Newsom denies using cocaine,
accuses Daly of being "sleazy"
Mayor Gavin Newsom held a noon press confernce today to talk about
a solar mapping website. After taking questions about the website,
Newsom got hit with a question from a San Francisco Chronicle
reporter who asked Newsom to respond to allegations of a cocaine
problem. The question came on the heels of Supervisor Chris Daly
calling Newsom a hypocrite for cutting funding to a substance
abuse program in the 2007-2008 budget.
June 20, 2007, 5:15 p.m.
Mayor Gavin Newsom held a press conference today and got sideswiped
with a question from the Chronicle asking the mayor to comment
on his alleged cocaine use.
The question arose on the heels of Supervisor Chris Daly's speech
at Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting during which Daly called
Newsom a hypocrite for cutting funding to a substance abuse program,
in the amount of $2 million, when Newsom, himself, is seeking
help with substance abuse.
Newsom admitted to an alcohol problem in February and subsequently
entered a substance abuse treatment program for the problem. Newsom,
however, has never admitted publicly to a cocaine problem despite
rumors to the contrary that surfaced at the same time rumors circulated
about Newsom's illicit affair with Ruby Rippey-Tourk.
Rumors of Newsom's affair with Rippey-Tourk proved to be true
when Newsom confessed
to the affair stating, "Everything you've heard and read
Newsom paused for a moment and then responded to the reporter's
question of whether he has used cocaine.
"The answer to that is absolutely not. It's offensive and
it's about as low as it gets. It's about as sleazy as it gets,"
"I'm not naive. I've seen a lot of things said and done,
but usually politicians don't do the dirty work; they have their
handlers and consultants do the dirty work. I've never seen an
elected official during a legislative session take this kind of
"For whatever reason he [Daly] doesn't want to engage me
on the issues, as opposed to our free wi-fi, as opposed to our
efforts on the justice center, as opposed to community police
for whatever reason he doesn't want to come out
from behind the shadows and engage me directly because of his
political opposition towards me. Now he's taking the cheapest
of cheap shots."
Newsom, upon finishing his answer, abruptly left the press conference.
Following the press conference, Daly was besieged by a number
of reporters, including this writer, and was asked to comment
on Newsom's denial.
"I will re-iterate my concern about the health cuts proposed
in the mayor's budget. Over $6 million in cuts, $2 million in
substance abuse programs," Daly said.
When asked where the allegation of Newsom's cocaine use came
from, Daly said he saw the report
by CBS' Hank Plante in February in which Newsom addressed
the rumors of his alleged cocaine use.
"I believe Hank Plante asked the direct question and he
did not receive a direct answer. Also I believe it was mentioned
by the attorney for police who have a complaint against the city
regarding Newsom's handling of the Videogate scandal."
Daly was referring to a report
by Dan Noyes in which attorney Waukeen McCoy challenged Newsom
to be deposed under oath about Newsom's alleged cocaine use.
Daly then said he had heard multiple rumors of Newsom's alleged
cocaine use from multiple sources, but declined to elaborate on
the source of the rumors.
"I'm not here to out people. I'm here to speak the truth.
I'm here to fight for the services for the neediest San Franciscans
and I stand by what I said yesterday."