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Photo(s) by Luke Thomas

Court Jester calls for Alsup recall

Josh Wolf letter from prison

U.S. District Judge William Alsup.

By h. brown


February 7, 2007

"Recall Judge Alsup. You have plenty of signatures here (motions over the 'Free Josh Wolf' rally). It only takes ten signatures."

(Eric Steinberg, Head of 'Media Security' at Hall)

City Hall Media Services and Security specialist Eric Steinberg

Good turnout for Josh. Steinberg, quoted above was there working his cop phones to make certain everyone in the crowd was properly photographed and catalogued. I asked him if anyone had challenged him about being the Homeland Security Chief as I've always claimed (he's never denied it - part of my schtick is tossing crap and seeing if it sticks) … he just laughed and gave me his usual quizzical look that says: "If I told you I'd have to kill you.". I finished the unspoken thought for him:

"Cause if you told me, you'd have to kill me?"

`He laughed and agreed. It's a standing joke between us. There's nothing that says you can't have a friendly relationship with these guys. Hell, they ain't going away and neither am I. I asked Eric if he knew what this rally was about and he seemed offended:

Steinberg: "I know all about Josh Wolf!"

Jester: "This has very little to do with Josh Wolf."

Josh Wolf

Steinberg: (curious) "Oh really?"

Jester: "Sure, just google this judge on the case, William Alsup. He's a Supreme Court wannabe and Josh is the 3rd leg of a triad of cases to get him noticed by the Bush administration."

Steinberg: (pays attention, but divides time between listening on his walkie-talkie - these ex-military types are so traditional - and, always scanning the crowd)

Jester: "Yeah, Alsup tried a case in Guam where he convicted a couple of local politicians. Called the government of Guam "more like an organized crime syndicate" and made the guys go to churches (had to have audience of at least 200) to repent to the people for being crooked.

That's the first leg of the triad. Establishes him as enemy of corruption in our colonial governments. Then, he drew the Bonds case and has kept Greg Anderson in prison long after all of the other Balco figures except Bonds were freed. He made a speech from the bench when he put Anderson back in prison:

'We'll see if more time in prison will convince him to decide whether his first loyalty should be to his friend or to his country.'

Oh yeah, he said that. This keeps him in the news and on Washington's radar in case another Supreme Court justice croaks or retires before Bush is out of office.

Josh is the third leg of the triad. Bush hates reporters and, thus, so does Alsup. Again, the only person still in prison in this case is the figure under Alsup's jurisdiction. Read what he said when Josh's lawyers asked for a holiday furlough for Josh (never convicted of any crime)?

'The fact that he wants to visit home proves that keeping him confined is working.'

This guy wants to be a Supreme Court justice and he'll walk all over the constitution to get there. Hey, that's how the Attorney General of the U.S. got his job."

Steinberg: "Get your petition and start a recall."

Notables at the rally

Julian Davis and roomie, Andy Blue organized the rally to mark the unfortunate fact that Josh has now been in prison longer than any journalist tossed in the clink for refusing to sell out the first amendment. Bruce Brugmann or the Guardian was a principal speaker and has been supportive of every single event regarding Josh and kept his paper behind it.

San Francisco Bay Guardian founder Bruce Bruggman

Julian Davis, Free Josh Wolf Coalition

Free Josh Wolf Coalition's Andy Blue read a statement from Josh Wolf.

Luke Thomas' Fog City Journal had better coverage than any publication. Luke did still photos. Adam Aufdencamp did video. Chris Gramly watched from the fringe of the crowd. Ever distracting Fog City intern, Nevena Predolac, took notes as did I. Kubla moved easily through gathering. Alexandra Jones was there for the Dawg.

Fog City Journal intern, Nevena Predolac

Reps from Leno and Migden's office were present and spoke. Tom Ammiano and Ross Mirkarimi spoke eloquently. A reporter passed a backhanded compliment to Ross: "I didn't know he was that smart."

Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi

Phil Berg, the Libertarian was there and wanted to speak. He's blind and agrees that Amtrak should be the largest government agency. We spoke for a moment:

Former Libertarian congressional candidate Philip Berg

Berg: "I want to see if I can speak."

Jester: (turning him toward stairs with podium at top)

"Just follow the smell of bullshit."

Sue Vaughan came over to hype her show on Access #29 at 7pm this evening. Watch and phone-in a question. Susan King was there on lunch break to watch.

Jake McGoldrick was headed for a 1pm meeting with the Mayor to ask him to resign. I brought his attention to a piece in today's Chron pushing the privatization of the City's golf courses and reminded him that it was he who blocked this effort around 5 years ago. Same shit the Swells always pull … pull staff and equipment from a marina or stables or soccer field … then claim the City can't do it when it was the 'friends' who …

Supervisor Jake McGoldrick on his way
to meet Mayor Gavin Newsom
to ask Newsom to resign.

I called out some nice insults to people who passed by the meeting. I love to do that. They usually just laugh and everyone did except Gavin) in this situation. Here are a few jibes I got in:

Jester: (to Newsom who was moving alongside the side of the crowd following and followed by a couple of burly narcs in J.C. Penny suits)

"Dead man walking!!!"

Jester: (to Daniel Holmsey, Chief of Neighborhood Services and a good guy)

"Hey Daniel, I want to be the new Appointments Secretary. I understand the job has special benefits."

Jester: (to Buck Delvanthal - I believe he's senior staff of Herrera)

"Hey Buck, how about Alex Tourk for interim Mayor 'til we work this stuff out and Jennifer Siebel for Appointments Secretary?"

Actor Jennifer Siebel

I hooked Wayne Justman who helped write Prop 215 (medical pot initiative for you square people) and asked him how many of the 40 local clubs were licensed (they have a June deadline but are hoping for extensions).

Justman: "4, so far, but it doesn't say anything in Prop 215 about ID cards. It only requires that you have a doctor's recommendation."

I kicked around the subject with Wayne for awhile. Access to pot is very important for my column.

"Howdy, Mr. Sheriff!"

Ran into Michael Hennessey outside his office and we spoke for a few minutes. He said that he loved his job and wanted to serve as Sheriff for another 5 years, then retire (he's 59). I told him that Adachi had announced.

Sheriff Michael Hennessey


I referred him to a letter our very electible Public Defender had sent to one of the dailies a couple of days back complaining that they'd said that defenders weren't electible.

Hennessey: (laughing) "Yeah, he mentioned Elmer Robinson!"

Yeah, I think Adachi is doing some serious stretching exercises to get in this race for Mayor:

Public Defender Jeff Adachi

"I would take exception with the notion that San Franciscans would not elect a criminal defense attorney as mayor.

I'd like to think that San Franciscans would see past the sterotypes and judge a candidate by his or her record."

That's close to tossing his hat in the ring and he should. He's a genuinely squeaky-clean family man and the City will definitely elect one unless they go for a woman which would be better.

The Sheriff asked why I thought Leno wasn't talking about running. I've speculated before that it's because he wouldn't be Downtown's candidate cause they're homophobic. Yeah, we're gonna have a horse race here.

Anyway, how about those Niners?

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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