Just the fax

Jonesin’ for attention: Many of you think Bites beats up on Governor Gray Davis way too often. If you’re in that sniveling group of centrist sympathizers, then you’ll be happy to hear that Bill Jones is really starting to get on Bites’ nerves.

Sure, Bites understands that the man is campaigning for governor and doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in Sacramento of winning, so trying to torpedo Davis with a nasty conflict-of-interest scandal is about all he has in his little Republican bag of tricks. It’s kinda like putting all your chips on red 36, just hoping for the big score.

But in his desperate quest not to be kicked out of Sacramento and back to Fresno, or wherever the hell this farmer-turned-demagogue came from, does Jones have to so blatantly abuse his bully pulpit in the secretary of state’s office? Hell, we could make up for this state’s electricity shortfall simply by unplugging the overheated fax machine in Jones’ office.

Jones has fired off a forest’s worth of press releases concerning the conflicts of interest that several Davis staffers have had with energy companies—all of them on official state letterhead. Of course, with recently released campaign finance statements showing that Jones has $840,000 in his election fund, necessity probably outweighed ethical concerns. Funny, that’s the same argument that Davis’ minions have made over the administration’s failure to get the energy buyers it hired to file financial disclosure statements.

Jones demanded investigations by the Fair Political Practices Commission, the Attorney General’s Office and the Securities and Exchange Commission, and then called press conferences and fired off more reams of paper demanding expansions of those same investigations. Soon he’ll want investigations of the investigations.

With more than a year to go until the election hits full swing—assuming he even makes it past the primary—Jones would be better off giving his horn a rest, waiting to see what comes of the investigations and working on those campaign commercials.

Because it’s entirely possible that the SEC will find that one or more Davis hires illegally used insider information to buy Calpine stock, or the FPPC will slap the administration for ignoring open-government laws.

Over this stuff, there’s no urgency. But when the state started forking over billions of dollars to the energy pirates, or when Joe Ratepayer was getting his rates hiked over a system implemented by big business interests, or when there was a political opportunity to implement public power—those, those were urgent situations that might have warranted alarmist rhetoric and desperate measures. But this? Pfffft! Bites will wait for the movie.

Pedal power: Speaking of people that want to send Jones packing, Richard Riordan was in Sacramento this week, sniffing around the governor’s office and putting on a media show. Bites believes the former Los Angeles mayor is the odds-on favorite to win the Republican nomination next year.

Trying to appear vigorous and in touch with the streets, Riordan showed up to meet the press at the Capitol riding a bicycle, even though he was staying at the Hyatt, which is right across the street. Ugh, politics can be such a silly business.

Doing lines: Kim Alexander is a high-profile rabble-rouser on behalf of the California Voter Project, but she’s freelancing on her latest crusade, which is to be officially recognized as a Midtown resident.

Or rather, she wants Midtowners to be officially represented on the Sacramento City Council by their very own member, someone who will jump when residents say jump and try to get a big share of the booty when the city starts handing out goodies.

After firing off letters in all directions, Alexander plans to make her final appeal to the City Council on August 9 at 7 p.m., which could be the final public comment session on the decennial redrawing of political districts.

Currently, Midtown is divided between Steve Cohn’s District 3 and Jimmie Yee’s District 4, but Alexander believes one politician who really needs the area’s votes is better than two politicians who only sorta need the votes.

Or maybe it just rubs Alexander’s proletariat soul the wrong way to get lumped into the same district with the blue bloods out in Land Park.