Capt. Cairns Rolls Lemons
In a town where cronyism and money too often determine who wins and loses in politics, it's sweet justice to see someone lose big and ugly playing the inside game. SFPD Capt. Richard Cairns thought he'd use the mayor's race as a way of advancing himself through the ranks, even perhaps winning the police chief's job. He sprinkled money into the campaign stashes of three major contenders: Willie Brown, Frank Jordan, and Angela Alioto. He went as far as to hold a fund-raiser for Brown. But the new mayor passed him over for the chief's job, opting instead for Fred Lau and the opportunity to make history appointing the first Asian-American chief. But that was only the beginning of Cairns' losing streak. Cairns' biggest backer, Brown's campaign manager, Jack Davis, is now going around town spreading vicious falsehoods about Lau, saying the new chief lied on his rsum and that he was less than truthful in filing police reports in the '70s. Gee, did Davis think this would help his friend maybe win a conciliation command post promotion from Lau? If he did, he's flat-ass wrong. Taking the highroad, Lau simply says, "There are no vacancies in the command staff right now. If one opens up, everyone who is qualified will be considered." You can bet a bundle Cairns won't be on any promo list for a while.
Willie Week 2
Extending his philosophy of government of glib, the Emperor glided into Week 2 by resolving a minor crisis as if it were a sitcom instead of, in Frank Jordan's immortal words, "a third-rate soap opera." It's easy to force the squabbling subordinates on your payroll to smile and shake hands, but in the process has Brown created expectations that he can get San Francisco's lions to lie down with its tigers? The Lau/Davis tiff was just that, a tiff, a war of words, where neither side could win. We'll endorse Brown for the Nobel Peace Prize when he gets Larry Martin and the Muni drivers to slow dance with Doug Shorenstein and his Men From Jobs.
By John Sullivan, George Cothran, Jack Shafer