Kickin' It 

Who pays for the repairs when the cops kick in your door? Who pays attention to minor candidates? Who pays partial domestic-partner benefits?

Let's get hypothetical for a sec, feeders: Say the cops show up at your house with a search warrant. They knock and yell: "Open up, it's the police." Then, if you don't answer in time, they knock down the door. Now, here's my question: If they don't find anything useful -- like, y'know, evidence -- who pays to fix your busted door?

The answer is, usually, YOU. Okay, okay. Most of us aren't visited by the 5-0 unless we've done something, y'know, against the law. But that's not always the case. Consider the case of the cousin of eighteen-year-old Kimiko Wilson, the North Richmond teen accused of murdering two acquaintances and seriously wounding a third in the Iron Triangle two months ago. Police say Wilson fled afterward, sparking a nationwide manhunt. Richmond cops rightly wanted to catch the kid before he hurt anyone else. That's where Wilson's cousin, Darlene Weaver of Antioch, comes into the picture. Prosecutors believe she took in Wilson to keep him out of trouble. When Richmond detectives checked DMV and juvie records, Weaver's $600,000 East County crib was listed as his home address. Detectives persuaded a judge to authorize a nighttime search, even though the surviving victim indicated Wilson lived in North Richmond -- as police themselves acknowledged to the judge.

Police showed up at 3 a.m. and gave the usual "knock and notice" routine. When neither Weaver nor her husband, Ivan, answered right away, the cops busted through their lovely eight-foot-tall solid wood door, knocking holes into the adjacent wall. The bewildered couple later complained that their uninvited guests didn't give them time to answer the door.

Ultimately, the cops came away empty-handed because, according to Weaver, her allegedly homicidal cousin hadn't lived at their place for at least ninety days. Detective Mitch Peixoto purportedly told them that the city would cover the costs after they submitted a repair estimate. But doors in fancy neighborhoods cost a lot more than doors in the ghetto. In the Weavers' case, Peixoto allegedly balked after the couple told him it would cost them $5,000 to replace and install a new solid wood door, plus fix the holes in the wall. They then filed an official claim against the city.

A claims assistant says the city generally only covers such damage claims when the police visit the wrong address, or if the suspect never lived at the address. That's not the case here, since Wilson obviously did live there at some point. A law enforcement source predicts the couple will have to pay to fix the busted door themselves -- money they could have used to run for governor.

Whatchoo Talkin' 'Bout, Gary?

The power elites of the Land of Fruits, Nuts, and Flakes have spoken and they are not pleased with the fruits, nuts, and flakes running for governor in October's recall election. Apparently we are not allowed to eat candy with our electoral vegetables.

However, feeders, let me submit to you that the low threshold for becoming a gubernatorial candidate -- $3,500 and the signatures of 65 registered accomplices -- is a boon, not a boondoggle, for democracy. All of a sudden, candidates for governor are expressing all kinds of kooky-yet-interesting ideas, not the usual premasticated slop the electorate is expected to digest every four years. Among the new ideas that already have been floated are taxing breast implant surgeries, making it illegal to talk loudly on cell phones publicly, and seceding from the union so that California can collect foreign aid.

This is precisely the sort of participation that lefties have wanted to see for years: A statewide campaign affordable to all. Granted, certain Californians -- the celebrities -- have been offered a larger soapbox than others to promote their ideas. Take porn star Mary Carey, who was X-examined by Fox News interviewer John Kasich. Ms. Carey reportedly wants a Webcam in the guv's office. (Having seen Ms. Carey, Bottom Feeder would also like a Webcam in her office, but I digress.) The point is that Kasich, a former GOP congressman, talked semi-seriously with her about her provocative -- albeit surgically enhanced -- ideas.

Which brings us to our own surgically unenhanced gubernatorial candidate, diminutive actor Gary Coleman. The Express paid his filing fee and gathered the necessary signatures to put him on the ballot and even promoted him on our cover last week. It was political theater with a point, aimed at exposing the alleged ridiculousness of the recall itself. I say alleged, because not everyone on the editorial staff -- namely one Feeder, Bottom -- believed the recall was ridiculous. Proving the law of unintended consequences, on the day the Express announced his candidacy, Coleman told CNN he was going to back fellow celeb Arnold Schwarzenegger. Candidate Coleman also later seemed to part ways with the paper's point of critiquing the recall itself, saying that he'd be pleased as long as anybody but Gray Davis won the election. But still, serious news outlets aired (and continue to air) Coleman's unconventional views on the flat tax and water desalinization. When was the last time any major media outlet -- KPFA and the Bay Guardian excluded -- asked an independent or third-party candidate his or her views on anything?

Reporters Need Not Apply

Pity those poor hacks over at the Oakland Tribune, the Hayward Daily Review, the Fremont Argus, and the other papers in the Alameda Newspaper Group chain. Unionized scribes have been working without a contract for two years now, and it doesn't look like they'll have one anytime soon. The average entry-level reporter at the Tribune, ANG's flagship paper in the Bay Area, earns about $30,000, which doesn't even leave them enough disposable cash to run for governor.

The latest slight from management came two weeks ago when ANG human resources veep Bob Jendusa announced that, come January, the company would offer domestic partner benefits -- but only to nonunion employees. "The principal goal," he wrote in a July 31 company e-mail, "is to establish yet another advantage in the company's efforts to attract and retain talented and skilled employees in the diverse markets we serve." Trib reporter Bob Gammon, the ANG unit vice chair for the media guild, grumbles that the union has been demanding domestic partner benefits at the bargaining table for the past two years as a way to attract talent to the chain. Gammon says ANG suits like Jendusa would retort that the company couldn't afford it and wouldn't lure people anyway. "The company's thumbing its nose at us by all of a sudden offering these benefits to everyone else," he grouses. But Jendusa retorts that guild officials like Gammon are still free to negotiate for domestic partner bennies. And good luck with that, Bob. ANG chief Dean Singleton is so cheap and uptight that if you fed him coal he'd shit cubic zirconia.

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