Editor’s note: The SF Call does not endorse
candidates. But individual Call contributors may -- and do -- freely express
their own personal opinions about the city’s political races.
by h. brown
Harris goes down on Hallinan & Fazio in Noe Valley
Now, don’t misunderstand me. That’s the last thing I’d want. You know
me … I’m not one to cause trouble.
What I meant was that Kimiko Harris was the first to start slinging mud
in the debate between D.A. candidates Buzz (“Massage lower, baby“) Fazio,
incumbent, Terence (“Is this a dream?”) Hallinan, and the aforementioned
OK, her name is “Kamala” and her only connection to Senator John Burton
is through proxy by way of Willie Brown. I’m gonna take the fact she was
first to take the low road as justification for giving Harris an h. brown
“middle name” for the rest of this campaign. I’ll call her: Kamala (“low
blow“) Harris. The rest is up to your filthy imaginations.
Now, it will soon be oblivious to you that I favor Hallinan (woe be to
his ass), so don’t expect any objectivity here. Given a police department
that listens to no one but Willie Brown, our famously hippie D.A. has held
his own admirably for his two terms. He was the only candidate this
evening who didn’t get negative with his opponents.
Preachers, drunks, politicians & whiskey
Good company counts. But if you can’t get good company, hang out with
someone bad. Political consultant/attack journalist Frank Gallagher felt
the same way, so we went to the debate together. Frank is a
no-holds-barred hired gun who has beaten my side on issues like public
power and helped usher Bevan Dufty into the Board of Supervisor’s seat in
We decided to hook up for some whiskey before the debate, which was
held at the Noe Valley Ministry. I arrived to find the burly biker
Gallagher (he was a bike messenger for five years) waiting outside the
building. “We can’t drink here now, man. There’s an AA meeting in there.”
We found an Irish bar just over twelve steps away around the corner on
24th. It’s important to have your head right before stepping into these
frays. Neither of us had any pot, so we decided to go drunk. It made
We watched Fazio do a George Bush style strut into the cute little
church on Sanchez that has housed so many thousands of such public
meetings. Both Fazio and Kamala Harris, who soon followed, were flanked by
posses of sharkskin-suited political consultants. Folks in the audience
whispered that Fazio was a closet Republican and noted his consultants
were from a big firm from New York City. What the hell ever happened to
spending your money locally?
I started to work the room to speak to several other reporters and
political insiders, kneeling at the knees of each to speak earnestly. Ever
wonder what goes on in these conversations? Well, I was searching for a
joint. No luck.
District Attorney Hallinan entered the room guided by his top
assistant, Jim Hammer. It was a kind of Ray Charles moment. Now, I love
Terence but for the life of me, he often acts like he’s blind or
completely disoriented. He kept touching Harris (sitting to his left) or
Fazio (to his right) during the debate. Just lightly, mind you. It was
almost like he was trying to affirm that they were really there. It truly
irked Harris, and she finally complained: “Please don’t touch me!”
Hallinan gave an autistic kind of head jerk as though a lamp had spoken to
him, turned slightly and patted Fazio on his shoulder.
I wondered how in the hell Terence could dig his way out of the start.
He didn’t have to. Fazio & Harris immediately started to bury each other
Your momma votes Republican
After the perfunctory, mindless, self-congratulatory remarks each
invited candidate is allowed, the conversation quickly got down to sex and
violence and it was Kamala (“low blow“) Harris who led the way. Her
handlers obviously remembered a great ploy used by Richard Nixon in a
campaign in which it appeared he’d be running against Ted Kennedy.
Standing tall before a podium in upstate New York, Nixon announced that he
was not going to do any negative campaigning in the race. He said that he
was particularly upset that people seemed to think that he’d bring up the
death-by-drowning of a beautiful Kennedy staffer who was in Ted’s car at
the time on a dark country road. All of you gray beards will recall,
people actually thought the Irishman Kennedy might have been drinking
alcohol at the party the couple had just come from and was drunk when they
went off the bridge. There was outlandish talk about the Kennedy family
using their high connections in the police department to keep Teddy from
having his blood alcohol checked until he’d had time to sober up. Records
were not made available to the local District Attorney. Records
disappeared. All nonsense, no doubt, but that’s what Nixon said. Nixon was
noble enough to announce that not only would the tragedy be out of bounds
in his campaign but that, to prove it, he would announce at every campaign
stop that “the death of that poor girl riding in the Senator’s car is NOT
an issue in this campaign!”
Kennedy quit shortly thereafter. The past is never far behind, is it?
Harris took the same low road.
After first accusing the other candidates of bringing up her time in
the sack with Willie Brown, (they didn’t - the moderator did), she said
that she was opposed to negative campaigning and would repeat at every
campaign stop that accusations that Fazio had been busted at 3 am in a
massage parlor raid and that Hallinan had been accused of punching people
out … she would repeat at every campaign stop that these things were not
issues with her. I gotta tell you, the house rocked with roaring laughter
(including Harris herself, who blushed at her own hypocrisy). Here it was
not even June. Almost six months till election and the race had gotten
ugly. Gallagher and I high-fived each other. It was going to be our kind
Then Harris, she like, turns to look at Fazio, who has just announced
he will not accept an endorsement of any elected official (he couldn’t get
them anyway - Harris has the Democratic machine hacks lined up and
Hallinan gets the Progressive nod as long as he’s breathing) … Harris
smirks and asks: “But would you accept the nomination of the Republican
party?” It was another gut buster. Here he is at the Noe Valley Democratic
Club and she’s asking if he’s really a Republican. Buzz boy, he kind of
freezes up and starts stammering but won’t deny he would seek the downtown
blessing (he will). Finally, in exasperation, he tosses the burning
question over Hallinan’s head and back into Harris’s lap: “Would YOU
accept the Republican endorsement?!” Now, guess who froze up. Honest, it
was funny to watch. Willie fought hard for the Republican endorsement when
he ran against Ammiano in 1999 with Kamala at his side. He got it too and
they are still big Willie backers because he has paid them back with
hundreds of millions in contracts and tax breaks.
Let’s bottom line the debate and check for apparent strategy.
The only thing that mattered in this debate was where the respective
candidates stood on reforming our corrupt old-boy police department. Just
like the cops in the Kennedy affair, these boys can lose records and
obstruct justice with the best of them when their own get drunk and lie,
cheat, steal, batter, and (some say) murder San Franciscans. Many think
the cops covered up for Fazio in the massage parlor deal as thanks for his
20 years service in the DA’s office. You know what the cops say? Their
motto in cover-ups and obstruction of justice is: “Lie till you die.”
Well, Fazio was fresh off defending an SFPD captain who has knocked out
more people than Mike Tyson (over 70 complaints of brutality). When
cornered, Fazio finally said that some reform “might” be in order.
Strictly an old boy.
Harris was much worse. She absolutely refused to give an opinion.
Bottom line - the streets are a mess & the cops blame it on Hallinan. Only
problem with that is that the streets were a mess long before Terence was
District Attorney. The problem is with this mayor, past mayors, and police
brass. When Hallinan wouldn’t give Willie’s girlfriend Kamala (‘low blow’)
Harris a big job in his office, Willie laid plans to run Harris against
Hallinan. Willie set Harris up in the City Attorney’s office with a
high-profile (well-funded) job focusing on helping abused women
(controversial, huh?). Local columnist (and Willie Brown appointee to the
Police Commission) Wayne Friday noted in a report last week that
“Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante, Assemblymen Mark Leno and Leland Yee
… supervisors Aaron Peskin, Sophie Maxwell, and Fiona Ma will be among
those helping district attorney candidate Kamala Harris kick off her
campaign … at the Women’s Building.” The only question is, what the hell
is Peskin doing in the middle of that troupe of machine politicians? Musta
lost a bet. You know how it will go. Kamala will announce she is a real
friend of women because she has this job Willie got her and the hacks will
break into applause on cue. It’s callous. It’s cynical. It’s hypocritical.
It is just so San Francisco and I love it. And Harris? She’ll gaze upward
as the flunkies sing her praise and smile. She has indeed paid her dues.
Seriously, folks. Willie has appointed a police chief who was busted
for kicking a highway patrolman & running into cars while drunk. A chief
who was arrested and charged with obstructing justice for allegedly
hindering an investigation into his probationary patrolman son’s pounding
of numerous citizens. Willie’s girlfriend thinks that’s fine. Of course,
she would. Where the hell would she be without Willie? The other candidate
just returned from court where he defended the cop accused of
orchestrating the cover-up for the chief’s son. These people are not going
to reform the police department. They’re only going to make it worse.
There is really only one candidate who will cooperate with a new mayor in
reforming our sorry collection of cop brass…
Hallinan for D.A.: email@example.com