"Do you think Meg Whitman, who fires someone after 10 years of pretending, is going to give a shit about AIDS in the Latino community?" The crowd started braying "no, no, no," and Ammiano chimed in with his salty aside: "I'm not going to use the word 'puta,' so..."
He went on to say say that, in some context (which we couldn't quite make out), 'puta' is a "term of endearment." Certainly not around Capp Street in the Mission, where we've heard grannies reaming out the corner prostitutes with the word.
If you want to press your luck in using the word as a "term of endearment," don't blame us for the consequences.
Community organizers, such as Dr. Eduardo Morales of Aguilas, a San Francisco-based LGBT organization for the Latino community, were blasting the fact that a pawdry five percent of the $253 million in recent funding for the Center for Disease Control were allocated to groups that specifically treat Latinos, when Latinos make up more than 20 percent of HIV/AIDS cases in the United States.
Ammiano then provided some comic relief: "I do have a telegram here from the 10 percent of Chilean miners who were gay," he said, scoring many laughs. He went on to slap Governor Schwarzennegger for approving cuts to AIDS services with a series of profanities:
"Mark [Leno] addressed this thing with the Terminator. Can I just say chicken shit, and yes, kiss my gay ass! Jesus Christ! ... These people live in a bubble, you know. In the beginning, Schwarzennegger wasn't so bad about AIDS funding, but what he did now is all about his legacy. Well,I believe in a legacy for Diana Ross, but not for Arnold Schwarzennegger."
As for the legacy for Tom Amminao, he will be remembered as one of the few politicians who can work an AIDS rally like a comedy club.