Gavin's Rovers: The Republican Connection
District 6 Supervisor Chris Daly
Daly , Special to Fog City Journal
Reprinted with permission.
June 10, 2007
Many San Franciscans rejoiced last week as Scooter Libby was
sentenced to 30 months in prison. But when it comes to media manipulation,
deceit, and vicious political attacks, I'm afraid that Rove's
Republicans in Washington have little on Team Gavin here in what
is supposed to be the countrys most progressive City.
Never mind Newsom's resolution
supporting Bush's "War on Terror" in 2001, his donation
to the Republican Party, and the Republican
support that nudged him past Gonzalez in 03. Forget
about Gavin's opposition
to grassroots efforts to impeach Bush and Cheney and his total
lack of support for measures to call for withdrawal of troops
from Iraq and military recruiters from our schools. While the
entire field of Democratic (and even some Republican) challengers
for President is running squarely against Bush, Team Gavin is
deep into Karl Rove's playbook. For proof you need only to look
at Newsoms current shenanigans around the affordable housing
appropriations and the years most important policy document
the annual budget.
What's Wrong With a White Bread Budget?
to Basics Newsom highlighted his pet projects during his
last Friday at the Citys 311
Center. In his record-high $6.1 billion proposal, Newsom was
able to include upwards of $40 million in new programming for
street resurfacing, additional police officers, 311 call takers,
and various other wonder
bread projects. In front of the cameras, Newsom was well polished.
What the Gavinator failed to mention was how he was able to fund
his pet projects. Despite a steady stream of public comment and
even 2 rallies in front of City Hall, we never heard from Newsom
or his corporate media
Gavins cuts including the largest programmatic cut
ever proposed in a San Francisco budget. Massive reductions, most
$33 million cut to affordable housing programmed by a supermajority
of Board members last month and devastating
4% cut to health services, paved the way for Gavins
slush fund spending.
In my April 24th blog, A
War of Words, I chronicled the background on this years
affordable housing supplemental. A supermajority of Supervisors
passed the original $28 million supplemental as well as another
$5 million supplemental for first-time homebuyer assistance. On
May 11th, Newsom returned the legislation unsigned with a "signing
statement" seemingly invoking George
Bushs Unitary Executive Doctrine, declaring, my
administration will not spend funds which we do not have.
Prepare for Showdown
Meanwhile, Team Gavin had already been quite busy building the
budget hype around their new pet projects. In the early days of
May, with the affordable housing supplemental already passed by
a supermajority of Board members, Team Gavin launched in the press
their plans for additional homeless
funding, a small
business one-stop shop, and a killing-2-birds-with-one Public
Works Summit to both build the case for increased spending
for roads while having dialogue
with voters in-lieu of an appearance
at the Board of Supervisors for a formal policy discussion.
The timing of the Mayors budget strategy should take nobody
by surprise. Its now the norm for the Mayor to lead up to
their June 1st budget submission unveiling their shiny new initiatives
to generate positive press and perhaps even some goodwill with
members of the Board. The difference this year is the Mayors
backhanded maneuvers on the Boards affordable housing appropriations.
We heard the official justification for the Mayors statement
that the City didnt have the money for affordable housing
(when clearly they did) last week from his Budget Director, Nani
Coloretti. At the time he made the statement it actually
was true. (SFGTV
3:45:00) Coloretti contended that the Budget Office was not
planning on including the Mayors new initiatives as of May
11th. She never attempted to reconcile her statements with the
roll out of Newsoms new initiatives by the Mayors
press office before May 11th, and she never explained why, if
it was true that the budget shifted to the good by tens of millions
of dollars in the final half of May, the Mayor decided to propose
deappropriation of the Board priority for affordable housing anyway.
This explanation, or lack thereof, is typical of the
Newsom Administration whenever theres controversy
let the low-level flak do the dirty work but doesnt
accurately reflect what really was going on behind the scenes
at the time.
The Republican Connection, Part II - Gavin Newsom's Karl Rove
While the Mayor was making the case for tens of millions of dollars
in new pet programs, he simultaneously needed to figure out how
to thwart the Board on affordable housing without having the votes
to sustain a veto. The answer was found in Roves playbook
defiance, deceit, personal attacks and implementation of
a Republican press strategy that was revealed earlier this year
during the Scooter Libby trial.
The San Francisco Chronicle penned it a smorgasbord of
Washington insider details. Some of the most sensitive information
revealed at that trial came during testimony
of Cheney press aide, Cathie Martin. Martin detailed White
House efforts to manipulate the media and talked frankly about
the tricks of the trade -- identifying news outlets susceptible
to control, giving exclusives
to friendly reporters and blackballing
critics, using 3rd
party columnists to make attacks or soften blows, and queuing
bad news into slow news cycles.
Insiders know the mastermind behind the Gavin Newsom political
operation is campaign consultant (and rent
control foe) Eric Jaye. While Peter Ragone was in front of
the cameras and took
the beating for lying to the press about Newsoms
substance abuse problem and his use
of several aliases to post on blogs, its always been
Jaye pulling the strings. He is Gavin Newsoms Karl Rove.
It was Jayes Care Not Cash efforts that gave homeless
advocates a bad name, while building the campaign infrastructure
for Newsoms initial run for Mayor. During that Mayors
race Jaye called Newsom opponent Angela Alioto a "political
terrorist" and may have generated fake
emails to sow dissent between Gonzalez and possible Democratic
supporters. Many believe that Jaye has been the force behind the
Newsom administration, managing Newsoms engagement on every
high-profile issue during the administration whether it
be gay marriage,
video scandal, the Ragone
situation, and, of course, the Newsom/Tourk
affair and Gavins
substance abuse issues.
All the while, Jaye has been at the helm of Newsoms never-ending
reelection effort. While I didnt pick it up at first with
own re-election going on last Fall, its become clear
as of late that Jayes strategy is to make Newsoms
reelection all about me. Why not? With their constant battering,
theyve driven my negative numbers up into the low 40s
and with all of Gavins foibles, they needed a really good
In October, I blogged
about Newsoms play around the police overtime supplemental.
on GavinWatch does it even more justice. Their play had begun.
Team Newsom followed that up with an attack on me for delaying
installation of surveillance cameras at 16th/Mission so that the
community could meet to discuss the issues. The Mayors press
office issued a press
release with a critique of my actions by Director of Criminal
Justice, Allen Nance. Only problem, Nance wrote
in an email cced to Board President Peskin that he never
made those comments and actually thought it a good idea to go
ahead with the community meetings. (He also seemed peeved that
they misspelled his name!)
Jayes big play would have to wait until after the controversy
around the Mayors affair and substance abuse issues died
down. In March, Team Newsom launched their Community Court
surprise. And I say surprise, because when it first hit the front
page of the Chronicle, nobody that Id talked to in the
impacted area, almost entirely within District 6, knew about it.
That included any of the stakeholders around the 8-year old, restorative
justice Community Court in the Tenderloin and South of Market.
Perhaps the Newsom PR folks didnt realize that there were
already Community Courts in San Francisco. They later changed
the name of their proposal to the "Community Justice Center".
While I didnt make any comment for the first article, I
did for their follow-up Sunday
To this day, the details on Newsoms proposal arent
worked out. As I understand it, the Superior Court judges are
lukewarm on the whole idea, the issue of defense attorneys is
unresolved, as is where the services that Newsom is promising
are going to come from. To this day there isnt any written
detail on the program besides a rote one-pager. Given all of this,
of course I oppose it. Im afraid Eric Jaye wouldnt
have it any other way. Here
is their organizing call from Newsoms reelection website.
Be careful! They've cleverly disguised it as a site for independent
Attack Daly, Part II - Operation Astroturf
While Jayes attack on me isnt limited to single issues
(check out last week's email screed Stand
Up to Sleaze), they really seem to be firing up their war
machine for this budget battle. Their initial response to news
of my introduction of a motion
to return the monies they stole to affordable housing this
4-sentence gem from the Mayor's press office. Then figuring
their lie was at risk of being exposed and needed to be repeated
over and over to make it true, Jaye and friends turned to the
usual suspects. In days they'd produced a favorable headline in
Threatens to Hack Into Newsoms Budget Proposal) coupled
with a fluff piece and an editorial in the Corporate Chron seemingly
reprinted directly from campaign materials (Dalys
Political Games). Beyond the now
obligatory email screed from the Newsom campaign, it appears
that Jaye is committing more significant resources to the fight.
Theyre trying to
rally small businesses along with labor and neighborhood
activists to defend their move. The Newsom campaign appears
to be operating
in concert with the Mayors Budget Office, in possible
violation of campaign and ethics laws. They are pulling out all
Gavin Newsom Stole $33 Million for Affordable Housing. Let's
Take it Back!
No matter how hard they try, they cant change the truth.
Gavin Newsom stole $33 million from affordable housing. Hes
cut millions in vital health programs just to fund his pet projects
and to attempt to galvanize his stagnant reelection campaign.
In the face of Team Newsom's efforts to whitewash this City,
we must strengthen our resolve to secure more affordable housing.
Building affordable housing is one of the best tools we have to
ensure the diversity of our City, and I believe we are worth fighting
for! Make sure you don't miss the most important budget battle
in the history of San Francisco this Wednesday and don't forget
to bring your white bread!
Wednesday, June 13
12 Noon - Polk Street Steps
- Legislative Chambers #250