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With h. brown

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

Odds and ends in La Mancha

By h. brown

October 7, 2007

"When I have fears that I may cease to be …"

"... a resident of San Francisco."
(Da Dawg)

A common conversation amongst my friends is the one where we talk about how expensive San Francisco is, and about friends and family who have already left, and when we'll be forced out. We sip our drinks and some of us puff our pot as we listen to great rock n' roll to fight off the depressing thoughts. Then we hear a noise and go to the window and we realize that what we are hearing couldn't be heard anywhere in the world all at once.

Dianne Feinstein's Blue Angels are crashing through the canyons between our tallest buildings as Warren Hellman's Blue Grass Festival brings the backwoods of the American South to Golden Gate Park. In North Beach, the Italians are celebrating their 1492 conquest of the Americas while the Castro celebrates being young and gay and free. Or, old and gay and free. Or, middle-aged and gay and in bondage. Of course, none of them can compare to the 8th weekly Friday forum of the 2007 San Francisco Mayoral Candidates Collaborative in the Town Square underneath Gavin Newsom's balcony.

"The cops left George Davis as they found him, naked as the day he was born."
(from Ecclesiastes)

The cops cruising in front of City Hall ignored the 7-foot tall purple haired clown juggling fiery batons. They looked right through the handsome and well-dressed high-ranking member of the local Republican Party who was smoking huge expensive stogies with a little old man wearing a balloon Jester's hat.

Write-in candidate Kenny the clown Kahn.
Wants civil rights for street performers and more paid gigs.

Candidates h. brown, George Davis and Harold Hoogasian
with debate moderator Krissy Keefer.

"Ah, that's better. I can hear you clearly now Martian master."

They seemed not to notice the purple 'Grasshopper Kaplan for Mayor' campaign/domicile/taxi van with the big sound system from which the candidate alternated between playing rambling rock riffs and dropping his drawers to moon the crowd (he's getting better with the guitar, by the way - almost a pleasure to listen to - says he comes early to build a crowd for us - he could be elected Collaborative Outreach Coordinator at any time).

They went right for George

First time we've had uniformed cops disrupting a debate. Oh, the heckler was there and two guys filming the proceedings. Usually the only problems in our forums come from the candidates embedded in the campaign by Gavin's dirty tricks.

George Davis attracts San Francisco's finest to the debate.

This week, for instance, it was Kenny Kahn's time to fuck things up by doing lame shit that impressed no one until he continually refused to give up the microphone.

Ironically, it was Grasshopper (Alec) Kaplan who finally cut off his sound to move the thing along (it was freezing). Neither Grasshopper or Kenny made our After Party at the Temple Bar. Probably in debriefing.

Apologies to Ahimsa Sumchai

Harold Hoogasian brought a couple of high quality cigars as I mentioned. Again, I apologize for saying whatever bad I said about him that necessitated our having to smoke a peace pipe. It was a wonderful gesture, by the way. I never smoked cigarettes and I've only recently returned to cigars (too late to die young). Any decent cigar is pure tobacco (as were the ones Harold brought) and they don't have the crap they put in cigarettes to make them burn faster and the like. But, we should have kept them off stage.

We were standing right next to Ahimsa, puffing away and talking about some of our shared pro-military views with Mike Powers whose mom was a cop and who noted at the bar that he'd once lived as a woman for 3 years.

Wow. Powers never ceases to amaze me. His revelation at the bar where he'd filled 5 tables full of food and beer even impressed the jaded, mostly LGBT Collaborative crowd. During the debate he talked about beefing up the SFPD (always complain they can't find recruits) by increasing 'lateral transfers' (move cops from other California departments who'd like to live here, in at their same rank).

New BFFs Michael "lateral transfers" Powers and h. brown

So anyway, Ahimsa goes to the microphone and gives us a lecture for smoking in a park (it is illegal, but the pot I shared with Grasshopper wasn't - quirk of law which I made sure Michela Alioto-Pier understood when she passed the no smoking in da park legislation last year) … she upbraided us and it was proper and I moved downwind from her but couldn't bear to relinquish the tasty cigar.

Nothing to see here, kids... nothing to see.

A patriotic homeless man passes up the eigth mayoral debate
owing to a scheduling conflict.

If you left because of the cigars Ahimsa, I promise you, if you are there next week, I will promise to smoke no tobacco. You are a serious candidate and the last thing I'd want is to drive you away.

3 more cop cars arrive

I thought that maybe Ahimsa had dropped a dime on Harold and I for the stogies, but they were only there to back up the 2 cops interviewing the skinny naked Davis. We all kept waiting for them to pat him down and check for a 'plan'. The new cops also all ignored the clown with the flames and all the rest and moved in to study George's pecker. Suddenly, sirens wailed!

Leaving George in his altogether, all the cops jumped into their chariots and roared away, one peeling rubber right down the sidewalk to just the end of the street where they converged with a couple of other cars and busted some young dude in a BMW who kept looking over at the nudist and a huge clown watching him getting busted. I knew then, in some small portion, what Custer must have felt like at Little Big Horn.

That's just a few snippets of our 8th Friday Candidates gathering in the Town Square. To say it was chaos, was to put it very very mildly. If it hadn't been for the quick wits and ability to improvise of our moderator (Krissy Keefer of Dance Mission), we'd have looked silly.

Krissy whispered to me: "Herding cats." And proceeded to explain to the audience that they were viewing the most cutting edge Performance Art, and then led the applause as Grasshopper showed the left cheek of his ass to the cops.

A couple of firecrackers exploded nearby and folks were startled. Speakers were left talking to themselves, God and the Department of Homeland Security, as cameras and crowd, turned to watch the peripheral action. We don't plan this shit, folks. You couldn't plan this shit. Or, can you?

The audience loved it. They thought we planned the clown and the cops and the arrest and the flames and the cigars and the blazing guitar. Must have cost us a bundle, they mused.

Whatever, it was fun

Josh Wolf was in Oregon for some kind of conference but will return next week. Lonnie Holmes had a league game for his kids football team but promises to also be back next week when Candidate Powers has promised to host the After Party at his Power Exchange. You don't want to miss that one.

Krissy's Questions

I don't take notes in these things, but Krissy Keefer left her list of questions when she split Temple Bar and I'm gonna copy them here:

What special insight do you bring to the problem of gang violence?

Are you qualified to deal with the particular problems of the Bay View?

What character attributes would you bring to the job of mayor?

What is your plan for the Arts in San Francisco?

What is your opinion on the tall buildings and their contribution to the housing crisis? Are you concerned about the safety of them?

What is the biggest weakness in our disaster preparedness?

Do you have any feelings about the role San Francisco plays Nationally and internationally? Economics, sister city, ground breaking ideas.

Do you support the Blue Angels flying over the City?

How will you prevent yourself from falling into the seduction of political cronyism?

Click here to watch Tony DeRenzo's video documentary of the eigth mayoral debate.

Odds and ends and odd ends

So, Fazio is out as Jew's attorney in one of the cases? Sources close to the scene say that there will be some agreement beforehand with the new attorney about just what constitutes a billable hour. Your last name ain't 'John Keker', Buzz.

I got an email from Matt Dorsey in Dennis Herrera's office attacking Jew's top legal eagle, Steven Gruel and I'm gonna go see if I have learned enough about copying and pasting to share it with you:

"Apart from running up his client's legal bill, I don't understand the rationale for Mr. Gruel's continued theatrics. The Mayor's official misconduct charges allege that Supervisor Jew failed to reside in the district he was elected to represent, in willful violation of the City Charter. The separate criminal wrongdoing alleged by federal authorities is clearly not among the Mayor's official misconduct charges -- and I'm not aware of a single news organization that has reported otherwise. At this point, I think Mr. Gruel would better serve his client to focus on Mr. Jew's numerous legal problems than to engage in this ongoing publicity campaign."
(Matt Dorsey, City Attorney spokesperson)

And my response:

C'mon Matt (and my 'A' list)

You're so full of shit it's coming out your ears. Now, who the hell is running up Jew's legal bills? If Dennis could, he'd bill Ed for your time. You know it. I know it.

The City Attorney, Mayor and D.A. are doing everything they can to bankrupt Ed Jew when they are more guilty of the transgressions with which they charge him then he could ever hope to be.

The Mayor, I believe, has "reserved the right" to add more criminal charges later on.

You assholes are a 3 department tag team with free legal advice and power-out-the-ass attacking one guy.

How's your case against the Mayor going?

You know, the one about him using funds for people dying of cancer to pay off his mistress?

There is such a case, no?

Doesn't all this spin make you dizzy?


Basically, Dorsey had the balls to accuse Gruel of running up legal expenses to Ed Jew when that is exactly what his boss (Dennis Herrera, the City Attorney), the Mayor and D.A., Kamala Harris are trying to do. They know their case is weak and they want Ed to bail out. Hypocrites! They're trying to bankrupt Jew and that's hard to deny. These assholes have an unlimited supply of lawyers attacking the 4th District's elected representative. Let's see a total of the 'billable' hours the 3 agencies have charged to the public in their attack on the guy.

Will the City pay for Peskin's lawyers cause he can't keep his mouth shut? The huge laugh of this is that Aaron Peskin and Jake McGoldrick called for Jew to resign because the distractions of his prosecution would hinder his ability to serve his constituents. They did this when they were both fighting recall efforts against them for their alleged incompetence. Can you say 'irony'? Can you spell 'hypocrite'?

That's enough for now. Getting to where it takes all day to just get current with reading and emails and get one of these things out. I'm gonna unwind. If you know what I mean.


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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