Of course, it was a misspeak … a Freudian slip … a
boo-boo. Whatever you want to call it. Recent GAO grad (as was Harvey
Rose) and spanking new Elections Commissioner Schultz was referring to
someone else named “Marilyn” & everyone in the audience & on the board
committee was willing to let it pass.
Everyone but me.
I went for it like a dung beetle on a fresh pile.
What the hell happens to honest people when they go to
work in the basement of City Hall? Is there something in the air down
there? Is there something not in the air that should be there? Are
workers required to start every day with a hit of LSD-25?
These people are funnier than a one-legged man in an
ass-kicking contest. Even a bottom-dwelling rogue satirist like me
doesn't need to make things up when you cover these people. You just
write down the things they actually say. People are always e-mailing me
to say things like: "I thought you were kidding & I watched the tape &
they really did say that."
Then they tried to hire me.
Department of Elections finally bottoms-out!
I thought the call was from someone trying to cash in on
the guaranteed million-dollar windfall sure to come to the first insider
to go public with the real skinny on how da mayor has been able to rig
the last gadzillion elections. It was a cryptic message on my friend's
answering machine. Someone (whom I won't name, lest they end up in a
Jersey landfill) called & asked for me to return the call. A Department
of Elections employee.
The department is barreling down upon another
complicated ballot with lots at stake for Burton & Brown & the
developers. Uh huh, now was definitely a good time to give me & my crack
investigative crew (no pun on Chambers intended) … time for us to set up
our cameras in hidden alcoves, arrange tag-team surveillance with the
U.S. Justice Department, tap a few more phones. Yeah, it was just in
I made a few calls, set the huge bank of recorders going
& cued the other guys at the long tables strewn around the warehouse.
Then I rang the number back.
It was the Department of Elections all right. They were
just kind of “randomly” going over some lists & had decided that I just
might be the kind of guy they could use to be a “poll worker.”
Discreetly ignoring the obvious phallic reference, I
pressed on. Two agents across the room gave elaborate hand signs to
indicate I should draw the conversation out until they got an exact fix
on the department's location. I feigned confusion & asked just why they
thought I might be the kinda guy they needed to oversee democracy's
It was a “cold” call
It would seem that I was one of what Ilene Lelchuk
reported in the Chronicle as 800 "middle-age and elderly voters" the
department contacted at home to fill in 500 remaining empty job slots at
polls around the city. Tammy Haygood described my demographic as
"retirees who vote frequently, tend to be the people who have the most
time and [are] the most committed."
Yeah, uh huh. And Oswald acted alone, I thought. Why did
she call me really? I dug a bit.
Seems the department has 2,500 workers on a given
election day and, Lelchuk reports: "The job has been a big draw for
homeless residents in past years." However (and she's right here, as all
of my past wives, roommates & employers will verify), “some homeless
people have trouble getting to polling places, get drunk or high on
election day and have 'public decorum and personal hygiene problems.'"
She's quoting Director of Elections Tammy Haygood on that last bit.
Now, I certainly fit that profile. But … let me get the
scene straight. Here's the situation they want me to join: sometime
before the sun comes up on March 5th, some 2,500 stinking, drunk, high,
raving, insane, infirmed, incontinent, & senile citizens will again take
on the job of gathering and counting the votes in Willietown.
Could I live with that? Are you kidding? It's my
element. Sounds like a Brown family reunion. And the bennies? You can't
believe it. About a hundred dollars for fuckin' with people's minds all
day; then you get to take all the ballots you can carry home & vote as
many times as you like. Lelchuk reported that "one volunteer returned
400 blank ballots one month after the election this past Nov. 6." I
guess they stopped filling them in after PG&E got 500 votes ahead.
What a chance to be a part of democracy as it really
works. You do your 10-12 hours, throw a box or two of blank ballots over
your shoulder & head out for a rave with friends, where you watch
election results on the tube, get higher & swing the election to
whichever side pays you the most. In the end, I think we'd be better off
just letting the Olympic skating judges choose our winners.
I did try to pick up a few bucks on the election. A
friend told me the Associated Press paid “stringers“ $100 bucks to phone
in election results around the country on voting nights. San Francisco
was already taken but they said I might get some bucks covering Sonoma
or Napa. I returned that the San Francisco election was sure to be
loaded with more buckshot than the “Jumping Frog” & they should fund me
to cover it … or to go to Afghanistan or Zimbabwe. No answer.
Apparently, their reputation still matters to them.
On a more serious note
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has yet to
deplore the assault & imprisonment of San Francisco citizens by the
People's Republic of China’s thugs less than 2 weeks ago. This is
outrageous. Board members who voted against chastising the brutal
Chinese regime for its treatment of the 100 million strong Falun Gong
Mark Leno (anti-Falun Gong) who is running for state
office in the 13th district (vote for his opponent - Harry Britt).
Sophie Maxwell: After a strong speech noting Black
History Month, Ms. Maxwell voted in favor of a government that
persecutes on a religious basis.
Aaron Peskin: Noted strongly that the board's actions
did not have international ramifications. Wrong again.
Gavin Newsom: Rich boy. Friend of no colored or poor
person. The Falun Gong problem could cost some of his mentors big money
in China trade.
Jake McGoldrick: Has become so intoxicated with the
trappings that he has lost touch with the humanity that made us love
Leland Yee: This Space for Sale!
Tony Hall: He's a nice guy with pretty much totally
Republican values (as in “party“). … Hey, lots of my family down south
Anyway, 2 of these folks need to change their mind and
acknowledge that we need to join the U.S. Congress and the California
State Legislature and most of the civilized world in deploring the
Beijing regime's brutal suppression of a humble religion. These votes
will never be forgotten by the 100 million Falun Gong and their
supporters throughout the world. I would love nothing more than to throw
this vote in all of these supe's faces as evidence of the brutality
their callous hearts engendered comes to the tube in more graphic film.
This one is a “deal breaker,” a litmus test. If you can't oppose having
your citizens' beaten because of their religious views, what kind of
person are you and why would anyone want you representing them?
(The Chinese regime supported Falun Gong until 1999 when
the membership of Falun Gong became greater than the membership of the
Wish me luck
No job yet. I have a last interview to substitute teach
on Treasure Island at the Job Corps. I didn't want to teach again but
this would be a new thing. Older kids. The island, a virtual naval
museum & I'm a Navy guy.
I keep writing on friends' computers. Sleep around. Read
everything. Avoid City Hall.
No on 45!