Select San Francisco politicos bade a fond farewell to Supervisor David Campos Thursday night, sporting bow-tie stickers and telling vaguely critical jokes at his expense, and crude jokes at the expense of his political adversaries. What we learned: Hillary Ronen is the only funny progressive.
In fact the most pointed barbs came from Campos’ chief of staff and now successor. Others made gay jokes ranging from polite to cringeworthy (Tom Ammiano made a joke about a gay police officer blowing his horse that fell so flat he had to pull out a noisemaker with a laugh function he had brought along). Ronen, however, went straight for the political jugular.
“David is the most popular unsuccessful politician of all time. He lost public advocate, he lost the assembly race, he lost the Mission moratorium… Even his tenant protection laws were struck down by federal judges,” she said. “He’s really good at losing. He has a bright future in the Democratic Party.”
But since the event was clearly aimed at the political other than the man himself, she added another quick jab at her own competition in the race for supervisor:
“If anyone ever wonders, what will Hillary do to me if I ever fuck with David Campos, pick up the phone and call Joshua Arce,” she said.
The high points of the evening, in the half-filled Brava Theater, were every time M.C. Vivian Forevermore took the mic – a drag queen in a giant wig and sparkling makeup who wore flat-heeled boots to bring her “down to David’s level.” The band was a group of talented San Francisco State University students known as Jaqueline y su Cuarteto.
The rest of the evening was largely forgettable, but since I was taking notes, I don’t have the privilege of forgetting and now you don’t either.
For one thing, apparently some of the greatest local political minds can’t decide whether they hate Mark Farrell or Scott Wiener more. They also can’t come up with any better fodder than to imply that both are greedy monsters who vilify the homeless, along with now-retired Chronicle columnist C.W. Nevius who likes to “slap babies and kick homeless people,” as Ronen suggested.
We already knew that Campos doesn’t understand the meaning of the word “brief.” But neither does any other politician ever, and both of the supervisors who made that joke persisted in occupying the microphone well beyond their allotted measure of audience interest.
Low points included Supervisor Mark Farrell’s idea of a roast, which was a meandering tale of encountering Campos and his husband at a Napa bathhouse:
“I’m thinking, I’m away from San Francisco for sure, and there are two guys going out of the massage house in their robes. I said, that’s really intimate…It’s David Campos in his robe with Phil [his husband]. Nothing says Mission anti-displacement like a good rubdown from Bob up in Napa Valley.”
I’m honestly not sure which part of this story was supposed to embarrass Campos – if Farrell thinks two guys coming out of a bathhouse in robes is intimate I shudder to think how he would handle a stroll through the Castro.
And the jab about a champion of the oppressed enjoying something expensive would have had a bit more zing if Farrell wasn’t the absolute worst candidate to try to shame another supervisor about buying expensive luxuries. He made an awkward effort to pretend he had objected to the Napa trip on the basis of cost, but Jane Kim later skewered him when she pointed out that Farrell’s ethics violation fine was recently reduced from $101,000 to a paltry $25,000.
Supervisor Malia Cohen was perhaps a little too enthusiastic about her opportunity to roast her political sometimes-ally, sometimes-foe.
“I was like, hell yes, are you fucking kidding me, I’ve been talking shit about this motherfucker for six years and now I can do it publicly, yes, sign me up!”
What she brought to the stage in sass she undid with meandering cracks about Campos’ fluctuating weight, dress sense, and attachment to his bulldog Winston.
Nobody could quite decide whether Campos’ Stanford and Harvard degrees were inspiring or elitist. Kim made a slightly too-real sounding confession of being jealous of his achievements (including marrying a highly educated Korean man). Then comedian and Examiner columnist Nato Green had this to offer:
“If his story was any more inspirational, it would be a Disney movie [in which he is] played by singing and dancing bulldog.”
In the end, the takeaway is that Campos’ colleagues and supporters are, unsurprisingly, sad to see him go.
“He battled it out every single day, every single Tuesday when he was in that chair, and this city is better for it,” Cohen concluded.
Campos himself, however, might enjoy a break from the constant stream of criticism:
“District 9 is a special place,” he said, “with 70,000 people who are not afraid to tell you when you’re full of shit.”
This article has been corrected – it is C.W. Nevius, not Mark Farrell, who Hillary Ronen suggested enjoys kicking homeless people.