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Watching City Hall

by h. brown

To be perfect … is to have changed … many times.
— Winston Churchill (on being challenged for changing poly parties)

My apologies to both San Francisco Treasurer Susan Leal and to Carlos Petroni, her challenger in the coming election. Once again, I’ve changed my mind.

I endorsed Leal before I saw the two of them give presentations and be interviewed by the League of Women Voters. After seeing that presentation (repeated with all candidate debates, proposition profiles & much sexier stuff) on local cable Channel 26, I felt it’s really your call, but Petroni looked much, much better to me. He came across like a demure sophisticated Marcello Mastroiani giving an interview in his vineyard overlooking the Mediterranean.

Of course, I don’t know what he actually said. Does it matter? Hell, Last week I endorsed Treasurer Leal just because she was a lesbian.

You getting the message here? Do not trust any newspaper editor, columnist, or reporter. MAKE UP YOUR OWN DAMNED MIND!!!

Most people don’t take the time to study the candidates or the issues upon which they will make life-changing decisions when they vote. That’s understandable. After all, the whole aim of most of the advertising you see and read is to lie to you and confuse you and get you to vote for the interest or body of the side that raised the most money. Usually, they succeed. But … for some unknown reason … they don’t succeed with YOU.

Bravo for district elections!

Last year, for the first time in decades, the people of San Francisco were able to choose an eleven-member Board of Supervisors who, in FACT, lived in their own neighborhoods, Instead of the eleven lackeys who were given the most money by their downtown masters. A major message from that election was that San Franciscans do NOT trust the advice of the city’s major daily newspapers! Don’t expect any long thoughtful editorials from the Chronicle or the Examiner as to just why the hell no one listens to them. The rich advertisers who determine the papers’ endorsements on everything from cuisine & movies to architecture wouldn’t want to pay for a news outlet which lacked credibility with its readership.

As a public service — don’t quote me on this, though — here’s what we know for sure. It looks like (if prior elections are any indication) Neil Eisenberg will be the new city attorney (the dailies hate him worst), and Carlos Petroni will be the new treasurer.

All of the propositions will pass except A. You will begin to build the largest selection of solar collectors on the planet & have no need of the state of Texas by 2020 or sooner. You will make all power public-owned, and you are headed toward moving all power plants of the old variety out of town. You’ll take the crown from Willie Brown’s head by removing his control of the Elections and Ethics Commissions. Not just Willie’s. No mayor should have absolute control of those vital commissions. Instead of having a drinking buddy of the mayor in a commission seat, you’ll have an elected official as a commissioner. You’ll have to ignore the fact that this person got elected by being a drinking buddy of the mayor, but hey, no reforms are perfect. Remember your basic Churchill.

Conflicts of interest

I’m not a very good reporter. I hate to talk on the phone and since I spend all my time spying on the politicians anyway, it makes me kind of uncomfortable to see them in person. So, when the recent fluff arose between Board President Tom Ammiano and Board Rules Committee Chair Matt Gonzalez (definitely my two favorite board members — Budget Analyst Harvey Rose is my favorite city employee) … anyway, when this fluff arose, I sent them each a short list of questions:


The two of you are the only two “progressive” politicians whom I personally feel (I’m usually wrong) have a prayer of beating Gavin Newsom in a run for mayor in ’04. I’d like to take a moment to stick a metaphoric thermometer up each of your behinds on behalf of the rest of your fans.

Question one (for both of you):

Why didn’t you sign the petition to recall the mayor?

Question two:

Tom: Why did you call Matt an asshole?

Matt: Are you, in fact, an asshole?

Question three (for both of you):

If you do not run for mayor, please name three people whom you feel (with your support) could beat Gavin Newsom in a race for mayor.

Question four:

Matt: Ammiano took a lot of abuse as the “lone voice crying in wilderness” under the last board without quitting anything. Would you consider reversing your decision and continue to be a progressive presence on the Finance Committee?

Tom: Would you allow him to reconsider?

Question five (for both):

Generally speaking … how’s it hanging? Nosy people want to know.

h. brown, SF Call

Ammiano answered:

thanks for the good intention, don’t believe everything you read Matt and I are on good terms we differ from time to time which is healthy and then kiss and make up, the reporter is claiming his editor changed the story distortions and all.

Hmmmm. Although he didn’t answer any of my questions, he did give me something to work with. Possible lead off that reply: “Ammiano admits kissing Gonzalez!” (Gonzalez had not answered by press-time)

happy halloween: sobone@juno.com

h. brown