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Duel for the soul of democracy

Wednesday, Oct 6 2004

The election is only weeks away, and already the voter guides are thudding against our doorsteps. Indeed, San Francisco is abuzz with 11th-hour politicking, but even at this late stage, one race remains a puzzle: District 5. There -- in the pork chop-shaped province that includes the highbrow boutiques of Hayes Valley, the high-crime alleys of the Western Addition, and the just-plain-high street merchants of the Haight -- a whopping 22 candidates are battling for the job of supervisor, left vacant by former golden boy Matt Gonzalez. With so many able candidates to choose from, we know of only one authoritative way to make sense of the consummately confusing race: Sup-Ee-Oh!, loosely based on the wildly popular and consummately confusing Japanese trading-card game Yu-Gi-Oh!. So grab a pair of scissors and a friend, choose your candidate, and have some fun with San Francisco democracy!


In Sup-Ee-Oh!, two players face off in an all-out battle, engaging in a card duel to decide the seat of District 5 supervisor. It will take skill, luck, and progressive thinking to vanquish your foe. Wage battle with fantastic Monster Cards and magical Spell Cards; defend yourself with confounding Trap Cards!


The object of Sup-Ee-Oh! is to defeat your opponent by using cards to destroy his candidate's Political Life Points (PLP).


1) Cut out official Sup-Ee-Oh! cards.

2) Color and laminate cards. (Optional.)

3) Shuffle deck and deal 12 cards to each player.

4) Choose candidate. We suggest choosing a candidate with a high PLP rating, but if you need to "vote your conscience" you can do that, too. Sucker.

5) Begin Sup-Ee-Oh!


1) Flip coin to decide who goes first.

2) Choose a Monster Card or a Spell Card to attack opponent. Some Spell Cards may be used in tandem with a Monster Card.

3) Attack according to rules printed on each card.

4) The numerical attack value of each card (ATK) is deducted from opponent's PLP.

5) Use Trap Cards to defend yourself when attacked. Trap Cards can be used only once.

6) After attack, calculate points and retire attack card(s) to discard pile. Only one attack per turn.

7) If a Trap Card has greater defensive value (DEF) than the attacking card(s), deduct difference from the attacker's PLP.

8) If all cards are used and both players still have PLP, reshuffle and continue battle.

9) The first candidate to eliminate the PLP of opponent is the winner!


Robert Anderson: dishwasher, Ruby Skye. Attribute: can drown out any opponent with extended harangue about bicyclists. PLP: 1,100.

Bill Barnes: former aide to Supervisor Chris Daly. Attribute: bike rider who doesn't own a car, never learned to drive, and still couldn't get Bicycle Coalition's endorsement. PLP: 2,100.

Joe Blue: former member, Golden Gate Bridge District. Attribute: "A guy like Joe is very direct," according to Joe Blue. PLP: 1,250.

H. Brown: writer, Attribute: admitted class clown whose blog says you should vote for him because his "new medication is working wonders." PLP: 950.

Patrick Ciocca: attorney; restaurant host. Attribute: will guide you to better district, seat at Bob's Steak & Chop House. PLP: 1,275.

Julian Davis: doctoral student in philosophy, Stanford. Attribute: used D5 race to disprove teleological argument for the existence of God, intelligent design. PLP: 1,300.

Lisa Feldstein: former city planning commissioner. Attribute: Jewish-African-American who's handy with Race card; cried foul when outgoing Hispanic supervisor endorsed Iranian-American candidate for D5 post. PLP: 2,000.

Emmett Gilman: chairman, Alamo Square Neighborhood Association. Attribute: has a son in public school. Got that? Public. PLP: 1,300.

Robert Haaland: union organizer; activist. Attributes: transgender; ballsy. PLP: 2,350.

Phillip House: progressive. Attribute: rumors of his campaign cannot be confirmed. PLP: 800.

Dan Kalb: environmental policy director, Union of Concerned Scientists. Attribute: talksveryfast. PLP: 1,600.

Susan King: Green Party activist. Attribute: . PLP: 1,550.

Ross Mirkarimi: Green Party activist; legislative aide. Attributes: basso profundo; groomed by (and increasingly like) Matt Gonzalez. PLP: 2,500.

Michael O'Connor: owner, the Independent music club; member, Small Business Commission. Attribute: would subdue district's unruly children with bad experimental hip hop. PLP: 1,475.

Jim Siegel: landlord; owner, White Rabbit head shop. Attribute: fitting that the race's most moderate candidate is the guy who owns a head shop. PLP: 1,400.

Tys Sniffen: efficiency consultant. Attribute: draws life points, Vader-like, from his ever-present hat. PLP: 1,350.

Francis Somsel: former business owner; self-proclaimed Newsom Democrat. Attribute: well, shellac worked for Gavin .... PLP: 1,350.

Phoenix Streets: San Francisco deputy public defender. Attribute: dead end. PLP: 1,300.

Andrew Sullivan: chairman, Rescue Muni. Attribute: joins fellow moderates Siegel and Somsel in a so-called "Mod Squad," the grooviest gang of candidates who ever wore a sensible tie. PLP: 1,200.

Nick Waugh: human rights adviser, Business for Social Responsibility. Attribute: scored an endorsement from that noted wizard of District 5 issues, Howard Dean. PLP: 1,300.

Brett Wheeler: former coordinator, Matt Gonzalez for Mayor. Attributes: key phrases from first three sentences of online bio -- "born in 1969"; "Children's Hospital of San Francisco"; "independent thinking"; "environmental awareness"; "social liberation"; "post-Vietnam"; "Prop 13." PLP: 1,150.

Vivian Wilder: political activist. Attribute: nice lady; wields a mean walker. PLP: 900.

Click below to download cards!
Monster Cards!
Spell Cards!
Trap Cards!

About The Authors

Nate Cavalieri


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