Controversy surrounds "in-commuters." The League of Women Voters of Marin County, admitting it wears two hats, advocates that 60,000 workers commute here daily.
Other sources say 40,000.

Both numbers come from competing government methodologies.

League leaders insists their number is the reliable one, as stated in their own report. But like the NRA and other groups, the league's advocacy hat spins data beyond credibility.
Its report, "Dispelling the Myths Surrounding Affordable Housing," twists data to the point of creating, rather than dispelling, myths.

By example, the report claims a Washington, D.C. report found non-profit managed properties cause no increase in crime. But that report actually doesn't mention nonprofits; it only addresses big buildings vs. small buildings.

The league can spin it all it wants, but cannot reasonably say this is proof that affordable housing does not increase crime.

My point, however, is not crime, but reliability of league advocacy.

Among "myths" it claims to dispel is that affordable housing lowers property values. The league cites yet another report. Problem again: The cited report expanded the radius until home values flattened out. Specifically, 90 percent of houses surveyed were not even within a quarter-mile of the project. 
Nor did that report break out the impacts on just the ground zero homeowners.
Making this property value survey even more irrelevant (if possible), it covered home sales only between 1987 and 1992. Homeowner data was so old that Ronald Reagan was president and few people had heard of something called e-mail.

The league's report that fails to disclose "myths" was largely authored by the chairperson of a $1 billion nonprofit housing company. That clear conflict of interest should have been disclosed in the report.

With "Myths" full of pratfalls, do we hear retractions? Apologies? No, perhaps like the NRA would do, the league doubles down, claiming its report is golden and that 60,000 workers really commute into Marin daily.

I tend to doubt it. 
The Longitudinal Employment and Housing Dynamics numbers the league relies heavily on unemployment benefits claims. That is data of employees who lost their jobs, rather than present commuters. By implication, it overlooks the self-employed, contract employees and those who don't change jobs. 
Even if 60,000 workers commute into Marin, a philosophy of "Build, Baby, Build" will not work here. We have only 100,000 residences and little water. To house even half these claimed commuters, 20,000 to 30,000 more homes need to be built in Marin. 
Not going to happen.

To distract us, housing advocates say building will be much smaller.

Well here is the news: On a smaller scale, you don't fix the problem you claim exists.
The recent Larkspur plan was 920 units. If 20 percent were affordable and commuters had moved in those units, that gargantuan project would have fixed a tiny 0.3 percent of the problem.

Symbolic gestures solve nothing but guilt.

There are people who will commute for the right opportunity. Move them to San Rafael or Larkspur, they may take San Francisco jobs now that they live closer. Legally, we can't force them to work here.

Further, when someone commutes to Marin, it is because equivalent employment is unavailable near their home. 

If we move them into Marin, their old homes get new residents. Why would those new residents not also take jobs in Marin for the very same reasons?

Meet the new commuter, same as the old commuter.

Randy Warren is a San Rafael lawyer who has been involved in the debate over local housing plans. He ran for San Rafael City Council in 2013.