A bill aimed at breaking up an alleged gas-station monopoly appears alive after all. Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh's "Retail Service Station Amendment Act of 2011," which is aimed at preventing gas magnate Eyob “Joe” Mamo from being both a gas wholesaler and the owner of nearly half the city's gas stations, is on the council's schedule later this month.
Cheh's bill looked all but dead last fall after an intensive lobbying effort by Mamo that included lobbying by the Rev. Jesse Jackson and sorta-lobbying by the Congressional Black Caucus. Mamo's supporters have tried to cast him as a civil rights hero who is being unfairly targeted for being a successful minority businessman.
But Cheh says she's almost got enough support to get her bill across the finish line. "I'm very very close to having enough votes," she says.
Meanwhile, gas station owners who support Cheh's bill (and who have hired lobbyist/mayoral fraternity brother Bruce Bereano) have made a video attacking Mamo.
You can watch it here: