Rage Against the Machine

Tom Ammiano's mayoral bid: inside the campaign that has become a cause

Aging and defense, among other things, Ammiano concludes. And after three takes, he offers a solution destined to make the morning news: "I might have to suit up."

Ammiano then rushes to his seat at the supervisors' meeting with a minute to spare. Banging his gavel, he calls the meeting to order and it is business as usual. Except for the yawning. But Ammiano is far from asleep on the job. After a long-winded reading of an item of new business awaiting a vote, Ammiano catches a mistake, questioning Supervisor Gavin Newsom if he forgot about an amendment.

"Yes, there is one," Newsom replies, realizing the oversight. "That's why you're president of the board."

Paul Trapani
Paul Trapani

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RELATED PHOTOS

Picturing Ammiano on the campaign trail



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Ammiano Speaks
Listen to Joel P. Engardio's uncut interview with would-be mayor, Tom Ammiano.

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Laughter fills the chamber. Everyone knows the subtext to the joke: If Ammiano has his way, he won't be president of the board much longer.

Later, the supervisor admits he has already started thinking about moving into the Mayor's Office. Though it is uncertain that Ammiano's rage against the Brown machine will prove successful, his relationship to City Hall will never be the same, whatever the outcome.

"I tend to think this is, if anything, an ibid.," Ammiano says. "History is not linear. I would just like it to mean that this was a seed, which grows into telling establishment corporate campaigning to get a grip. But there's no guarantee."

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