California Lt. Governor Democratic Primary
by Bob Brigham, Fri Mar 12, 2010 at 08:54:24 PM EST
I think I could probably expand this one tweet into an entire book on San Francisco politics.
So, early this morning, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom announced at Caffe Roma he would indeed be running for California Lt. Governor. There is a popular support for his bid in San Francisco as if he won, the Board of Supervisors would pick who gets to finish out the last year of his term. The smart money is that the Board would go with current SF Democratic Party Chair and former Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin.
Hours later, blogger and Examiner columist Sweet Melissa Griffin went to get her afternoon coffee at Caffe Trieste. For those of you who don't know SF, Trieste is 2.5 blocks and a world away from Roma. It is also known as Peskin's office. And there he was, with Janice Hahn -- who has been running for Lt. Gov for months.
Morning coffee at Roma vs afternoon coffee at Trieste pretty much describes the fault-line in North Beach politics.
No word on whether former Gray Davis, Joe Lieberman, & Gavin Newsom consultant Garry South was with Hahn. South went to Hahn after Newsom failed to raise any money in his gubernatorial bid. The news of South joining Newsom's gubernatorial bid was actually broken by a blogger who saw Newsom and South at Starbucks.
After the jump, an Open Letter to Garry South from Calitics & friends, asking him to resign from the Hahn campaign.
Open Letter to Garry South
by: Calitics Editorial Board
For the good of the progressive movement, for the good of the state of California, and for the good of your candidate, Janice Hahn, you should resign your post as chief strategist to the Hahn campaign.
In this time of profound economic and political crisis, California deserves a campaign that is focused on solving the issues that have brought our state to its knees, a campaign focused on restoring the California Dream. Petty attacks like those you have begun to level against other candidates -- including attacks on Jerry Brown's age -- not only distract from those issues, but they undermine your own candidate.
Your attack on Gavin Newsom is highly unethical. (See below the fold.) By using against him conversations you held with Newsom while he was a client of yours you are not only breaching the trust you held as a senior advisor to Newsom's gubernatorial campaign, you are also potentially making Newsom into a sympathetic figure, further undermining Hahn's cause.
Janice Hahn has a lot to offer Californians -- she is a successful local government official who has a long record of effectively implementing progressive policies. She has built a considerable amount of support across the state during her campaign because of her pledge to bring a local government perspective to a profoundly broken state government. You risk undoing that work by resorting to your typical, failed approach of attacking the opponent instead of showing the electorate why your candidate deserves their support.
We write not as supporters of any particular candidate or potential candidate, but as progressive Californians who are sick of watching you run promising campaigns into the ground with your destructive style of vicious personal attacks. All you accomplish is electing Republicans. Do the ethical and honorable thing and resign from the Hahn campaign immediately.
Calitics Editorial Board
Public Policy Director, Courage Campaign
Venice for Change
Founder & Chair, Courage Campaign
Calitics Editorial Board
Online Political Director, Courage Campaign
Note: for an in-depth explanation of why Garry South is a disaster for Democratic candidates, peruse the open letter Calitics posted laying out South's failures in January 2007.
Note 2: It should be emphasized that this isn't really about Janice Hahn, we were impressed with her during our interview last year. But Garry South is really doing her a disservice over the last few weeks. Mudslinging just isn't the way to win a Democratic primary.
STATEMENT BY GARRY SOUTH
JANICE HAHN FOR LT. GOVERNOR
FORMER SENIOR ADVISOR, GAVIN NEWSOM FOR GOVERNOR
I am surprised and perplexed that my friend and former client Mayor Gavin Newsom apparently has decided to jump into the lieutenant governor's race at the last minute - especially against an already-announced candidate who would be the first woman lieutenant governor in California history.
In every one of several conversations we had about the job while he was running for governor, the Mayor expressed nothing but disinterest in and disdain for the office of lieutenant governor. In fact, he was derisively dismissive of Gray Davis's decision to run for and serve as lieutenant governor prior to running for governor ("I'm not a Gray Davis," he said). On a couple of occasions, he directed me to repudiate publicly in the strongest terms that he had any interest in ever running for lieutenant governor.
The Mayor himself told the Chronicle in October that rumors he may run for lieutenant governor were "absurd" and "a complete lie," and angrily accused Jerry Brown of personally spreading false information to that effect. As recently as December, he himself said flatly "no" when asked directly on a San Francisco radio show whether he intended to run for lieutenant governor.
In addition, when he precipitously pulled out of the governor's race in late October - against my advice - he said he couldn't continue as a statewide candidate because he was a husband, a new father and the mayor of San Francisco. So far as I know, he's still a husband, a new father and the mayor of San Francisco. So it's pretty hard to see what's changed over the last four months that would now allow him to run for another statewide office.
If the Mayor does run, it is his responsibility to explain why he now claims to want an elected office he summarily dismissed publicly numerous times over the last several months, and which just earlier this year he called "a largely ceremonial post" ... "with no real authority and no real portfolio."
Paid for by the Janice Hahn Lieutenant Governor 2010 Committee
777 S. Figueroa Street, Suite 4050, Los Angeles, CA 90017