Watching City Hall for September 23
and September 30:
Watching City Hall
by h. brown
Writing naked, curvaceous cuties & kitties to adopt
I've gotta do this opening fast. For anyone wondering
why I haven't had a column out in a week, the answer is that the rogue
fleas from the feline disaster in the adjoining back yard resisted 2
bombings in my secret office space and I haven't been able to stay in
the place long enough to do a lead on the piece.
I've bathed the cats twice & done the Advantage thing
twice and I'll bomb again today but in the meantime, I've washed
everything material in the place & will bomb again. It gets frustrating
to come into the place after all the work & have fleas jump all over
you. Soooo, the obvious thing to do is to write naked with a vacuum
cleaner hose next to you & vac them off as they land and keep on typing.
Hey, do I care about getting out the copy or what?
The documentary film crew of Courtney Haslet and Rich
Hillis and I went to the Bay Guardian for an endorsement interview
before their editorial board a week ago Friday. I wanted you to read the
questionnaire I filled out and I wanted to comment on … (pause to vac
my ankles) … Having a film crew follow you around is a real hoot.
You get more respect. All of the groups and committees from groups
except for the Tenants' Union allowed the crew in. (I skipped the
Tenants' Union hearing for that reason.)
We hauled into the fabulous new headquarters of the
Guardian at the foot of Mississippi St. on Portrero Hill. The building
is a modern fortress. Rebarred concrete with massive columns allows 20
ft. plus ceilings and huge open spaces for windows. An open staircase to
the upper floor is situated in the center of the first floor.
I noticed all of this on the way back downstairs. On the
way in, I only saw the boobs. My gawd! "Does your health plan pay for
implants for the guys too?" I asked the young guy leading us up to Tim
Redmond's office. It was, trust me, a valid question. Now, I'd heard
that Publisher Bruce Brugmann had one of the best eyes in town for
recruiting curvaceous staff, but I wasn't prepared for how true that
was. Oh, they gotta be competent. The Guardian is the best rag in town
and I wish it published daily, so the entire staff has to good. (vac
Anyway, I was granted a ranging interview that lasted
the better part of an hour in Redmond's office (with a panoramic view of
a highly elevated freeway off-ramp covering a segmented wall of glass
framed in concrete to present the effect of a 10' x 20' live sculpture)
We got in early and set up. They didn't have any booze. It didn't matter
much. I'd been up since 5 :00 am drinking and smoking pot and had a
pretty good buzz on by our 10:00 am start-up time. (vac, vac … ouch!)
Tim's desk looked like the desk of every genius I've ever seen. To
wit, you couldn't see his desk because the papers & books & magazines
were stacked in mounds reaching a couple of feet. In the background, the
lumbering Brugmann strode like Shakespeare's Falstaff, towering over the
cubicles and seemingly as powerful as the concrete walls (I'm looking
for work). He nodded & I called out to him in greeting, "I'm glad to see
you made bail!" (I wonder if that hurt my chances?)
The talk was with Redmond, the ever-foxy Savannah
Blackwell & real cute and real quiet Cassi Feldman. I was, well, I was
me. Which was probably a mistake because I really would like their
endorsement. Redmond buried his face in his hands in reaction to some of
my replies. (vac, vac – ever see flea eggs? – disgusting little
things – like tiny grains of white sand – I'm gonna win this battle! –
ouch – vac, vac)
I gotta go. I really do. I'm gonna get the cats outside
& bomb this place again. Word is Buddy (the big tom cat of the remaining
3 – named after Clinton) may get adopted. I have permission to start
cleaning the lot next door (they provide the dumpster, I provide muscle)
& the city will spray the yard again.
The Board is back. Newsom has bodyguards? The Community
Music Center refuses to rent to me for another party. Only one debate
scheduled so far in District #2. The Newsom forces are spending massive
amounts on several fronts already. I feel like an ancient David going
against a young Goliath. Hmmmm, me against Getty oil. My pop, the old
country preacher would love it. You watching, dad?
2. Why am I running?
I'm trying to help stop the gentrification/privatization
of San Francisco by going out to meet Getty's Goliath.
3. What offices have I run for or held?
Well, I was Captain of the Patrol Boys at Clinton
Elementary in 1957.
Just joshing. I ran for supe in District 6 two years
ago. I ran for the same reasons I'm running now but in the race in #6, I
endorsed Marc Saloman and spent my debate time mostly attacking Carol
Ruth Silver, whom I deemed to be the most dangerous of the mayor's
4. How long have I lived in District 2?
I don't live anywhere. San Francisco law says that if
you don't have a permanent address, you can choose a street corner. I
chose one down the street from the incumbent's home so that I could run
5. I'm a political satirist for the SF Call.
6. The only organizations I've belonged to here are the
'Y' and the Dolphin Club. Presently, I belong to none. My political
designation is “none of the above.” My involvement in the community has
been restricted to trying to influence public policy through my writing.
7. Who gave me the most money?
I had a small concert to raise the money to file in the
race ($500). At $10 a ticket, we raised about a thousand bucks. Top
contributor (against his will) was Willie Brown. I used my first $195
welfare check to rent the hall ($175) & buy some booze. Matt Gonzalez
bought 10 tickets as did the film documentarians Rich Hillis and
Courtney Haslet. Kimberley Knox donated $75 & no other tithes exceeded
$35 (Monica Bowen). Most were $10.
8. I wasn't organized enough to go for matching funds. I
wish I had been. I'd truly like to have a hundred or so signs in windows
around the district to give the incumbent pause.
9. I've spent nothing since entering the race. I truly
am broke. I plan another party in a couple of weeks and another around
Halloween. I have some few novel gimmicks for the last week of the
campaign but frankly, unless publications such as yourself print my
views, I'll have no real advertising at all. If the dailies had an
“Anti-Society Page” ("h. brown's oldest friend's girlfriend (friend is
Sean Clements of the DEA) kicked a San Mateo cop & is out on bail" …
that kind of thing). My best opportunity is to rattle my opponent in
debate. I would assume he can read & will thus avoid tê
te à tê
10. The Guardian endorsement in District 2 is probably
worth a hundred grand minimum in advertising. If you really want to
shake up the anti-public power people, endorse me & invite all
candidates to a debate under your auspices. Otherwise, it's just one
billionaire's kid against another & neither of them like you.
11. What are my positions on all 20 measures on the Nov.
Hmmmm. Let's go from memory. First, I'm in favor of
public power. In its simplest terms it will mean a reduction of
everyone's utility bill of 20% or more. There are many other benefits
such as putting the utility under the Sunshine Ordinance. On related
matters, for once I'm going to agree with PUC boss Pat Martel and argue
that Hetch Hetchy can be rebuilt under authority granted by another one
of Ammiano's measures already on the ballot (Prop D).
Yes on D. No on A. Yes on E, D & P also.
I will vote against the 1 billion 600 million bond
measure & count on a reconstituted PUC under a new mayor to spend more
wisely . I will vote against the 1.6 because the study made for PUC only
came up with 800 million in repairs & Da Mayor's people added another
800 million authorization so his buddies could sell more concrete and
hire more “special” assistants.
I will, of course, vote proudly for Chris Daly's
Affordable Housing Prop (B) of 250 million and I would have quickly
voted for the same measure at a billion and a companion billion dollar
measure to create a serious SF Land Trust.
No on C. It's another attempt by the bluebloods to grab
control of a valuable piece of city property. Details of the proposal
shut the vets out of most of their own building. Hey, I'm a veteran.
These people have chased the horses, dogs & cats out of the parks and
now they want to chase the veterans out of the Veterans' Building. I
mean, like, huh!!??
No on BART seismic upgrades. I don't approve a billion
bucks when there no proven need. This one came down the pike way too
fast & it could just be more concrete for the rich.
Yes on the supervisors' designation as a fulltime job.
This is another class warfare issue. The incumbent in District 2 is
mentored by some of the richest people on the planet. They would like to
have birds of his stripe occupying all supervisory positions. A real
tool to flush out actual grass-roots candidates is to keep the pay too
low to live on. The proof of this is reading the lawn jockeys in the
press who pimp for the rich: Ken Garcia, Samson Wong, Warren Hinckle &
the like campaign against pay raises for the supes. Folks, do you think
that Garcia, Wong & Hinckle make less than $37,500 a year? Only Wong
actually works for a living. The others just kind of like,
make-believe/pretend they actually watch the supervisors (see em on
Yeah, then there's the marijuana resolution from my pal
Mark Leno. It only reminds me to light up as I get deeper into the
Newsom's “Care Not” is obviously a poor man's
deportation vehicle. It will increase muggings and burglaries & have
absolutely no effect on the uncivilized barbarians who presently rule
the streets in most of the downtown area.
Hall's “Hope” is a double-edged axe aimed at rent
control on one edge and the poor on the other.
(Damn, this is a long questionnaire – how many of the
candidates do you figure actually fill it out themselves and tell the
truth? me & James Dunn I'd bet)
Leno's Entertainment Commission is a great idea.
I'll vote for Ammiano's response to Newsom's “Care Not.”
What is it? Prop O maybe. It has plenty of reasonable innards, whereas
Newsom's legislation is simply a plutocratic steamroller. I don't like
the idea of taking cash away from the homeless. For the past 2 months, I
have drawn $395 a month under the PAES program & I've been able to keep
a couch under my body most of the time. I've used the money to start a
campaign for supervisor, get a new press pass, set up a tiny campaign
headquarters with computer & cable hook-ups, buy a dozen pair of reading
glasses, rescue and treat 4 cats. You get the idea. I could have done
absolutely none of that under Ammiano or Newsom's measures. They both
toss the baby with the bath water. I see nothing wrong with denying cash
to someone who has been arrested numerous times for drug or alcohol
offenses but to just cut off everyone is dumb. Under the present system,
my friends effectively provide my shelter & basic hygienic needs,
kitchen, phone. Both measures, in that respect are a step back. So why
would I vote for O? To support Tom.
Do I want to give more benefits to pregnant city
workers? Yep, uh huh. Good work, Chris. (My own dear daughter will have
a little San Franciscan in mid-February but she works for the feds.)
Jake McGoldrick has been bashed by the right-wing press
big time for his legislation to give small newspapers that only come out
once a week a shot at the city ad money. Hey, my boss (Betsey Culp) is a
female too (like Florence Fang, for whom the present ad rules were
created) & she doesn't own a printing plant and numerous buildings. She
& the Ratcliff's Bay View could use some of that ad revenue to continue
to give an alternative point of view (like, the truth).
Would I tax the rich more on homes of a million or over?
I'd confiscate anything they have per family over one billion dollars to
start. Don't get me started on the rich. I am basically in favor of any
measure which promotes redistribution of wealth & protects cheap
I move around a lot & I don't have all the other
measures before me. Please send me the ones I missed & when I get back
to a keyboard, I'll add more.
OK, the list was in the APA Voter Guide. I favor Leno's
Entertainment Commission. The cops have too much power in that area.
I'll vote against G. I think there is a network of devoted
stuffers-of-the- ballot-box entrenched within the civil service. (Like
in most cities.) I'd improve the emergency services pensions. I'm an
ex-firefighter and you want a choice of the very best to pry you or a
loved one from a smashed car or defuse that bomb your neighbor may be
working on. No on M. That's an easy one. I trust nothing suggested by
this mayor. No on Q also. It's a dagger at the non-profits while clowns
like Da Mayor fund what was effectively a kick-off for Andrew Lee's
campaign on the city's dime after funding a job & office for him for a
couple of years to try and re-make Andy from “Drew Nasty” (punk-rock
incarnation of Lee's who writes songs named stuff like “I want to fuck
you” – I kid you not, the kid is worse than me & that ain't easy). No on
Q. That's all of em.
12. What do I think of shutting down the Hunters Point
Power Plant and opposing expansion of the Potrero Hill Plant? I will
personally lead an SFPD Swat team in, place satchel charges on … Yes, I
favor both ideas.
13. FOR 20% OFF YOUR ELECTRIC BILL
VOTE FOR PROPS D, E & P!!!
14. I will be reminding voters at every stop that my
opponent is opposed to Public Power.
15. "Will I take money from PG&E & Mirant Corp.?" Sure.
As long as they understand I'll use it to destroy them.
16. Prop N sucks. I have a Masters in Special Ed and,
except in the case of some mental patients and hard-core junkies and
drunks, it is best if the client has the opportunity to handle their own
17. R is this year's realtor scythe to cut down rent
control. It was developed by Real Estate Brokers whose main goal in life
is to sell every piece of property in the world. Preferably, several
18. Do I believe in the San Francisco Sunshine
Do I seem like a person who cares if you know what I
think? Mic me. 24/7. It will be better than da Osbornes.
19. What about the rip-off artists AT&T & Comcast & an
opportunity to kick them ta hell outta the city? Can you say “San
Francisco Community Cable“? The media giants are hyenas and vultures.
They strip to the bone & share as little as possible. Throw da bums out!
20. Most pressing problems facing the city?
Well, of course, there's always the danger of what Mayor
Willie Brown called "Crazy people running for public office."
Actually, I'd say the biggest problems here are the same
as we have internationally, nationally, and on the state level. That
would be: Corporate control of the political establishment through
manipulation of public views through corporate domination of the media.
I'd rate gentrification of our little town second and the failure of the
school system third. The PD needs re-organized. And fleas.
21. How would I legislate to correct the problems?
Certainly, I'd deport all fleas. Corporations are a bit
of a tougher issue. Put as much of the property into land trusts as
possible through either a donation from Walter Shorenstein or public
purchase (which do you think will happen first?). I'd demand that 200
cops be walking … let me repeat that … WALKING a beat 24 hours a day.
I'd open a rescue center on Treasure Island in the barracks next to the
brig. Use tents if necessary. Get the drunks & the insane & the crack
heads & junkies out of the doorways of the citizenry. I've dealt with
this my entire life. On the SFUSD, I'd like to see more charter schools.
Copy the European models of revolving the administrative positions among
all teachers and providing more alternative voc ed programs.
22. Most pressing issues of District 2?
That would be greed, greed & greed. Disposition of the
Presidio I'd put at #1. Bigger than the entire district. Defusing the
time bomb Pelosi & Yaki & the developers set to turn the place into an
office park in 2013. The place is absolutely beautiful. Walk District 2
in San Francisco & eat your heart out. It is the most splendid piece of
property on the face of the earth. It doesn't need to be changed. That's
the key. You don't need to develop the Presidio. You need to replace
Pelosi and tear down everything in the Presidio the Spanish didn't build
and make it into a National Park with about a thousand camp sites. It
should be for ALL Americans. …
The main job for the District 2 Supervisor should be to
try and keep his or her constituents from conquering the rest of the
How? Limit family fortunes to a billion dollars.
Individual fortunes to 200 million. (Can you get by on that?)
23. How to increase city revenue?
Well, we could have a bake sale. I'm guessing the amount
of weed we could raise on Potrero Hill alone would retire the deficit.
More to the point: Fire the extra 500 flunkies that
Willie hired to carry his friggin' luggage. There's 40 million. Do I
need to go on? I want the city to cover a job for every citizen and we
can do that. As employer-of-last-resort, I think the city not only
SHOULD provide employment, but, in fact, already does! I am the foremost
example of same. The city paid for this column. It paid for the seed
money for my candidacy. It paid for the sculptor who just stopped by
with a joint The fact is, the GA (General Assistance) & other welfare
programs presently support at least 2,000 artists who would be forced
from the city by the implementation of my opponent's proposal.
24. Tax the rich. Redistribute the income Make love with
their sons and daughters as often as possible. I'll do the moms.
Redistribute the wealth. We have to. Greed is not the answer.
25. Would I support a tax on people who make more than
No, this is San Francisco. That is stipend money. Start
the serious redistribution of the wealth at the “greed-line” for our
particular locale at around $250,000.
26. I would support a progressive business payroll
and/or gross receipts tax.
27. I voted for Ammiano for Mayor. Will again unless
28. I voted for Marc Salomon in the general & Chris Daly
in the runoff.
29. I supported public power with many columns cause I
think things like air and water and power and basic communications are
too important to be controlled by greedy corporations.
30. D in March of last year? Hmmm, E was elections
reform & I backed that. Don't recall what D was & I have no way to look
it up right now.
31. I voted for Harry Britt.
32. In a run-off in 2, I'd probably vote for Segal
although I might do my turtle thing & waddle over to another district to
vote where there was more of a difference in the candidates.
33. I have spoken before several groups whom I respect
(Milk, Green Party, Guardian) but mostly I think the clubs doing the
endorsements are sold-out fronts. Supes Gonzalez & Hall have endorsed me
but it could have been the wine. Naw, they are fans and that's my
greatest strength. At one time, I had up to 17,000 readers a day (coming
up to the March 2002 election). Pro or con, most of City Hall reads my
column when it is available. I'd like a larger audience but I'm kind of
irreverent and that doesn't play well with most publishers.
Anyway … thanks for the opportunity to express myself.
You are the only entity whose endorsement I have ever seriously sought.
I make the request only because I think the Guardian mantle would give
me some credibility, access to debates & a larger readership. Combined
with my natural and acquired skills, the result would be to forward the
Progressive cause. Like I said, I'm in this to influence public policy.
If you feel our interests sufficiently overlap, anoint me forthwith.
Watching City Hall
by h. brown
Brodkin of Coleman Advocates
Brodkin isn't just the boss of Coleman Advocates. Nope, she's a member
of what I call the “De Young Crowd” too. She was there for them when
they shoved through the demolition of the old De Young and its
replacement with a hideous phallic tower. She was there for them again
in public testimony when they decided they wanted to close the Golden
Gate Stables in the park even though they were good for another couple
of hundred years. Yep, she was there for both of those. And she was
there for them when they decided they wanted to close down Harding Golf
Course and do a renovation that costs far too much and will keep the
poor (other than a few tokens) off the links. She's been a big supporter
of shutting dogs out of the parks. It was in this last endeavor that she
made the comment heading this column. Da woman, she got clout.
clout to convince Chris Daly and Aaron Peskin to desert their
Progressive comrades on the Rules Committee and replace their choice for
the board administering the Childrens' Fund, a $7-8 million fund
flowing from the city's share of the tobacco blood money flowing through
the state. Now, Peskin, him I can understand. Aaron showed up at a
meeting a few months back with half of the inner circle of the De Young
group in tow and guided an OK for them to do whatever the hell they
wanted with the city's multi-billion dollar art collection. That morning
in the paper, there were pics of Aaron being wined and dined and feted
by this same group the night before. …
got to Daly?
happened to change your vote?!" spoketh the angry Supervisor Mark Leno
when Gerardo Sandoval deserted him on a building design compromise
during Monday's board meeting. Poor Mark, he seems to be the only one in
town who doesn't know that Gerardo … shall we say, uh … hmmm, how to say
this … yes, that's it … Gerardo “negotiates.” If the vote looks close
and you have the means, give that old boy a call. Or, just wait … maybe
he'll call you.
case was pretty standard. Neighbors in Leno's district wanted to
continue to see the light of day when a new RBA structure was completed
and they thought they had a deal to do so. A couple of cut-outs on the 4th
floor of the structure to let the sun flow where it had for a long, long
time. Problem is, it took an 8-3 vote to overturn the Planning
Commission (read Gerald Green) & Sandoval's flip made it 7-4.
I've said many times before, Sandoval would love to be the swing vote on
every single piece of legislation and he'll use the position to … you
get the idea.
Board dances to a new tune
returning from their three-week vacation, the supes found themselves
surrounded by new graphics and new music on their cable Channel 26 home
base. I dig the changes. The graphics are more provocative and the music
is, well … livelier. There is an overlay graphic constructed around an
overhead shot of the base of the grand marble stairs in the center of
City Hall is the kind of structure you just don't see being built
anymore. A zone where architecture meets sculpture in grace, form &
utilitarianism. From above, the stairs build in perfect symmetry like a
master baker's birthday cake.
my campaign manager, Jens Nielsen, what he thought of the new music. He
fired up the medical pot in his “proto” pipe and cocked his head to
busier," he began & listened a bit more. "It wouldn't be good music for
a porno though, cause the movie would be over too fast."
duds of the first couple of week's back for the kids from all 11
districts and their followers went to James Chaffee, who notes almost
weekly in public comment that he has "had an interest in the public
library for a number of years." Brother Chaffee wore a broadly checked
beige sports jacket, neutral slacks, and a bold tie. Get some guts,
politicos. Don't let the audience outdress you! And is anybody ever
going to follow up on Chaffee's call to rein in the “Friends (they ain't)
of the Library” who run the place with no legal authority whatever?
Earl, where's the friggin' helicopter?
to talking to a couple of cops a couple of weeks ago about a couple of
things and I asked them about the department's grounded helicopter. They
exchanged disgusted looks and one noted, "The bird doesn't just chase
bad guys. It coordinates the movement of our cars and we might not have
lost an officer in that crash in the Mission if we'd had one up that
never thought of that.
Gavin Newsom sure can spend money! The ad blitz for his move to take
away my welfare money just keeps growing. One of the charges of the
Ethics Commission is to notify all candidates when one exceeds the
spending cap on various races. I believe the cap on supe races is
$75,000. Now, I could be wrong about that. The only time I've been near
that kind of money was when Uncle Sonny robbed the bank & hid under my
bed when I was four. Sadly, the law got Sonny & the cash.
what is Gavin doing with all that money?
to start, everyone who has NOT gotten a recorded message from the supe
please raise your hands. Uh huh, you all got to hear that one huh?
you seen the TV ad where an assortment of thugs with skin more cratered
than the moon stare menacingly out from the tube into your living room?
They say things like "I spent your money on heroin; what do you think of
that?" and "I spent your money on crack cocaine; what do you think of
Jack Davis reaches back for the golden oldies again, this time doing a
Willie Horton clone thing.
should have let me and some of my friends on welfare join in that one. I
could say something menacing like "I spent your money to run for
supervisor against Gavin Newsom; what do you think of that?" Or "I
bought a pair of glasses with your money; what do you think of that?"
got the final phone call proving Newsom's utter hypocrisy. A guy with
the distinct dialect of a black man called (personally) to explain how
Newsom's “Care, not cash” would guarantee me more services and housing.
Momma, momma, momma. It reminded me of those slaves who fought for the
you know me, I'm not one to make trouble. I explained to the man things
like how the Gettys and the Fishers (Gap = $7 billion) don't really want
any poor people messing up their landscape and the best way to get rid
of them is to take away what little money they have to live on. The guy
seemed almost surprised. He thanked me for the information and went on
(I'd guess) dialing for dollars. Just another Judas, bought by the fat
cats on the hill.
line is that I can now spend all I want on my campaign. Thus far, I
haven't spent a farthing since signing up. I'm not very good with money.
I got an email from Monica Brennan, who sent me a check a couple of
months ago to kick off my campaign ($100) that never got cashed. I
apologized but, hell, it's only money. Maybe I can get Frank Gallagher
to trace it down for me.
Veterans sell out their comrades
pitiful group of sell-outs have an ad on the tube now shilling for the
De Young crowd, which truly believes they should control everything in
the city because they are filthy rich. Most of the group of vets who did
the ad pushing Prop C (122 million clams to retro and redecorate the
vets' building while removing most of the vets) vets were from the Gulf
war. I guess that's “Gulf” as in Gulf Oil. Naw, it was Chevron & Texaco
we were fighting for that time, wasn't it?
the ads states flat out that the building was only "named after the
vets." You follow that line of thought? Why, that building doesn't
belong to the vets. It belongs to the De Young crowd!! Under Prop C the
tasteless museum leeches get more of the building and the vets get less.
And you pay for the screw job. Put this one back in the hangar
for a rewrite folks.