Move America backward
Republicans target Moore: Self-described conservative hero Howard Kaloogian fell a bit short of a mandate when his recent Senate run nabbed only 11 percent in the March Republican primary. But that hasn’t stopped him from forging onward, using the twin engines of the Internet and talk radio to set America right and promote himself in the process. Kaloogian’s latest project is “Stop Michael Moore,” a campaign that encourages followers to “take action against the release of his anti-American movie Fahrenheit 9/11.” Referring to Moore as a “domestic enemy,” Kaloogian is urging supporters to demand that the film, which is critical of the Bush administration’s handling of 9/11 and its aftermath, not be exhibited in local theaters.
Kaloogian chairs the Sacramento-based Move America Forward, whose directors are a who’s who of area hard-liners, including San Francisco talk-show host Melanie Morgan (who, according to her bio, “rose up and led thousands to the streets to demand Clinton’s impeachment”), Lew Uhler (who co-authored the California state term-limit initiative that has done so much to cripple state government) and political strategist Sal Russo (who previously masterminded Kaloogian’s Recall Gray Davis campaign and whose firm is the registered owner of the anti-Moore site).
Hard to say what lengths those who heed Kaloogian and Russo’s call will go to in order to “stop” Moore, but Bites is hopeful that the site’s overblown rhetoric won’t inspire anyone to start fighting free speech with their own form of terrorism. (You don’t have to be an abortion-clinic worker or Oklahoma City survivor to know that much terrorism is still homegrown.) Fahrenheit 9/11—or, as Kaloogian put it, Moore’s Al Qaeda recruiting video—opens nationally a week from Friday.
Vasconspiracy: In his four-decade tenure in the Legislature, Senator John Vasconcellos occasionally has been lampooned for pushing far-out ideas such as self-esteem legislation. This year, Vasconcellos earned a few snickers with his bill to let kids as young as 14 cast partial votes.
So, when Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart called for an interview, not everyone thought it would be wise for Vasconcellos to grant one. The show’s faux-reporters get laughs by mocking their sometimes-unwitting subjects.
“Some staff had concerns whether [the bill] would receive the appropriate amount of deference on that show,” said Vasconcellos aide Matt Gray.
But Vasco didn’t come off too badly when the show aired Monday.
“I imagine that a lot of legislation comes from self-help books,” the show’s reporter told Vasconcellos. The senator’s perplexed expression said it all, but he stayed on target and stuck to explaining the benefits of his bill. “Right on, right on,” the reporter replied. “You just blew my mind.”
A plague of Bonds: Action heroes overrunning Sacramento may not be such a big deal these days, but did anyone else wonder about all the weird James Bond veterans running around town this week? On Monday, former James Bond Pierce Brosnan and his environmental-activist wife, Keely, appeared on the Capitol’s north steps to support Senator Don Perata’s Heritage Tree Preservation Act, which would ban the cutting of redwoods, sequoias and other trees that have been alive since 1850. While the Brosnans were stumping for tree preservation (Get it? Stumping!), two other Bond alumni were getting ready to descend on Buzz Oates’ home for a Dan Lungren fund-raiser. Richard Kiel (who played 7-foot-tall bad guy Jaws in two Bond films) and Maud Adams (star of James Bond’s Octopussy— insert your joke here) both were slated for the Tuesday reception (the $1,000 VIP ticket got you a pic with the stars, or maybe just Dan). No doubt sensing that Jaws and Octopussy would need additional firepower to compete with an actual “Bond, James Bond,” the Lungren folks also recruited Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s grandson David Roosevelt and professional wrestler Roddy Piper. Is this town getting cosmopolitan or what?