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With h brown

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

Court Jester reviews first 2007 mayoral debate

By h. brown

August 18, 2007

Mayoral candidates (from left to right) Tony Hall, Billy Bob Whitmer, Quintin Mecke,
Lonnie Holmes, Ahimsa Porter Sumchai, h. brown, Harold Hoogasian, Josh Wolf, George Davis, Wilma Pang and Grasshopper Kaplan attended the first 2007 mayoral debate
in front of San Francisco City Hall.
Photo by Luke Thomas

"Sitting on a sofa on a Friday afternoon.
Going to the candidates debate.
Laugh about it, shout about it,
when you have to choose,
everyway you look at it, you lose."

(Paul Simon, thank you)

Actually, I think that there are lots of winners running for Mayor in San Francisco this year and 11 of the 14 were present yesterday at the first 2008 Mayoral Candidates Collaborative debate. Jesus Christ, was it fun. Really, I kid you not. I mean, all of the 11 of 14 legal candidates running (we were missing Chicken John, Chicken Gavin and the proprietor of the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, or something like that) … missing 3 chickens, but there were still lots and lots of wild things in the barnyard (go to Fogcityjournal.com and check out George Davis' perfect echo of Da Vinci).

Which was in front of City Hall

The idea of a candidates collaborative is original with Diamond Dave Whitaker. Josh Wolf and I carried it from the District 5 supervisoral wars on into today's race for mayor. It was an absolutely splendid success. Way better than in D-5 and we didn't expect it. We just felt that we had to give the minority candidates a chance for some exposure and Josh thought that in front of the Mayor's office was the best spot. Then we invited everyone and waited like teenagers afraid no one would come to their first party.

Who knew if the idea would transfer to this level? In D-5, we mostly just met as a group and discussed the kinds of things that Chris Daly and Michela Alioto-Pier now bat about.

Could you call another candidate a 'mother fucker' and still remain in a particular debate? Would we agree to refuse to appear in front of a group that wouldn't meet us all?

Actually, that first question didn't come up. We got to be friends, just as this group running for Mayor now will over the remaining 11 Collaborative debates (and, yes, they will all be in front of City Hall and under Gavin's balcony - he can't leave work early every Friday). Let me say something here about Gavin's absence. I could be wrong and please feel free to correct me.

Gavin's a decent guy

That's my instinct anyway. Eric Jaye is the one who make's the Mayor look like such a two-faced jellyfish. The Mayor makes an honest statement from the heart ("I'll be glad to debate the other candidates anytime and anywhere.") and Jaye makes him into a coward and a liar within 24 hours. Peter Ragone did the same thing to him. Gavin has to break free of Jaye and Phil Ginsberg just as he did Ragone and that is the problem cause that just ain't likely.

All his life, the people who stuck him with Jaye and Ginsberg and Nathan Ballard (who insulted the entire country of England on the Mayor's behalf when speaking of 'Question Time' - "We aren't in England here and we don't drive on the wrong side of the road.") … all his life, they've brought people into the room, introduced them to him and told him that he should do exactly what they say. Breaking free of obeying those orders will be hard to do but Gavin is strong enough now to do it. In fact, it would increase his political stock exponentially

I think Gavin would love to debate his opposition. In my more lucid moments I cannot deny that Newsom is a better debater than anyone of the opposition candidates. Hell, long as we're being honest here, he was better than Gonzalez vis a vis debating skills. And, furthermore, he'd kick the entire Board of Supe's ass if he'd overrule Jaye and simply walk across the hall and engage in 'Question Time'. It must be frustrating as hell for him to have spent 25 years developing these skills and then being reduced to reading prepared statements day after day, week after week and month after month. Again, he should dump Jaye or at least overrule him on matters of interacting directly with the 'opposition' (including the press).

Chronicle admits h. brown exists! (flying pink elephants blot out sun)

Krissy Keefer just referred me to the morning Chron in which campaign beat veteran, John Wildermuth was allowed to present a marvelously fair description of yesterday's debate. Good lord, even John Diaz wants Gavin to come across the street and put up a tussle. But, let me quote the double de-flowering of both the Hearst rag and the Mayor's office on the matter of my existence:

"The mayor is happy to go to any debate
sponsored by an organization.

We absolutely expect the mayor will be
doing debates during the campaign,
and he looks forward to it.

But, he can't go to h. brown's Be-in
every Friday afternoon."

(Eric Jaye to the Chron)

Why does Eric Jaye hate hippies? Does that help the Mayor for him to say stupid shit like that? And, anyone who thinks I have any control on any candidate in this race (including myself) is a fucking idiot.

On the hippie thing. Does Jaye propose that he is speaking on behalf of Gavin when he makes such disparaging comments about the City's hippie past? I sure as hell hope not. To suggest that comparing the candidates collaborative to a bunch of peace-loving hipsters fighting for love is an insult says that this asshole is far, far removed from the pulse of San Francisco. We revere the Summer of Love and the Human Be-In here. Saying that an association with those values demeans one?

Hey, I'm an old hippie. No doubt about it. I embrace the values and attempt to practice them as much as possible. But, is Harold Hoogasian what you'd call a 'hipster'? Tony Hall? Ahimsa Sumchai? Lonnie Holmes? Quintin Mecke?

Josh Wolf is an anarchist. Billy Bob Whitmer and Wilma Pang are teachers. Hey, other than Grasshopper Kaplan, I'm the only hippie in the gang.

And, what the hell does Jaye mean by: "The Mayor is happy to go to any debate sponsored by an organization."? I mean, shit boy, when you have 11 of your 13 opposition candidates calling you out under your very balcony, isn't that a legitimate 'organization'?

What Jaye meant was that the Mayor will be allowed to debate only before such organizations that Jaye and his Downtown masters control. Such as the League of Women Voters, chaired by a Pelosi employee (head of PR at the Presidio) who didn't' see fit to agree to have Nancy debate her opposition in the last congressional race?

The bitch is that Gavin is better than his handlers think. I've watched the guy strain at his leash for years and he's better than they think. Break free, Gavin. Let us pencil you in for next Friday evening at 5pm in the Town Square. You can find it easily. It's right under your window.

And, we're taking turns providing the sound system. Grasshopper provided it for the first debate. Next Friday is your turn. Tell Jaye and Farrah that my home number is 621-4103 and Josh Wolf's is 794-2401. Don't be strangers. And, stop underrating your candidate. He's a winner.

You shudda been there.

Be there next week.

Afterwards, we went to Mirk's art party for wine.

Then, to the World's Smallest Nightclub.

You shudda been 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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