Loyal readers of this page -- and, perhaps, no one else -- are familiar with eccentric mayoral candidate Harold Miller. His position statements include impressing Jerry Rice into coaching an expansion football team at Candlestick Park; setting up an 800 number so streetcorner beggars can be impressed into safe houses; and, eye-catchingly, teaching Asians to avert beatings and murders at the hands of black youth by "look[ing] Blacks in the eye as a sign of respect."
Well, where do we sign up? Actually, that's just what Miller wants you to do. As an aspiring write-in candidate, he has until Oct. 25 to submit 20 signatures to the Department of Elections to qualify. Per his home page, should Miller's novel take on San Francisco's plight appeal to you, he will "stop by your home with the petition." This message is translated into 10 different languages, including Hebrew, Arabic, and several that appear to simply be computer gibberish.
Miller doesn't want your money -- so it's fortunate there's no cash requirement for would-be write-in candidates. After all, their names don't appear on the ballot. Yes, it's a good bet that a hefty plurality of San Franciscans have no idea who the mayor is. But the discerning voters, the ones who watch reruns of government meetings on Channel 27 and receive shouts of "NOOOOOOOOORM!" when they wander into City Hall, can ask for a list of write-in candidates at their polling places. Those voting absentee can call the Department of Elections and induce a government employee to read them that list.
Our messages for Miller have thus far gone unreturned. We have a feeling he'll get back to us -- his Twitter page describes his status in these brutally unvarnished terms: This 49-year-old Ex-Big Dog taxi cab driver lives alone in the Sunnydale projects in Visitacion Valley. That portends a pretty high level of forthrightness and honesty.
Perhaps he's off filming another one of his campaign spots; he's up to three dozen or more. Here's one below. It's an important message to impart, but we can't help noticing Miller is filming his spot on the shoulder of what appears to be Highway 280, with cars rolling past.
Harold! Be careful -- or it'll be more than a job you'll be needing.
Update, Thurs., Oct. 6, 2:15 p.m.: Harold Miller got back to us. He needed 20 signatures -- and, after canvassing churches, parks, grocery stores, and parts in-between, he amassed more than 1,000. Nice.
Miller doesn't hold out hope for an election-day victory. But that's not what this was all about. "I really didn't know anything about politics. I'm sort of embarrassed to say that when I voted for previous mayors or DAs, I went with the crowd. When I got into this, I wanted to see what was going on," he says. "It's an eye-opener. People said 'Put your name on the ballot!' No, no, no. I don' t know what I'm doing! Hopefully I made all my mistakes through this campaign, so, next time I run, I can be a sure thing."