Watching City Hall #395 (9-14-05)
“I apologize for not being able to make a decision.”
(Aaron Peskin defines his new personae)
That was a few minutes ago before the Board’s Rules Committee. It was strange banannas, kids. Finally, he cinched up his belt and voted for the only billionaire who applied to serve on the board of the Golden Gate Bridge District. Ooooh, that took some nerve, Aaron.
But, watch the tape. He didn’t really vote for Lynn Newhouse-Segal. What he said was: “I think Supervisor Mirkarimi has made a good decision and I will not oppose it.” … Say, huh?
First, Committee Chair, Michela Alioto-Pier (giggling like she just got new meds) looked at the 14 candidates and had no trouble at all picking out which one was the richest. Pier had tried to get Peskin to nominate someone first and D-3’s ever-evolving rep., demurred. Then, Pier picked Segal and tossed the hot potato (half of the DCCC were candidates) to the Green, D-5’s Mirkarimi. How he ignored Rick Galbreath is beyond me. Galbreath is the real deal. A kind of permanent volunteer with a breadth of knowledge unequalled by the other candidates. Ross just kind of mumbled that he’d have a hard time choosing between Jane Morrison & Segal. That was what Peskin tried to run with.
What happened to ‘balls in a wheelbarrow’ Aaron?
Yesterday, Peskin took discussion of the Comcast contract behind closed doors on his own authority without asking for a vote of the Board which was discussing whether the public should get to watch. “That’s just my decision.” Peskin said to a Board member who asked what was up when the Board President suddenly slammed the gavel, cut off discussion and moved to another item.
He didn’t want the public to see him plead Comcast’s case. Just as the discussion of the return of Walter Shorenstein et. al.’s tax dollars took place behind closed doors in 2000. We never got to see the corporate lawyers push our supes around. That one cost us over a hundred million and counting.
I looked the other way when he carried the ball for the St. Francis Yacht Club’s move to build a huge breakwater at public expense (only needed for larger yachts) and chase out the majority of small (under 35′) boat owners from the Marina.
Two weeks ago was the bicycle race the City sponsored at Peskin’s behest. Yeah, the rich don’t pay and corporations rule. Watch for him to run a complete whitewash on political hack, Anne-Marie Conroy’s Office of Emergency Services. Letting that woman run this City’s security forces is like letting Barry Bonds perform brain surgery on you. I mean, he’s got great hand-eye coordination and he speaks english. Isn’t that enough? How’d you like to find out that the driver of your kid’s school bus didn’t have a license, just as she left the straight & flat road and headed into the snow & ice covered winding roads of the mountains? Anyone can drive when there’s no other traffic. Incidentally, when will the auxillary water cisterns be identified? You’ll have people dying of thirst on top of a million gallon water resevoir they don’t know is there.
One other thing. When the Board came out of their closed session on Comcast, Sophie Maxwell made a powerful statement about not being a tool of Downtown business but of having been sold that the money in the contract extension might benefit her district. I don’t doubt it for a moment. There’s a big difference in Maxwell and the rest of the supes who voted for the country’s most unpopular corporation.
Final word, I promise. This contract is a direct result of a deal between Aaron Peskin and Gavin Newsom. The City Attorney’s office merely wrote it. That’s their job. Bending over for the terms was a decision Peskin and Newsom made on their own. Refusing to fight the dragon was all Aaron. Jo Stanley of the Examiner quoted the Comcast flak as saying: “We will not accept any changes to the agreement.” Peskin bought it. When asked if SFGTV would now be availble on satellite dishes, the Comcast rep simply laughed in my face. Oh boy. Oh boy.
Elsbernd, Ma, Pier and Dufty would vote for a nuclear processing plant in the middle of Golden Gate Park if Eric Jaye told them to. You’d have to promise Sophie Maxwell a couple of bucks for a clinic in the Bay View to get her vote. Downtown has never supported her and never will. She’s an honest woman with a genuine conscience who thinks Amos Brown and Charlie Walker are good citizens. That last bit, that’s her weakness. Still, that just gives you 5 votes. You need Peskin to be able to guarantee passage of the Mayor’s legislation without replacing Sandoval or Ammiano through appointment. It looks like Gavin’s people may have turned that particular trick. I’m watching but I’m not believing. It’s a transformation I haven’t seen since Leland Yee saw the ‘folder’ Willie Brown had on him.
Newsom defends Conroy on KRON
If I haven’t already passed out drunk, I watch Phil Matier’s show Sunday nights. He and Willie Brown had Gavin and Larry Baer of the Giants on the other evening and Newsom finished a distant 4th. A telling moment came when Newsom announced from out of the blue that: “We won’t be getting a new Director of the Office of Emergency Services.” … Funny thing is, no one had suggested it or anything close. And, he was aggressive in his defense of the stooge he appointed to pay back his Republican supporters. He began to sweat and his brow furrowed in anger as Willie, Matier & Baer kept a lively banter going amidst much laughter and elbow tugging. They ignored the new mayor and he didn’t take it well. Funny thing is, they weren’t trying to hurt his feelings. It was just that the 3 of them were so much quicker than him that he couldn’t keep up. Don’t feel too badly, Mr. Mayor. I feel the same way trying to keep up with the people at my Salon. Watch the show. Baer comes off particularly well. I didn’t realize he was that smart.
Will Newsom shill for Schwarzenegger?
I make that one around 50-50. It depends upon how much trouble Arnold is having. Since the governor and Gavin have the same big money people behind them, it is not unreasonable to think that they might send Gavin with his Green Party-lifted, Gay Marriage credentials, to draw votes from any serious candidates state Democrats might put forth. Everyone around here knows that Gavin is a Republican. Same as Feinstein & Pelosi. Did you see Arnold cut the ribbon on the Stanford Mansion (old guv’s place) in Sacramento the other day? Only one person will have living quarters there. Full office. Millions in antiques. That would be Charlotte Schultz. She’s the State Chief of Protocol. Sound familiar? That’s cause she does the same job for Gavin in San Francisco. You get the idea? The people standing behind most winning candidates of both parties stays the same. Democratic mayor? Republican governor?
Tiger will consider boycotting Harding tourney
(”You have my word on it.”)
“I didn’t realize they used the money the voters provided to open the Panhandle bathroom to build a new bathroom for me.” said the clearly moved King of Golf. “Why Tiger gives thousands of tax-deductible dollars to poor black kids every year.” said his PR flak in an attachment forwarded to me by Park & Rec. “Look, if it’s true, then it isn’t right.” said the young champion. “We’ll keep this simple. I’ll drive by the Panhandle bathroom the day before the tournament and if it isn’t clean and opened, I won’t play at Harding. Only a complete asshole would.” That’s just the kind of guy Tiger Woods is. You can take my word for it.
Bulldog Salon, Press Passes, Pot Clubs
(and, of course, da cops)
“Look at Angela!” Thus spake the table of wonks at last friday’s Salon. Leather was the theme. Black leather. The pants smoked right up the sides with heavy laced strings. The alligator bag the newly svelte Queen Bee toted made the blood race. She never removed the heavy black framed Gucci sunglasses with the ornate gold hinges. There were 18 of us for the second week in a row. You can get something of a hint at Michael Strickland’s sfciviccenter.com. Same time and place friday. As they say, what you say there, stays there.
Pat Murphy who’s been doing a series with partner, Luke Thomas on SFPD foot patrols relayed me a message from D-5’s Ross Mirkarimi that he’d be interested in developing the Charter ammendment returning SFPD cops to foot patrols. Mandatory. People have begged the cops to come out of their cars and get to know us for years. Unfortunately, we are being forced to require it as a condition of employment. It is a sad state of affairs when everyone is in favor of old fashioned beat cops except for the cops themselves. Shame on them. You should hear their excuses: “Is it OK if we ride bikes instead?” … “How about if we walk for one block but we get to walk with other cops and only talk to them?” We’ll see what happens along those lines.
The Bulldog press passes are being designed by Jim Meko and should be ready in a week or so. The cops don’t issue press passes in most towns and they shouldn’t here. The California Highway Patrol no longer issues press credentials. And, again, the cops shouldn’t here. We’ll let you know what we come up with.
The Pot Club legislation is all wrong. But, no one listens to me around here. I mean, when a guy like Larry Badiner runs out of the bushes and offers to carry your strongbox for you … have him hung immediately and accept your reward later. The corruption in San Francisco runs deep, but nowhere as deep as in the Planning Department. Letting them draw up plans and standards for an entirely new industry was an act of utter stupidity.
Pot should be treated as a product. A medicinal product for now and recreational later. Simply allowing businesses already in possession of a license to dispense either medicine or alcohol … letting drugstores & bars sell it, makes the most sense. They’ve already been vetted. Already ADA compliant. The whole bit.
Mutual Aid - learning from New Orleans
Last I looked, New Orleans was missing 600 of their 1,600 cops. We have 2,300 cops. If the ‘early retirement’ rate from the Big Easy holds here for our next quake, we’ll be short a thousand cops or so. And, probably another 700 or 800 firefighters.
Not that they’ll desert. Far from it. They’ll simply prioritize and, guess what, you come after families. It’s only natural and we can solve that problem.
Public Safety Officers Exchange Program
Let’s send 10 cops and 10 firefighters to New York City for a year. Exchange them for 20 of New York’s finest. Let’s send another 20 to Istanbul. Another 20 to Tokyo. Another 20 to Chicago. Another 20 to L.A.. You get the idea?
In a few short years, we can have an outreach of hundreds of cops and firefighters from all over the world who will rush to our aid when our time comes. They’ll know the neighborhood. They’ll know our equipment. They’ll know where our auxillary water cisterns are.
And, we’ll know the same about their towns. Our ‘Tokyo’ or ‘Chicago’ contingents could be on the scene of future disasters within hours. Think about it.
**And, what’s with all these guys on Viagra complaining about Barry taking ‘performance enhancing’ drugs? Should we put an asterix after the memory of their own best piece of ass?**