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Archive for November, 2008

San Mateo County gets into Prop. 8 fight

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera just sent out a press release welcoming the county of San Mateo into the fight over the constitutionality of the Prop. 8 victory, following a unanimous vote this morning by the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors.

According to the release, San Mateo County is the fifth jurisdiction in California to join the lawsuit. The others are the city and county of San Francisco, the city of Los Angeles and the counties of Los Angeles and Santa Clara.

Posted on Tuesday, November 18th, 2008
Under: Aaron Kinney, Adrienne Tissier, Board of Supervisors, Jerry Hill, Mark Church, Political Campaigns, Rich Gordon, Rose Jacobs Gibson, San Mateo County | No Comments »

So you did live in Burlingame!


Ed Jew admitted today in state court that he lived in the ‘Game, not in San Francisco, when he ran for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, as part of a plea deal with prosecutors.

The Insider, you may recall, has had a bit of an fixation with respect to Mr. Jew. Previous posts here, here and here.

(The shot above is a Times file photo of the Jews’ residence on Roosevelt Avenue. When the controversy over where Ed Jew lived first developed, the supervisor claimed he spent most of his time at a home in San Francisco, despite a glut of evidence to the contrary.)

Posted on Tuesday, November 18th, 2008
Under: Aaron Kinney, Burlingame, Ed Jew, Political Campaigns, San Mateo County | No Comments »

Newsweek’s 1978 Jonestown issue

The Times, in preparation for Sunday’s story on the 30th anniversary of the Jonestown massacre, got ahold of a copy of the Dec. 4, 1978, issue of Newsweek magazine, which featured a 26-page special report on the calamity that unfolded that Nov. 18.

It was an impressive and comprehensive report, and we’ll get to it in a minute. But first we have to touch on the most remarkable thing about the issue: the advertising, which looks like was it produced on a different planet.

This single installment of Newsweek contained 23 separate full-page liquor ads, from Christian Brothers and Crown Royal to Seagram’s and Tanqueray.

One ad for Wolfschmidt vodka consists of a gauzy photo depicting a czar, his wife and an enormous dog at the foot of a marble staircase, with copy recalling an age when the czar was a “giant among men” who could “bend an iron bar on his bare knee” and had a “thirst for life like no man alive.”

(The ad reproduced above is not the same one we’re describing but it’s from the same series. Copy is the same, and the wolfman-like czar, lady and dog are the same, though the pose is different. Link to the site that uploaded the image here.)

Leafing through these ads, we realized: No wonder print journalism is in an advertising tailspin. All those politically correct do-gooders in Washington have restricted the rights of liquor companies to cater to Americans’ unslakeable thirst for booze.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, November 18th, 2008
Under: Aaron Kinney, Democratic Party, Jackie Speier, Jonestown, Leo Ryan, San Mateo County, Tom Lantos | 3 Comments »

Eshoo looks ahead to Obama administration

Rep. Anna Eshoo plans to be right in the middle of an ambitious Democratic agenda when President-elect Barack Obama takes office in January.

Eshoo anticipates that, besides shoring up the faltering economy, Obama’s priorities are likely to include a health care plan, a “safe and honorable” withdrawal from Iraq, energy security and climate change.

Those last two items fall under the auspices of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, which Eshoo joined in 1995.

“We will certainly have our hands full,” she said, “and I look forward to it.”

Eshoo said Obama’s victory on Election Day is still sinking in. She’s been struck, talking to young people, including her children and nieces and nephews, by how hopeful and enthusiastic they are about Obama and what he means for the future of the country.

The downer of the election for Eshoo, who is close friends with San Mateo County Supervisor Rich Gordon, was the success of Proposition 8. Gordon, who paid a visit to Eshoo’s home on Election Night, married his partner over the summer.

Eshoo said she was “deeply disappointed” by the outcome. She said she received several robocalls in favor of Prop. 8 before Election Day that were filled with “hysteria and misinformation.”

But Eshoo said that, while older voters may have been swayed by the “Yes on 8″ campaign, she’s optimistic that younger generations of Californians will eventually compel the legalization of same-sex marriage.

“I think down the road, as more and more younger voters come to voting age, that this, too, will change, because ‘No on 8′ was not the least bit menacing to young people,” she said.

Posted on Wednesday, November 12th, 2008
Under: 2008 Congressional Race, 2008 Presidental Race, Aaron Kinney, Anna Eshoo, Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Menlo Park, Political Campaigns, Rich Gordon, San Mateo County | No Comments »

From the notebook: More local reactions to Obama win

Before Barack Obama’s election win recedes too far in the rearview mirror, here’s a couple bits of local reaction that didn’t make it into the paper.

In the photo above, Karen Cunningham, sporting a Barack Obama T-shirt, was captured celebrating the Democratic Party’s historic night at the victory party for Rep. Jackie Speier in Burlingame.

Meanwhile, Bill Stewart, 70, took in the election results at an NAACP-organized party at B Street Billiards in downtown San Mateo.

Stewart, a computer consultant and member of the Foster City Association of Black Residents, grew up in Memphis, Tenn., where he participated in sit-ins during the civil rights movement.

He moved to California following graduate school to work for the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View. Because of his race, he was not able to rent an apartment in Palo Alto.

On Tuesday night, Stewart said Obama’s victory struck him as “almost unbelievable.”

Stewart recalled living in the segregated South during college: “You were not allowed to try on clothes in certain stores … you couldn’t go to a lunch counter, buy a sandwich and sit down.”

“It’s a transition to a new day,” he said of the election. “What we need to do now is start working for economic parity for African-Americans.”

Posted on Thursday, November 6th, 2008
Under: 2008 Congressional Race, 2008 Presidental Race, Aaron Kinney, Barack Obama, Burlingame, Democratic Party, Foster City, Hillsborough, Jackie Speier, Political Campaigns, San Mateo, San Mateo County | No Comments »

Wackiness in Half Moon Bay school district race

No election in Half Moon Bay would be complete without at least a small dose of small-town silliness, and this season’s Cabrillo Unified School District board race is no exception.

School board challenger Ken Johnson suffered a blow in the public relations department after taking control of a URL that used to belong to John Moseley, one of two incumbents defending their seats in this election.

Johnson then employed the Web site — www.ElectMoseley.com — to upload language implying the two men were running as a slate. Moseley had used the site in 2004 during his first run for the school board, but had since allowed the domain name to lapse.

Meanwhile, Johnson was telling anyone who would listen that he intended to see both Moseley and himself elected to the school board and not Charlie Gardner, an incumbent who Johnson calls “not a friend.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, November 3rd, 2008
Under: 2008 Local Races, Aaron Kinney, Education, Half Moon Bay, Julia Scott, Political Campaigns, Schools | No Comments »