Thanks, Mike. And a big thank you to you and Sandy Pierre for coming out to support me at the Rules Committee hearing. I have to admit I was slightly embarrassed by the fulsome praise you offered in your testimony when you urged them to appoint me, but I really appreciate your time in showing up and the effort you put into coming up with a public statement. It was good exposure for the TV audience even if it didn't impress the Supervisors. No one spoke in favor of the other nominee, David Miles; the one other guy who got up and spoke during our item just seemed annoyed that the city wasn't doing more for skateboarders in general.
Talking with David Miles after the appointment, I found out that he'd been called about the vacancy on the committee by Tom Ammiano. This didn't surprise me much; I suspected that someone had engineered his appearance. Not that he was totally coming out of left field; in all fairness, David has a very long and strong involvement with inline skating, and purely in terms of his involvement with and commitment to the activity, is more qualified than I am to fill the inline skating slot on the task force.
Nevertheless, I think what happened was pure politics. I don't think politicians would normally go against a city board's recommendation on who they wanted to fill their vacancy with so little discussion unless the fix was in. I know that Ammiano doesn't like me; why I'm not exactly sure, but he has been personally rude to me before. Perhaps he's just annoyed that a cultural liberal from the GLBT community -- a sex worker no less -- openly refuses to tow the leftist line. A photographer for the Bay Area Reporter once told me that he saw lesbian ex-Assemblywoman Carole Migden go off on me at a speech she gave at some function over nothing more than the fact that I ran against her, something I still find unbelievable except that he had no motive I'm aware of to invent such a story and told it in such a way that I was convinced it happened.
Anyway, after both David Miles and myself spoke at the hearing, along with Mike Denny and the skateboarding advocate (who I don't know), seeing no further speakers they closed public comment. Ross Mirkarimi spoke first from the Supes' side of the bench, stating in very diplomatic terms that he thought both of us were very strong and qualified nominees, but going on to say that he thought having "a vision," especially to keep Golden Gate Park , was important, and that he heard David articulating this vision. Peskin immediately jumped in and stated that he agreed with Mirkarimi. I'm also pretty sure that Aaron Peskin remembers me unfavorably from my testimony during the North Beach eminent domain debacle. Seeing that her two colleagues had weighed in, Alioto-Pier apparently figured the verdict had been rendered, and after thanking both of us for coming, announced that they would be forwarding David Miles' nomination to the full board.
Eric Dupree said he is going to make some calls protesting what happened, but I don't think there's much hope of the Rules Committee's vote being overruled. I am going to keep an eye out for other committee vacancies however. If a pattern develops of refusing to nominate me, that in itself will be good political ammunition.
Yours in liberty,
<<< Starchild >>>
P.S. - After the hearing, I went around to the various Supervisors' offices with my laundry list of legislative concerns. It felt good to be able to take up the time of their office workers, even those of Mirkarimi and Peskin, with writing down my concerns to give to their bosses! As I was in Bevan Dufty's office, I actually saw someone testifying about skateboarding at the Land Use Committee hearing down the hall and remembered that Ted had told me that was happening yesterday as well, so I rushed over to the Supervisors chambers in time to testify myself.
P.P.S. - I also noticed a note on the TV at one point said that SFGOV TV footage is available on demand. It occurred to me that this could be great gist for the LPSF TV show. Air some footage of the Supervisors' usual blather, then air rebuttals from LPSF members and/or footage of direct rebuttals at the meetings from other members of the public.
While Starchild didn't get appointed by the Rules Committee to the Skateboard Task Force today, his testimony before the Land Use Committee later in the day was classic Libertarian and did us all proud.