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May 16, 2003


Watching City Hall

by h. brown

This legislation does not privatize the shipyard.
-- Supervisor Sophie Maxwell, introducing legislation to privatize the shipyard

I trust Willie Brown about as far as I can throw Dick Blum’s wallet (that ain’t very far). Now, Willie Inc. is moving to extend his influence past his mandated retirement (he couldn’t beat Howdy Doody in a race now anyway). Willie wants to make Sophie Maxwell Empress of the Hunters Point Shipyard Development Authority. Forever. Da man never quits. He’s like that character in Monty Python … never mind … point is, using whatever lame-ass excuse possible, the Board should delay or shoot down every transparent move to extend his ill-used powers beyond the day his foul presence is finally removed from Room 200. On the shipyard move? Lennar is calling in old favors and funds expended to Willie Inc. to guarantee their move to develop a piece of land that may well have more nuclear contamination than Nevada test sites. Is it not irony itself that Brown is cynically using the environmental crusader Maxwell as the front for a potential end-run around intense environmental scrutiny?

Other really bad ideas

Who the hell’s idea was it to make Ed Harrington the new Clint Eastwood? They wanna give him 10 million, no questions asked, to … honest … be ultimately responsible for cleaning or maintaining the streets or something like that. Now, fortunately, I’ve done acid too, so the source of this idea was immediately clear to me. Obviously Donald Fisher dropped some LSD 100’s into the punch bowl at a party attended by George Shultz, Waldo Shorenstein, Willie Brown, Gordon (my other wife is a Volvo) Getty, and, of course, Pee-Wee Herman. It’s obvious when you think about it. Odd though. Ed has 7 of 10 years left on a contract Willie Inc. signed with him. Can, like the Lennar deal above, this be simply another end-game move by downtown to perpetuate power? Like the shipyard and other deals you’ll be seeing coming out of Room 200 stoned out of their minds, don’t look too closely at them. They’ll drive you crazy or turn you to stone.

Like Bill Clinton’s Treasure Island

I like Bill Clinton. He was a brilliant president. That does not mean that he should be allowed to make money from the misuse of an old naval station. Here I am, watching Annemarie Conroy explain why the Board should approve an “Exclusive Negotiating Agreement” with Clinton’s buddy Ron Burkle. He’s the ONLY bidder to develop some of the most valuable land per square centimeter in the world! Time to get out new bids with a new mayor, boys and girls of the Board.

Brace yourself. You are going to get deal after deal like this thrown at you as Willie’s tenure winds down. They often won’t make sense, but if you dig into them just a bit you’ll see the common thread -- extending the power of Da Mayor’s cronies as far past the date of his departure from office as possible. Remember the Mayor’s professed view of San Francisco: “It’s OK in San Francisco to lie, cheat, and steal.” He’s right there. Hell, it’s almost required. Incidentally, the developer for Treasure Island is Lennar (same as shipyard). That would mean John Stewart Company would be doing the management. Big John is the City’s #1 expert in exporting the poor from public lands. (Recall just one job: his eviction of the elderly en masse -- going back on an agreement to let half stay -- in the North Beach/Fisherman’s Wharf Public Housing development.) A roll of scoundrels with an extensive record of violating the public trust over and over again for their own gain. Just the kind of thing we expect from our elected officials. So, we’re supposed to hand them yet another public treasure?

Did you know, supes, that you are required by U.S. law to sign off that you used the base adequately to help abate your local homeless problem? Strangely obvious from the entire hearing was that the mayor and the downtown interests have so overloaded the undermanned Board that the poor bastards don’t even recognize Willie’s ex-girlfriends and present thugs when they appear before them. I’ve been ranting for three years to increase the utilization of Treasure Island for the poor. Instead, Conroy shows up with a plan to build four tourist hotels and a huge marina (neither of which will admit homeless people).

Ahhhhh, Spring in “Baghdad by the Bay.“ You’d be smiling about now, huh Herb? Look for the Board to rubber stamp Willie’s plan and pretend they just didn’t know any better.

Speaking of rice & beans

Don’t expect a new 50-plus unit high-rent apartment complex at 23rd & Harrison anytime soon. Just when it looked like this old white boy was gonna run his new gentrified structure past the Board of Supes Tuesday, he started saying crazy things and his supporters picked up on it. “These people want you to give them everything!” Things like that.

“These people,” of course, being the brown-skinned members of the audience who were asking for actual affordable housing in the project. They noted, for instance, that while the average household income in the Mission is around 35k a year, the low figure to be able to live in even a cheap unit in the new project is 55k. In short, they ain’t building it with an eye for fitting into the neighborhood. Nope, they want to drive the brown people out.

Ooooh, it was ugly. Those rich white people were all over those pleading brown people like “rice on beans,” as their brother rednecks used to say in the deep south. They finally went over the top for the Board’s two Jews and its lone black member. While District 8’s Bevan Dufty and District 3’s Aaron Peskin were measured in their controlled condemnation of the ugly views pushed by the rich white trash, District 10’s already imposing Sophie Maxwell stood to her full height and punctuated the matter in stern tones: “You haven’t helped your case!!” noted Potrero Hill’s daughter.

Look upon this incident as a harbinger of things to come. Rich white people are coming out to hunt the poor colored in the open and chase them the hell out of San Francisco. This could be verrrry interesting.

Gavin Newsom leads Klan-like mob

Backed by untold billions in bloody oil money from the Gettys and further fueled by the sweat of child labor brutalized in Donald Fisher’s Asian slave factories, the ever-arrogant Gavin Newsom stood haughtily before 200 beaming white supporters and Amos Brown just before the aforementioned Board confrontation. Encouraging the racist/anti-poor tendencies of the mob on the stairs of City Hall (admittedly, a time-honored practice) … Newsom thundered against everything I’ve always stood for. You know … poverty, inebriation, and a mostly cloudy mind. It was, like, mind-boggling. The rich, in a group actually exhibit the same kinds of characteristics as the poor. They have leaders like Newsom, who exploit their passions, and splinter groups of true believers and radicals who break free to challenge the rule of law. It was a group of the latter who followed Newsom back into the building and spouted their racist drivel during the hearing on the Harrison Street project.

Speaking of dangerous people…

“Who is John Gault?”

Actually, the character is John Janckle. Pardon the spelling if I got it wrong, but it’s probably just as well. Janckle is some kind of weird cult figure outta Sonoma County who has gathered a sizable coterie of intelligent, attractive, and eerily devoted young followers who appear at public meetings throughout the area and do their best imitation of the Manson Clan. Janckle believes (among other things) that Willie Brown controls the world.

Now, I’m not gonna deny being a paranoid, conspiracy-theorist but this ole boy puts me to shame. He has lots more women. His delusions are even more muddied. And (most fearful of all) he appears to have money. I actually met the guy.

I was running neck & neck against Gavin Newsom in the race for District #2 supervisor when Janckle stopped me on the stairs of a library or something where “Noose” and I were debating. Janckle rushed up to me, muttering profuse, mindless praise and pushing what Ginsberg called “incomprehensible leaflets” my way. It was very San Francisco. Janckle is around my age … 60’ish. He’s tall & gray and lean and wears tight levis, well worn in strategic areas, and his belt buckle was very impressive. I recall looking around for something to hit him with if it came down to him or me. The man needs a scan.

I’m not kidding here

If Willie can have an SEIU thug named Reggie follow me home from a Department of Elections CAC meeting and shadow me for days, he can have this Janckle boy looked at. Jim Jones started like this and killed a thousand San Franciscans. Hell, Charlie Manson lives in Marin! This area is rife with crackpots and their followers, and not all of them are harmless like me.

Let’s close with that. The Finance Committee starts in 10 minutes and I’m low on booze.

Same to you: sobone@juno.com