The family man

How to lose a reputation in one night: During his Assembly bid last year, Steve Samuelian played up his family-guy image—plastering a big pic of himself, his wife and their beaming little tot on his campaign Web site. It’s just the kind of thing a candidate would want to do, even if he’d been popped for solicitation a few years earlier. Now, it looks like the Clovis Republican is up to his old tricks, so to speak. Fresno police pulled the assemblyman over February 1 in his Chevy Blazer, when he apparently was cruising for hookers again.

The Fresno Bee broke the news and is now writing about how the rookie lawmaker’s political pals are already distancing themselves. Samuelian quickly issued reporters a terse statement wherein he stuck to his story, which sounds totally plausible: He was driving up and down a street frequented by prostitutes late on a Saturday night because he got lost while trying to drop some fliers at the county farm bureau.

Police reported seeing Samuelian circle a few times, follow a woman and then cruise through a motel parking lot before they pulled him over. Samuelian said he was lost and didn’t know the area was a hangout for prostitutes. Cops gave him directions and let him go. Later, they checked the farm bureau office and found it locked up with no fliers around. Then, they ran Samuelian’s name and found out he’d asked an undercover cop for oral sex at the exact same place in 1998. (Could his car have broken down, and he asked for a tow job?) Back then, he admitted knowing the area was streetwalker territory, and he got three years of probation. After learning that history, police asked the district attorney to press charges.

So, by Sunday, prominent valley Republicans were calling for Samuelian’s resignation! Ironically, cops note in the new report that it was his unique “A29” license plates (as in 29th Assembly District) that first caught their attention.

Sacramento’s from Mars, Yolo County’s from Venus: Bites was enthused to hear that on January 28, Yolo County’s Board of Supervisors joined San Francisco, Oakland, Santa Cruz and others in opposing the USA Patriot Act, which “might infringe on the rights of individual citizens of Yolo County by detaining citizens and non-citizens and engaging in surveillance which could threaten the civil rights and liberties guaranteed under the Constitution.” The city of Davis was expected to pass a similar resolution. Sacramento County, however, is cozying up to the feds. On February 5, the supes unanimously passed a resolution to establish and promote the Sacramento area as a regional center for homeland-security research, training and logistical activities related to public safety. What would the center accomplish? The No. 1 goal listed in the resolution reads: “capturing a significant share of federal and state Homeland Security program funds.” Oh, that kind of security.

Pollard vs. Pollard: Bites just hung up the phone after chatting up Scott Pollard, and guess what? The guy’s back is A-OK—no broken bones, no problemo! Only thing is, he’s not our man. This Scott Pollard, a public-relations flak for Brodeur Worldwide in New York, has been on the other side of a mistaken identity thing with our Kings’ big man for years (even though the Kings’ player spells his first name with only one “t”). Every month or so, he’s contacted by a fan begging for an autograph or return e-mail (“It’d mean a lot to little Johnny”) and has to shoot one back saying, “Sorry, I’m not that Scott.” In fact, the New York version of Pollard told Bites he’s “not that tall” and doesn’t really even enjoy the game of basketball. Ouch! “At first, it was amusing,” he told Bites. “Now, its just part of life.” Meanwhile, mistaken-identity ho Bites waits on a return phone call from Tom Cruise!