From AngryRenter to SFBARF: Co-opting Tenants for Political Gain

zRants

anonymous ranter

The so-called San Francisco Bay Area Renters’ Federation (“SFBARF”) takes money from the real estate industry and mobilizes against renter protection legislation and pro-tenant candidates. The group’s leader has even spoken out against inclusionary housing laws. Despite its name, the group does nothing to assist renters.

Front groups claiming to speak for tenants are nothing new. In 2008, with the housing market falling off a cliff, calls for the government to provide relief to homeowners facing foreclosure were on the rise. Republican Dick Armey sprung to action with a fake renter group called “AngryRenter.com.” Michael Phillips of the Wall Street Journal covered the story: “Though it purports to be a spontaneous uprising, AngryRenter.com is actually a product of an inside-the-Beltway conservative advocacy organization led by Dick Armey, the former House majority leader, and publishing magnate Steve Forbes, a fellow Republican. It’s a fake grass-roots effort — what politicos call an…

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