By Tom Temprano
It seems as if entire forests worth of trees have sacrificed their lives to create all of the campaign literature that has been flooding San Francisco voter’s mailboxes in the lead up to the November election. We’re being hit with everything from strange photos of scrambled eggs (thanks to the real estate industry’s fight against Prop G) to voter guides from at least half a dozen groups I’ve never even heard of.
Given the sheer volume, it takes quite a bit to raise my now-desensitized hackles when it comes to political mailers but BART Board candidate Nick Josefowitz has managed to do just that with his recent mail piece. In a hit that seems more appropriate for a senate race in a battleground state than a largely unwatched race to join a regional transit body Josefowitz paints his incumbent opponent, James Fang, as one of the “5 Most Corrupt Politicians In San Francisco History.”
That’s a pretty outrageous allegation on its own, but its especially outrageous when you see that Fang’s picture on the mailer is positioned directly above that of a former public defender who orchestrated the murder of an elderly lady to steal her inheritance.
Now, Fang has indeed been fined quite a bit of money over the $2,000 that he admitted to illegally funneling into the campaign of his then-boss Mayor Frank Jordan in the 1990s. That certainly is fair game to make it into a hit mailer — but putting him alongside a guy who served 25 years for murder is pretty cold.
Fortunately for Fang, I’d imagine voters aren’t that excited about getting mail for a BART race period and nasty stuff like this might further turn off voters who would otherwise support Josefowitz.
Fortunately for all of us, former Mayor Eugene Schmitz was also featured in the piece (for ending up in San Quentin thanks to his tendencies toward extortion and bribe-taking) and now we all know that he, not Ed Lee, had the most iconic facial hair of any San Francisco mayor.
The Giants World Series run has captivated San Francisco (as it has during every even numbered year since the turn of the decade) and has everyone glued to their TVs as they ignore phone calls, don’t answer the door, and generally tune out all things that aren’t happening on a diamond. While this is good news for civic pride, it’s bad news for the many campaign workers trying to call and knock their way to victory this November.
For three of the last five elections campaigners have been forced into being public enemy number one as they try and pry people’s attention away from baseball and on to the rapidly approaching election. A number of friends of mine working on different campaigns have said the past week or so has yielded some of the worst phone an door responses they’ve ever seen – even worse than in our last couple of title runs.
Fortunately for everyone, even a game-seven showdown would still give folks six days to figure out who they were voting for. That said, I think I speak for Giants fans and politicos alike when I say I hope we can topple the Royals ASAP.
Mayor Ed Lee has finally broken his silence on the Assembly race and endorsed Board President David Chiu. The timing of the move, which came less than a day after Chiu passed a $25 million dollar tax break for Airbnb – a company invested in by the Mayor’s BFF Ron Conway — is almost laughably poor and does little to quell the allegations of pay-to-play surrounding the whole Airbnb fiasco.
Airbnb aside, if I were David Campos I wouldn’t be too nervous. Lee’s endorsement certainly didn’t do much for the ill-fated 8 Washington ballot initiative and could be read as a sign that Chiu’s campaign is in the gutter and needed some star power to try and drag it out.
With the losses of the San Francisco Bay Guardian and Ted Gullicksen still hurting our hearts, this week’s news that the Lexington Club is closing seems like almost too much to bear. The city’s last lesbian bar, which is owned by my Virgil’s business partner Lila Thirkield, is being sold because frankly, there are no longer enough lesbians in San Francisco to keep it open.
Since I’ve always been a lesbian at heart, the Lex was my go-to bar when I moved here a decade ago. At the time I lived in my first apartment in the Mission at Caesar Chavez and Guerrero and my best friend Mary, who had also just moved here, lived in the Bayview.
Valencia was still a place that young queers wanted to hang out, and so I would walk down to the Lex to meet her and she would take a bus from the Bayview and then skateboard the last block or so, so that she looked cool when she rolled up. There we’d sit, an odd couple of a fresh faced twink and a little lesbian with a Kelly Osbourne inspired haircut, drinking cans of Tecate, feeling as if this was exactly what we had come to San Francisco to do.
Knowing that future generations of queer new arrivals won’t be able to meet up for a beer at the Lex truly breaks my heart. It has been a home away from home for a generations of San Franciscans, and San Francisco isn’t going to be the same place without it.