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AmmianoGate: Surcharges Were Paid, Kinda

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Following last week's reports from San Francisco Magazine that Supervisor Tom Ammiano's party refused to pay the 4% health care surcharge at 2223, the Chronicle's Phil Bronstein breaks down the entire situation as individually recounted by the players involved. Turns out SF Mag—or 2223—may not have gotten all the facts completely right, though as pointed out by Mr. Bronstein, the entire story has become a bit of a he-said, she-said ordeal. First, the fallout from last week's hubbub, from its trio of protagonists:

In the angry crossfire: Supervisor Tom Ammiano says people are blaming him for things he didn't do because "I'm not so pretty, I'm old...I don't know." San Francisco Labor Council board member Criss Romero, eating out with Tom and friends, wonders if the owner of 2223 "had me confused with people who work in the kitchen -- I was one of the only Latinos in the restaurant that night." And the owner/chef, Melinda Randolph, who happily concedes she's a "bleeding-heart liberal", has gotten "hateful emails from people who think restaurateurs only work four hours a day, drive Lexuses and go home and sip wine."
Now that the dramatis personae for our morality play are set, what about the payment/non-payment of the health care surcharge, you ask?

More from Bronstein:

The six diners paid for the food, a whopping 20 percent tip on top of the automatic group gratuity, but there was that pesky surcharge and the waitress coming over to deliver the dogma. Romero marches up to the hostess. "If they're gonna tell me about this then I'm gonna tell them my point of view." Which he does.

Romero says the whole group paid every part of the bill but the hostess took off an appetizer to make amends. Melinda Randolph says the restaurant removed the cost of two desserts. OK, not a big difference there. But then things go from broil to fry.

After the removal of the desserts (or appetizer) from the bill, Randolph formed the following opinion:
Bottom line for Randolph, which was presumably passed along to SF Mag: The comped desserts mean "they did not pay" the surcharge.
And then the bell sounded on Round Two.

We suppose one could split hairs about what did or didn't get paid, and the dramatic arc of everyone involved, but we'd say Bronstein summed it up pretty nicely, so do check out his take on the entire saga. Besides, for us, the most entertaining part of Bronstein's piece is the revelation that someone at Range "actually booted" Ammiano because of his legislation. What we wouldn't have given to be on hand for that exchange.
· Did Ammiano Get Smeared? [Bronstein At Large]
· Supervisor Tom Would Rather Not Pay That Surcharge [~ESF~]
· Staff Blog 4/29 [SF Mag]

[Photo courtesy]

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