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VOLUME 2, NUMBER 24   <>  MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2001

Watching City Hall

by h. brown

“Survivor” for politicians

This is fiction. As in … not true. However, I bet you if the mayor and supes ever did play “Survivor,” it really would play out the way I describe it.

I bet it would. For those of you who have not watched the TV show “Survivor” … congratulations. For those of you shallow enough (like me) to be a fan, I apologize for changing the rules a bit. My version of the show goes like this. Twelve politicians (in this case, the mayor & all eleven district supes) spend ten weeks competing in a variety of challenges, with the winner of each challenge immune to expulsion in the weekly tribal vote. The first five pols voted out are out of the game. The next five voted out return the tenth week to vote a final winner from the remaining two contestants. The overall winner becomes mayor. We won’t put them on a desert island or starve them or anything. Home base will be twelve cute little tents in U.N. Plaza, and they’ll get their food with food stamps which they’ll obtain each Monday by waiting in a line two blocks long.

Here’s Week 1.

Challenge 1: Stuffing the ballot box


The goal is to vote in as many precincts as possible in the last hour before the polls close. To simulate reality, no poll worker will have an IQ of over 50.

The results are in! It wasn’t close. Second place went to Aaron Peskin, who turned out to be a cycling monster and reached five precincts but turned out to be terrible at forgery. The mayor somehow cast more than 50 perfect votes spread out over not only the entire city, but Treasure Island, too. He wouldn’t say how he did it. Immunity this week goes to Willie Brown.

The tribal vote: Oddly (or maybe not), even though the mayor had immunity, he still got eight votes to get out. Ammiano got one vote (from the mayor), Sandoval got one (from Newsom), and our first outcast was … Gavin Newsom with two votes (one each from Sandoval & Ammiano). Having learned from the week’s challenge, the supes were somehow able to cast more than 200 absentee and provisional ballots, all of which were disallowed although both Bill Lee and the city attorney thought they were all genuine. Newsom seemed angry but relieved to be leaving, commenting: “Some bastard stole my food stamps on Tuesday, and I haven’t eaten in four days.”

Challenge 2: Most terrible wardrobe

The contestants were required to dig through a Goodwill box and told to put together an outfit they would feel most comfortable wearing to a board meeting. Wilkes Bashford was judge.

The winner in a walk was Jake McGoldrick. The beaming Jake (unaware it was for “worst” outfit) offered: “Hey, this looks like the kind of thing I always wear!” Bashford commented aside to the mayor: “He’s got a kind of Jack Ruby look.”

The tribal vote: Goodbye, Willie! Dr. Phillip Paris was brought in to oversee this vote and managed to get the number of votes to match the number of voters, which is never easy in San Francisco. Ammiano got one vote (from the mayor). Daly got one vote (from Leland Yee). The mayor got the rest. Looking back over the campsite as he left, Willie commented: “What a great location for a “peaker” power plant.”

Challenge 3: Least in touch with reality

Contestants answered three questions:

1. Do you trust the mayor?
2. Do you trust the city controller?
3. Do you trust the city administrator?

Leland Yee won in a walk for being the only player to answer “yes” to all three questions.

The tribal vote: See you late, Tony Hall. The philosophical lines of voters remain clear. Big Tony got a downward thumb from everyone but Yee, who again voted to get rid of Chris Daly.

Challenge 4: Worst record on the environment

The supes were rated on their sponsorship and votes of legislation most damaging to open space and air.

The “winner” was Aaron Peskin for his role as negotiator in two disasters. In the “Ferry Park” legislation brokered by his office, the citizens lost their trees and there will be no more. The supe guaranteed this by approving an underground garage over which no serious tree can take root. In his latest clouded move, Peskin struck a deal with United Airlines under which UA gets lotsa free rent and the citizens get a spot for a high pollution, unnecessary peaker power plant at the airport. … Such a deal!

The tribal vote: Chris Daly got one vote (from Leland Yee), and Leland Yee got everyone else’s vote.

Challenge 5: Best looking in drag


The idea is to go to a straight bar dressed as a member of the opposite sex. AND to get a date with some unsuspecting patron.

Last place went to Jake McGoldrick, who barely escaped a terrible beating at an Oakland biker bar by freezing an angry mob in their tracks with the words: “What is ‘gender,’ really?” He escaped in the confusion of attempted thought.

The winner? … Next week … or the one after. You don’t really care, do you?

For really bad advice: sobone@juno.com

h. brown