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With h. brown

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

Court Jester reviews fifth mayoral debate

By h. brown

September 15, 2007

"h., you were right. I'm Mike Powers."
(mysterious mayoral candidate appears)

And, what an appearance. Yesterday was the 2007 San Francisco Mayoral Collaborative's 5th Friday debate under Gavin's window and we had 11 candidates show up.

Remnants of the 2007 Candidates Collaborative pose for a group photo at the fifth mayoral debate. From left to right: George Davis, write-in candidate Sylvia Johnson, Dr. Ahimsa Porter-Sumchai, write in candidate Kenneth Kahn, h. Brown, Josh Wolf, debate moderate Mark Hunter, WIlma Pang and Billy Bob Whitmer. Absent: Harold Hoogasian, Grasshopper Alec Kaplan, Quintin Mecke, Mayor Gavin Newsom, Chicken John Rinaldi.

Josh Wolf

He and his dad, Len Harrison had Grasshopper Kaplan's cab and sound system (thanks Grasshopper). Len made another attempt to video-stream the debate but I don't know how it turned out.

Mike Powers

He and his wife look like a powerful Viking super-hero/heroine couple come to life from a comic book. They were dressed in complimenting kilt skirt based ensembles that set off their golden tans and screamed power. Which is appropriate wince Power is their name and the name of their business. I take back anything bad I said about him for not showing up. I'm dying to hear him give a speech. This week he just watched from the crowd and remained anonymous 'til the last minutes of the forum. I immediately asked for a free ticket to the Power Exchange. They laughed. He said we'll see something out of his campaign next week.

Ahimsa Sumchai

I've been endorsing her and Josh Wolf since week one and see no reason to back off. The woman is a walking encyclopedia and I'm in awe of her.

George Davis

I've ragged on this guy mercilessly in the early weeks but now I'm a fan. He and Kenny (the clown) Kahn got into a discussion about making a living working the tourists crowd on Fisherman's Wharf and it was instructive to hear what they each thought of the 'Bushman'. Kenny's one cerebral clown. Earlier at Salon, George told me about a new business he's putting together on the Wharf where he gets photographed in the nude with tourists (the tourists aren't nude - at least I don't think so).

Kenny the Clown

What a forceful personality. Another huge guy with a riveting presentation. Later at our After Party at the Temple Bar, someone said that Kenny looked like a clown even without his clown suit and someone else said he should wear his clown suit to the next debates. We voted and all agreed. Kenny nodded as he juggled unlit fire batons and did card tricks. We stayed late and while Kenny juggled, the bartender came out from behind the bar and gave us a New York display of '3 card Monty' that almost blinded us. I couldn't have picked the card if we'd been playing '1 card Monty'.

Kenny the Clown shows off his juggling skills.

Lonnie Holmes

He had to practice with his kids (football coach for couple of decades) but made it to the After Party. Wait until you see his campaign signs. Other than Krissy Keefer's signs with the Eric Drooker figure from last year's congressional campaign, Lonnie has the best looking signs I've ever seen. Navy blue trim and lettering with the Golden Gate Bridge and … well, you'll see em.

Lonnie Holmes holds up his snazzy campaign sign.

Wilma Pang

She emphasizes her pioneering candidacy (first Chinese woman to run - a reader tells me that Ahimsa is actually the second African-American to seek to become Mayor) … emphasizes gender and race but that's OK by me. She made it to our After Party for the first time and was part of a real bevy of beauties that included Elaine Santore, Karen Babbitt, Sue Vaughan, Hope Johnson and Danielle Erville. The divine, Krissy Keefer was at the debate but missed the After Party. We drank a lot of beer at Temple Bar last night.

Karen Babbit, Elaine Santore, Susan Vaughan and Hope Johnson

Billy Bob Whitmer

Now a write-in candidate, Billy Bob was elegant in a Southern gentleman (to me) demeanor and impeccable dress as he spoke with love and concern about the deterioration of SFUSD after-school programs.

Jerry Jarvis

Also now an official write-in, Jerry is a tireless blogger who has mastered the issues playing in shark tanks like the Wall and SF Junto. I respect this guy a lot and I want to see more of his pictures posted but he's taken on more work.

Sylvia Johnson

She once told Aaron Peskin that people have trouble understanding her because she sees things backwards. Kind of like Merlin the magician in Camelot. That explains so much. .hcum os snialpxe thaT

"I don't understand why more people don't come to these."
(Karen Babbitt)

Karrent Babbit and h. Brown

These forums get better and better. I'm always wondering when I approach our Town Square (Civic Center/Alioto Piazza) if there will be anyone else there. By 5 minutes past 5, it was just Josh and I. By 5:30pm, the place was crawling with candidates and we got some trickle-down interviews from Mike Sugerman (CBS Channel 5) who joined my 'boys and girls' blast list yesterday with C.W. Nevius.

I pointed out to the TV audience that the half dozen or so network trucks parked on either side of our gathering were there because Newsom had bought an idea I first proposed back in June (firing all department, agency and commission heads) … and, I said that this proved that the ideas of the little people down in the Square could make it up into the room behind the Mayor's balcony above and behind us without our being elected. They listen because we're here.

Our moderator was a distinguished looking guy named Mark Hunter from Channel #29's NewsRoom on Access SF which will have half of the candidates into their studio after next week's gathering.

Mark Hunter takes candidate questions from audience members.

The moderators for this series have totally rocked. Next week we have the Bay Area Reporter's representative if I remember correctly. Down the road, I've proposed Greg Dewar to Josh. Greg knows the local scene like the back of his hand and I want to hear his questions to our candidates.


The only 2 candidates who haven't made a single event are Newsom and John Rinaldi. Rinaldi seems welded to Newsom's hip. The secret committee that chose Mecke has kept him out of all but one debate. Harold Hoogasian may stop attending because he heard that Grasshopper (who is currently, ahem, otherwise occupied) smoked a joint on stage last week. People smoke pot in San Francisco?

It's amazing to me that with 54 days left in the contest, media and Gonzalez cult darling, Quintin Mecke hasn't even started to run. Well, I guess you have to consider that he learned at the foot of the great procrastinator himself, 'Dead Elvis' Gonzalez. Quintin gave a nice presentation in Public Comment before the Rules Committee this week but only us wonks watch the Board and he's been invisible on the campaign trail. His handlers are treating him like he's Newsom with a huge lead, and that just ain't the case.


Bob Brigham (he's working the fertile Salon and Collaborative blogger herd for Mark Leno) had the best seat at the debate in a folding canvas chair complete with drink holder. Like Leno, Brigham has lots of class and style. I wonder what supervisoral district he lives in.

Pat Monk was there celebrating his inaugural column on Luke Thomas' Fog City Journal. Pat's Dr. Sumchai's most devoted supporter and there are plenty.

My best friend, Daniel Cohen of Penn Grove made it to Salon and when I told him Joe Veronese had invited me to a wine harvest party up in his neck of the woods (Sonoma/Napa), he and Marc Salomon. Marc's birthday was last Friday and he spent last weekend flying from here to Oregon to NYC where he had a fabulous meal. He and Daniel were going over the menu from his birthday meal at a great New York restaurant. Daniel is French and got to appear with Allan Rickman in a movie on wine tasting just completed up Sonoma way. They wanted to see the menu from the Foreign Cinema, SF's primo restaurant, for the meal that Chris Cummings took us to last week. Happy Birthday, Marc! Marc and Daniel expressed immediately they wanted to come to the Veronese soiree. How about it, Joe?

I didn't know Phil Frank but I've known Farley since I was a young man and he will never die. Like Charles Schultz, Phil built such a trove of cartoons over the years that I'm certain I'll be marveling at the wisdom of Babba and Beppo and Bruce for the rest of my years. It's kind of like when Hunter Thompson died and Uncle Duke only had a slight shiver for the disturbance in the Force and then went on. Put in a good word for me, Phil and send me an idea now and then.

That's enough... for now.

Get well wishes to Doug MacAbee recovering from triple bypass.

To Joe Lynn who gets his radiation and chemo schedule next week.

To Vincente at the pot club who faces colon surgery next week.

And, to Ania Wierzbowska whose new hip joint is healing fast.

Thanks to Art Persyko for the interview and tolerating my bad manners.

60 workouts and counting.


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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