We used to call Gavin Newsom Mayor Press Release because he was always ready to go before the cameras and announce some bold plan that never amounted to anything. And now he's at it again.
Newsom -- to his credit, I must admit -- was the only member of the Board of Regents who didn't flee when the protesters arrived. Instead, he sat down with some of them and announced that "you have my support."
In fact, he's happy to denounce the cuts to higher education:
In an interview Thursday, Newsom said he was deeply alarmed by what he called the dismantling of the UC and CSU systems and gently criticized the budget deal struck by Gov. Jerry Brown last year that included steep cuts to financing for both institutions.
“You can’t cut $650 million from both systems and tell me you value the system,” he said. “I believe we could’ve avoided a substantial portion of these cuts.”
Yes: you could have avoided those cuts by raising taxes. But that's something Newsom refused to do as mayor. He mentions nothing on his website about tax increases on the rich. He said nothing in his campaign about taxes. And unless I've missed something, he hasn't endorsed any of the possible tax measures that might be headed for the November ballot.
So he's going to go after the student vote in his next campaign -- but without alienating big corporate supporters who don't want to pay more taxes. And with that approach, nothing will happen to improve higher education in the state.
California, meet Lt. Gov. Press Release.
PS: I called and emailed Newsom's media person, Francisco Castillo, to see if the Lite Gov was going to support any of the November tax measures. If they get back to me, I'll let you know.