Watching City Hall #198, JUNE 21
You always won everytime you placed a bet.
Youre still damned good no ones gotten to you yet.
Sometimes I hate being right all the time. It can even cost you friends. A couple of weeks ago, a politician friend introduced me to someone with the admonition: Ignore him, hes crazy. Now, generally speaking, thats a fair assessment but, in politics the boy, he be all wrong. Yup, Im a regular friggin weathervane when it comes to knowing which way the wind blows around the Williedome. Lets start with Chris Daly and Matt Gonzalezs brilliant idea of putting parking meters in Golden Gate Park.
Newsom reaps the rewards as stupe supes stumble
Gavin Newsom probably couldnt believe what he was seeing. Clearly coached to keep his mouth shut, the Noose did just that during Tuesdays (7-15-03) 11 hour Board meeting and was treated to a view of his major enemies tripping all over their wee wees. It was a sight to behold.
No one has done more than Newsom to shut the public out of the green spaces and waterways of San Francisco. He has supported cutting trees, banning dogs and people, killing cats (all part of the Natural Areas Program), closing the stables and golf courses, tossing poorer boat owners out of the Marina. Hes done it all and it shouldnt take much of a debater to hang those smelly deeds around his pencil neck like wreathes of garlic. But, oh Noooooo! Instead, they give the boy a lob at the net that Bob Hope could slam home.
A week later
That vote on the parking meters in Golden Gate Park was a kind of epiphany for me. It solidified a few beliefs I hold. First, the new Board just passed up their third chance at sharing budgetary powers with Mayor Willie Brown. Now, that means something. It means something because this is a genuinely peoples Board and they lost on every major land-use issue. They lost on public power. They lost I dont want to go on. It isnt necessary. Suffice to say that any Willie Brown hack could have pulled the lever to put those parking meters in the park, but it was Matt Gonzalez who cast the deciding vote. I mean, if you cant count on a Green to protect the park, who the hell can you count on? Welllll, today Matt and Daly will (it is Tuesday, July 22nd) today at the Board, the failed progressives will give a perfunctory rubber-stamp to the placement of parking meters in the park. Shame Shame Shame. And, they made Gavin look like a hero for opposing the meters. Hard to believe theyd be so damned dumb. Two little facts for Matt and Chris to consider.
First, the Chronicle ran an interesting piece a couple of weeks ago in which an urban planner laid out the different uses for city parks. There are basically two groups who use the parks and, for two different purposes. First group accounts for over 80% of the park visitations. These are poorer families who want to extend their living rooms, so to speak. These include the thousands of Latino soccer players and fans who use the Polo Grounds. Park & Rec has plans to extend the parking meters from their beginning incursion around McClaren Lodge (140 meters), all the way on over to the Polo Fields. This will mean 1,600 meters in all. Now, the other users people who have money. People who support and visit the museums and gardens and are generally annoyed by the presence in the park of so many poor people. The meters will cut down on that (the rich park free). Speaking of the meters.
On the matter of the meters
So, Matt & Chris Daly voted to close the door of the park a little more tightly against the lower income folks. They said they were doing it for money which would come from parking fines. I wonder if anyone on the Board recalls a conversation they had with DPT head, Fred Hamdun a few months ago? Ole Fred, he justa bout broke down when Budget Analyst, Harvey Rose noted that Fred was presenting a contract to the Board that was a piece of crap. It bought new meters at a non-competitive price and put the control of both meters and revenue in the hands of people who never done neither no way. The upshot is that the meters wont be producing ANY revenue for years (if ever). Nope. Seems that purchasing them and keeping them up will take every quarter they pull in for years to come. Soooo, Matt and Chris only helped the Mayors crooked buddies and screwed us. There will be no additional money. These boys have been made to look the fool and everytime you drop a coin into a meter in that park or, pay the friggin parking ticket or, go to retrieve your towed car from the City lot where its been looted think of Matt Gonzalez and Chris Daly. Just two guys together Working for Willie.
I hate to have a contest when we already know who the winner will be. But, we might as well. There was this piece in the morning Chron noting that the Board had (perhaps) endorsed the wrong flag for the country of Viet Nam. Now, this kind of thing is not surprising with a political unit. Blowing smoke comes most easily to them and this sure sounded like a safe one. It wasnt, and when the Republic of Viet Nam lodged a protest (It was like our issuing a proclamation honoring the Confederate flag!) the Vietnamese government spoke through their chosen local representative now, who would you send to represent you in San Francisco if you were them? Their representative is (honest Irishman) Dang The Hung!!! Think about that.
It got me to thinking (about that) I found myself wondering what other nations were sending to represent them in the City by the Bay. Heres what I found:
Ireland sent Colin B. Drunk
Italy sent Mario DPincher
Russia sent Ivan S. Crookovich
Israel sent Simon A. Sodomite
Ahhh, nothing like Euro-trash. Its nice to find our neighbors know what we value. (Splains why the Consular parties are so well attended)
Speaking of well-hung polls
Having noted that political polls are starting to leak out all over the place like squirts of diarrhea, I concluded it was time to look inside a pollsters boiler room operation in the Tenderloin. Now, I wont tell you which campaign this particular pollster was working for, but, Id imagine their methods are pretty much industry-standard. Here are a few questions I heard asked most frequently:
If you had dream in which God told you to vote for Aaron Peskin for Mayor,
what would you do? Results were mixed. 40% would follow Gods will.
20% would search for hidden speakers the remaining 40% would reach for: a hair of the dog.
If you woke up and you found that youd become gay while you were asleep, would
you vote for Tom Ammiano for Mayor then? 80% said theyd vote for Tom 20% would support Susan Leal.
If you woke up and found that youd become straight while you were asleep, would
you still vote for Tom Ammiano for Mayor? An even split 50% said No and 50% said theyd go back to sleep and try, try again.
(Dont you like these? Cmon, work with me here Im unpaid you know!)
If everyone on Earth was dead except for you and Gavin Newsom and he held a
gun to your head would you vote for him for Mayor? 100% said: No.
Words to the wise
Always lie to pollsters. It is your civic duty. Always lie to your coach. Your wife, or whatever. Lie to the police, even as they lie unto you. Lie to your banker and your lawyer. Most certainly, lie to your doctor. Lie to your neighbors and your friends and your family. Lie to your boss. Lie to your teachers. Lie to your dogs and to your cats (though, of course, they can tell) Lie, lie, lie. You got that? OK, now youre qualified to run a political poll.
Speaking of Poles
Im lucky. One of my best friends is Polish, so whenever I want to report that a certain poll says this or says that, I just ask her. She is a Pole after all. I recently asked her whom she preferred for Mayor. Robert Manes! she said emphatically. Thats her boyfriend. Well, he is a nice guy. hmmmm,
Robert Manes top choice for Mayor!
(Private Pole leaks info)
As if that werent enough
While I cannot in good conscience take all of the credit for some of my close friends turning to harder liquor my example couldnt have hurt, and their transgressions have yielded some hardy little nuggets. Take last night, for instance.
My buddy, Doug McAbee was over with Eileen Left and several people who would prefer that their names be left out of it Not for lack of trying, we were all soon in a separate, but equal space. We continued down our own little journey, until, at one point, Doug wanted to make a phone call and couldnt find his cell phone. We put all our scattered wits into producing a plan. We put someone everywhere hed been. One in the can, one in the kitchen, one in the hall and on and on. Then, we dialed his cell phone number and listened hard. Where was the cell phone? In a bag with a six-pack of Bud in the refrigerator.
Awwww, thats enough for now. just remember, little cowboys and cowgirls If you cant make fun of someone because of their name or ethnicity or sexual orientation do we really have free speech?
Drop the fajita and step away, sir