Don't cry for Newsom

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By Steven T. Jones
So the Examiner thinks we should all just back off of Mayor Gavin Newsom, in the process contradicting its own reporter's story a few pages earlier on how brittle and unaccountable Newsom has been behaving. If the mayor had announced he was taking some time off to deal with his problems, then the Ex editorial might have a point. After all, Newsom clearly has some problems and it can't be easy dealing with a pack of reporters who have questions that he's not willing to answer. But Newsom wants to stay on the job, and that job is a difficult one that entails dealing with the media and the Board of Supervisors. Newsom refuses to answer legitimate questions, but its the job of journalists to keep asking them until he does, and the job of supervisors to help lead this city. While the Ex editorial got it embarrassingly wrong, the Chron editorial was right on. This mayor has an obligation to engage with supervisors and the media, and his scripted and controlled town hall meetings, like the one planned for this Saturday in Bayview, don't count. We deserve an honest, engaged, and accountable mayor. He chose the job, and now he chose to remain in that job without taking any time off and to run for reelection. Newsom's problems are of his own making, and he's making them worse by behaving as if he deserves a free pass.