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San Francisco mayoral candidate, h. "Court Jester" Brown.
Photo(s) by Luke Thomas

Friday Mayoral Debate takes shape

Newsom and Rinaldi fail to RSVP

By h. brown

August 15, 2007

This is a good idea. Not my idea, but a good idea (Josh's, actually - 'Candidates Collaborative' is from Diamond Dave). Someone said they should even put the idea before the voters and make this a part of the charter. That would make it mandatory that candidates for mayor of San Francisco agree to debate every Friday evening in the town square (Civic Center) for each of the 12 weeks preceding any mayoral election.

That makes sense because of what has happened with the voter-approved 'Question Time' which the present mayor (Gavin Newsom) has refused to honor because it is not mandatory. In fact, it looks like he'll be going back on his promise last Friday to debate all of his challengers "any place, anytime" as he nor his office (Hello out there to Eric Jaye and Mike Farrah who have refused to return calls since last Saturday) … they won't confirm or deny that the Mayor will attend.

Asked them for a sound system too. No answer. Hey, they refuse to provide one, we can do that. Virtually every candidate has access to portable sound equipment. Point is, we'll be there this Friday at 5pm and we want you to join us. What are they gonna do, arrest us for running for Mayor?

"I thought it was quicksand. It was much worse."

I was first active in an election in 1952. The Syrian Mafia down the street (my best friend's dad was a soldier) was pushing Adlai Stevenson and as an 8 year-old, I took bumper stickers and put them on the back of every Cadillac I could find.

We lost. I've tried to influence public policy in every imaginable legal way since then. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. You're only responsibility is to try. This year's mayoral race in San Francisco is no different. I was the third person to complete all of the paperwork and pay the entry fee to run. I did this because every promise by every major potential Progressive candidate had proven to be a bald-faced lie (if I'm not telling the truth than why aren't Gonzalez and Mirkarimi and Daly on the ballot?) … and, by a fluke, I had the money and, as an American and a San Franciscan, I am disgusted with the way that Gavin Newsom and his Republican overlords (think Hellman and Fisher) run the City. My reasons for entering this race are deeply ideological and specific. Newsom is a cardboard cut-out with a glued-on tape recorder programmed by Downtown business interests. If the 'Progressive' politicians my friends and I spent millions in free labor and ink pushing for the last decade or so lacked the testicles to challenge the Mayor, I determined that I would use every last penny I had to do it.

Now, I'm a lousy candidate. True, I know more than all of the rest of them put together and could run the City better than all of them put together but I'm a terrible asshole. Tolerance of bullshit-wise, I mean. I'm dismissive of frauds, be they 'journalists', bureaucrats or politicians. You can't win anything in this town without being a major, major ass-kisser and that just isn't me.

Others soon followed

Oh, we got lots of promises and flirting from our top line candidates. But, like Robert Dynes and Karl Rove, they decided they couldn't take the heat and were going to go hide under their beds. I mean, they were going to go spend more quality time with their families. You understand the frustration. You feel it yourself and you're angry or you aren't actually a fire-breathing Progressive. We were deserted by our 'leaders' in this election and I personally will never back any of them for anything again.

We need you

There is no Progressive leadership. None of Matt Gonzalez's friends are going to call or email you and ask you to come and watch any mayoral debate that doesn't include him. Ross Mirkarimi will not be there. Nor, Art Agnos. It's up to you. Come support democracy this Friday in front of City Hall from 5-6:30pm. Bring a cushion and a question.

Do Salon before (1-3pm) and Mirk's art show after (til 8pm)

The mayoral candidates got game folks.

Be there.

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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