (CDN) on June 19, 2020. It went national, but most of the legacy media that picked it up didn’t bother to acknowledge me or CDN, choosing to say it was posted by a “right-wing blog.” <insert *eyeroll* emoji>

<div class="tweet" data-attrs="{"url":"https://twitter.com/asthegirlturns/status/1274111515252015104","full_text":""Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made." — Otto von BismarcknnDid CA Budget Chair Phil Ting use an extramarital affair to craft legislation? disq.us/t/3ppw8k7 #AB5 #CalLeg #CADemocrats #AB2314“,”username”:”asthegirlturns”,”name”:”Jennifer Oliver O’Connell”,”date”:”Fri Jun 19 22:47:11 +0000 2020″,”photos”:[],”quoted_tweet”:{},”retweet_count”:23,”like_count”:48,”expanded_url”:{“url”:”http://disq.us/t/3ppw8k7″,”image”:”https://bucketeer-e05bbc84-baa3-437e-9518-adb32be77984.s3.amazonaws.com/public/images/bad8e75a-eb6f-415a-bec0-97800d2d454f_1200x630.jpeg”,”title”:”American Wire News · America’s Political News Service”,”description”:”American Wire is a daily independent news service dedicated to bringing our readers accurate, reliable news and information from a conservative perspective.”,”domain”:”disq.us”},”video_url”:null,”belowTheFold”:true}”>

Twitter avatar for @asthegirlturns

Jennifer Oliver O’Connell @asthegirlturns

It was picked up by the San Francisco Examiner, CBS News, the fish wrap of the state Sacramento Bee, and POLITICO. Other international, online, and print outlets grabbed it from there.

I felt the L.A. Weekly did the story the most justice, as well as acknowledged that the story was birthed at CDN.

All the legacy harpies fixated on the affair (which was bad enough), but glossed over the corruption and ethical violations of using someone’s life to craft legislation and take victory laps. Most egregious, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-DBag) of the corrupt 63rd District, rushed to defend his buddy, taking Ting’s apology on Twitter over the affair as evidence that he was sorry for his sins, and there was no corruption concerning the legislation that Ting was instrumental in getting passed.

<div class="tweet" data-attrs="{"url":"https://twitter.com/Rendon63rd/status/1274416799413493760","full_text":"Sad personal news today from @PhilTing. The Assemblymember has made a sincere apology to his constituents and colleagues for his mistake in violating his marriage vows and I have personally accepted his apology.”,”username”:”Rendon63rd”,”name”:”Anthony Rendon”,”date”:”Sat Jun 20 19:00:17 +0000 2020″,”photos”:[],”quoted_tweet”:{},”retweet_count”:7,”like_count”:31,”expanded_url”:{},”video_url”:null,”belowTheFold”:true}”>

Twitter avatar for @Rendon63rd

Anthony Rendon @Rendon63rd
Sad personal news today from @PhilTing. The Assemblymember has made a sincere apology to his constituents and colleagues for his mistake in violating his marriage vows and I have personally accepted his apology.

Uh huh.

I was heartened by this tweet from San Franciscan and civil rights attorney Harmeet Dhillon:

<div class="tweet" data-attrs="{"url":"https://twitter.com/pnjaban/status/1274468095902412800","full_text":"Hey media-have you asked @PhilTing whether he has apologized to @PhillipChenCA for impersonating him on a “dating”(hookup/human trafficking) site where men bid on women? Where is @Rendon63rd‘s comment on that? Where are the #MeToo CA legislators on their colleague buying “dates”? “,”username”:”pnjaban”,”name”:”Harmeet K. Dhillon”,”date”:”Sat Jun 20 22:24:07 +0000 2020″,”photos”:[],”quoted_tweet”:{“full_text”:”BREAKING NEWS!nnWhistleblower tells how an affair with @PhilTing led to her exploitation in order to pass #AB5.nnMs. Foster was the sole testimony that helped pass #AB5. She is now exposing @LorenaSGonzalez and Asm. Ting in an effort to undo the damage.nnhttps://t.co/sY2CEWZUCA”,”username”:”Ab5Of”,”name”:”Faces of AB5 (#PROAct is #AB5)”},”retweet_count”:91,”like_count”:180,”expanded_url”:{},”video_url”:null,”belowTheFold”:true}”>

Twitter avatar for @pnjaban

Harmeet K. Dhillon @pnjaban
Hey media-have you asked @PhilTing whether he has apologized to @PhillipChenCA for impersonating him on a “dating”(hookup/human trafficking) site where men bid on women? Where is @Rendon63rd‘s comment on that? Where are the #MeToo CA legislators on their colleague buying “dates”?
Twitter avatar for @Ab5Of

Faces of AB5 (#PROAct is #AB5) @Ab5Of

BREAKING NEWS!

Whistleblower tells how an affair with @PhilTing led to her exploitation in order to pass #AB5.

Ms. Foster was the sole testimony that helped pass #AB5. She is now exposing @LorenaSGonzalez and Asm. Ting in an effort to undo the damage.

https://t.co/sY2CEWZUCA

It’s an epic thread.

<div class="tweet" data-attrs="{"url":"https://twitter.com/pnjaban/status/1274472506519195648","full_text":"4/After completing your apology tour, you need to answer for your lies, fraud, betrayals, & ethics violations. And I shouldn't be the one asking–your colleagues in the Assembly should be. There is no excuse for or glossing over this conduct. @PhilTing — you need to resign NOW.”,”username”:”pnjaban”,”name”:”Harmeet K. Dhillon”,”date”:”Sat Jun 20 22:41:38 +0000 2020″,”photos”:[],”quoted_tweet”:{},”retweet_count”:13,”like_count”:67,”expanded_url”:{},”video_url”:null,”belowTheFold”:true}”>

Twitter avatar for @pnjaban

Harmeet K. Dhillon @pnjaban
4/After completing your apology tour, you need to answer for your lies, fraud, betrayals, & ethics violations. And I shouldn’t be the one asking–your colleagues in the Assembly should be. There is no excuse for or glossing over this conduct. @PhilTing — you need to resign NOW.

I said it two years ago: Phil Ting is a a morally and ethically compromised legislator who should not have influence over California’s purse strings. In fact, all his political malfeasance needs to be called out and stopped in its tracks.

But, it looks like despite his easy ride into his last term in the Assembly, his political career is officially DOA.

According to the article mentioned above, San Francisco Mayor London Breed did not endorse him—telling.

In addition to GrowSF, the San Francisco Women’s Political Committee, the United Democratic Club and the Chinese American Democratic Club—who have endorsed Ting in the past—have declined to endorse him in this election.

Mayor London Breed has not endorsed Ting either. That’s unusual given Ting’s power and that he’s a shoo-in to win, political insiders say. 

Breed’s office did not respond to inquiries on why she did not endorse Ting. The Chinese American Democratic Club said the decision was partially due to the circumstances of the affair and partially because they felt Ting wasn’t present enough during the pandemic. The United Democratic Club and SF Women’s Political Committee said they do not comment on internal club deliberations, but two sources familiar with their endorsement discussions confirmed that it was issues surrounding the affair that cost Ting their support.

Once again, they go into linking Cal Matters, but I am establishing the territory of my reporting here, because it marked the beginning of the end for Phil Ting. This is a good thing, and part of the intention behind the investigation.

<div class="tweet" data-attrs="{"url":"https://twitter.com/pinkydmd/status/1570180338080681984","full_text":"⁦@PhilTing⁩nnPhil Ting is Set for Easy Re-election to the Assembly. But Some SF Political Clubs Refuse to Endorse Him Due to Sex Scandalnn⁦@asthegirlturns⁩ you were right. This would get him down the road!! ⁦@TingCarmel⁩ “,”username”:”pinkydmd”,”name”:”Pinky💎 #RepealAB5 #EE22 #BeMyOwnBoss”,”date”:”Wed Sep 14 22:38:59 +0000 2022″,”photos”:[],”quoted_tweet”:{},”retweet_count”:1,”like_count”:1,”expanded_url”:{“url”:”https://sfstandard.com/politics/elections/phil-ting-is-set-for-easy-re-election-to-the-assembly-but-some-sf-political-clubs-refuse-to-endorse-him-due-to-sex-scandal/”,”image”:”https://bucketeer-e05bbc84-baa3-437e-9518-adb32be77984.s3.amazonaws.com/public/images/3645b3eb-6f8a-4f5e-8fa9-06b457dd75c9_1525x1016.jpeg”,”title”:”Some One-Time Allies Are Refusing to Endorse Phil Ting Due to Sex Scandal”,”description”:”Civic clubs that are declining to back Ting say the problem is not that he had an extramarital affair, it’s abuse of power.”,”domain”:”sfstandard.com”},”video_url”:null,”belowTheFold”:true}”>

Twitter avatar for @pinkydmd

Pinky💎 #RepealAB5 #EE22 #BeMyOwnBoss @pinkydmd
@PhilTing

Phil Ting is Set for Easy Re-election to the Assembly. But Some SF Political Clubs Refuse to Endorse Him Due to Sex Scandal

@asthegirlturns⁩ you were right. This would get him down the road!! ⁦@TingCarmel

Before the affair was exposed, Ting had big plans of running for California Controller in 2022. There was even a website and a finance committee set up for that purpose.

<div class="tweet" data-attrs="{"url":"https://twitter.com/rpyers/status/1326937002319605760","full_text":"With #AD19 incumbent Democrat Phil Ting running for state Controller in 2022, it appears that San Francisco human rights commissioner Hala Hijazi is taking steps to run for his seat. “,”username”:”rpyers”,”name”:”Rob Pyers”,”date”:”Thu Nov 12 17:16:49 +0000 2020″,”photos”:[],”quoted_tweet”:{“full_text”:”NEW DNS REGISTRATIONS – 2020-11-12 https://t.co/PQBU1oK5yV”,”username”:”CATargetBot”,”name”:”CATargetBot”},”retweet_count”:2,”like_count”:0,”expanded_url”:{},”video_url”:null,”belowTheFold”:true}”>

Twitter avatar for @rpyers

Rob Pyers @rpyers
With #AD19 incumbent Democrat Phil Ting running for state Controller in 2022, it appears that San Francisco human rights commissioner Hala Hijazi is taking steps to run for his seat.
Twitter avatar for @CATargetBot

CATargetBot @CATargetBot

NEW DNS REGISTRATIONS – 2020-11-12 https://t.co/PQBU1oK5yV

We are now headed to the midterm election in 2022, and the only two people on the ballot for state Controller are Lanhee Chen (Republican) and Malia Cohen (Democrat).

The moral of the story: There is a day of reckoning for those who do evil. It’s looking like Ting’s day of reckoning has only just begun.

Ma tha Siobhan.

It also affirms why I choose to do this type of investigative work. To shine a light on corruption and give a voice to those who have been marginalized, drowned out, targeted, or told to just shut up and take it.

Feeling vindicated today, and reminding the world how we got here. Since CDN has gone dark, and I own the copyright to the work, I have republished this three-part expose here on Substack.

Give them a read.

Part 1:

In My Orbit with Jennifer Oliver O’Connell
Phil Ting Expose, Part 1: Did CA Budget Chair Phil Ting use an extramarial affair to craft legislation?
First published June 19, 2020 on Communities Digital News. LOS ANGELES: He is one of the most powerful politicians in Sacramento. She is the domestic worker who testified at Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez’s first hearing in April 2019 on the notorious labor law, Assembly Bill 5 (AB5). Bay Area resident and author…
Read more

Part 2:

In My Orbit with Jennifer Oliver O’Connell
Phil Ting Expose, Part 2: Carmel Foster, the political pawn of Phil Ting, L. Gonzalez and the AB5 bill
First published June 24, 2020 on Communities Digital News. WASHINGTON: For Carmel Foster, her story isn’t just about having an affair with married California legislator Phil Ting (D). Between 2017 and 2019, Foster felt she was becoming the victim of political puppetry. That her story was being used to promote AB5 Gig Worker laws. That her relationship w…
Read more

Part 3:

In My Orbit with Jennifer Oliver O’Connell
Phil Ting Expose, Part 3: Carmel Foster connecting the dots to boyfriend Phil Ting’s AB5 and AB2314 laws
First published June 25, 2020 on Communities Digital News. LOS ANGELES: After the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) policy director Rocio Avila stage-managed Carmel Foster’s April 3, 2019 Labor Committee testimony on AB5, she tasked Tina Vu Pham, gig economy organizer to monopolize Foster’s free time. Foster was given volunteer roles with illustr…
Read more

In My Orbit with Jennifer Oliver O’Connell is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

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Written by CONK!

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Phil Ting Expose, Part 3: Carmel Foster connecting the dots to boyfriend Phil Ting’s AB5 and AB2314 laws

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