With h. brown
h. "Court Jester" brown with District 3 candidate Joe
Court Jester attends Alioto-Veronese fundraiser
December 25, 2007
Joe Alioto-Veronese maybe gots a chance?
(volunteers look good, but
Merry Christmas to all of you, my dear friends and enemies.
My buddy Jens Nielsen (maestro of pot/rock n' roll/quick wit)
wishes you a total happy holiday and I want to add my own best
wishes to my powerful, possessed, pugnacious, petulant, progressive
posse of Luke Thomas and Elaine Santore and Doug MacAbee and Marc
Salomon and Joe Lynn and Eileen Left and Sue Vaughan and Janet
Tandy and Melisa Howard and Ania Wierzbowska and Chuck Gonzalez
and Bob Brigham and John and Beth and Robert Manes and Daniel
and Becky Cohen and Eric and Stephen and Aimee also Cohens and
Neska and Karen Babbitt and Michael Strickland and William Morrisey
and Robert Solis and David Walker and Julien, Marc and Patrick
whose last names you don't need and Sosana Solinal and Susan Vaughan
and Savanna Blackwell and Rich Hillis and Adriel Hampton and Mike
Farrah and John Wildermuth and Mike Hennessey and Chris Daly and
Ross Mirkarimi and Parick Cassidy and Charlie Lennon and Sean
Clemens and Alex Clemens and Mike Agasian,
So, I was sitting here thinking how I could send my Christmas
card and decided I'd pick the best party we've been to over the
holidays and try to describe it well enough so that you feel like
you were there. That's Joe Veronese's gig and I had to ask myself
a question as I marveled at the turnout.
Joe Alioto-Veronese and wife, Julie Veronese
Can people this beautiful and well-dressed pound the streets
of precincts and tap on doors? Will they work for free? Joe had
the numbers and energy at chez Angela's last Saturday and I found
the mix of people impressive and worth pondering. Hell, as Fog
City publisher, Luke Thomas arrived with plus-one, Elaine Santore
and myself, we met Republican power broker, Mike Denunzio with
his lovely lady just reaching the sidewalk. Wade Randlet and Michela
Alioto-Pier were listed as co-hosts but neither showed up that
I saw. I tried to get Marc Salomon to come with me and vet the
gang but he didn't trust himself to play nice. I study the demographic
Espanola Jackson was in the front room with an equally articulate
black mother-earth type matron sitting next to the Christmas tree.
I'm a big fan of Espanola's. Her and Marie Harriston and Mesha
Monge-Idrizzy combine with Ahimsa, the Ratcliff's, Pat Monk, Peter
Feng and that Irish developer who hates Peskin? They are the voice
of SouthEast San Francisco and it was good to see a couple of
them in the classic mansion on the hill up the winding stairs
from the street that curved and wore strings of festive lights
that wound on around the small deck at the top of the first landing
and then on up to circle the house and wind on down into the courtyard
where good wine and booze flowed to my great joy. Then the lights
outlined rooms and raced up the stairs and winked at the Christmas
tree in the parlor. I went over to praise Espanola.
Espanola Jackson (far right).
I related my 10 years of watching Espanola on TV and urged her
to testify even more. The lady is a force of the entire eastern
black community and having her sitting next to the Christmas tree
was tres good moves. Luke grabbed photos of Espanola and I with
D-3 State Senate candidate, Veronese. That will boost his lefty
credentials a bit as will the shots with Ahimsa Sumchai who is
the most charmingly giggly saucy little goddess practicing medicine
in town. Ahimsa was my first choice for mayor in the just-passed
election. Liked her even better than I liked myself and that's
an extremely rare occurance.
Ahimsa Porter-Sumchai with Gian Paolo Veronese
Elaine Santore with Sasaneh Solaimani and Julie Veronese
Veronese campaign organizer John Corcoran with wife, Nicole.
Anyway, to win any election in this town of broad diversity you
have to, as Diamond Dave Whitaker says: "Cast a wide net."
It looked to me as though Joe's been able to do that, or is in
the beginning stages of putting together such an army. I normally
don't hob nob with Swells. But, the Alioto's have a foot in both
camps and I've been madly in love with Angela (like most straight
San Francisco males) for 30 years and if she invites me to sit
on an iceberg, I'll go.
The ace civil rights lawyer and former Board President was hosting
a reception for her middle-son's campaign for the State Senate
seat representing D-3 which runs from San Francisco (60% I think)
to Sonoma (40%?). My numbers are close enough for the basis of
consideration and they reveal that with incumbent Senator, Carole
Migden and her challenger, Count Mark Leno
and Leno splitting the 60% vote majority in SF, Alioto-Veronese
can pick up votes in Hunters Point, then dominate in Marin and
Sonoma and win this damned thing. Unless Joe Nation enters. You
ever met Angela's sons? All together?
The Alioto-Veronese boys are like hawks
I'm pretty good at keeping track of a big crowd out of the corner
of my eye from my days of running a night club, then driving a
school bus, then teaching school, then ducking objects thrown
by disgruntled wives. Angela's boys have mixed ambitions but they
share the natural trait of the dominant hawk scanning and controlling
a wide landscape.
I'd never spoken with Adolfo before. He was carrying a baby
around a year old and children were comfortably circling the crowd
and drinking in energy and pointers. They're some clan.
Adolfo Alioto-Veronese (right) with Demetrius Chapin Rienzo.
Angela's elder son is a chef and wikipedia says he has more
than one restaurant but I didn't know that. I do know that when
he strolled the crowd affably touring with the child he carried,
he was the Alpha male present. Angela has the same kind of presence
no matter where she goes and JoeFire used to call her 'Double-Alpha'
which fit as good as the 'Queen Bee' monicker I've hung on her.
I collared candidate Joe and told him I'd spent the afternoon
reviewing the last meeting of the SF Police Commission and that
he was much more impressive speaking unscripted. It's true and
all the hacks who watch these things with me agree. Scripted at
Harvey Milk, he didn't win. In battle of wits with cops arguing
police reform and shooting from the hip, he kicked ass.
Youngest son, Gian Paolo is opening a business with a partner
who makes Angelina Jolie look pedestrian. I don't know what they're
selling but the shaven headed pugilist (he did one of these pro-level
boxing camps and I went with Angela to watch him knock a guy out
as a finale to the training)
they should have plenty of
stock in their store cause I got a feeling they're gonna score.
A few lines from the party follow. Imagine these one-liners
in a crowded maelstrom of jovial well wishers ranging in age from
3 months to 8 decades.
"Let's have lunch after Christmas."
"I want a weekend in Vegas!"
"Here. Meet Alicia."
"She's too young for me."
Angela laughs and continues scattering
"Hey, you're Becceril!"
"Jesus, you sure look better than when you
were on the Board."
Angela is looking killer and in that house-full of a revolving
crowd of 200-300 with over half beautiful women, she was the best
looking hands down. I've always thought she rivaled Sophia Loren.
Her newest daughter-in-law, Joe's wife, Julie Alioto-Veronese
was looking absolutely, as they say, radiant. I've seen her with
Joe at a number of events and I haven't seen her this relaxed.
Surrounded by family helps, I guess.
Other than trying to get Becceril's phone number (Christ, I
destroyed her in print in the 2000 race - couldn't find her in
Wikipedia but there were a couple of Samson Wong columns from
'99 and 2000 that mentioned her. Says she lost to Peskin in 2000.
I blasted off a query as to whether Angela thought Alicia would
Alicia Becceril with Valentino Ferrari (left) and Steve Cady
"To save the earth we need 3 billion dead."
(I bait a couple of guests)
The conversations were all over the landscape in Angela's gingerbread
house. I had a great time. I was a bit hesitant at first because
I don't normally party with anyone other than my inner circle.
Maybe I'm just insecure. But, I was instantly put at ease when
Angela came down to welcome me at the front gate:
"Uncuff him, he's a friend!"
Angela has a better view than the Pope. She and her hubbie bought
this place around 30 years ago and it is perched atop the best
location in Pacific Heights. Essentially, on a clear day, you
can see from Alaska on the left to Maine on the right out of the
series of windows on 3 floors of the pink stucco mansion with
fruit reliefs in the stucco and most of the rooms in the happy-ghost-protected
where wall murals are painted by young artists from
Italy who Angela takes in for stays in San Francisco.
Yeah, these holidays are all about family and does Angela ever
have a wonderful family. And, legions of friends. Not as many
as me, but still, very impressive and moving. What I mean is that
there is one hell of a lot of good energy in Queen Bee's mini-palace.
I'm gonna close this down now cause I'm making a turkey and I'm
expecting some of you anytime. You all have a happy holiday season
and know that you are loved by me if no one else.
Happy Holidays San Francisco!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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