Stolen honor

Honor society: As Sacramento’s most annoyingly pretentious commentator, Bites never misses an opportunity to perform a close textual analysis of the historic moments that regularly occur in Sacramento politics. So, over the long Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, Bites fired up the old TiVo to bask in the warm orange glow emanating from the Golden State governor’s always-perfect tan during the State of the State address. Really, who didn’t watch it one more time, just to relive the memories?

But before Arnold started hurling lightning bolts and jabbering about little fairy wings, Bites noticed something funny in the introductory remarks Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez gave the state’s constitutional officers, justices and other top officials.

Núñez welcomed “the Honorable Cruz M. Bustamante,” the state’s ever-dynamic Lt. Guv; and “the Honorable Bill Lockyer,” California’s crime-fighting attorney general. But next, Núñez introduced “Mr. Kevin Shelley,” the multiple-scandal-plagued secretary of state whose missteps are drawing so much attention that it threatens to undermine the donkey party’s power.

Had Shelley somehow been demoted, or stripped of his courtesy title, Bites wondered? Not really, it turned out.

Núñez corrected himself after what was surely an awkward half-second for Shelley, restating his intro to say “Honorable Kevin Shelley.”

Everyone else got the “Honorable” treatment, down to the Board of Equalization members. But just so Shelley didn’t have to feel bad, Núñez subsequently did the same “Mr.—oops!—Honorable” thing with Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi, who, as far as Bites knows, isn’t about to be hauled before a legislative committee and grilled about alleged improprieties.

So, at least Shelley was spared one embarrassment …

She’s a man, baby: Even in these uncertain times, all of us still can agree and even take comfort in the fact that there is, surely, but one Condoleezza Rice. The only national security adviser to refer to the president as “my husband,” Condi faced a tough interrogation this week by Senator Barbara Boxer at her secretary-of-state confirmation hearings. (Anybody notice what cojones Boxer is showing now that she’s been re-elected for another six-year term? Too bad Dianne Feinstein, who’ll be up for re-election next year, isn’t exactly backing her colleague.) So, upon hearing that a Condi imitator would be appearing at Christine Craft’s “Coronation Protest” on Thursday, Bites was intrigued. Who could possibly take on such a role? Will she and the Bush impersonator be smooching it up on the podium like their real-life counterparts? Inquiring minds had to know.

And that brings us back to the whole cojones thing. It turns out Craft’s search for the perfect Condi ended up with her finding a man for the job, one who was willing to transform himself into the good Dr. Rice with help from his personal stylist. Craft told Bites that “Heidi”—whose real name is Mike—will apear in full Condi regalia, complete with pageboy haircut and 5-and-a-half-inch stiletto heel bondage boots.

So, when the local Air America personality leads a crowd of kazoo-wielding protesters from Cesar Chavez Plaza to the state Capitol on the morning of January 20, be on the lookout for Sacramento’s own drag-queen Condi. Hell, if it wasn’t Not One Damn Dime Day (see for info about the Inauguration Day consumer boycott), “George” could even buy her a drink.

No shill left behind: Armstrong Williams has gotten a show of support from an influential Sacramentan. Kevin Johnson, writing in the St. Hope newsletter, says he’s proud to call himself a friend of Williams and has spent “countless hours” with him discussing politics, sociology, sports and other current events. Although Johnson acknowledges Armstrong exercised “flawed judgment” in accepting a quarter-million dollars from the Bush administration to promote No Child Left Behind, he argues that his ally in the battle for school reform had had his views “set in stone” for years already.

This may be a good time to point out that, unlike Armstrong, Bites is ideologically flexible—ready, willing and able to sell out to left, right or center for the right price. By the way, Kevin, has Bites told you how wonderful the new Sac High is? As a halfway measure toward the complete and inevitable privatization of public education, you charter schools simply can’t be beat! (P.S. Please make checks payable to Bites, SN&R, etc., etc.)