Monday, January 08, 2007

From Governor Moonbeam to Drill Instructor

San Francisco City Hall was the scene of quite a bit of pomp and ceremony on Monday with the Board of Supervisors being newly installed for the year at noon, and voting unanimously to re-elect Aaron Peskin as the Board President.

Each of the supervisors was given time to make whatever remarks they felt were appropriate, but I had to turn off Channel 26 (San Francisco's Government TV) when Bevan Dufty started giving us a little bit too much information about his busy, busy life which sounded like a cheesy remake of the 1978 Perry King/Meg Foster vehicle "A Different Story" (click here for the joke to make any sense).

Mayor Newsom showed up in the Board Chambers for the first time in two years and made a few gracious remarks about "working together." He really is being advised terribly on rejecting the monthly "question time" with the supervisors that was recently approved by San Francisco voters, because the camera loves him, which is really almost all that counts.

At 3:30 the same afternoon in City Hall, there was another inauguration, this time for the former governor of California, Jerry Brown...

...who has just been elected as the state's new Attorney General after having finished up two terms as the Mayor of Oakland.

While Mayor of Oakland, Mr. Brown's most famous initiative seemed to be the creation of a military school for "at risk" youth.

This was quite a cry from the left-wing, Governor Moonbeam reputation that dogged him during his two terms as California governor and his attempts at becoming President of the U.S.

But as an old friend of his standing next to me said, "In truth, he's always been a very conservative person by nature."

Mayor Newsom gave a short speech that was inaudible in the balcony due to strange acoustics...

...and then Brown was sworn in by his niece, Judge Katherine Kelly, with his new wife by his side.

Then a chorus sang a few Gregorian chants, perhaps a nod to Mr. Brown's Jesuit past...

...but also redolent of the old-fashioned Irish Catholic Mafia who have always been major powers in San Francisco.

Brown then gave a speech which was also inaudible thanks to the sound system...

...before everyone crossed the street to the Green Room at the Veterans Building for a serious celebration.

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