The Rise of Candidate X - Page 3

The absolutely true story of how a complete unknown rocketed from political obscurity, electrified the city, tackled real problems, and beat Ed Lee in 2015. 

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All illustrations by Sean Morgan


Masked and spandex clad, Candidate X straddled two Muni buses while doing the splits, Van Damme style, between them. X rode the buses spread eagle, laughing like a demented Santa Claus, as streams of San Franciscans ran behind them down Geary Boulevard. Using the ploy to call for Kickstarter of America's Worst Transit System, millions of streaming video gawkers nationwide flocked to and knocked out the crowd funder's website.

The silliness ended before you could say "back door!"

It was seemingly successful. Defying the history of failed fixes from every ex-San Francisco mayor since forever, X single-handedly raised enough money to "expand Muni for the next three decades," progressives claimed.

Some played it as a progressive spurning of Mayor Ed Lee's proven political tactic ignore Muni's issues and glorify the Google buses. Some portrayed it as a socialist takeover of an already red or dead leaning City by the Bay. Your humble narrator knew better.

copsX X is a ludicrous candidate no sane citizen would back, and that stunt was clearly that a stunt. But still the quixotic charade marched on.

Last week, X sat Mark Zuckerberg and a team of star studded tech oligarchy down with progressive activists. The previously evicted Lee family was there, arm-in-arm with former Mayor Art Agnos and a cadre of lefty power in San Francisco, or what's left of them anyway. With Candidate X in the center of the two contentious camps, the tableau was vaguely reminiscent of the Last Supper, save for the presence of Mission District burritos.

San Francisco's problems were tastily tackled one by one.

Housing problems? Hacked and solved. The homeless? Software solutions streamlined shelters in a day. Even hunger among the city's poor was licked, as the techies and lefties together crafted solutions mind-melding the best ideals of both. All throughout, a time bomb ticked away like a demented clock ready to strike "I told you so!" at midnight.

It's difficult to watch impending doom stare well-meaning people in the face. Literally staring, as the problem came the person posing for all the cameras: Candidate X.

Last week the candidate's violent history was revealed, and although the SF Weekly doesn't have a stock of X-ray glasses, your humble narrator still saw this coming a long way back. X is a fraud. A charlatan. A wannabe in progressive clothing. And now we all know why.

In police records obtained by the City Attorney's Office, Candidate X was revealed to be one of the Occupy San Francisco and Oakland protesters, maybe even from the pernicious Black Bloc. Way back when, the Bay Area was captivated by martyred rallier Scott Olsen and others who were wronged by the not-so-mighty Oakland Police Department. OPD tear gassed and grenaded the Occupy pests. At the same time, a more intimate, frightening drama played out across the bay in San Francisco's Embarcadero.

The SFPD was mostly kind to their own Occupy camp, but one boy in blue was not: Officer Alex Murphy. He paid dearly for it. One night, sleeping in his tent at the Occupy camp, Candidate X was roused by Murphy and ushered to leave. Does that translate into the officer deserving a beating within an inch of his life? It seems Candidate X thought so, although he also seems to have got as good as he gave, and ended up in the hospital.