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With h brown

Photo(s) by Luke Thomas

Propositioning you


October 18, 2006

By h. Brown

Well, my Voter Info Pamphlet and Sample Ballot arrived and it was a real disappointment. Yeah, imagine this shit. 192 pages and not one picture of a naked lady. I can't tell you how my heart sank.

Oh, on page 106 there're a couple of fair pictures of a dog and a cat, but neither of them looks very happy. The dog looks terrified and has that "What did I do wrong? Why are you pointing that thing at me? Please don't kill me." look in his eyes. The cat, as cats will, has the opposite expression. You know, kind of: "Don't make me kill you." look in his eyes. There's one human on page 13; some guy with the beginnings of a full beard, a bad combover, a cheap suit and an open file folder, standing at a podium apparently doing "outreach" in English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish and Russian before an auditorium full of voters whose faces have been mostly redacted with black magic marker. I took my magnifying glass out, poured a big bourbon on the rocks, lit up a joint and started squinting to read the text of what he was saying. It was in Mandarin, but I'll translate for you:

"How dumb are you?"

"Well, welcome back Charlie Brown. Time for us to hold the football for you, yet again. We have some real doozies for you this year. This year's ballot contains 23 City and State propositions that are designed to empty your pockets, take away your apartment, make trading sex for cigarettes easier. Here's the way I read the propositions and remember, my opinions are not necessarily those of Fog City Journal. Or, anyone else, for that matter.

I weighed in on 12 state propositions, voting 'yes' on 7 and 'no' on 5. I considered 11 City props and voted 'yes' on 9 and 'no' on 2. As the Voter handbook begins with the state props, so will I:

State Propositions

Prop 1A

I voted 'yes'. Presently, the governor can use tax revenues from motor vehicle fuels for reasons other than transportation. This somewhat restricts that.

Prop 1B

I voted 'no'. On behalf of my granddaughter, Tandy and her new little brother, Wesly. I'm not going to commit them to repaying 40 billion dollars in bonds for roads that will become secondary to our new high speed rail system which will be built within that period. This is for the concrete companies. We're well past peak oil (OPEC nations all over-estimated their reserves so end-run restrictions upon what percentage of their reserves they could pump yearly).

Prop 1C

I voted 'yes'. 6 billion over 30 years to shelter the poorest and most battered. Hell, this is paying my rent now. I guess we could make Soyent Green instead, but it really wouldn't be PC.

Prop 1D

I voted 'yes'. 20 billion dollars for Wesly and Tandy to pay back when I'm gone to frolick with my 76 virgins. This bond takes up the slack created by Prop 13 oh, so long ago. While I'm not voting a dime in bonds for SFUSD because I still think they"re broken (they 'lost' 100 million of a 300 million bond citizens passed a few years back and the same administrators are in place) ... maybe other districts around the state will use this money wisely.

Prop 1E

I voted 'yes' . 8 billion over 30 years to repair levees. We all remember Katrina.

Prop 83

I voted 'no'. Unfortunately, this prop is homophobic. Problem is; the definition of 'sex offender'. The measure is far too broad. It would put a global positioning device on George Michael's ankle for life and prevent him from playing on college campuses.

Prop 84

I voted 'no'. Disguised as some kind of flood protection, it is actually an attempt to cut local land taxes and for Tandy and Wesly to pay 11 billion dollars over 30 years to build and maintain new levees beneath which greedy developers will build huge tracts of market rate housing that will be flooded when the levees break during the next big one. It's hard enough to maintain the levees we have. Wait, didn't I just approve 8 billion bucks for that very thing in Prop 1E?

Prop 85

I voted 'no'. Just another attempt by right-wing Christian fundamentalists to impose their religious beliefs upon the rest of the population. Their goal is to totally outlaw abortion and this is a big step. A big part of this affront is to require doctors to violate doctor/patient confidentiality or be subject to lawsuit. This one passes and it's back to the coat hangers.

Prop 86

I voted 'yes'. In some locales, this will make cigarettes cost $8 a pack. Since they kill 350,000 people a year and cripple countless others, I'm in favor of outlawing them altogether. The tobacco lobbies and crooked judges and politicians are too strong for that. This is one small step. Plus, as I said before, grab a carton of cigarettes and a few pairs of nylons and you can barter for great sex like a drunken GI in Berlin in 1945.

Prop 87

I voted 'yes'. 4 billion for alternative energy? The oil companies pay? I don't see a downside. Given the country's dependence on foreign oil, or oil in general, and the dwindling supply of same, the government should be embarked upon a Manhattan Project style development of tidal power just for starters. This is a huge, huge 'yes'.

Prop 88

I voted 'yes'. I'm an old special education teacher. I worked with a category called SED (Severely Emotionally Disturbed - my isn't that rude?) ... sadly, poor parenting and poverty and a violent culture and a polluted environment are producing more and more special ed students.

Prop 89

I voted 'yes. Like most of you and Steve Poizner, I'd gladly spend 30 million or so of my own money to run for governor or some other state office. Unfortunately, only people like Poizner and Arnold and other mega-rich, along with special-interest indebted hacks like Gray Davis and Phil Angelides actually have access to that kind of cash. Put bluntly? It will allow the Greens to finally run a credible public campaign for the office of governor of the state of California. This one's for you, Matt.

Prop 90

I voted 'no'. Worst proposal on the ballot. It is the national attempt of a Libertarian New York developer to return the country to feudal times. The Libertarians have done their homework in past campaigns like this that they lost. This time they have a winning game plan. It's already worked in Oregon where passage of a similar proposition a couple of years ago has brought all public planning to a halt (No more environmental impact studies allowed.). The Libs have learned from the Democrats and Republicans and are doing it the traditional way.

Buying black preachers is always good and, having been most prominently used by JFK himself, has thoroughbred blood lines. They've used purchase of advertising in distressed local publications (street and online - PG&E's been spending bundles in your utility payments in this effort).

And, of course, they've completely camouflaged the damned thing to appear to be an attempt to save the houses of poor old people from confiscation by eminent domain. In fact, it does none of those things and will instead, destroy rent control, all zoning input by even a next-door neighbor who is not quite certain if they want a nuclear dump next to their house.

90 is ugly. Vote 'no'.

San Francisco Propositions

Prop A

I voted 'no'. I won't subject Tandy and Wesly to 450 million bucks in bonds for a district (SFUSD) that remains run by the same administrative people who 'lost' $100 million of the last $300 million bond we passed, not that long ago. To change the culture of the district, you'd have to have a school board controlled by Progressives and a superintendent chosen by that board. With the retirement of Sarah Lipson and the low quality of replacement candidates on the left, think about home-schooling your kids. Honestly, the only agency in San Francisco performing worse than the school district is the cops. Wait, DPW is worse. So is the Port. Muni certainly can't hold a candle to our teachers.

Vote 'no', but remember that I'm gonna pay none of this. Normally, in such a situation, a normal person would saddle the next generation and let the scum bags rake in the concrete contracts and kick back to the district reps and consultants and ... you know, the usual. But, I'm trying to hold down bills in 2050 for Tandy and Wesly.

Prop B

I voted 'yes'. I think that the more time Michela Alioto-Pier spends at home and away from the Board, the better for everyone on the planet.

Prop C

I voted 'yes'. A raise for the Sheriff, Public Defender, District Attorney, City Attorney, Mayor, Assesor-Recorder & Treasurer.

Prop D

I voted 'yes'. Damned if I understood it though. Should City and it's business partners be prohibited in giving out information on you: "except under limited circumstances"? I mean, c'mon, what ta fuck's that mean? I mean, the City stopped issuing pot cards and they had a great program that kept no personal data about cardholders in the system. Now, (because of Newsom and Mirkarimi) the state takes all of your information (and, your doctor's) and sends it to Arnie in Sacramento. He, of course, hands it over the the DEA. Does it mean that if you check out a book on bondage from the main branch of the public library that you'll get an ad from Good Vibrations in the mail next week? Like you and most voters, I have no idea what this means but I'm not gonna let that keep me from having a strong opinion on the matter. Any matter. Actually.

Prop E

I voted 'No'. Increasing parking tax by 35% would impact my buddy, Ernie who lives in a parking lot on Mr. Sutro. He's lived there for 6 years and knows everyone in the hood and is well liked. The reason he was able to keep his space was that the owner of the building was absentee and the management company just ignored the lot (2 story, indoor structure). When his space was finally rented to a new tenant, the cops were reluctant to make Ernie move. So, the new tenant (a doctor and a nice guy) ... he rents the adjoining space too (something like $150 a month) and lets Ernie stay. Now, I don't know what that has to do with Prop E, but it's the only parking lot story I can remember, so it will just have to do. There.

Prop F

I voted 'yes'. Should employees have paid sick leave? That's a tough one, huh? They shudda put the cabbies in this one too.

Prop G

I voted 'yes'. This is a further restriction on chain stores. It will require them to get a CU (conditional use permit) that will subject them and their projects to a degree of public scrutiny before allowing them to open in a neighborhood. Question is, are whore houses (I mean, massage parlors) 'formula' chain stores? I want to see the public hearings on these. The pimps, the hookers, the angry blue haired neighbors, the cops, people who don't know where they are or what anyone's talking about because they're totally insane ... but, speak on every item in public comment anyway. Take note that if state Prop 90 passes, the voters of SF will no longer be allowed to pass measures like Prop G.

Prop H

I voted 'yes'. A simple increase in landlord payout to tenants they evict for 'no fault' reasons. It gives the evicted tenants enough money to move, whereas before, they weren't getting enough. It is that simple. Again, note that if state Prop 90 passes, the voters of SF will no longer be able to consider measures such as this Prop H.

Prop I

I voted 'yes'. This is the measure that will 'urge' the mayor to appear before the Board of Supes for a weekly show and tell exchange. I want to tune in the 'Gavin and Chris Show' every friday in between 'Judge Judy' and 'Jerry Springer'.

Prop J

I voted 'yes'. This measure calls for the impeachment of Bush and Cheney. I think we should take it a step further. Let's call a Criminal Grand Jury and indict the bastards. Then, let's issue warrants for their arrest for 'high crimes and misdemeanors'. Then, let's hire that bounty hunter guy on TV to go arrest them. Or, Arnie could do it. Yeah, that would be like, totally cool. The Terminator comes to the White House for tea and coffee and whips out the warrants and drags Bush and Cheney back to San Francisco where they're locked in Guantanamo type steel cages on Fisherman's Wharf. Imagine that: "Look momma, isn't that the president in the cage next to the 'bushman'?" And mom answers, "Yes honey, the exhibits are in alphabetical order. (she points) See, over there they have Rumsfeld in a cage next to Ripley's Believe it or Not."

Prop K

I voted 'yes'. Should the City try to house it's poor, disabled seniors? Sure, long as they don't displace any pot clubs or whore houses.


A lot of this stuff is scary. On the state level, I mean. The fundamentalists and merchants of greed are getting better at putting lipstick on their pigs and that's bad news. Prop 90 is a Libertarian Trojan horse designed to, among other things, destroy rent control. 83 and 85 are disguised attacks upon gays and women's rights, respectfully. I'm concerned as to whether SF's 'Ballot Simplification Committee' wrote the ballot language for these three beasts, 'slithering toward Bethlehem to be born'?

There are lots and lots of hateful and intolerant people in Southern California (other than the Dodgers) and there is always the danger they'll translate more of their venomous values into the law of the land.

The City props are much different. The City props are much more humane and less hurtful than the proposed state measures. You feel good about the things City fathers and residents have put on the ballot. You feel bad that Willie & Mary Ratcliff and Brian O'Flynn's measure to halt Redevelopment from annexing the Bayview was not on the ballot and have resolved to never vote for Dennis Herrera for anything ever again. ... But, all in all, the City shows heart.

Tomorrow: The Court Jester looks at candidates.

h. brown is a 62 year-old keeper of sfbulldog.com, an eclectic site featuring a half dozen City Hall denizens. h is a former sailor, firefighter, teacher, nightclub owner, and a hard-living satirical muckraker. Email h at h@ludd.net.


Editor's Note: Views expressed by columnists published on FogCityJournal.com are not necessarily the views or beliefs of Fog City Journal. Fog City Journal supports free speech in all its varied forms and provides a forum for a complete spectrum of viewpoints.



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