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Photo(s) by Luke Thomas

Why Newsom will do Question Time
(and, is Ragone gone?)


By h. brown


February 13, 2007

Yesterday I ran into the Mayor by accident. I was exiting the elevator on the 4th floor at the Hall and here came a small delegation out of the hearing room where the DBI Commission was meeting. Hmmm…

Peskin was out in front and we shook hands as I tried to think of something nasty to write about him today (it's below). Newsom strode with head down behind Peskin and Gav was flanked by ever-ebullient aide, Wade Crowfoot, who did a smiling and playful shadow box with me… and the compact butch-lady whom I can never decide is either a cop or the Director of Policy. Trailing was a frightened looking Miguel Bustos, new Appointments Secretary. Glaringly absent, was recently 'promoted' Press Secretary, Peter Ragone.

There were no other reporters and it was clear the little entourage thought I'd staged a coup and found out what they were up to. Naturally, I'm way too lazy for that and it was an accident. I was, in fact, following up on some paperwork to get myself off City welfare and onto federal Social Security.

Newsom looked dredged. I mean, he's never been the most user-friendly subject for any journalist, but now he just stares at the floor. I seldom hassle the guy anyway. As a satirist, I don't have to get exact comments. Hell, I can even make them up and often do. Still, I shot him a comment anyway:

"Welcome to the House of Pain!"

The elevator door closed and they went on their way and I mused as to why that particular group was together with no press in tow. I left a message for Luke Thomas who tracked the details to the appointment of a new DBI Director.

It took me another 24 hours or so to figure out just what that meant. The final piece of the puzzle came together when I read this morning in the EX that Newsom would be appearing at the SFUSD meeting tonight when there is no reason in the world for him to do so. It could only mean one thing.

Newsom's laying the groundwork for appearing before the Board of Supervisors for Question Time. And, the confrontational Peter Ragone has been promoted out of camera range where's he's caused the Mayor nothing but grief. Mark my words on both.

Key items at today's meeting of the Bored

Item 9 (Municipal Broadband)

Yet another attempt to forestall the privatization of another valuable public resource. Hats off to Jake McGoldrick for coming to bat for the local citizenry, but Peskin's a corporate whore and he'll represent the interests of Google/Earthlink in the same manner that he rolled over for Comcast, Home Depot and Clear Channel.

Dufty opposed a City Wi-Fi in committee. With $500 checks falling like snow for months now, look for the final vote to be 4-7 with McGoldrick and the people taking a bath.

In favor of Public Wi-Fi

1. Jake McGoldrick
2. Tom Ammiano
3. Chris Daly
4. Ross Mirkarimi

Voting for corporate interests

1. Aaron Peskin
2. Bevan Dufty
3. Michela Alioto-Pier
4. Sean Elsbernd
5. Ed Jew
6. Sophie Maxwell
7. Gerardo Sandoval

Item 12 (Supporting Lennar's Candlestick abortion)

Only Peskin and Elsbernd understand what's happening here. The Board is, ironically, endorsing the plan that will guarantee that the Niners leave San Francisco. This is all about how many acres the City will allot the Niners in the footprint for the proposed development. Lennar wants to give the Niners 77, so they have plenty of room to crowd high-rise condos up to the stadium. The Niners want the same 160-acre footprint they've always enjoyed. Santa Clara will give it to them. Lennar, will not. And, they are the tail that wags Pelosi, the Mayor and (now), the Board. Lennar will win and the Board will be on record approving, yet again, the plan that drives the Niners out of town. Any Board member running for Mayor who tries to blame the Mayor for 'losing' the Niners will be referred to their vote here. 11-0 without a clue.

Today is Jens' Sunday

It may be Tuesday to you, but it's Sunday to my buddy, Jens Nielsen who works a different schedule. A huge advantage of being an unemployable asshole is that my own daily schedule is very flexible. Thus, I'm able to take an extra weekend at any time. I'm gonna do that now. I hope Peskin and Gavin aren't already over at Jens'.

Be my valentine?

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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