Questions for Gavin Newsom?

With the 2010 electoral cycle beginning to gear up, I'm setting back to the enjoyable task of interviewing candidates and elected officials all around the country for MyDD. (You can read through the dozens of interviews I have done for the site over the years, if you're interested.)

Later this afternoon, I will have the chance to interview Gavin Newsom, San Francisco's Mayor and a candidate for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in California. I will be posting the transcript and audio of our conversation tomorrow, but before then I'd like to know what would you like to see me ask him. Send me your questions via Twitter @jonathanhsinger or leave them in the comments here at MyDD.

Tags: CA-Gov, gavin newsom, Interview (all tags)

Comments

11 Comments

Re: Questions for Gavin Newsom?

In recent years the legislature, hampered by constitutional restrictions and partisan gridlock, has been consistently unable to perform the basic task of passing a budget. How can this situation be changed?

by mcc 2009-05-19 11:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Questions for Gavin Newsom?

Have you enjoyed being mayor?  

(For any other politician this would be a softball, but Gavin actually seems to hate being mayor.  He's whined about not liking the job to the press before, which immediately blew back on him.  So it would be interesting to see if he trips up on the question at all this time, or if he rolls right through it.)

Has dealing with the San Francisco Board of Supervisors prepared you to work with the Legislature?

(Newsom's relations with the Board are horrible, even with some of his nominal allies.  He knows this, and he knows that the Legislature is a disaster area.  He should be able to connect working with a "difficult" Board to working with a difficult Legislature, which would be interesting if he does it well, and interesting if he trips up and insults either the Board or the Legislature too egregiously.)

And now for the good shit:
You told the Economist that if the San Francisco Chronicle died, "people under 30 wouldn't even notice."  Will newspapers be able to recapture this generation, and do you think social media or other new models will eventually replace them?

(Gavin got in a spot of trouble with that comment to the Economist; the Chronicle was none too amused by it.  In fact, one of their columnists retorted that "If that's the case, then people under 30 won't even notice you haven't been our full-time mayor for more than a year," and another called him Mayor Twitter.  I left that out of the question, but that comment is a hole that Mayor Newsom dug himself, and it would be very interesting to see how well he is getting himself out of it.  Does he rise to the bait in the question, and predict the eventual dominance of New Media, and further piss off the Chronicle, or does he back up the newspaper, say some pablum about how irreplaceable they are to democracy, and risk looking unhip?  How he responds should be indicative of how much discipline he'll be able to handle himself with going forward.)  

Why do you want to be governor?

(Because every candidate for higher office should always be asked this, and ought to have a real answer for it too.)

-- I think these questions are just tough enough to be real, without being either directly hostile, or fawning.  Thanks for the opportunity to offer them, and I hope the interview goes well!

by texas dem 2009-05-19 12:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Questions for Gavin Newsom?

Arrrggg.  mcc's question is much better than mine.  I think mine are vaguely interesting, but trying to get a meaningful comment on 2/3rds out of him is actually important.

by texas dem 2009-05-19 12:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Questions for Gavin Newsom?

he's now in favor of simple majority to pass a budget.

by Todd Beeton 2009-05-19 02:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Questions for Gavin Newsom?

All right, but if this is the case then I for one would be curious what his plan is for getting a repeal of the 2/3 rule enacted...

by mcc 2009-05-19 02:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Questions for Gavin Newsom?

How is he going to reframe taxes to overcome decades of anti-tax messaging? What are his plans for finally getting to a fiscally sound place revenue-wise? How is he going to overcome the structural deficiencies that make California ungovernable so that he leaves the office a bit better off than Gray Davis or Arnold Schwarzenegger did/will?

by Todd Beeton 2009-05-19 12:04PM | 0 recs
my question

Meg Whitman has proposed to lay off at least 30,000 state employees to close the budget deficit.  Do you have an alternative, and if so what is it?

Laying off state employees is going to be a big issue, and he'd better have an effective response.

by esconded 2009-05-19 12:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Questions for Gavin Newsom?

Ask him if he'll support a constitutional convention to make California governable and what specifically he'd liked to see changed about the constitution.

Also, ask him how he responds to frequent criticism from the left that he's a "corporate tool" as some have put it and whether he considers himself a progressive/liberal, a moderate, or whatever and why.

by ARDem 2009-05-19 12:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Questions for Gavin Newsom?

Can you ask him how his positions on policies at a state level differ from those of Jerry Brown?

BTW, I like both candidates. I like Brown's record as mayor better.

by Mark Wallace 2009-05-19 01:09PM | 0 recs
Question

Does Mayor Newsom regret, "Whether you like it or not," considering that it was featured in one of the most effective CA campaign ads in a generation?

Also, I view everyone with suspicion on here and Daily Kos (including Markos) who keep insisting we need a ConCon here in CA. It's a ruse to get Prop. 8 repealed.

The only prop. that needs repealing with the quickness is Prop. 13.

Mayor Newsom should say that, but every good CA politican knows they'd be immediately drummed out of politics....

by Zeitgeist9000 2009-05-19 03:28PM | 0 recs
What?

I've seen people calling for a constitutional convention since well before prop. 8 even submitted its signatures.

by mcc 2009-05-19 03:53PM | 0 recs

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