Cothran

The activist's report did not surprise Johnston, the Brown campaign spokesman. "I'm sure, given their long friendship with the mayor, that Jackie and Steve will be holding fund-raising parties for the mayor, if they haven't already," Johnston said.

Not to be outdone, Cerenio set up her own party for the mayor. This is a woman, after all, who has been involved in San Francisco politics, and Filipino community politics, all her life. Better than most, she knows how to put people in a room and separate them from their money. On June 1, in between the two commission hearings, Cerenio helped organize a Filipino community fund-raiser that netted $80,000 for the mayor.

Could this explain why, when the Muni staff recommended Intelitran a second time for the para-transit contract, the issue was tabled indefinitely?

Could it be that our mayor divined that he now had two parties interested in his electoral success, both with fund-raising capabilities?

Could it be that Willie Brown, the master of sensing an advantage the way sharks sense movement in the ocean miles away, saw he could easily have two companies compete for a city contract, and also compete to see who could raise him more campaign money?

He could only enjoy being in this unique position as long as his commission could find some way to prolong the contract award process. And, it seems, the commission has found just such a method. The Public Transportation Commission has tabled an award of the para-transit broker contract until October.

October. Isn't that just one month before the general election? And isn't Willie likely to face a crowded field in the general election, and therefore likely to need a nest egg to finance a runoff election campaign in November and December?

Doesn't it suit him just fine to have two putative contractors eager to please him, rather than having just one contractor to deliver the goods?

Could it be that our mayor has developed yet another highly refined way to use his position as elected chief executive to further his narrow self-interest?

Of course this couldn't be true. I am just being horribly suspicious, cynical, and unfair to the distinguished man under the gold dome.

I am sure there's a perfectly reasonable explanation why the Transportation Commission and Muni staff are at open war over the award of a contract. I'm equally sure there's a perfectly innocent story that explains why a firm can score the highest and bid the lowest in the competition for a city contract, and still lose, and how those scores can change overnight without new information entering the picture.

And because the Muni staff won't tell me what those innocent explanations might be, I guess I'll just have to strip naked, slaughter roosters, smear the blood on my face, and dance ooga booga in the moonlight in hopes of divining the truth.

Night of the Living Dead 2
Allow me to apologize to the entire City and County of San Francisco for Angela Alioto's corpse escaping from her sarcophagus. It surely is a frightening sight. I saw it the other morning, and I almost lost my breakfast - from a week ago.

I fear I am partly, inadvertently, responsible.
Two weeks ago, I wrote a column complaining about the pitiful state of the mayor's race, which I said was populated with the evil political dead (Frank Jordan and Clint Reilly). In the opening paragraphs I celebrated how, by contrast, we had successfully dispatched the wretched, recurring political corpse that was Angela Alioto.

That same week, I ran into Examiner columnist Rob Morse. He complimented me on the column and chatted about how stupid Frank Jordan was as mayor, and then we went our separate ways. Shortly thereafter, a matter of days actually, Morse called up Angela and asked her why wasn't she running for mayor.

I am well acquainted with the reanimation of political corpses, and with this one all you have to do is whisper in her ear. She must have immediately seen visions of Roman glory in her head: The press still calls me! Rob Morse called me! I still have that old magic! The press wouldn't call me otherwise!

While Alioto was musing inside her tomb about a mayoral run, the hacks at the Channel 2 morning news show, Mornings on Two -- which, by the way, I am hopelessly addicted to; I think it has something to do with Sal Castaneda hypnotizing me with those eyes of his -- were reading Morse's column and deciding to invite Angela down to have a chat.

I'm guessing, but the conversation could have gone something like, "Hey, Angela, if your skin hasn't completely fallen off your bones, would you come down and sit across from poor brain-damaged Ross McGowan as he rephrases the same question ('Are you running for mayor?') over and over again for a few minutes, so we can pretend we are paying attention to the mayor's race, and poor Ross can pretend for a few minutes that he doesn't actually have a sick crush on Willie Brown?"

This, of course, set the corpse's rotting flesh a-tingle:
People do want me! Television wants me! Rob Morse wants me! Ross McGowan wants me! Those rumors about him and Willie Brown aren't true!

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