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The CrackBerry Chronicles

With Elaine Santore

Photo(s) by Luke Thomas

By Elaine Santore


June 29, 2007

Mom said, "Be easy on Gavin today."

It takes a lot of patience and creativity to make the news funny. It takes even more to make a Board of Supervisors meeting on par with KQED Pledge Week, but I do what I can for the community.

And then we have a day like Tuesday.

My day started early (for my unemployed schedule, anyway) at the 10 a.m. Public Safety Committee hearing. I joined Supervisors Ross Mirkarimi and Bevan Dufty, h. Brown, Marc Soloman, a bunch of cops with no sense of humor, and a handful of non-cops to discuss the SFPOA contract. (The issue is too lengthy and complicated for me to discuss here; check out h. Brown's column.)

A man named Douglas Yep came up for public comment and announced, "I'm a proud alumnus of Sacred Heart High School, which I think is very relevant to the police department." One police officer clapped in camaraderie.

Full disclosure: I'm a proud alumnus of archrival Saint Ignatius College Preparatory. I won't give you the year I graduated. (Feel free to look me up in the yearbook; I won "Best Smile" in the senior poll.) District 7 Supervisor Sean Elsbernd also attended SI, but I don't think he reads my column, so I'm not giving him a shout-out.

District 7 Supervisor Sean Elsbernd

District 8 Supervisor Bevan Dufty (who didn't attend SI or SH) later commented that he "always thought SI had a stronger presence in the department," and he's probably right. I can recall hearing stories in high school that started with, "I got pulled over on Friday night, but the cop went to SI..."

District 8 Supervisor Bevan Dufty.

I'm sure many of the police officers saw me making disgusted faces and/or laughing at them in the press box, and I apologize. My only excuse is that I have ADD and have a tough time sitting through meetings. That and many of the officers and their supporters were issuing not-so-subtle threats to the BOS and a vague, yet ominous public that supposedly has "no respect" for the SFPD.

FCJ HQ is located in the Tenderloin, and I fully support cops cleaning up the streets in our neighborhood. Unfortunately, before Tuesday's MOU hearing at City Hall, the only time I'd seen so many cops in District 6 was when I used to stand in line with them at Starbucks or the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf on Market.

District 5 Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi closed the hearing by assuring police officers that he was already going to move the MOU to the BOS with recommendation, but that he thought it would be important to discuss the contract and have an open dialogue.

"If anybody came into these chambers with a defensive or from an offensive posture, you have seen that that wasn't necessary," Mirkarimi said.

District 5 Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi.

"I hope you may not feel that this is just a waste of time, or this is just some opportunity to get agitated about something…And this wasn't about, like, should we or should we not object to the MOU. If anyone ever sent that message out there, then you were wrong, or you were misled. And if the Chronicle or anyone else ever sent that, I don't know where that came from, per se. But it's fair game and opportunity to have a thorough discussion, and time didn't permit that," Mirkarimi stated.

Mirkarimi added, "You are considered somewhat of a sacred institution and we shouldn't go there, which is what some people tell us. Well, why? No one has treated anyone with disrespect. And if you were thinking that you were, or you have, that wasn't the intention at all."

His speech moved Fog City Journal publisher Luke Thomas to applaud Mirkarimi, which prompted POA President Gary Delagnes (whom h. Brown affectionately refers to as "Delugnuts) to lean over to Thomas and call him a "Communist."

Fog City Journal (Hearts) Delugnuts.

Who's hiding the Code of Conduct?

After the morning's lengthy MOU hearing, Luke and I returned to the Board Chambers for the regularly scheduled Board of Supervisors meeting.

At the beginning of the meeting, District 6 Supervisor Chris Daly handed out printed copies of his latest blog entitled "Dirty Work." Daly used his blog as an outlet to respond to Mayor Gavin Newsom's statement that, "I've seen a lot of things said and done, but usually politicians don't do the dirty work. They have their handlers and consultants do the dirty work!"

District 6 Supervisor Chris Daly.

We all know how the rest of it played out. Newsom issued a letter to Board President Aaron Peskin, stating, "Raising such damaging allegations on the floor of the Board of Supervisors' Chambers is inappropriate behavior that should be condemned." Inapprop!

District 2 Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier (MAP) used Daly's headline-grabbing speech as an opportunity to issue a "code of conduct" for the BOS. However, when Daly aide Rachel Redondiez approached MAP's office to ask for a copy of the code of conduct, Redondiez was turned away several times. In fact, Daly received the completed draft at 12:45 p.m. on Tuesday after a draft copy had been released to the San Francisco Examiner on Monday.

District 2 Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier.
Elaine Santore to Steve Jones: "Is homegirl serious?"

When asked for comment, Alioto-Pier denied keeping the code of conduct draft away from Daly's office. She asked Luke, "Are you going to write some smear piece on me?" Sorry, homegirl, but we have, like, news to cover.

Best line in Alioto-Pier's code of conduct:

"Further, a Supervisor who has been censured must be removed from all Board committees with fiduciary responsibilities for a one-year period beginning form the date of censure."

Um, didn't that already happen? I know she's absent a lot, but hyping weeks-old gossip is nothing short of tragic.

Best line in Daly's code of conduct:

"Also to prohibit and to enact penalties for intoxication or substance abuse during meetings of advisory bodies, boards and commissions, and legislative bodies... also to promote higher standards of attendance for elected officials and appointed officials at official public meetings."

So wrong, but so true.

And the "Bitch, please!" Award goes to Andy Ross

A couple weeks ago, I came face to face with Andy Ross of M&R fame at City Hall, and it wasn't pretty. To quote the venerable Carrie Bradshaw, he "looked at me like I was Pol Pot or something."

My response to Andy is best expressed through the lyrical genius of Justin Timberlake and Timbaland:

Could you speak up and stop mu-mumbling, I don't think you came in clear
When you're sittin' on the top, it's hard to hear you from way up here
Now I saw you tryin' to act cute on TV, just let me clear the air
We missed you on the charts last week, damn, that's right you wasn't there
If se-sexy never left, then why's everybody on my shi-it-it
Don't hate on me just because you didn't come up with it
So if you see us in the club, go on and walk the other way
Cause our run will never be over, not at least until we say

On Monday, Andy's bosom buddy, Phil Matier, inquired about our Not So Blind Item on Mayor Gavin Newsom's photo-op snubbing of Elizabeth Edwards. However, when Luke declined to be quoted, Phil apparently lost interest.


After hanging up the phone, Luke sent Phil an email pointing out that Chronicle photographer, Katy Raddatz, could confirm what went down with Newsom and Edwards.

Now, d'ya think Phil's gonna quote his own photog on this one?

Shameless Plug

If you haven't already seen it, my segment on SF/unscripted airs tonight at 8pm, and Sunday at 8pm on Comcast 11.

CrackBerry Blind Item

Which advoscribe, who makes too many appearances in this column, killed the Chicken Protest at Newsom's town hall meetings? Hint: he's an ambulance chaser for a poverty pimp with cash-not-care the pimp's greatest incentive.




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