The best way to squash a rumor is to stop repeating it.
But since state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, is happily spreading a salacious tale told at his own expense, what the heck.
A tantalizing Twitter post popped up late on a recent Saturday, asking if the rumor about DeSaulnier was true: Had he really been arrested for drunken driving while joy riding with a prostitute in a state car?
No. He was not. Really, no. We checked.
But the tweet tweaked our twitchy editors, and they sent me scurrying out of the restaurant where I was dining with my husband and friends. I began firing off texts and leaving phone messages.
Within a half-hour, DeSaulnier returned my call.
He sounded suspiciously chipper for a guy who, rumor had it, trashed his political career with booze and floozy.
This tweet would dampen his high jinks, for sure.
Nope. DeSaulnier laughed uproariously.
"Can you use this in your column?" he asked.
The rumor probably grew out of talk about the March drunken driving arrest of Assemblyman Roger Hernandez, D-West Covina, outside a Concord hotel while driving a state car. In May, Hernandez pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanor charges.
A renowned jokester, DeSaulnier has been retelling the tweet tale far and wide, despite friends' admonitions that silence is the best cure for a scurrilous rumor.
Humor is a superior antidote.
"Why is this a debate online with active councilmember participation and all other council members copied?" she wrote. "No councilmember should be 'responding to all,' on this. ... This email thread is not an open meeting of the city council. ...
"I am really tired of having to bring this to one or another councilmember's attention. There is a reason for open meetings of elected bodies. It is so meetings get publicly agendized and any member of the public-at-large (not just a few select people) can participate."
Ahem, Madame Mayor, did you mean to hit "reply all" on that email?
MEMBERSHIP HAS ITS PRIVILEGES: The Richmond Progressive Alliance -- big soda tax backers -- is limiting to once a week nonmembers' postings on its Facebook page, per soda tax critic Felix Hunziker.
So, Hunziker inquired, how does one become a member?
Fill out an application and your request will be considered, came the reply.
Fat chance, Hunziker. Pun intended.
GOT POLITICS? Read the Political Blotter at IBABuzz.com/politics:
bee serious: As if we needed more evidence of social media's buzz factor, Oakley Councilman Randy Pope turned to Facebook when he needed support for a residential beehive ordinance.
Pope posted a plea for help on the Legalize Bees in Residential Neighborhoods Facebook group page. Come to the meeting and speak or send an online comment card, he wrote.
A dozen or so responded -- some from other states -- but to no avail.
Pope's colleagues nixed the idea as too risky, what with all the talk about killer bees mating with nice bees and those litigious parents ready to sue anyone responsible for unleashing the bee who stung Johnny or Suzie.
Pope is now under scrutiny in the blogosphere after admitting that he introduced the law because he wanted to have beehives at his house. He keeps bees -- outside of town -- and learned recently that Oakley is one of the few cities that expressly ban the practice.
Yeah, the councilman's push to sweeten the law with favorable testimony is unseemly for an elected member of the same board charged with voting on the law.
But as conflicts of interest go, this one is relatively harmless.
Beekeeping at the residential level is a hobby, not a lucrative commercial operation.
He didn't ask the council to approve hives only at his house; it was a citywide ordinance.
Presumably, Oakley already has rogue bees operating outside the limits of the law.
Herding fuzzy insects armed with scary posterior stingers into white boxes is a little creepy, but bees smell much better than, say, cows.
Besides, bees make honey.
Those obnoxious dogs next door to my house don't make a single useful thing, only a racket Saturday morning when I'm trying to sleep in.