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With h brown

Photo(s) by Luke Thomas

Court Jester looks at foot patrols and Newsom veto


November 4, 2006

By h. Brown

"You call this 'riding roughshod' over the cops?"


"Where's Officer Krupke when you need him?"

You know what the most dangerous weapon a good cop carried when I was a kid? It was a silver whistle, attached to a silver chain over his heart. If you ever heard that whistle in the neighborhood where I grew up, everyone came running. Because Murphy was in trouble. And, Murphy (his actual name, and he walked our beat from the time I was born until I went away to the Navy at 18 in '62) ... Murphy was our friend. Murphy was like Leonard Bernstein's, Officer Krupke except Murphy was real.

That was in St. Louis, where it gets up to 110 degrees in the summer and down to minus 10 in the winter. Murphy walked through it all. He wore out raincoats. He had a hundred ways to cover his ears in the winter and still wear his hat. We all laughed and pointed at his legs when the department started letting the cops wear Bermuda shorts in the mid 50's. He blushed and we never saw them again.

The point is that the San Francisco Police Officers Association buried Murphy and 'Krupke', his 'West Side Story' counterpart today. At least for another year or so. Or, rather, they pulled Gavin Newsom's chain and he buried Murphy for them.

Just as the POA altered and adjusted their MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) for years to eliminate every dangerous aspect of their jobs possible (flying helicopters - we are the only major city in the United States whose PD refuses to fly because it's too dangerous ... manning Police Kiosks at corners in high crime areas ... riding buses) ... the cops' union is too successful. A union's first responsibilities are to get their members the most pay at the least risk and the SFPOA is as good as it gets.

The only problem is that the safer it gets for the cops, the more dangerous it gets for those of us who walk the streets unarmed every day. The old, the crippled and the crazy are easy prey for thugs and you can blow all the whistles you want and it won't do any good cause Murphy's in his grave and the only ones of his type around here are in the POA's PR videos.

The people of all of San Francisco's neighborhoods are all crying out for their own Officer Krupke's to stand in between warring gangs and drunk husbands and Uncle Bernie off his meds. Krupke did the job of a hundred cops and so did the real life Officer Murphy. Krupke knew every member of the Jets and the Sharks and Murphy knew me and he knew that my dad worked on the docks and didn't drink and he knew my best friend, Paulie Leisure who's dad got gunned down in the Koo-Koo gang wars in the late 40's because he was mafiosi. Yeah, folks, these things happen in real life.

Mayor Newsom says "No"

In a story that broke (as do all negative political stories where spin control is possible) ... the Newsom adminstration held the story of the mayoral veto until late on a friday. And, there is going to be hell to pay.

In a story broken by the SF Sentinel, Newsom explained that we were rushing too quickly toward this radical solution of making cops walk on two feet alone and meet the people who pay their salaries in situations other than mutual glares through dark glasses and windshields.

This was a disaster for San Francisco and it could be the end of Gavin Newsom's political career. The sharks are circling in the water as I hammer away at this keyboard. The wounded whale is on his side and his vulnerable belly is revealed to those who would move down the hall to Room 200 next year.

Who'll take the first bite of Newsom?

Pat Murphy says he hears that McGoldrick is moving inexplicably (does he move in any other manner?) to change his vote to sustain the Newsom veto (the measure was sent to the mayor 'Veto Proof' - meaning an 8-3 Board vote) ... came to him Veto Proof, but these are politicians.

Murphy says that McGoldrick will side with the mayor. And, he says that Board President, Aaron Peskin (one of the would-be-mayors in their last term on the Board) ... says that Peskin could shift his vote to "embarass the mayor".

With McGoldrick switching, that would still leave an 8-3 vote. Who might switch in 'faux support' of the mayoral veto in order to force Gavin and his connivers to defend the murder of the dream of Officer Krupke for another year.

"Hi, my name's Fiona Ma."

Ahhhh, Fiona Ma... Maybe Gavin forgot about her and all of her slavish devotion to his agenda, vote after vote for whatever the mayor wanted, for years.

And, how does he reward her when it is time for her (not beholden to him, mind you - elected in her own right)... How does he reward her when it is time for her to step up to the next level of elective office?

He refuses to endorse her!!

Newsom folded to the 300 million dollar fortune of Janet Reilly's hubby, Clint, and remained 'neutral'. Imagine how pissed off Fiona has to be.

Did she ever leave him 'swinging in the wind' on a single vote? Fiona can 'reward' Gavin now by refusing to override his veto and let this Newsom decision (and, it's consequences come next November when every single candidate running against him will be surrounded by thousands of neighborhood people demanding foot patrols) ...

Fiona has her own chance to let Gavin hang out there suspended in the wind.

What did Nixon's aide say? Oh yeah: "leave him alone out there, swinging and turning, slowly in the wind". Oh yeah. Oh yeah. I just love to see politicians swinging in the wind.

Lord, these politicians are the gift that just keeps on giving to hack writers like me. You can't make this stuff up, folks. This really happened today while you were sneaking out of work early to toss a few down at Mr. Leona's.

more later?

no doubt


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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