Newsom tries to defy City Charter


Gavin Newsom knew that if he got elected lieutenant governor, the supervisors would be able to choose his replacement. That was part of the deal. Now he wants to game the system, and delay his swearing in until the new board takes over. The claim: "The board should pick a caretaker, not a politician."

A politician? In the mayor's office? Um, dude: What are you?

This is not only annoying and dubiously legal, but stupid. Does Newsom really think the incoming board is more likely to choose a caretaker? No such luck. The incoming board is likely to choose David Chiu -- a politician who will likely run in November.

Besides, the state Constitution says the lite guv takes office Jan. 3rd. So if Newsom refuses to take the oath of office, one could certainly argue that he has vacated that position, meaning the governor, Jerry Brown, could appoint a replacement. I think if Newsom carries through with his lame threat that Jerry should do exactly that.

PS: Newsom also said he "can’t just walk away and see everything blow up and there are a few politicians in this town that want to serve on ideological agenda.” Let's be clear here: Newsom also has an ideological agenda. He thinks same-sex marriage should be legal and taxes should be low. He thinks it should be illegal to sit on the sidewalk. He's got plenty of ideology.

He just doesn't want a mayor whose ideology he disagrees with. Too late, Gav: You decided to leave the city. Now leave the rest of us alone to deal with the consequences. 



Apparently, the State AG's office (guess who?) has already opined that it is perfectly legal for Newsom to delay.

But I suspect his reason for doing this, and Feinstein is apparently giving him cover, is for the new Board to pick the interim mayor, since they are the ones who must work with him.

Makes sense to me.

Posted by Tom on Dec. 17, 2010 @ 4:36 pm

I thought the "deal" was that the people of California elected him as Lt. Gov. When did getting one over on the Board of Supervisors violate "the deal" he apparently concluded with CA voters when they elected him to the position in the first place?

This article reeks of barely suppressed fury on your part Tim. You have consistently underestimated Newsom - to your own peril. Now he's won again and really - you and your pals on the Board only have themselves to blame. In the end he called the Board's bluff and there's absolutely nothing any of you can do about it.

And keep dreaming that Jerry Brown is going to appoint someone else to Newsom's position should he delay his swearing in. It's not gonna happen and we both know it.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Dec. 17, 2010 @ 5:21 pm

There is real money involved here and the Democrat party hierarchy is going to make damn sure that our money goes into the correct pockets of their choosing, the entitlements of the entitled.


Posted by marcos on Dec. 17, 2010 @ 6:27 pm

What does this mean?

Posted by Patrick on Dec. 17, 2010 @ 6:36 pm

Quelle Surprise. This sleaze bag will keep greasing his way up the ladder until he is finally exposed. Even the Peter Principle must have some limits. Hope we get a chance to see Tom facing him down and calling him out. Though, true to form, he'll probably find some was to weasel his way out of actually engaging in face to face dialog, and mano a mano confrontation. Find a way continue pontificating via Press Releases and stultifying Lt Governor State Hall Fireside Chats.
Our gain is California's loss. Caveat emptor.

Posted by Guest. Patrick Monk.RN on Dec. 17, 2010 @ 6:48 pm

Newsom's real shame is the that he has given City employee unions everything to advance his political career and has left residents holding a bag full of $4.5 billion in unfunded health care and $8.3 billion in unfunded pension benefits (recent Northwestern University study) - that's a debt of $68,000 per household in unfunded employee benefits. This is his legacy and it will destroy the City like a cancer even if local media like the SFBG and the Chron will not cover it.

What a legacy- makes this current interim mayor battle appear a trifle...

Posted by AGuest on Dec. 17, 2010 @ 6:55 pm

Janice Hahn for Lt. Governor!

Posted by Guest on Dec. 17, 2010 @ 7:08 pm

Tim, here is what you would be writing if Newsom was a progressive and the Board was dominated by moderates:

"While Newsom's actions could be criticized as being manipulative it must also be noted that he is not doing anything illegal. Unfortunately, in this case, his actions are completely necessary. A progressive electorate reelected him with 74% of the vote in 2007 and 72% of the city voters picked him to be their Lt Gov this Novemeber. The moderate dominated BOS has shown little respect for those public votes and want to enact a 180 degree shift that has no electoral basis. The moderate Supervisor David Campos set at the outset that they must 'come together for the good of the moderate movement'. Ultra-moderate Chris Daly could hardly conceal his glee when he proclaimed the situation to be a 'once in a generation' opportunity to have a moderate Mayor. What is so 'once in a generation' about it? We elect a Mayor every four years. The part that excites moderate Daly is that for once the voters don't have a say and there is a chance to put a moderate into the Mayor's Office. Indeed, someone that would not be elected in a generation of direct public votes.

Newsom's actions need to be viewed in that light. Luckily he has not forgotten the city and is willing to stand up to those who openly mock the people's right to choose their Mayor."

Posted by Homer on Dec. 17, 2010 @ 7:09 pm

needs to be able to elect their own mayor, someone they can get along with that reflects their more progressive values"

Posted by matlock on Dec. 17, 2010 @ 8:10 pm


Posted by Sniffy on Dec. 21, 2010 @ 9:45 pm

I find it odd that the Guardian has finely found a politician's scheming to get over bad.

Posted by matlock on Dec. 17, 2010 @ 8:19 pm

The BOS has a responsibility to choose a mayor, given the absence of one. If he's not leaving, then they can delay choosing one. One wonders how long this will last, but really the question then becomes: who would be voted in as the President of the Board, because then the BOS is faced with either the President not being David Chiu, possibly, or having to choose an outside person, which no matter what he says, the Lt. Gov. has no say in.

Posted by Guest Mattachine on Dec. 17, 2010 @ 9:09 pm

Its departing members, however, cannot - when their terms are up they are no longer on the board.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Dec. 17, 2010 @ 9:23 pm

If you don't like it then don't be poor.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 17, 2010 @ 10:33 pm

The assertion Chiu is the "likely" pick of the next Board has been written before. What are Chiu's votes? The entire progressive bloc of Avalos, Campos, Kim, Mar and Mirkarimi plus either a new appointee in D3 OR Carmen Chu. That equals 6. But does anyone have it at least sourced on background that Avalos, Campos, Mar and Mirkarimi are certain votes Chiu as Interim Mayor? Or is this an Ouija board lite analysis?

Earlier this week it was stated here on this blog that Chiu is likely to earn the support of Cohen, Kim and Wiener. OK, let's look at that. Cohen is already on record in support of a "caretaker" and a "professional" who would not tip the playing field in November. That doesn't sound promising. Cohen was also endorsed early on by Fiona Ma and Leland Yee, and how Chiu's assent to the Mayor's office helps either of those term limited careers is a mystery worth sorting out. Also Chiu endorsed two other candidates in D10--Chris Jackson and Eric Smith. Aaron Peskin was also in the mix with Cohen, early on.

On to Kim, yes she will probably support Chiu. Her other prominent endorsement came from Willie Brown who is probably out of the running for Interim Mayor unless one of the progressives has a breakdown.

Wiener though? He might do it on tactical grounds but Chiu is hardly his first pick and there is no love there. Yes they went to Harvard (unconditional love for fellow graduates is not always part of the equation), and yes Wiener appointed Chiu to the DCCC but Chiu did not support Wiener's re-election as DCCC Chair in 2008 after making an earlier commitment. Chiu then backed Wiener's principle opponents in 2010 on the DCCC. See minutes:

Wiener is also on record on "the other blog" as saying Chiu's actions “disappointed" him.

On tactical grounds it is possible. Wiener might get to Chiu because he is a Leno backer and soon to be former employee of Dennis Herrera. Leno is contemplating a race for Mayor in 2011. Herrera is already in. The prospect of Chiu, Ting and Yee all in the 2011 Mayoral contest slicing and competing for Asian American votes in 1, 2 and/or 3 order (aka exhausted ballots) is useful to Leno. Wiener could see the tactical advantage for Leno of promoting Chiu to Interim Mayor, just as some observers have asserted the corollary that Campos as Interim Mayor help's Yee and his Mayoral prospects. Harvard will have precious little to do with it. But that assumes Chiu, like every other Mayoral candidate, goes through a citywide contest and nothing ever comes up that any of his votes on the Board of Supervisors would ever have cause to explain. City voters have been overexposed to Leland's suntan lotion story. It lacks freshness whereas Clint Reilly's alleged volatile reaction to Jim Corman's loss in 1980 somehow reacted with the San Francisco electorate when he ran for Mayor in 1999.

Interim Mayoral vote counting is necessarily long on conjecture and speculation. It's fun but to hang the word "likely" on Chiu's prospects but that has to come with this disclosure, this is +/- on steroids.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 17, 2010 @ 10:43 pm

Don't we still have access to all votes cast in prior contests. Get 'em out of storage and continue the IRV process. Then we have a replacement, whoever that might be, to fill any vacant office, and one who was legitamately selected by the voters.

Posted by Guest. Patrick Monk.RN on Dec. 18, 2010 @ 9:11 am

Why didn't anyone else think of that? Just go back three years and pretend like the election then never ended!! Pure genius - we could do that anytime someone leaves an elected position - just return to the previous election, as if it were a fly caught in amber, and re-start the process!! Like Jurassic Park but only for politicians!

You've missed your calling Patrick Monk RN. You really should have invented the first time-travel machine.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Dec. 18, 2010 @ 10:28 am

second place worked out for you though.

Posted by matlock on Dec. 18, 2010 @ 7:50 pm

Gavin Newsom has put his money where his mouth is, for the people of San Francisco, time and again. Now he wants to make sure that all the work he and the people of San Francisco have done together, isn't flushed down the drain by his being elected Lieutenant Governor. He is willing to do whatever it takes to stand by the City he has worked for and taken very good care of, for so many years.

As for Tim Redmond, what have YOU done for the people of San Francisco, except run your mouth?

Posted by Guest Miesque on Dec. 18, 2010 @ 9:56 am

I have, but it's not the first.

Posted by Guest. Patrick Monk.RN on Dec. 18, 2010 @ 6:24 pm

Please share more!!

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Dec. 19, 2010 @ 2:23 am

Pre-requisites. 101.
Open mind; Humane and inclusive world perspective; Macro-vision.
Pre-requisites. 101a.
The courage to speak one's name.

Posted by Guest. Patrick Monk.RN on Dec. 19, 2010 @ 9:18 am

For what?

Posted by Patrick Brown on Dec. 19, 2010 @ 12:24 pm

I am seriously thinking that the R.N after your name is "Registered Nut".

What are you taking about?

Posted by Patrick Brown on Dec. 19, 2010 @ 3:57 pm

That Newsom has either cut some kind of a deal (sleazy no matter who does it) or he's just trying to tweak Chris Daly. Because the incoming board is no more likely to pick a caretaker than this board. In fact, if I had to guess, I'd say the current board members,, which have made it very clear that they can't come to an agreement on any candidate, is more likely to choose a caretaker as a default.

Posted by Tim Redmond on Dec. 19, 2010 @ 8:07 pm

Sounds a bit like desperation, do you really think that Gavin will read this tomorrow?

Posted by Guest on Dec. 19, 2010 @ 9:34 pm

When Saint Daly was mayor for a day he appointed two people to some pollution board or another, and you progressives laughed your asses off and talked about how clever he was. Now someone else is trying to get over and you're saying "(sleazy no matter who does it)".

Everyday is a new day to make resolute pronouncements devoid of historical context.

Posted by matlock on Dec. 20, 2010 @ 12:22 pm

@ the other Patrick. Keep up. Follow the dots. Make the connections.
PS. "Nut-case" is the correct terminology

Posted by Guest. Patrick Monk.RN on Dec. 20, 2010 @ 5:49 pm

I had assumed that at least you knew what you were talking about, I stand corrected!

Posted by Patrick Brown on Dec. 20, 2010 @ 9:45 pm

My goodness, this author is foaming at the mouth for Newsom will deny that petulant child, Chris Daly, to nominate Aaron Peskin as interim mayor. What Newsom is doing is legal and the city attorney office consulted on the matter and the attorney general all say so. Tim, where did you go to law school? You didn't care every time Daly broke rules including not living in SF. This is why no one takes the Guardian seriously. Hack writers and no ethics.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 21, 2010 @ 2:09 pm

Oh lawdy, i took the bait again,
Oh well, mea culpa.
......dont assume, it's yet another prerequisite for myopia and misperceptions.
You dont need 'correcting', just a little more insight and thinking out of the box.
Over and out of this quagmire - until the next time.
Happy Hogmanay y'all.

Posted by Guest. Patrick Monk.RN on Dec. 21, 2010 @ 5:31 pm