Sunday, September 02, 2007
The Barnyard Animals Debate
The third in a series of weekly debates for San Francisco mayoral candidates took place in front of a tiny crowd in Civic Center Plaza Friday evening.
The big news of the week was that former Supervisor Tony Hall had dropped out of the race, in part because too many of his supporters were getting the squeeze from City Hall in terms of city contracts canceled, permits denied, and so on. The city's deeply compromised Ethics Commission also decided to send up a flare about improprieties committed four years earlier during Hall's previous supervisorial run.
Paul Hogarth (above) of the "Beyond Chron" site (click here) was the jolly moderator for the event.
Hall started things off by telling the group that he had qualified for matching campaign funds from the city before his decision to drop out, and that it takes a month for the funds to be disbursed, but that he was going to be passing it on to his fellow candidates as a group.
He then took issue with the quote from Eric Jaye, Gavin Newsom's version of Karl Rove, in that morning's San Francisco Chronicle: "Newsom's campaign manager, Eric Jaye, said Hall's exit will affect the campaign, though probably not the outcome of the election. "He was one of the last candidates left that wasn't named after a barnyard animal," Jaye said." Hall's response was that it's much better to be named after an animal than to be like Gavin Newsom, "who is just plain chickenshit."
In his three minute opening statement, h. Brown talked about the endemic corruption of the San Francisco Police Department where absolutely nothing has gotten better during Newsom's tenure. "It's the same dysfunctional commanders who have always been there, and nothing's going to change for at least the next ten years. They are only going to get more expensive while providing less and less protection for the citizens of San Francisco, not to mention beating the crap out of perfectly innocent people because they are on steroid rages, something for which they can't be tested in this town."
Wilma Pang, the music teacher, talked about her language skills and peace and love...
...while videojournalist Josh Wolf gave a stirring speech about the wi-fi initiative and how it could be done right, unlike the piss-poor initiative that Newsom crafted with Google and Earthlink, probably while he was drunk on a corporate plane with executives from the aforementioned companies.
Dr. Ahimsa Porter Sumchai talked about the raw deal her southeastern Bayview/Hunter's Point neighborhood has been getting. "Newsom finally visited the Sunnydale Housing Project for the first time. Meanwhile, they are killing us with asbestos dust and pretending nothing is wrong."
The most poignant speech came from Harold Hoogasian, above, a native San Franciscan who has a chain of flower stores. His disgust with the thugs who run "the machine" in San Francisco was both angry and rueful. "In the last couple of decades, the cost of living for people in San Francisco has gone up 85% while the City Hall budget has risen by 500%. That money isn't going to help actual citizens in San Francisco, it's just going towards feeding the machine." He directed us to go to a new website called "Unplug The Machine!" which you can get to by clicking here.