[Hpn] SF Mayor Willie Brown gets skewered by Arianna Huffington on 'Politically Incorrect' 'Politically Incorrect'

Coalition on Homelessness, SF coh@sfo.com
Sat, 29 Jul 2000 17:30:06 -0700

I'm sooo jealous that Bill Maher got to call his Willieness a bastard 
on national television. of course, if it had been me, I wouldn't have 
been joking. the people they're referring to who feed poor people 
'illegally' is Food Not Bombs, San Francisco. Brown's current 
policies of ever-aggressive 'quality of life' enforcement, runaway 
loft development displacing low-income renters, erosion of rent 
control and renter's rights, and public health care cuts - all while 
the City is enjoying its 3 straight year of budget surpluses 
exceeding $100 million - are the driving force behind the spiraling 
numbers of people who die homeless each year in San Francisco.

No, I don't believe its funny at all.

The transcript of the entire show is available at:
Guests on this program were:
Mimi Kennedy
Arianna Huffington
Hugh Hewitt
Willie Brown

Panel Discussion
All right, let's meet our panel.

He's a co-star of "Life & Times" and has a syndicated radio show. 
Hugh Hewitt, ladies and gentlemen.
Where are you, Hugh?
[ Cheers and applause ]

Thank you for coming. She is one of the 12 stars of "Dharma & Greg" 
Tuesdays at 9:00 right here on
Her autobiography is "Taken to the Stage: The Education of an Actress."
Mimi Kennedy.
[ Cheers and applause ]
How're you doing?
Thank you for coming.

She is the author of the book "How to Overthrow the Government"
and the driving force behind the upcoming shadow conventions, where I will be.
Our pal, Arianna Huffington right over there.
[ Cheers and applause ]
Hello, sister.
How're you doing?

And finally, he is the mayor of the city and county of San Francisco.
The honorable Willie Brown right over here.
[ Cheers and applause ]
Mr. Mayor, how're you doing?

Thank you very much.

All right.
Well, everyone's getting excited not just because of Dick Cheney --
[ Laughter ]

But because the conventions are coming.
Next week, Philadelphia.
Then, the Democrats will be out here in L.A.
Hookers, get ready.
[ Laughter ]

But you are having your shadow convention, which I will be a part of.
I think it's a great idea.
And you have three big issues, all of which I think are great issues --
campaign finance reform, the drug war and also --
people I think are somewhat surprised, because you're loaded --
[ Laughter ]
-- The disparity in wealth.
You talk about the need to bridge this gap between the very rich and the very
But -- and that's noble.
But I have a question here for you.
Which is, the poor.
Don't you think if they got money, they'd be just as big schmucks as the rich?
[ Laughter ]
Everybody thinks the poor are so noble, and they're like the "Beverly
They'd keep their homespun values, but they wouldn't.
They're no better than anybody else.
They just showed bad judgment, and they're poor.

Arianna: Nobody is saying that the poor are morally superior, except Jesus
who actually said that, remember?

Bill: Jesus, sure.
[ Laughter ]

Arianna: Who did you know, right?
He was only the son of God.

Bill: If you're going to name drop --
[ Laughter ]
[ Applause ]

Mimi: You know, I don't think he said they were morally superior, I think he
said that God was more on their side because they were powerless.
So whoever totally needed a little -- had no power whatsoever.

Arianna: Remember, he said that the last shall be first.
And he also said that the meek shall inherit the Earth.
And he also threw the money changers out of the temple.
He didn't throw the beggars, which is exactly, really, in a way, the opposite
of what Willie Brown is doing in San Francisco.
Because, Mayor, you are really putting them in jail, Mayor.
They're homeless advocates, when they heard that I was going to be on the
show with you, they urged me to ask you to stop throwing homeless advocates
in jail, because they are giving sandwiches and food to the poor.

Willie: I don't do that.

Arianna: You don't do that?
Willie: I don't do that.
No, no, no.
I only throw people in jail who violate the law.
Nobody else.
Nobody else under the sun.
You know, people think that somehow they got a connection to Jesus, and they
think that they're okay, ignore the rules and regulations.
When you give food to anybody, you ought to make sure that that food meets
the standards.
It's not tainted in any fashion, and that's why we have the health laws we
I'm duty-bound and sworn to enforce those health laws.

Arianna: But you know, it's very significant --

Bill: Who are you saying that he's throwing in jail?

Arianna: Homeless advocates who give food to the poor, the homeless in San

Bill: You're throwing them in jail?

Willie: No, not at all.

Mimi: -- Sandwich carts, are they going to jail, too?

Bill: You bastard!
[ Laughter ]

Mimi: They get a license?
The sandwich people?

Willie: Of course they do.

Mimi: And the people who are giving to the homeless don't get the license.
Why don't you give them a license?

Willie: No, no, no, no.
Most who give to the homeless get a license, but a select group of
do-gooders, people who believe that they're beyond the pale of the law.
People who believe that they should not obey the same standards.
And so they therefore say, "I'm going to do as I please, when I please, where
I please."

Mimi: Is this a restaurant lobby that's kind of getting to you, Mayor Brown?
I hesitate to be opposite you --

Arianna: No, no, but you know, Mimi, I think we should get Tony Bennett to do
a rewrite, "I lost my heart in San Francisco."
Because there have been more evictions, 300% more evictions since 1995 in San
There's no affordable housing.
Anybody who makes less than $50,000 a year should not try to live here.
Right, right?

Willie: No, no.
[ Audience boos ]
No, no, no, no.
Where do you think we'd get the waiters and the waitresses?
Where do you think we get the people that --?
[ Laughter ]

Hugh: You've become a Republican mayor.

Willie: Where do you think ordinary people would live?
They live in San Francisco.

Bill: I used to have you two on the show, and you'd be for the rich, and
you'd be for the poor.
What the hell happened?
[ Laughter ]

Willie: Once you're rich, you start looking out for the poor.

Arianna: Look who's talking.

Hugh: The difference between being a legislator and governing.
You have to make things work rather than just pass laws in Sacramento.

Willie: You certainly can't talk about it and philosophy about it.
You've got to do the daily thing.
You've got to keep the street cars running, you've got to keep the streets

Bill: You've got the keep the commercials going.

Mimi: You're exactly right.
[ Applause ]
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