Gay activist/blogger and City Hall gadfly Michael Petrelis kicked off his campaign for District 8 Supervisor on Saturday, determined to unseat his nemesis Supervisor Scott Wiener.
If you recall, the duo made headlines a few years ago after Wiener got a restraining order against Petrelis who had shot and posted to his personal blog a photo of Wiener in the bathroom at City Hall. Apparently, Petrelis had been attempting to photograph the supervisor as he was using the urinal, but the shot ended up showing nothing more than Wiener grabbing his toothbrush and leaving the bathroom in a huff.
On Saturday, the always over-the-top Petrelis riffed off that controversy and decided to use the public toilet at Castro and Market streets as the backdrop for his campaign announcement.
Still, Petrelis was jovial and realistic about his chances of defeating Wiener in the upcoming supervisors race. We asked Supervisor Wiener to enlighten us with his thoughts about his new opponent, to which he said "no comment."
Of course, the most obvious question to us was this: How will Wiener and Petrelis hold a debate when there's a restraining order in effect?
While those kinks of his campaign are being worked out, Petrelis shared his platform with SF Weekly. Though his often emotional outbursts (sometimes over the phone at 3 a.m.) have annoyed plenty in San Francisco, Petrelis' platform was surprisingly coherent.
1. Expand rent control to all City tenants.
2. Retroactively tax Google and all the tech buses using San Francisco streets.
3. Reclaim the public property at Harvey Milk Plaza; he's particularly interested in giving the community easier access to the Plaza's flagpole so that sub-communities like Leather and Trans people can fly their flags on special occasions. Currently, only the all-purpose Rainbow Flag is flown.
4. Give bathhouses to the homeless -- so they can shower and shave.
5. All nonprofits that get
$25 million $250,000 or more should be financially audited and monitored; keep them in compliance with the Sunshine Act.
Afterward, Petrelis did address the Wiener bathroom incident, admitting that snapping a photo of Supervisor Wiener inside a public restroom was "a mistake."
Petrelis says he knows he won't win the election: he's just using his candidacy to shed light on city issues he thinks matters. "I believe I'll succeed in getting on the ballot," he said. "I'll succeed in raising issues. It's not healthy to have political races with no serious challengers and no protest candidates. It's like the Soviet Union. I wanted to make sure there would be at least one competitor."
Actually, is one other competitor. The name George Davis should ring a bell. Davis is the prolific male nudist who is fighting to repeal Supervisor Wiener's law banning public nudity. Davis announced his candidacy last year.
Needless to say, this should be a fun race to watch.
Clarification: Petrelis says he didn't actually show up Saturday "determined" to unseat Supervisor Wiener. Rather, he was just there to garner some attention from people