Posts Tagged ‘spokesman’

OMG, BJORN AGAIN! Disgraced San Francisco PR Flack Peter Ragone Lands a Job with Mayor Bill de Blasio in NYC

Monday, January 6th, 2014

Well, here’s the news, look who just got appointed to the Bill de Blasio regime in New Yawk:

“Peter Ragone, a consultant who worked with de Blasio at HUD before going on to handle communications for Al Gores 2000 presidential run and for Gov. Cuomo’s 2002 primary bid, as a senior advisor.”

Now let’s travel all the way back to 2007:

“[Newsom's] admission[*] came as his aggressive and seasoned spokesman, Peter Ragone, was fighting his own battles: A local investigative television team had reported that Ragone was posting hostile comments about Newsom’s critics on a local blog under names other than his own. When confronted with the fact that the postings had been traced to his home computer, Ragone insisted that the author, “John Nelson,” was his best friend who often stayed at his home. Ragone later admitted that he had posted the comments, but he said he did so to reflect Nelson’s views. Ragone also posted under the name “Bjorn.”

Indeed. The “local blog” mentioned by the LAT is SFist.

All the deets:

Gavin’s Sock Puppet

RagoneWatch (A Day Late)

Peter Ragone By The Numbers

After all this, Peter Ragone had to go – he got voted off the island.

So I’m afraid that I’m going to have to disagree with the quite lengthy Wikipedia entry on Peter Ragone III, you know, the one written by … Peter Ragone! Or “John Nelson!” Or “Bjorn!” You see, Ragone writes that he “sparked a minor controversy after admitting he posted…” So maybe you could spin it that way, but the real controversy was actually about all the lies he told after he got busted. That’s why he had to go.

Now let’s see how well he does on that island off the east coast of America.

(Look out, Gothamist.)

*This was around the time that man-child Gavin Newsom decided it would be a good time start hanging out** with a teenaged Republican restaurant hostess. I’ll tell you, the people behind the mayor Willie Brown / Gavin Newsom / Ed Lee administration are deeeeeeeeeeeeelighted not to have to deal with Gavin Newsom drama anymore.

**Dating? Alcohol? You make the call

OMG, They Made a Movie About the AC Transit Bus Fight – On Netflix Now – Entitled “Bad Ass” – $$ for Epic Beard Man?

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

This incident in the East Bay a few years back…

…has been made into a movie called Bad Ass:

Which I guess is old news.

But the new news is that you can watch this flick for free now via the NetFlix.

It’s just released. See?

“This movie is: Exciting”

(But, sorry streamer-only NetFlix people, right now you can only have them mail you the DVD or the Blu-Ray – you can’t just stream this to your device.)

And no, I don’t think Vietnam Tom Bruso, or anyone else on the bus that day…

…will get a dime out of Bad Ass.

That’s Tinseltown for you…

Jesus Tap-Dancing Christ: More Money Laundering Found in Ed Lee Campaign – Meet CitiApartments’ “Eviction Goon”

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

[UPDATE: Senator Leland Yee is on the case this AM - he's doing a presser involving this latest allegation. (I guess it's too late to call this an October Surprise, and frankly, it's not all that surprising neither. Let's call it a November Expectation. Brace yourself for more.) Oh, and Leland is onto some Chinatown voting sting operation as well.

And there's this: "Statement from Chiu Campaign on Money Laundering Allegations - SAN FRANCISCO (November 2, 2011): Addisu Demissie, spokesman for the David Chiu for Mayor campaign, released the following statement about a San Francisco Chronicle report of potential money laundering by supporters of Mayor Ed Lee:

"This is now the fourth allegation of illegal conduct by Mayor Lee's supporters, and it should be investigated fully by the District Attorney and appropriate authorities,” Demissie said. “With six days to go before Election Day, it will be up to the voters to decide whether this kind of bullying, pay-to-play politics is what they want to see at City Hall for the next 4 years. David is going to spend the last 6 days of this race talking about why he represents a new generation of leadership for San Francisco that will stand tough against the special interests and shake things up at City Hall."

Paid for by David Chiu for Mayor 2011, P.O. Box 641541, San Francisco, CA 94164, FPPC##1337108]

Well, it looks like early-rising City Attorney Dennis Jose Herrera is the first one out of the gates to follow up on today’s piece from San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writers John Coté and Heather Knight.

Testify, DJH:

“Too many of Ed Lee’s supporters act as though they’re above the law — on money laundering, on ballot tampering, and more – and Ed Lee isn’t strong enough to stop it.

Amen.

Earlier this year, Ed Lee was picked unanimously to be an Interim Mayor. He wasn’t picked to be a Reformer. He’ll never be a Reformer.

In Ed Lee’s world, the notorious Willie Brown Administration deserves an A+, Rose Pak is not a cancer on Chinatown, and corner-cutting PG&E (“KABOOM!“) is simply “a great local corporation” and a “great company that gets it.”

Oh well.

Is Ed Lee Breaking Bad? Has the City Family corrupted him? Or has he corrupted the City Family? A little of both?

Click to expand

All the deets:

“Herrera calls on FPPC to join D.A. in investigating new Ed Lee campaign money laundering charge - CitiApartments’ former eviction goon led reimbursement-for-donation scheme, suggesting political payback for City Attorney’s 2006 tenant-protection lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO (Nov. 2, 2011) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera this morning called on the state Fair Political Practices Commission to join District Attorney George Gascón in reviewing new allegations reported in today’s San Francisco Chronicle that Ed Lee’s mayoral campaign received donations that appear to have been illegally laundered to skirt San Francisco $500 per donor contribution maximum.[1] Andrew Hawkins, a property services manager whose harrowing tenant intimidation tactics were central to Herrera’s lawsuit five years ago against the Lembi Group landlords’ once high-rolling CitiApartments empire, promised reimbursements to at least sixteen employees in exchange for maximum contributions to Ed Lee’s mayoral campaign at an Oct. 18, 2011 fundraiser, according to the Chronicle.

It is the second major allegation of campaign money laundering to benefit Ed Lee’s campaign. The first, involving GO Lorrie’s airport shuttle, is the subject of separate investigations by Gascón’s office and the FPPC, the state commission responsible to investigate and impose penalties for violations of the California Political Reform Act. Such schemes have been prosecuted as felonies in California for conspiring to evade campaign contribution limits, and for making campaign contributions under false names.

I think San Franciscans have now seen enough,” said City Attorney Dennis Herrera. “Too many of Ed Lee’s supporters act as though they’re above the law — on money laundering, on ballot tampering, and more — and Ed Lee isn’t strong enough to stop it. If this is how they behave before an election, just imagine how they’ll behave after the election, if Ed Lee wins. This scheme is clearly a bid for political payback by CitiApartments henchmen for my litigation to protect tenants five years ago. It is patently illegal, and I call on the FPPC to join the District Attorney in investigating.”

Hawkins is listed in Ed Lee’s campaign disclosures as the owner of Archway Property Services. As the one-time head of CitiApartments’ “tenant relocation program,” the gun-carrying Hawkins is reported to have coerced more than 2,500 tenants out of their rent-controlled units, and once boasted in civil court testimony, “I run people out of their apartments for a living. It’s what I do.

Several recipients of Hawkins’ email invitation to an Oct. 18 event on Russian Hill made contributions to Ed Lee’s campaign on the same date. All contributed the maximum $500.

Herrera sued the CitiApartments residential rental property behemoth in Aug. 2006 for an array of unlawful business and tenant harassment practices, which sought to dispossess long-term residents of their rent-controlled apartments. The coerced vacancies freed the company to make often-unpermitted renovations to units, and then re-rent them to new tenants at dramatically increased market rates. The illegal business model enabled CitiApartments, Skyline Realty and other entities under the sway of real estate family patriarch Frank Lembi to aggressively outbid competitors for residential properties throughout San Francisco for several years — before lawsuits and a sharp economic downturn forced the aspiring empire into bankruptcies, foreclosures and receiverships.

A 2009 San Francisco Magazine feature story on the Lembi real estate empire[2] described Andrew Hawkins as “a burly former nightclub bouncer who headed up CitiApartments’ relocation program.” Hawkins reportedly led teams as large as 14 full-time employees, according to the report, and the company estimated that “Hawkins relocated more than 2,500 tenants.” An earlier exposé in 2006 by the San Francisco Bay Guardian[3] cited civil court testimony in which Hawkins boasted to one tenant’s family member, “I run people out of their apartments for a living. It’s what I do.”

# # #

SOURCES:
[1] Source: “Ed Lee donors face money-laundering allegations” by John Coté and Heather Knight, San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 2, 2011, http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/11/02/MNKJ1LOMB7.DTL
[2] Source: “War of values” by Danelle Morton, San Francisco Magazine, Nov. 19, 2009, http://www.modernluxury.com/san-francisco/story/war-of-values
[3] Source: “The Scumlords: Part One of a Three-Part Series” by G.W. Schulz, San Francisco Bay Guardian, March 8, 2006, http://www.sfbg.com/40/23/news_skyline.html

Labor Unrest on Market Street: Carpenters Local 2236 vs. McRoskey, the Absurdly Expensive Mattress Maker

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

This was the scene yesterday on Market Street near Gough:

Click to expand

Is the National Labor Relations Board involved with something to do with McRoskey Mattress Company, that longtime manufacturer of absurdly expensive mattresses, as well as absurdly expensive pillows and, well, you get the idea? I think so.

Anyway, if you ever want to buy a cot for $2000+, or a twin bed for $3600 (plus tax of course), well, just push past the protesters and shop, shop, shop.

World Series Update: Watch Games Three and Four Outdoors with Gavin Newsom, But Leave Your Beer at Home

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

[UPDATE: Word on the street is that this isn't going to happen after all....]

Erin Sherbet has the deets on the coming Jumbotron-style showings of games 3 and 4 outside in the rain this weekend. But please remember:

This is not a party zone,” said Newsom spokesman Tony Winnicker. “It’s a place for families and true baseball fans who want to cheer Giants on — there are lots of other places to party and buy pitchers of beer.”

Harsh. “True baseball fans” don’t drink beer, apparently.

Here’s true fan Homer Simpson enjoying a game without beer for the first time in his life. Now, are your shields up? Good, start at 17:30, Komrad

“I never realized how boring this game is”

Go Giants!

The Return of “Epic Bearded Man” Thomas Bruso of AC Transit Fame – Bus Fights Behind Him – Cheering for the Giants

Monday, October 25th, 2010

CaliberSF‘s Travis has a doozie today. Click on over to see the original version of this shot and also to catch up with Vietnam Tom.

Via Travis of CaliberSF

What MTC is Calling Congestion Pricing on the Bay Bridge Isn’t, Actually

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Obviously, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission can charge whatever it wants on our broke-down San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, but raising the toll at 5:00 AM every weekday morning when the bridge isn’t congested at all is not what can fairly be called congestion pricing.

Call it something else, MTC. Call it a toll increase, if you want. Whatever you call it, it’s not an implementation of congestion pricing.  

Mssrs. Matier and Ross are highlighting this issue today

“Bay Bridge drivers are going to be forking over an extra $2 during the morning “peak” commute hours of 5 to 10 a.m. starting Thursday – even though the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, which made the call, has stats showing the actual peak is from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m.”

Economist Bill Vickrey, the “Father of Congestion Pricing,” must be rolling over in his grave over there in New York.

What good does it do to send a signal to drivers that it’s better for society if they drive over the bridge at 4:50 AM vs. 5:10 AM? It does no good at all.

 

The latest missive explaining tings from the Ministry of Truth, after the jump.

(more…)

Both AC Transit Bus Fighters Speak Out – Planned Boxing Rematch Cancelled

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Here’s some fresh video from YouTubes’s doghousefm. It seems that the famous incident started when Epic Beard Guy Thomas Alexander Bruso boarded an AC Transit bus so he could go “to Frisco to get some weed.” His original plan for his mother’s funeral:

“I’m going to wear a powder blue fucking suit, and a white shirt and a red tie and a fucking breast cancer pin…”

Comes now the fight loser “Michael” (who appears to be on a first-name-only basis with DJ “JV“):

“First of all, I’d like to aPOlogize to AC Transit…”

It goes on and on, Black History Month, 5150, bygones, veterans, arthritis, murder, parole, apologies, brothers, stolen money, leaking, ass kicking, Strike Force(?) Showtime TV, 10,000 kids, cocaine - it goes on and on.

Can’t remember which morning-zoo / dawg-pound joint this screengrab came from. Oh yes, it was from WILD 94.9 FM:

And here’s more information about the now-cancelled plans for a rematch.

We’re approaching endgame on this one…

A Message from Thomas Bruso: “Don’t Fuck With Old Senior Citizens, They’ll Surprise You”

Friday, February 19th, 2010

Well, somebody tracked down Epic Beard Guy Thomas Bruso after he got released from John George Psychiatric Pavilion.

Here he is, straight outta Caffe Trieste in North Beach, Tom Bruso:

Wow, he runs the gamut.

He mixes fact with fiction – how can you sort it all out?

Here’s the reaction on KRON 4.

How Should the SFPD Deal With Somebody Like Epic Beard Man Thomas Bruso, Tasers?

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

[UPDATE: Tom speaks out on video.]

Now-famous 62-year-old Bay Arean Thomas Bruso (aka Epic Beard Man, Tom Swift, and Tom Vietnam) picks fights as he rides AC Transit in the East Bay, of course, (incident video now available in high def) but he also has been known to take BART to visit San Francisco from time to time. For example, here he is near Market Street back when he was just 48, as seen by Caliber photographer Troy Holden:

“Back in 1996, I was working at the intersection of 2nd & Market. Each and every day the man pictured above would walk by my shop, wave a loaf of sourdough in my face, and scream obscenities about the San Francisco 49′ers.”

Good times, via Troy Holden

This guy is as strong as an ox and quite onery to boot, needless to say. So, could Tasers help the SFPD control and handcuff Tom (the next time he’s off his meds) and people like him should the need arise?

Let’s find out, courtesy of footage of Tom at an Oakland A’s game last year. Is this a proper use of a Taser? I don’t know. It ended up being a time-saver for the cops, certainly. Would they have felt justified in shooting Tom with bullets at that moment? Obviously not. The question after any Taser discharge is what would you have done if you didn’t have the Taser, right?

If cops view using a Taser as a first resort, you end up with a tragedy like that of Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver International.

Speaking of Tasers and the East Bay, check out this excellent report from Demian Bulwa about how the BART Police Department ran the initial stages of its Taser program.

That’s a poorly-run operation. What about the California Highway Patrol? They seem to do be doing better with Tasers these days. For them, a Taser is just another arrow in the quiver. Check it, a CHP officer on San Francisco’s Octavia Boulevard with his two primary weapons, a Smith & Wesson Model 4006 semi-automatic and a TASER International X26:

  

So why shouldn’t the SFPD have Tasers? We already trust them with handguns and assault rifles, right? We’ll end up with a few more lawsuits but with fewer dead civilians. Sounds like a win, overall.

And finally, let’s hear from the RAND Coporation. They pondered the use of Conducted Energy Devices (CEDs) for the NYPD and had this to say: 

“Our key less-than-lethal force recommendations:

We reviewed reports of about 455 NYPD shootings from 2004 to 2006 and identified 25 cases where we judged that had a less-lethal weapon been available, officers may have used it to subdue suspects instead of using their handguns.

We also note that when other departments have deployed Conducted Energy Devices or CEDs, commonly known by the brand name TASER, injuries to both suspects and officers have declined.

We recognize that some groups have criticized the deployment of CEDs, raising issues of safety, overuse, and misuse. As such we recommend that the NYPD undertake a pilot program for the deployment of CEDs.

Such a program should allow patrol officers in selected precincts to be trained and equipped with CEDs that can incapacitate suspects from a distance. We believe there is evidence that if NYPD officers had access to this device, some number of officer-involved shootings could be avoided, and injuries to both suspects and police officers will decline. A carefully designed pilot program conducted over six to 12 months in a few select precincts would give the department enough information to determine whether the devices would alter the way the NYPD officers apply force and whether the weapons could be used properly.”

So, it would seem a well-executed Taser program could be a good thing for the SFPD.

Oh and yes, an apology from videographer Iyanna, after the jump

(more…)