h. brown's column for August 12,
Polling season has begun. As of 10:23 am, Monday, August
12, SFPolifix listed
support for District 2 candidates as follows:
||0 / 0.0%
||15 / 42.9%
||8 / 22.9%
||12 / 34.3%
August 12, 2002
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
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 .
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
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
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“)
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.
(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
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:
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
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”
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
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
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: