It hardly takes a deft mind to liken the ongoing Ross Mirkarimi domestic violence saga to the telenovelas his wife used to star in. Yet yesterday's testimony from ex-Mirkarimi flame Christina Flores was broad and prurient to an extent that would scare off even a soap opera sponsor. Per Flores, frat boys planning a panty raid could do worse than targeting Chez Mirkarimi. A good deal of her testimony was spent discussing who was leaving whose panties about the residence -- and Mirkarimi's allegedly violent response to such an incident.
Incidentally, SF Weekly had heard a number of panty stories -- but not from a quotable source. And certainly not from someone swearing under oath in front of a judge. It's hard to look past the juxtaposition of sworn testimony and ladies' underwear. But, if you can, the most fascinating dialog had to do with something that, like underwear, is doing its work where you can't see it -- Willie Brown.
In setting up Eliana Lopez, the mother of his child and his future wife, in an apartment "like a baby mama," Flores says Mirkarimi expressed a desire to "be like Willie Brown."
If you're a politician who doesn't value a stable home life, of course you want to be like Willie Brown. Here's the rub: There's only one Willie Brown.
"Ross is so not Willie Brown," says David Latterman, a USF lecturer and longtime moderate consultant. "Willie Brown is a brilliant, incredibly powerful, well-connected legislator. Whatever Willie Brown is, Ross isn't."
What Willie Brown isn't, however, is the rage-inducing symbol of everything that's wrong with government that spurred the "Progressive Revolution" of 2000. Moderate political consultant Jim Ross notes that even city progressives -- though not the ones who based their careers and campaigns on running against Brown -- find themselves gravitating toward Da Mayor. They may not agree with him on policy -- but Brown is a powerful man despite a closet of skeletons in Brioni suits.