Southern Hospitality

Sometimes, Bites actually feels bad about being so hard on Governor Gray Davis. Sure, he’s handled the energy crisis badly and sold out core Democratic values, but geez, being governor of this big, complex state has to be tough.

Yet just when Bites starts considering a kinder and gentler approach to prodding the good governor in the right direction, over the fax machine comes another blistering attack on one of Davis’ supposed enemies from the governor’s senior political adviser Garry South.

This nasty little fellow makes Bites seem downright kindhearted. Politics is dirty business, and there are none dirtier than South, who fires out one of his “fax facts” from the Governor Gray Davis Committee whenever someone dares to cross his boss.

Gubernatorial challenger Bill Jones is a regular target of his missives, as was potential challenger Arnold Schwarzenegger and all the “other Republican, better-to-bark-at-Davis-than-bay-at-the-moon mad dogs who are making a cottage industry out of attacking the governor over energy,” or so sayeth South.

He even shoots at fellow Democrats such as state Controller Kathleen Connell for criticizing Davis’ approach to the energy crisis. After predicting that she didn’t have a chance in her run for the mayor of Los Angeles, South couldn’t resist a little grave-dancing last week when she placed dead last.

“Connell’s blatant attempts to breathe life into her moribund campaign by attacking the governor at all turns, including running TV spots taking shots at him, were a dismal failure—including her inappropriate, poorly received rant at the Democratic State Convention, over which her chief deputy walked off the job in embarrassment and anger,” South wrote. “There’s an old saying: You sometimes fall into the grave you’re digging for someone else.”

A writer he’s not, but South’s mangled point is particularly interesting in light of the latest news out of the governor’s office that Davis communications director Phil Trounstine has also walked off the job in embarrassment. Of course, the official line on Trounstine’s resignation is “family reasons,” but neither Bites nor anyone else is buying that.

Keep digging, Garry, keep digging.

Not dogs: Sure, it’s great to have a semi-pro baseball team in Sacramento, and the Sacramento River Cats have certainly been enjoying an avalanche of praise and support from this community.

But for chrissakes, can the vendors at these games please stock up on enough wieners so you don’t keep regularly running out of hot dogs during well-attended games! This is baseball, and if you can’t even keep hot dogs on hand, you’re never going to be a real baseball team.

Hire a hot dog czar, ease up on some of the high-priced wait service on the VIP seats, make extras and plan on running the leftovers over to Loaves & Fishes after the game, focus on the basics in baseball luxuries—just do something to deal with this gross blasphemy to the American Pastime.

Because if Bites has to wait in one more long line only to be told “We’re out” (as the vendors said of both hot dogs and pretzels one night last week), then Bites pledged to unload on the River Cats with a fury that even our fair governor has never known.

And the winner is … : Have the priggish home school conventioneers who last summer insisted on putting clothes on Sacramento’s nude Poseidon statue been slapped around enough yet in this space? Of course not!

The Sacramento Convention and Visitors’ Bureau officials who allowed our public art to be defaced in the name of puritanical sensibilities have already been duly criticized by SN&R, the Sacramento Bee, Playboy and countless local residents.

Now joining in the pile-on is the Thomas Jefferson Center for Protection of Free Expression, which has given a 10th annual Muzzle Award to the SCVB for censoring public art just to placate some out-of-towners who equated nudity with pornography.

In announcing the award, the Jefferson Center printed SCVB president Steven Hammond’s apologist quote: “I thought it was done in very good taste. The statue is still there, and these people brought a huge piece of business that has had great impact on our community.