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With h. brown

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

Court Jester lays out his vision for San Francisco

By h. brown

October 3, 2007

"Do you love me a whole bunch, a bunch, or a little bunch?"
(Bulldog poll numbers not encouraging)

Thanks to 'Petertherabbit' on Michael Ege's 'Wall' for passing on the particulars of this poll. I'd say it's a watershed document as 'Pete' notes. My guess is it's a benchmark kind of thing seeking to see just how successful the gentrification of San Francisco is proceeding. Note that virtually every issue is of major concern to the plutocrats who run the City. When you're playing Sim City with real cities, you need correct numbers every now and then apart from the PR and push poll garbage. I bet you a beer that this poll had the largest sampling of any local poll of the last 4 years. Look it over and analyze it, and see what you think the people who fielded it were thinking.

Peter's rendition on the wall

1. Will you approve a $250 per year parcel tax?

2. Will you approve a $990 million bond for SF General Hospital?

3. Will you approve a $75 million bond for the zoo?

4. Will you approve Prop D Parks Bond to pay for city debts.

5. Who will you vote for? Leno, Veronese or Migden?

6. Do you think the San Francisco is going in the direct direction?

7. Is the Board of Supervisor doing a good job? Yes or no?

8. Is Newsom doing a good job? Yes or no? Is your yes or no answer, strongly, not so strongly, not quite strongly or could change?

9. Is Newsom right in suspending Ed Jew?

10. Is your household a union or non union?

11. Is any of your household member a union member?

12. What is your race?

13. Are you a heterosexual, gay or lesbian?

14. Are you a progressive, liberal, moderate, conservative?

15. Are you are renter or a home owner?

16. Do you think the Library Commission is doing a good job?

17. Do you think the Rec and Park is doing a good job?

18. Can I use your name just in case my supervisor asks?

I didn't edit the list and I'm amazed Peter could recall so much. I should note that a follow-up poster on the Wall said that they got the same poll but that although they live in the State Senate D-8 (Leno, et. al.) that they didn't get a question on next year's race. If you got the poll, join the conversation on the Wall and I'll read you there.

How predictable are you?

"Even the most brilliant intellect is a prisoner within their own cultural heritage."
(Isaac Hogben - British mathematician)

If I know the way you think, I can beat you at poker. I can steal your company, or your girlfriend. I can drive you insane. Or, I can just get right down to it and send your children off to die in a war for oil which profits me, and you'll still think it's OK (enough of you will, anyway). Oh yeah, there's lots of power in the capacity to predict human behavior and I've been onto it since before the computer age. In fact, here's a quote from the seminal book that predicted serious polling, before anyone ever heard the name Gallup.

"If I can get you to answer a dozen questions, I can tell you how you voted in the last 3 Presidential Elections, and why, and how, you'll vote next."
(From 'The 480' by Ledderer and Burdick)

These two guys (Burdick and Ledderer) wrote the 'Ugly American' together before they wrote the '480'. They were into evaluating foreign policy and even as a teen, so was I.

They wrote that pretty much every single American could be fit into 480 individual categories from the more critical, such as the color of your skin or your sexual orientation or your material possessions, all the way down to your taste in music. Their point was (as it remains) to create candidates who appealed to the broadest range of likely voters.

They had it down to 12 questions. Whoever did this poll used 18 and the vanity questions they floated (library and zoo?) gave away the source of the funding for the poll. These are people who could easily fund all of the projects they're asking if you'd mind funding (and, they'll fully control the physical facilities of these places -as they already do - after you upgrade them for the local aristocrats) … they could pay for it, but they'd rather you do it and then they'll get the Mayor and Aaron Peskin to deed the shit over to them for 50 years or so. That's what this poll is really about.

"Wherefore art thou, Bruce Brugmann?"
(wounded, I lash out in anger)

Hey, I'm accustomed to being ignored. I'm old and ugly and poor and kind of a paranoid grouch. Still, my feelings were hurt when I picked up the morning Bay Guardian online and found that they'd made their endorsements without even interviewing me. What up, Bruce?

Why I cudda kicked ass in the 45 minutes they gave each of the chosen people. I mean, Grasshopper put a can of his own feces and a banana peel on Ed Jew's front porch and they interviewed him. And, in their online poll, they shuffled alphabetical listing of candidates by first name? Is that so my name won't be first? And, why is John Rinaldi, 'Chicken John,' but I can't have my lower-case appellation?

I left messages all over the Bay Guardian offices this morning but the secretaries' say that the senior staff don't come in until 11am or later. How the hell can they claim to be fair and balanced when they censor a voice like mine?

Ahhh, face it, I'm much hated in this town and for more than a few good reasons. Still, I'm by far the most knowledgeable candidate (including the mayor) and the public should have been allowed to see such ideas as:

h. brown's Public Safety stand

I'm the only candidate who ever wore a badge or drove an emergency vehicle. I'm the only candidate who has been in the Navy and worked next to aircraft like those flown by the Blue Angels.

I'm the only candidate with an advanced education degree specializing in reforming the 'Severely Emotionally Disturbed' (not a pretty title, huh?).

I fought fires for years and I'm an expert in emergency communications. I'm betting I'm the only candidate who knows and can communicate in CW (for 'continuous wave' - OK, Morse Code).

I'm comfortable standing on a pile of rubble, and I'm as cool as a cucumber under pressure. I know how to hook a line of pumper fire trucks in tandem and get water from the Bay to Nob Hill.

I've taught murderers in locked-down detention facilities, and I've saved lives by clearing airways of vomit and doing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

My reform package

Totally alter deployment of police forces

Foot patrols work. They bring down the murder rate. Single officer foot patrols. The alienation of law enforcement officers from the public they are sworn to serve, began when departments abandoned the single officer foot patrol and went to 'One Adam Twelve'. Newsom's plan for reform does not have a prayer of bringing down the murder rate, because he leaves the power of designing deployment schemes with a high command that is more concerned about the safety of the officers than the safety of the citizenry. As long as station captains have the option of not fielding single officer patrols, you'll see fewer of them.

Hey, Delugnuts, I'm not denying it's dangerous for one of your cops to walk alone in my neighborhood, but think of how it is for everyone else who has to walk our dangerous streets - they don't have a gun to protect themselves!

We have more and better-educated cops than at anytime in SFPD history. They're better paid, armed and equipped. They have superior communications. And yet, there are fewer cops on the street. What's up with that?

The POA has succeeded in getting their boys removed from all the dangerous jobs and putting them behind desks whenever possible. It is the job of any union after all, to secure their membership the highest salary and benefits packages possible with the least physical risk to their membership.

Unfortunately, as the cops back away from dangerous situations (flying helicopters, manning high crime area kiosks, riding buses etcetera), it gets more dangerous for we people who must traverse those areas alone.

The police union has to be forced to get back into the business of single officer patrols, and that is not going to happen under this mayor. Mayor Gavin Newsom doesn't anything about emergency services (I was also an Emergency Medical Technician for 5 years) … Gavin knows nothing about Public Safety, and hands control of the agencies to the brass and station captains with the cops and, as regards the SFFD (I was a firefighter for 5 years), to the totally miss-guided fire chief.

We need to return to a foot patrol deployment similar to those the City employed in the 1950's. The early '50's. We have 300 too many officers doing jobs that could be done less expensively by civilians.
That's 300 more officers, already on the force, that could be redeployed on the streets to help to deter more wonton bloodshed.

We need to bring our neighborhood 'Patrol Specials' back up to full strength (we can have 400, but and we have 40 - Police Union is killing them) … that's another 400 who could be walking foot beats.

Imagine taking another 500 cops or more and putting them on single officer foot patrols. That's possible. But with the present paradigm, it ain't never gonna happen. We need to get our own cops back on the beat and then go for the gold. We could and should be the center the entire planet turns to when horrible things happen.

"San Francisco always sends help!"

We should become the 'masters of disasters'. We should expand our training facilities on Treasure Island, build more and create an internationally acclaimed school there attended by emergency personnel from all over the world (including military). No matter what happens to your city or village, some graduate of the SF Disaster Response Center is likely to have had experience in the matter.

We should work to become the permanent home of the Police and Fire Olympics, or create our own version. We should strive to exchange 200 of our cops and firefighters with sister cities around the world where they'll spend a year learning those cities, their languages and how they meet emergencies.

Imagine. The City will always be alive with different uniforms from public safety personnel from all over the world. In 10 short years we will have trained 2,000 foreign-based responders.

We should have equipment and men and women at the scene of a calamity anywhere in the world within 24 hours. That's the kind of thing we'll become famous for under an h. brown administration, not having the most million dollar condos.


I favor a moratorium on all housing construction that is not for the homeless and poor until these populations are properly housed. I favor construction of hundreds of the little 'Jim Reid' houses that candidate Reid built his own run for mayor around. We have plenty of small and odd-shaped parcels owned by the City where these things can be constructed, and they are cheap as hell.

The City should never sell land as surplus because, as Will Rogers said: "It's the only thing they aren't building more of." We should implement the Land Trust model proposed by Henry George in San Francisco over a hundred years ago. Remove the value of the land upon which a structure sits from the possibility of speculation, and housing for the poor becomes possible. The City must do this and the City has the 15-20% of the property needed for this permanent adventure.

Our Economy

The San Francisco economy is based upon two pylons rooted in quicksand. First is tourism. Our nearly 8 billion dollar tourist industry will evaporate in the smoke of one car bomb. It has taken the tourist industry 6 years to recover from 9/11 and that happened 3,000 miles away.

The other tenuous source of income is office buildings. We should never, ever build another one. It is the nature of corporations to always look for cheaper digs. The City has given sweetheart deals to favored builders such as Lennar and URS and John Stewart by which the Redevelopment Agency pays for infrastructure that the developers should be paying for.

Corporations have no heart or soul. When you brag about Bank of America being a business born in San Francisco, just remember they sold out and moved to North Carolina for a better deal.

We should become a City based upon schools and the innovation they bring. The empty SFUSD buildings should be shopped as SF homes to schools the world over.

We should become the alternative energy leader of the planetm but first we need to seize back the power from our Hetch-Hetchy asset and run PG&E out of town (their home office is also in North Carolina). We should overrule Mark Leno's plan to give the hundred million in solar panels approved by SF voters for the tops of SF buildings to PG&E who want to build them out of town on the Hetch-Hetchy right-of-way and ship the power to the valley.

We should join together to construct a variety of tidal power stations and keep a raft of lawyers in federal and state courts to secure the rights to favorable trenches in the Bay.

We need to sell a half billion in revenue bonds to provide fiber optic communications to every single unit in San Francisco from the top of the Mark Hopkins to the lowliest Jim Reid house. You never know where the next Hewlitt or Packard are going to be living - and Mayor Newsom's plans for a partnership with Google would have given a limited service that is 300 times slower than is available all over Tokyo, and cost customers twice as much.

Stop Privatization

Jim Lazarus who was Feinstein's chief of staff when she was mayor says that the City's wealthy now control 70% of the City's parks. I doubt he's exaggerating. The biggest plunderer of the system is the Fisher family. Their grabs are growing exponentially. I've written about the sins of this family for years. They've been charged with employing child slave-labor at their factories in Southeast Asia and paid millions in fines for same. They've teamed with Pacific Lumber and Maxam Corporation to level the redwoods in Northern California. They have an issue on November's ballot promoting the destruction of trees and the removal of bus stops and bicycle lanes (among other things) to add tens of thousands of parking spaces throughout San Francisco. Imagine trying to get around with another 40,000 cars roaming the streets.

I wrote about Aaron Peskin guiding through a measure that will eventually give all of the City's soccer fields (and, I sold them short - other park areas also) to the Fisher family to manage as they want. A neighborhood activist told me last week of going to a meeting at which Park and Rec feigned seeking local input into a new synthetic surface they are going to put over a local park. When queried as as to how local farmers markets and other neighborhood events would be able to erect stalls on the new surface, the Rec and Park spokesperson turned surly and told them they had no choice nor input.

Don't vote for any of these park bonds. If the past has taught us nothing, it should have taught us that the rich merely use your money to beautify public property before deeding it over to themselves.

Folks, I know these issues. I've written a thousand columns on them and I've studied every crooked-assed contract that made its way from exploitive developers on down through the Board.

I am the only serious alternative for Mayor

With 47 years of working with a variety of public agencies from digging holes in the ground to running developmental programs and scrutinizing public officials, I'm the only candidate who knows who the hell to fire and who the hell to hire. In an h. brown administration, that's what will be happening first.

70 workouts and counting

The mayor and his staff haven't had an original idea since they entered office. It is the nature of such beasts that they are sterile. Mostly, they steal mine or some of the Greens. They dilute them to 1% of their effective dosage and make a photo-op claiming the mayor is their author.

Thus, I wasn't surprised to hear that the mayor had read my columns and was being photographed on the Embarcadero this morning (images on buses to follow) urging San Franciscans to copy h. brown and get in shape by walking the Bay from Downtown to the Bridge. Oh wait, in the interim, it became Gavin's idea.

Bronstein, Shaw and Brugmann in league?

I don't need public acclaim or exposure. In my life, I've had plenty of that. My ideas do need to reach the voters and the total blackout of my candidacy by the media doesn't help them. I may not have a chance to win the mayor's race, but I am certainly a more serious candidate than a guy who craps on people's front stoops. Why in the world would these 3 guys black me out? What do they have in common? Is this a conspiracy to keep my ideas from you? Why, oh why, would they do that?

Another beautiful day in the best City on Earth.


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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