With h brown
Court Jester sets the Tourkgate record straight
February 8, 2007, 1:52 p.m.
"Print something that's not true and I'm sure you'll
be sued for libel"
(Eric Jaye threatens Luke Thomas)
"Everything you have heard is true"
That's a lot of leave way. I was thinking about these lines
as I walked with Eileen Left through the cool early Sunday air
in U.N. Plaza's Farmer's Market on my way to get a paper. Only
porn publications could publish the things that we'd heard had
been happening behind the windows of the Mayor's office that were
brightly lit at 6:30am. From 200 yards, you could easily see the
figures moving to and fro. What were they doing up there?
'Mayor moonlights at Kink.com to pay Tourk tab'
A source who works in the Hall said that when they went to do
some late work (9:30pm) there 3 days later, the parking slots
reserved for the Mayor were crammed and more vehicles (mostly
luxury sedans) had spilled over into supervisoral staff parking
- "It's usually the opposite."
Slaving like a PG&E crew over a major gas leak or a big tom
cat covering a particularly large heap of steaming doo, the hastily
assembled Mayor's special operations team were obviously doing
Hollywood level damage control
God damn, these sentences are getting longer. But, there are
so many sins to recount and so much maneuvering and so little
space. I was wondering who the hell might be up there at this
day and hour as Eileen and I strode through the plaza to reach
the paper vendor who sets up under the statue of the conquistador.
Eileen spoke as I purchased my Sunday Chronicle: "You saw
'Wag the Dog', right? (she's excited but still dividing her attention
as she chooses fresh onions and mushrooms). How much is this costing
and who's paying for it?"
That's what Eileen Left was asking as she bought fresh chicken
eggs with the shit attached and smelled the tomatoes for a morning
omelet. It had been a long 72 hours since the Mayor and his staff
had begun calling each other and the press, liars. The long legged
blonde mused as to who might be pulling 24/7 duty.
'SF Mayor arrested in liquor store heist!'
("Have you seen my legal bills!?!")
Eileen: "They've hired Eric Jaye the torpedo, and
Sam Singer, who spins webs like a spider, is involved. They have
Chris Lahane who taught America that a few blow jobs shouldn't
bring down a sitting U.S. president. John Burton was on hand (to
announce that one could recover from a cocaine addiction once
that clot breaks free from the tumor of the Newsom mayoralty?).
They've got a contract with Mimi Silbert.
It's crazy. Singer's supposed to be representing Alex Tourk
but he's made a living working for the people who want Alex and
this story buried. Tourk's gotta be in shock to let Singer speak
for him, or let Steven Kay negotiate a deal for him that is for
a shorter period of time than if he'd applied for unemployment
compensation. He should be suing for a variety of damages.
Get it while you can, Alex. The Balboa Café or an equivalent
property would be nice."
Jester: "He's not thinking clearly. Hell, I've had
the same experience. Word on the street is that the guy loves
his wife. He's not thinking straight or he'd remember how this
same lineup made a deal with Tony Hall, promising just compensation,
then made him sue them at every step of the way. And, smirked
and laughed while they teamed up to humiliate him on SFGTV."
"That bus driver looks just like Mayor Newsom!"
moonlighting Mayor wears new hat)
Eileen: (stands with her groceries watching the lighted
windows behind the Mayor's balcony some 200 yards away - purses
her lips and crosses her arms as she speaks)
"Pay attention here. Toss in Jim Sutton and Kay and you
have an all-star damage control lineup that must make at least
$500 an hour round the clock. They could easily be billing a hundred
grand a day.
'Mayor joins bi-sexual escort service'
Jester: (slices a bit of a peach and replies)
"I don't doubt you, but why spend so much? If it comes out
that he's a coke head too and that there was an abortion or more
and more, this could last for months and cost millions."
"They've brought in John Burton to represent reformed coke
heads if that comes up. They'll be wanting to make a sizable contribution
to Delancey House for letting Gavin line-jump the other cons and
junkies and have special sessions with the director. Silbert couldn't
say 'no' to special privileges for the Mayor (weekend only sessions
- what is he, Mel Gibson?)
Mimi gets a bundle in contributions
every year from the people trying to save Gavin's bacon. It must
be a bitch for people like that to have to compromise their standards
to accommodate a spoiled brat like Gavin.
(glances over at him)
But, to answer your question, keep in mind that the people in
there spinning this have other clients with up to 20 billion dollars
in local construction, consulting and legal work, at stake. A
billion is a thousand million. This is chump change to keep a
mayor in place who'll do anything you want. They admitted spending
around 6 million in his campaign against Gonzalez. The Care not
Cash campaign cost several million. With the minority interests
in the Getty businesses, they must have 12 to 15 million into
She was right as usual. But, it's such a hugely complex situation
to cover for one drunk. I decided to focus on the first character
who always shows up to protect the Swells investment in the avatar
who is Gavin Newsom.
That would be Eric Jaye
As an investigative journalist in this town, you know you're
onto something if Eric Jaye comes to visit your top brass and
tries to get you fired.
Several editors who have long since left the Examiner, told
me that during the '03 mayoral race, Jaye made regular visits
to the executive suites of that enterprise,
trying to get
Adriel Hampton fired.
His sin? Even handed coverage of the Newsom vs Gonzalez contest.
Recently, Dan Noyes blogged about watching Jaye and other co-horts
enter ABC 7's digs to try and get him to back off of his critical
coverage of the Newsom administration.
Shurkin, mild mannered publisher of Sfist
which has always been mostly pro-Gavin, found himself and his
staff being attacked in his very own chat forum by a disguised,
mayoral press secretary Peter Ragone (who lied about it as he
does about everything else)
attacking Sfist, Rita
Hao and the publication for allowing criticism of Newsom to
to the threat
to Luke Thomas that opened this column. Whether he had anything
to do with Murphy's theft of Luke's interest in the Sentinel is
not known. It certainly seems to follow the boy's modus operandi.
Point is, Jaye and his ilk don't just ask for a fair shake. They
go after a person's livelihood and reputation.
But, let's flesh this thing out. I've been up most of the night
reading stories from here there and all the way to Jay Leno who's
been crushing Gavin's nuts nightly in his monologue (let's see
Jaye get Jay Leno fired). Giving context briefly is more than
I can do, but I'll go for an overview.
"You don't pull the mask off the Lone Ranger, You don't
step on Superman's cape."
(and, you don't challenge a stubborn Brit)
The fall of Gavin Newsom story belongs to Luke Thomas and his
Fog City Journal. This is only fitting because Newsom's supporters
have done everything they can to destroy Thomas. And, still are.
This Tourkgate is not the first of the naturalized American's
(has British/American dual citizenship so's he can vote here)
not his first run-in with the Downtown interests that created
and maintain the avatar Mayor we call Gavin Newsom.
Thomas was never Newsom's enemy. Like me, he considered Gavin
a nice, jocular fellow with perhaps a bit of an inferiority complex
who was moved around like a chess piece by his big money supporters.
Luke first incurred Jaye's wrath not too long after he entered
into a co-ownership partnership with Pat Murphy and the Sentinel.
Luke was the rage of the San Francisco political community for
his world class photography work. He still is that, but if he
hadn't also been a hell of a computer whiz, he'd have nothing
to show for his investment in the Sentinel.
That"s because Thomas always wrote his own unedited copy,
and a time or two he was critical of Gavin Newsom. Unlike Murphy,
who wrote 100% negative hit pieces on Daly and 100% favorable
copy for Newsom, Thomas remained independent. The ever eccentric
Sentinel creator, Murphy, grew cold and distant, finally changing
all passwords and shutting Luke out of the site of which he was
50% owner. To this day, Murphy and the Downtown interests who
guided Murphy's theft have never offered Thomas a dime.
The point here is that Newsom's handlers tried to destroy Luke's
livelihood. They weren't satisfied to debate or negotiate. They
went to raw power and destruction. Just as they did with Tony
Hall (think before you make a deal with them, Alex, they made
a deal with Tony and double-crossed him too - cheaper than making
any agreed upon payouts)
they made a deal with Tony Hall
and have tried to destroy him since.
Look what they did to Gerardo Sandoval. Same thing and it was
always for the same reason. Because they didn't like it when each
sought the truth. They seek to send a message by leaving the corpse
of honest journalism to rot in the plaza before the Room 200 balcony.
Generally speaking, only people with no family, friends or possessions,
big balls or small minds, criticize Jaye's clients.
Hall wanted to find out why most of his budget on Treasure Island
was being paid out in consulting fees to a shell corporation controlled
by one of Gavin Newsom's top fund raisers. Gerardo Sandoval wanted
to find out who was sending out literature decorated with swastikas
calling him a nazi and an anti-Semite.
Thomas' 'sins' hadn't been as egregious or threatening, but these
guys don't have a low gear. They decided they'd destroy him financially
by squeezing him out of the Sentinel.
Bad idea. Thomas was back online with a site superior to the
old Sentinel within a couple of weeks and his power and scope
have increased daily since.
Thomas immediately took off the kid gloves with the Mayor who's
thugs had tried to destroy him and that's a way to lose advertising
from developers doing business with the City. He also began following
the rumor about 'orgies in Room 200'.
Which brings us back to Tourkgate and why Luke was the one to
break the story. Why he wasn't afraid to ask Ruby Tourk if she'd
like to go on record and deny the rumors that had swirled around
San Francisco's City Hall for months.
Imagine our surprise
(Forgive me for how long this piece is. I'm trying to tie together
at least 50 articles I've read from other half-assed publications
telling half of the truth
trying to get a clearer look
at the Mayor's damage control team and their tactics.)
Here comes the rain
Outside, I mean. Peaceful and welcome.
We're only about half our usual seasonal rainfall. The two points
I'm trying to get across with this column are that Luke Thomas
this story and two, to present the faces of the damage control
team Downtown put together to address the crisis and some of the
tactics they use. I'll present more details as the pool of blood
Ahhh, sweet rain...
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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