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Archive for October, 2007

Kucinich, Colbert and the Democratic straw poll

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[Updated Thursday, Oct. 18, at 10 a.m. See below.]

We tried to talk with presidential candidate Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, yesterday for an article on a straw poll the San Mateo County Democratic Party is holding Sunday afternoon at the San Mateo County Event Center.

Kucinich is the only presidential candidate who has agreed to appear in person at the event.

But as his press secretary informed us, Kucinich was taping an episode of “The Colbert Report” on Comedy Central. The host of the talk show parody, Stephen Colbert, had noticed the inordinate number of objects Kucinich has claimed on various occasions to carry in his suit pockets, including a copy of the Constitution, The Prayer of Saint Francis, an AFL-CIO membership card and a reusable tea bag.

Colbert — who has referred to the diminutive congressman as both a leprechaun and Rumplestiltskin — challenged Kucinich to come on his show and empty his pockets. Kucinich was savvy enough to accept the invitation and play along with the conceit.

Below is the clip from Monday’s show. Colbert introduced Kucinich as hailing from Ohio’s 10th congressional district, “which can only be entered through the back of the professor’s wardrobe.”

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Posted on Tuesday, October 16th, 2007
Under: Aaron Kinney, Democratic Party | 1 Comment »

Burlingame’s sign-stealing epidemic

[Updated Tuesday, Oct. 16, at 10:30 a.m. See below.]

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The Times ran an article Wednesday reporting that veteran Bay Area traffic announcer Joe McConnell (pictured to the right) was caught stealing one of Burlingame City Council candidate Gene Condon’s campaign signs Monday by Condon himself.

McConnell, whose reports for for Metro Networks are broadcast on such stations as KGO-AM and KQED-FM, was questioned by Burlingame police Monday night after Condon, one of five candidates in the November race, saw him remove a sign from a property on California Drive near Rosedale Avenue, followed him home and then called in the fuzz.

The story was noteworthy because McConnell is the husband of Geraldine O’Connor, former spokeswoman for Assemblyman Gene Mullin, D-San Mateo, and co-chair of the campaign for one of Condon’s opponents, Planning Commissioner Jerry Deal.

The story was weird because, in a telephone conversation with the Times, McConnell didn’t seem the least bit a) contrite for having possibly committed the crime of theft or b) embarassed for having caused Deal a public relations headache.

But due to the restrictions of time and space, we weren’t able to share all the juicy details from our conversations with Condon, Deal and McConnell. Well, that’s why we have the Insider. But before we get to that, make sure you’re sitting down, because the sign-stealing scandal has widened!

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Posted on Thursday, October 11th, 2007
Under: Aaron Kinney, Burlingame | 1 Comment »

Jack Matthews and the tale of Hillsdale Garden

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San Mateo Mayor Jack Matthews made an interesting assertion in a recent editorial interview for the November election.

In response to a question about Hillsdale Garden Apartments, the 697-unit complex that sold for $97.3 million in 2006, Matthews told the Times that the city got the new owner, Essex Property Trust, to agree to cap its rent increases at $200 per year.

That was news to us. As we reported in early August, Community Development Director Bob Beyer met with an Essex executive July 27 to discuss the company’s rent increases, which were so high that they were driving long-time residents out of complex.

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Posted on Wednesday, October 10th, 2007
Under: Aaron Kinney, Jack Matthews, San Mateo | No Comments »

Ed Jew and his wife too

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There’s only one mention of Lorene Chan in the federal complaint filed against her husband, suspended San Francisco Supervisor Ed Jew, but it’s not flattering.

The affidavit details how the supervisor allegedly shook down the owner of a Quickly tapioca beverage store in his supervisorial district after Jew (pictured to the left) learned that the man had not applied for a conditional use permit to operate the store.

According to the FBI, the supervisor attempted to take advantage of a non-English-speaking Chinese immigrant who was leery of the City Hall bureaucracy when Jew allegedly requested $20,000 for help obtaining the permit from city planners.

Chan, who owns a home that she shares with her husband at 2116 Roosevelt Ave. in Burlingame, entered the picture on March 21 when the store owner and his female associate, who also did not speak English, visited Jew’s flower shop in Chinatown.

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Posted on Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007
Under: Aaron Kinney, Ed Jew | 1 Comment »

Peter Mayhew: Wookiee on Broadway

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Forget about Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, who made a campaign stop at The Broadway Grill in May. Last Tuesday, Chewbacca was in the house.

Peter Mayhew, the 7-foot 3-inch English actor who played the most famous Wookiee in the universe, dropped in Sept. 25 to eat dinner and sign some autographs, the grill’s crack PR squad told us.

Mayhew (pictured with Broadway Grill owner Nick Bovis) was the man behind the “walking carpet” who served aboard the Millenium Falcon as Han Solo’s loyal lieutenant. Not impressed? Not only was he the inspiration for a devastating legal strategy, but Chewbacca was named the fourth-best sidekick of all time by Entertainment Weekly.

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Posted on Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007
Under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »