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Monday, August 12, 2002

h. brown's column for August 12, August 16

Polling season has begun. As of 10:23 am, Monday, August 12, SFPolifix listed support for District 2 candidates as follows:

James Boeger  0 / 0.0%   
H. Brown  15 / 42.9%   
L. Newhouse-Segal  8 / 22.9%   
Gavin Newsom  12 / 34.3%   
August 12, 2002

Watching City Hall

by h. brown

I got a bad feeling about this one, Vern.

– Newsom gets news h. brown is in race

What a party. Definitely one of the high points of my life.

When Neska played the huge grand piano, people in the audience actually wept. I danced and stage-boxed across the stage in pantomime as Tony Hall sang “The Kid's Last Fight.” Two dozen large bottles of wine appeared from nowhere as if in a biblical wedding. The weather was perfect. A warm San Francisco summer night. Rare as a politician with nothing to say.

The breeze swept through the huge courtyard of the venerable Community Music Center at 550 Capp and soothed my already mellow best friends. My glowingly expectant daughter and her husband greeted guests quietly as the next generation evolved within her. Rich Hillis and Courtney Haslett filmed it all for their documentary and continually raced to strip me of the remote microphone in order to pin it to another, more fertile subject. "h., you did NOT oversell your friends!" they exclaimed over and over.

h. you are very lucky because …

your friends are your heroes .

(so true)

Matt Gonzalez and Jimmy Dorenkott delayed their flight to Kansas City and took a midnight red-eye instead. Larry-Bob Roberts ably backed the sonorous Tony Hall’s songs on the nine-foot Steinway with no rehearsal.

Half of the District 6 challengers for Chris Daly's seat eyed one another across the hall. Jeffrey Liebowitz, the only credible opposition, tried to explain why he did not enter the race. We all nodded but shook our heads inside. We all support Daly but we love a good fight.

Daniela Kirshenbaum, my choice in District 2, stopped in and was amused. Former Mayor Art Agnos stopped by to "sign some papers" and looked at me with a jaundiced eye. The boy, he done hear bout me. That's what I thought.

My choice in District 4, Barry Hermanson, held court in the center of a cadre of admirers. Michael Moore, my first boss in San Francisco, played blues guitar acoustic and pointed to another District 4 candidate. "That's Andrew Lee," he said. "I know him from somewhere." I waited for the other shoe to drop. It did not. Michael, he knows about people from Youngstown, Ohio to here. Bout me too, if you gotta know.

Who else came to my party? Rebecca Silverberg from District 11 & a scribe for the Sentinel (www.sanfranciscosentinel.com) was there and looking foxy. I flirted with her a little but I don't think she dates outside her species. Sarah Lipson, teacher, new mom & a top candidate for the School Board was there with bambino and fellow top runger and defense counsel Whitney Leigh. The two of them are my choices for a board criticized for little diversity. That will add a black lawyer and a green mother, which will improve any spectrum. Oh, and they're qualified.

Sean Connolly, the deputy city attorney who we all hope will soon be our next Superior Court judge was nice enough not to judge my behavior. I screwed up my duties as master of ceremonies & Lessick had to leave before they played. Again, special thanks to Larry-Bob Roberts of Supervisor Matt Gonzalez's office, not only for his own presentation of New Orleans jazz piano but for ably backing 7th District supe Tony Hall in a series of classics. Kaz (“Captain Kazoo“) Cap of www.captainkazoo.com did an edgy rendition of his character the “Pan-Hassler.”

I'd tell you who else was there, but once again I got bombed and I missed it. Adriel Hampton of the Examiner, who combines with Frank Gallagher to give the Ex the most comprehensive local political coverage in town, sat in awe of Neska's dramatic piano. A couple of lobbyist friends were there, but they don't like to be mentioned. The Sexy Green Party Strategist tried to keep my feet on the ground. She does this by leaning in and whispering sweet things into my ear like "You idiot! You have some fences to mend over here and lay off the sauce!" Things like that. Marc Salomon was kind enough to count the money. (Don't get nervous, Gavin. We still haven't reached a grand.) Marc teams with Sexy Green and Secret Source to provide brains for the monster that is my second campaign for supervisor.

I needed a high-profile “pretty face” for my campaign manager and, fortunately, my old buddy Jens Nielsen was just back from ten years in exile in Mariposa and agreed to take on the thankless task. You know what the campaign managers do, right? They stand in front of the cameras and reporters and say stuff like "What the candidate actually meant to say was …" and other stuff like "Those charges were never proven and besides, that's legal in some third world countries." Jens (who DOES look like John Burton) got himself a new sport coat, a cowboy hat, and a girlfriend for the campaign. He said it was OK to report that he actually got laid that night! I think the campaign is off to a rousing start.

Speaking of which

Odds and ends. Jerry Threet, Paul Melbostat, and the rest of the Tides group who have dragged Frank Gallagher out into the alley should lighten up. These kids are pushing what lawyers call a “slap suit,” a frivolous certain loser used to intimidate your opponent. In this case, my fellow lefties are chilling free speech and making the banjo-playing, Giants-fanatic, hard-drinking right-wing (he calls himself a “moderate“) hit-man into a folk hero. You need a character witness, Frank? You might be surprised to learn that a few dozen of your natural “opposition” are on your side in this one.

Another odd end. Thanks to Tom Ammiano for providing the swing vote to keep Candlestick Park on Candlestick Point named Candlestick Park on Candlestick point. Expect a well-tanned and well-lobbied Gerardo Sandoval to return and again reverse a board decision by siding with the Niners. Let's check his account for checks from the Mills Group. Legal but sleazy.

I'm off!!

(but you already knew that)

I secured my deck seat on the Titanic yesterday. I was issued a rifle and a torch by General Sherman for the march that ends November 5. In short, I submitted a valid nominating petition, a 200-word statement (usually lies written by a staff, but in my case, I write the lies personally) … submitted the paperwork, paid the $500 fee. I am officially in the race for supervisor from District 2. That means taking on the billion-dollar fortunes backing current supe Gavin Newsom and fledgling contender Lynne Newhouse-Segal. It's not them who bother me. It's Jack Davis. … Yeah, the very mention of the name makes my sphincter pucker. I'll probably wake up tomorrow with a coke bottle on my pillow.

I make it 87 days before the Department of Elections starts tossing ballots into Da Bay. Ahhhh, nothing like an election.

Also, I'm off to see my momma in Missouri for five days. I'll send you a column from the torturous, humid hell of the St. Louis summer that spawned the likes of me … and Chuck Berry … and Miles Davis … T.S. Eliot … and Linda Rudman /aka Linda Aflame / aka “Neska.” Thank you for the magic, my friend. “Let's roll!!”

this Bud's for you: sobone@juno.com


August 16, 2002

Watching City Hall

by h. brown

Who's your daddy?

1 (888) 528-5781

– ad for dna testing

This is my “vacation” column. I try to write one on the road every year when I go back to visit my mom, but I always lose the work on one of my siblings' computers. This time was no better.

The ad today was up last year. It's still there. Billboard along the highway topped with a beautiful year-old or so gorgeous little white child sitting up in its bib overalls. Think about it. Enough people phoned to see if their spouse or lover or whatever was cheating on them to pay another year's rental of the billboard.

Other happy thoughts …

I spent the month of June in rehab.

– The third jewel in the Kennedy girls' triple crown

I used to be quite the stud. Really. Had em standing in line. Or I stood in line for them. Whatever worked.

That was a long, long time ago. I thought back upon those days standing in the 90 degree St. Louis heat, looking across the sidewalk at the one Kennedy sister I never banged.

I don't want to cheapen my past love life, so I'll skip the details you'd rather read about the most. Instead, I'll tell you about what used to be & what became.

Mary Francis Kennedy

They were all beautiful, in the mixed-bag kind of litters we Irish seem to throw together. A blonde, a brunette & the tweener that got away. My own family was like that but in shades of red. What did Eliot say? "Is it perfume from a dress that makes me digress?"

Mary was my favorite. We lived together for a short time in the flat I rented across from the bar her sister Linda (she's the third jewel) owned with her boyfriend Joe Edwards, the ex-DJ who was writing the handbook for all DJ's that was going to make him rich if the bar didn't (eventually, they both did).

But we were looking in on my life in the divorced fireman's pad in U. City, Mo. Mary left little folded up notes and drawings everywhere. She played the Irish kids' game “hide-in-plain-sight” to perfection. She hid my cigars all over the place, but it was OK. Our song was “Touch me in the morning, then just walk away. … We don't have to worry, cause we had yesterday." You know, that Diana Ross thing.

Mary was in love with new love. You know how long it lasts, right? For the record, it lasts 30 days, 11 hours, 17 minutes & 8 seconds. That's the very point when your wife/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend/pet goat or “significant other” crinkles her/his/its nose and says, "What's that smell?" Mary didn’t stay that long. On the morning of the 30th day, the last notes were there, in plain view.

You digging this shit? No more. This column is about San Francisco Politics. For the personal side, you can go to www. … www. … maybe in a week or so. A friend is offering to host a site for me for the price of registering a domain name (which I don't have).

I'm on a run here. Even though welfare has stiffed me so far this month, I've lived well, “depending upon the kindness of strangers” (bumming drinks) and “living well – being the best revenge” (bumming drinks).

Politics. Newsom.

Gavin Newsom has never beaten anyone in an election. Did you know that? It's true.

He ran as a homeless candidate last time. Also true. Lived in a motel or something. Touched my heart to hear about it then because I had my own place & all that. Now, as fate would have it, our position is reversed.

Last time, Gavin's friend threw him out in the street and instead of taking up the offer to “couch-surf” on his friend's pop's couch, Gav moved to a motel. Sure wish I could. Since I've been homeless, it's been one couch after another. All over town and beyond. I feel like such a slut. I'll feed any animal, fall in love with them, then I go away. I've cared for orchids and hamsters, adjusted the timing on special “growing” systems, tended very deep bite wounds from the neighbor's cat. You know the drill. Beats the hell out of sleeping in a shelter.

Hey, did Gavin ever do that thing he was going to do about sleeping in a shelter in disguise? I hope he gets cooties. If the disguise is good enough, he could get any number of offers that might change his life forever.

What his 'Care NOT!' legislation fails to note is that most people who get the $80 - $95 a month are pretty much like me & use the cash about as judiciously. We're genuinely looking for a job (hell, I have an interview with a bigwig on a local daily Monday night regarding employment opportunities). You look, but no one hires you. Maybe you're over- or under-qualified. Maybe, like me, you're too old and have an attitude problem. For whatever reason, you've honestly, through no fault of your own, run out of your unemployment checks and they won't give you an extension and a hundred bucks a week suddenly looks pretty good if you can get a few food stamps and throw it into the kitty wherever you may be taking up space.

I say this because two supes and a couple of reporters told me that Newsom made an aside during Monday's board meeting. (Say it in a public space & it's fair game, Gav.) Newsom remarked that "h. brown is abusing the welfare system for political purposes."

I am entirely innocent of the charge (I AM truly broke!). But you, Gavin, have been the number one exploiter of the poor, and it is growing excessively old. You have voted against dogs and cats and horses and trees and public power and neighborhood supervisors and the elderly and the poor and fire safety and musicians and dancers and artists … all the while saying you favor them! For two years I have watched through a cannabis haze while you chaired, vice-chaired, membered, or whatevered, gatherings where thousands of people begged and you ignored them. City-wide! You have no more sympathy for the people in Pacific Heights fighting the Giant Eye-Care facility that grows like the blob from one Victorian to the next than you have, for instance, with the artists you threw out of Bryant Square so your friends could leave a big empty hole in the ground.

Let the games begin

To Gavin: Kid, I don't know you. You dress like an undertaker with a hairdo Elvis was wearing when they buried him and they have you convinced you are like … hip? Get real. They're lying to you so they can take the money and run.

It won't take money to beat you. You'll beat yourself. I got you, kid. I got you to run against me. Today I agreed to three public debates against you. Two radio debates. I've already done a couple of print interviews. It's only going to get worse.

The people around you will spend plenty and it will all be wasted. The people of San Francisco are not stupid. Their only problem has been a lack of information, and the internet has bridged that problem.

Don't fear, kid. I won't come across the stage at you. I won't phone you late at night. Hell, I might even ask you for your autograph. I'll hang it above my sleeping bag wherever I house-sit. I see you as a kind of a George Hamilton type. Hollow. Handsome. What am I saying? You could be presidential material!!!

bitch now, save a hit-man: sobone@juno.com