With h brown
Court Jester reviews GavinWatch party
March 30, 2007
"I am not Frank Vega's daughter!!"
Granddaughter then? I mean, c'mon, the resemblance is amazing.
Chron photographer Kat
Wade snapped away as Vega made the rounds of the Anarchist
Media Summit disguised as a party at El Rio last night. She had
her little notebook to make certain she got the names right but
she was completely clueless as to what she was watching. She was
standing in the middle of the nerve center of the Progressive
Media war camp. All these geniuses who'd been fighting in this
gladiatorial Spring training were slapping each other on the back,
shooting down double bourbons, and going from display after display
of posters, stickers, video clips, short films
incumbent Mayor Gavin Newsom.
They were breaking camp and getting ready to turn up the volume
on the battle that was already engaged. The Progressives might
not have a candidate certain as yet, but they certainly had an
enemy target and that was enough. I mused at how much the high-tech
work on display would have cost a campaign.
Willie Brown's worst nightmare
A multi-million dollar Progressive independent expenditure campaign
was launched last night. An honest to God, genuinely independent
campaign. That's never happened before.
I mean, who the hell can accuse us of not being independent?
We don't even have a candidate. Our closest ties to any political
candidate are to Newsom. We draw all of our energy from the enemy
and he's got plenty to give.
We were an army in search of a general. Not that we'd pay that
much attention to them, but we need at least 3 people to put their
names on the ballot. I shot that question at Rob Arnow who was
a chief architect along with Professor Steven Hill, of the 7 million
dollar City elections treasure chest meant to help financially
strapped candidates from whatever area of the political spectrum
to mount credible campaigns for mayor against the Downtown
"Who's gonna spend this money?"
I'm told that Rob Arnow is 'hot'. My gay friends are crazy about
him. I see a skinny little guy peeking from behind the curtain
of the control room making certain everyone is in their proper
They see Errol Flynn.
He couldn't answer. Hell, maybe Tony Hall will spend it all.
He's certainly better than Newsom. Fact is Arnow's legislation
doesn't favor a particular candidate or point of view. Like most
of the work projects scattered around the dark El Rio compound,
the whole point of the effort has been to potentially level the
playing field for candidates who can't go to billionaires for
Most of the talk about candidates was about the Danny
Newsom actually was there
I got my picture taken with him, several actually. In one of
them, I was squeezing his balls while a six foot chicken squawked
in delight and shutters clicked and the instant image flashed
upon TV screens placed here and there. It was, of course, a cardboard
cutout but it was emblematic of how creativity can beat raw bucks.
Are cardboard cutouts relevant?
Oh yeah, and then some. Hey, I'm an oldster and I recall being
8 years old and crawling around at night putting Adlai Stevenson
for President bumper stickers on Cadillacs in 1952. Now, that's
grassroots politics and cardboard cutouts are of that era. Point
is, this Progressive geek army doesn't just depend upon a paper-free
high-speed Internet to get their messages across. They'll use
antique tactics to reach their antique demographic. As we all
got our pictures taken with 'Gavin' and slapped knees and danced
on a far corner of the plank board circular veranda, another blast
from the past (tribute to technology past) roared in flash-card
fashion on the hundred foot wide brick wall across from us.
Someone had gotten access to a back apartment above the funky
night spot's large rear beer garden and a meth-like retro collage
of Gavin with every woman he's dated since he's become mayor played
out from a projector from the second story window above the bar.
I talked to Michael Strickland of Civiccenterblogspot.com (or,
something like that) and his friend, Tony the Sicilian who never
forgets, as I wrote an ad for Craigslist:
- English not necessary
- Orientation irrelevant
- Bulletproof car and bodyguards
- Unlimited starlets
- Billions to spend
I was amazed that we didn't have a candidate. We kicked around
whether we could get Danny Glover to run with Barbara ('Kitty
Ultra-Sound, cabaret singer) Early and Jackson West, a founding
father of SFist.
Dan Noyes was ranking media personality and he took the night
off to socialize. He's a family man with a career and doesn't
often venture into such a crowd without a camera, soundperson
and makeup. He's also smart as hell and I was surprised that when
I introduced him to Marc Salomon that it was the first time they'd
Charles Kalish was there sans banshee attitude. He was talking
to Julian Davis who'll audition for a position on his landscaping
crew (Kalish looks half his age cause he works his ass off - we
always accuse him of youth pills and cosmetic surgery). I thanked
Police commissioner David Campos for trying to get Josh Wolf,
Police Specials, and Steroid Abuse onto the commission calendar.
He said that Commission President Louise Renne was resisting a
public forum on the Wolf scandal.
h brown, Charles Kalish and Ray Tobey
Fog City Journal chief Luke
Thomas and Bay Guardian City Editor Steven
Jones spent so much time tete a' tete in a secluded corner
that I had to go over to see if they were fondling one another.
I drug Channel 4's multitasker Jonathan Blue over (he drives,
he films, he does sound, he does graphics, he cleans the restroom
and he replaced someone making 90k a year)
drug the kid
over to film Luke and Steven, then introduced them with an obscenity-laced
presentation that made his tape useless.
David Sloane, who says he's with the FBI, bought me two double
bourbons on the rocks and introduced me to a gorgeous young thing
named Francesca. Kimo Crossman and Bruce Wolfe arrived late from
a panel discussion with Annalee Newitz of Brugmann's Guardian.
Andy Blue was there in all of his good humor and Keely Zahn bade
me go over and shake hands with Jimmy Dorenkott whom I invited
out into the street in jest.
Beth Spotswood rules!
She's the best satirist in town other than myself (hey, if you
don't like your own product, get out of the business). In her
20's and writing online for the Chron. She is hilarious. Strickland
and Jackson West turned me on to her writing last year. Read
the woman and compare how she writes this thing up with how
Vega and I separately describe it.
The lust dripping satirist, Beth
"Tales of my demise are exaggerated!"
(A defensive Mike Farrah arrives late)
Uh huh. I don't buy it, but I like Mike so I nodded in agreement.
Fact is, Phil Ginsberg is the new mayor and he's shaken up everything.
Farrah's 2-room suite went to Stuart Sunshine and Farrah got Ruby
Tourk's old digs, plus lots of duties 'outside' the office like
being called out to come observe one of the opposition enclaves.
Jokingly, I introduced Farrah to Dan Noyes that amused them both.
Gumshoe Dan Noyes and Mike "Whiskers" Farrah
Ted Strawser and biker honey, Lisa Schaum chattered with Noyes
for a long time as Blue ran his camera and Hope Bryson swooped
in late to embrace Luke Thomas in front of God and everyone.
Luke Thomas and Hope
Photo by Marc Salomon
Paul Hogarth of Beyond Chron bounced around the room being ridiculously
young and full of energy. Krissy Keefer arrived from a late dinner
and I presented her to Cecilia Vega: "Prettiest woman in
town, meet the hottest."
BeyondChron writer and activist, Paul
Vega was uncomfortable and scribbled incessantly.
There were lots more people there and they'll remind me that
I forgot to mention them. But, we started this with Vega and let's
end it with her. She and #4's Jonathan Blue are the new face of
corporate journalism. Low pay. Increased duties. Clipped wings.
In the middle of the hundred or so free-lancers, they stood out
by way of their tense body language. Neither of them has a future.
Once they start making a decent wage, her 'uncle' Frank (whatever)
will fire her and Jonathan's masters will dump him for someone
who does all that he does but cheaper yet.
Chronicle pheramone transmitters Beth Spotswood, Eve Batey and
This group is trouble down the road for Team Newsom. Talent trumps
cash more and more every day in the field of political technology.
While Rob Arnow has handed Progressives the key to the vault of
public funding, that isn't what will make the difference in this
coming mayoral campaign. Naw, it will be the thousands of cartoons
and videos and songs and general irreverent mockery that will
bring down the Getty Humpty-Dumpty.
And, we'll have a hell of a good time doing it.
Salon is 1-3pm
Enjoy the sunshine.
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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