With h brown
October 18, 2006
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:
I voted 'yes'. Presently, the governor can use tax revenues
from motor vehicle fuels for reasons other than transportation.
This somewhat restricts that.
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
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.
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
I voted 'yes' . 8 billion over 30 years to repair levees. We
all remember Katrina.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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,
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.
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.
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
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
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.
I voted 'yes'. A raise for the Sheriff, Public Defender, District
Attorney, City Attorney, Mayor, Assesor-Recorder & Treasurer.
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.
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.
I voted 'yes'. Should employees have paid sick leave? That's
a tough one, huh? They shudda put the cabbies in this one too.
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.
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.
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'.
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."
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
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 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 email@example.com.
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