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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 »

Dirty deeds alleged in Pacifica

A potentially embarrassing lawsuit filed against the city of Pacifica by former finance director Maureen Lennon reared its head at a recent Times editorial meeting with three City Council candidates.

Challenger Tod Schlesinger cited the suit in alleging that Pacifica’s city government does not operate with sufficient transparency and even engages in wrongdoing behind closed doors.

Schlesinger specifically cited a letter, dated Sept. 30, in which Lennon’s attorney mentioned “rumored attempts” by members of the City Council and City Attorney Cecelia Quick to “hide or destroy documents.”

Councilman Cal Hinton responded to Schlesinger’s accusations by saying the challenger does not have all the facts.

“I know of no inappropriate actions by the city,” Hinton said.

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Posted on Tuesday, October 28th, 2008
Under: 2008 Local Races, Aaron Kinney, City Council, Corruption, Lawsuits, Pacifica, Political Campaigns | No Comments »

Judith Christensen has her guard up

In September, a campaign committee called “Safe Streets and Quality Neighborhoods in Daly City” was formed to oppose Judith Christensen, who is running for re-election, and supports incumbent Sal Torres and neophyte David Canepa.

So far, the committee, which consists of Daly City firefighters and police officers, has kept mum.

Christensen anticipates that it will release a “hit piece” on her close to the Nov. 4 election to dissuade voters.

“That’s the traditional tactic of that kind of committee,” she said. “They couch their language very carefully so they can’t be sued, but you can say a lot. They can accuse you but they can pose it as a question.”

Christensen doesn’t know what she’ll be accused of, but she is warning voters that something will come. She said the suspense is a little scary.

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Posted on Tuesday, October 21st, 2008
Under: 2008 Local Races, Aaron Kinney, Christine Morente, City Council, Daly City, Political Campaigns | 1 Comment »

Keira Knightley and Lula Lu

The owner of a local lingerie store for petite women has spoken up in response to a report in a British tabloid that actress Keira Knightley refused to allow producers to digitally enhance her cleavage for a poster promoting “The Duchess,” her new film.

Ellen Shing, owner of Lula Lu in downtown San Mateo, issued a statement through a publicist in support of Knightley’s stand.

“Keira Knightley’s far from alone in her feelings,” said Shing. “It’s often assumed that women with small breasts are constantly fantasizing about implants, padded bras and more cleavage, but here at Lula Lu we’ve found the exact opposite to be true.”

“Most of our customers are happy with their bust size … they just want flattering bras that fit their natural shape,” Shing’s statement continued.

Alas, it appears the story that appeared in the Daily Mail was’t true, as Knightley has now declared that the dispute never took place.

Posted on Thursday, October 16th, 2008
Under: Aaron Kinney, San Mateo | 1 Comment »

Eshoo on Ayers

One of the big questions in advance of tonight’s third and final presidential debate is whether John McCain will bring up William Ayers, the former member of the radical Weather Underground with whom Barack Obama has had intermittent contact during his political career.

McCain and running mate Sarah Palin have made a major issue of Ayers recently on the campaign trail, but McCain didn’t bring up the subject during the second debate, despite the urging of many Republicans.

Afterward, Obama and running mate Joe Biden subtly and then not-so-subtly taunted McCain for lacking the gumption to bring up the association to Obama’s face. McCain practically boiled with rage when Charles Gibson of ABC News repeated what Obama had said.

Now that McCain’s been provoked, will he talk about Ayers? Perhaps moderator Bob Schieffer of CBS, whose June interview with Wes Clark has made him a member of Talking Points Memo’s “Tire Swing” club, will bring it up on his own.

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Posted on Wednesday, October 15th, 2008
Under: 2008 Presidental Race, Aaron Kinney, Anna Eshoo, Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Joe Biden, John McCain, Political Campaigns, Republican Party | No Comments »

San Mateo County lawmakers stung by veto pen

Following Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s recent “Conan the Barbarian” routine, when he vetoed more than one-third of the bills that landed on his desk, we thought it would be worthwhile to see how our local legislators made out amid the carnage.

Here are the tallies for San Mateo County’s five state legislators, provided by their offices:

Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, D-San Francisco
Status — Severely wounded

Ma, whose 12th District includes parts of the North County, including Colma and Daly City, had nine bills signed into law. Nine were vetoed.

Among her successes was a measure dubbed Bright Schools that’s designed in part to make it easier for schools to install solar panels. Among the vetoes? A bill that would have prohibited “the commercial display of human remains” — in shows like “Body Works,” which features skinless corpses in athletic poses — “without the documented informed consent from the deceased or next-of-kin.”

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Posted on Monday, October 13th, 2008
Under: Aaron Kinney, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Democratic Party, Fiona Ma, Gene Mullin, Ira Ruskin, Joe Simitian, Leland Yee, San Mateo County | No Comments »