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Watching City Hall #326


By h. brown

“The moon turned red for the Red Sox!”

(“Splits,” from the Mission)

We were on District 5 candidate Julian Davis’ roof in the upper Haight watching a special (once in 2,500 years) lunar eclipse alignment. It was supposed to rain, but once again the weatherman lied to us. This made us very happy.

“Once, back east, my husband ran for office. He forced a runoff against a mob candidate and he started getting threats.

Luckily, his golf buddies were mob too and they protected him.

Just goes to show you what kind of country we live in when your golf buddies have to protect you.”

— from Mary Ann in the Haight during canvass walk

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve slept on the couches of politicians, reporters, the town’s chief commie publisher and one legal pot dealer. I’m starting to have an idea of how Marilyn Monroe must have felt.

The moon can hypnotize you, you know. … Oh yeah, staring directly at various phases of the orb can make you crazy. Or, pregnant. … (I’m feeling like a be-bop horn player looking for a thread) … Phrases stand out. Images. Feelings.

Events too. Last night was yet another “where were you when” night for San Francisco and the nation. The cosmic alignment promised a time of huge change and at the exact moment the shadow of the earth completed transitioning the moon to red, the Red Sox got the final out of their 4-0 sweep of the 2004 World Series. The team that was “cursed” by a God had found redemption. Would the nation do the same?

Jokes, tokes, votes and hopes

I’m going to tell you the truth about something now and I never will again, so you better pay attention.

I have no idea who is going to win any office, anywhere, come Tuesday. What I do know is that RCV (Ranked Choice Voting) works. I know it works because one of the main things it was supposed to do was to encourage civility amongst the candidates and that’s been happening big time. Last evening was just the latest example.

Julian Davis & his campaign manager, Josh, hosted. Nicole Derst, Ross Mirkarimi’s manager, was there with Andy Blue and Richard Stone and Simon Timony from Ross’s team. Candidate Susan King brought Green multi-tasker Sue Vaughn. “Splits,” a youngish and perfectly proportioned lanky 6-foot beauty not associated with any campaign, left a tour of the Haight to join the party. Someone rolled a “split” (tobacco & pot joint) in honor of “Splits” and we passed it around. Someone rolled another. Someone else filled a pipe with good green bud. Someone filled another. … I was starting to have strong feelings for “someone.” … A couple of bottles of wine and a case of beer were divided. Others joined us. Some got high. Others were born that way. I tossed the documentary that Rich Hillis and Courtney Haslett made of my race in District 2 against Gavin Newsom in 2002 (“Cheap Rent”) … stuck it into the VCR. The case study of 1,000 ways NOT to run a campaign soon had the group in stitches. Most of them had been pounding pavement, doors, keyboards, and phone pads for months. They needed the break and company of like zealots to unwind.

My point is that in the past, opposing candidates and their staffs partying with the “other” side was unheard of. In this campaign, it is the norm. Everyone shared their new literature and regaled the gathering with tidbits from the trail. I turned out the lights and snuggled up on the big couch in front of the TV as the youngsters went out to continue their individual crusades to better mankind while having one hell of a good time. I drifted off hearing soft whispers as another late reveler settled on another couch across the room.

Another morning, another ceiling

A gray sunlight was breaking through the window behind me when I opened my eyes and realized I’d lived through another night. I checked my watch and it told me to kill another hour before beginning to scavenge for coffee. Digging through the mostly empty cans and glasses on the table, I sorted out the previous day’s Examiner, Weekly, and Bay Guardian to reread.

 “Are you actually reading?”

Turns out the lump on the other sofa was the prettiest little Australian/Cypriot/Mongol/Turkish film maker you’d ever want to see. She was just back from filming a documentary with Michael Franti in Iraq. … Kids today.

Her name is “Senim,” I think. I’m not good with names anyway, but my last wife was a Turk and that’s pretty close. When I told her of my last bride, she asked me in Turkish if I could speak her language. I answered with the one phrase my wife had taught me. … “I love you.” … It got a laugh. Julian came in rubbing his eyes and we talked of Istanbul and Australia and Franti and politics. Ahhh, another “only in SF” moment. Homeless? Unemployed? Maybe, but though the bottom half of my glass might be empty, the top truly runneth over. Julian tossed me a towel and I showered and hit the street thinking about the D5 race.

Who is advising some of these people?

Sean Elsbernd who is running in D7 is a good guy. He’s young and smart and committed. And then, he went and did a campaign flyer featuring a hit on Chris Daly, whom he sits next to at the Board of Supervisors and who not only isn’t running against him, but isn’t running at all until 2006. This is like choosing a boa made of live rattlesnakes for your costume this Halloween. Only bad things can happen.

I was sitting in the press box behind the supes mulling this over on Tuesday when Elsbernd requested 3 items be removed from the “For Adoption without committee reference” calendar. I mean, folks, this is one of those lists full of resolutions about motherhood and “declaring Oct. 22nd to 28th to be 1st Solar Week.” … So, what does Elsbernd want to pull out so that he can stand solo in a 1 to 10 vote?

Well, he opposed “adopting ‘Family Economic Self Sufficiency’ as a goal toward which the City and County will strive to achieve and will make concerted efforts to move families out of poverty towards economic self-sufficiency through legislation initiative, budgetary planning decisions and executive policy directives.” … Yeah, honest, that’s exactly what item #38, file 041406, was proposing. Every other supervisor thought it was a good idea. Elsbernd (who, ostensibly represents Newsom’s viewpoint exactly) … Elsbernd votes “No”?

The other things he’s alone in opposing are bringing our troops home from Iraq and an Emergency Health Care initiative. … Who advises these people?

Over in District #5

Robert Haaland would take an endorsement from the devil himself if he thought it would gain him a vote. This morning while I was enjoying my warm shower, Julian called down the hall: “Robert Haaland is on Fox network!” … My god!

Let me be honest. I think that people who feel persecuted and singled out because of their color or religion or sexual orientation … people who claim that all they want to do is to be treated equally … then, suddenly want preferential treatment because of one of these factors … I think they’re hypocrites. I have never asked for special consideration because I’m a low-down drunken Irishman. Hell no, I just want to be treated like every other low-down drunken Irishman. I hate it when people “hire their own” no matter what the criterion. You should, too.

My only address is electronic

For Call readers. I’ve been doing my own blog the past couple of years at www.sfbulldog.com. Get yourself a good bottle of wine or a bad bottle of bourbon and tune me in some time.

Don’t pet strays: h@ludd.net