Brown to Officially Announce Candidacy for Governor

Written by Luke Thomas. Posted in News, Politics

Published on June 29, 2009 with 18 Comments

California Attorney General Jerry Brown
at the annual Alice B. Toklas Pride Breakfast yesterday.
Photos by Luke Thomas

By Luke Thomas

June 29, 2009

Juicy news in the 2010 race for California governor; Attorney General Jerry Brown will officially declare his candidacy in “a few months,” Fog City Journal has learned.

“Now that Antonio Villaraigosa’s out of the race for governor, are you getting any closer to officially declaring your candidacy?” Fog City Journal asked Brown on the occasion of the annual Alice B. Toklas Pride Breakfast held Sunday at the Palace Hotel.

“I have to wait a few months,” Brown responded but didn’t stick around long enough for any follow-up questions.

According to political insiders, Brown is biding his time for several reasons.

Unlike gubernatorial hopeful Mayor Gavin Newsom, who is a relative unknown outside of the Bay Area and needs to improve his name recognition across the state, Brown is already a household name in California having previously served two terms as governor. Brown also received greater applause over Newsom at the California Democratic Party Convention in April and currently enjoys a favorable 20-point margin over Newsom, according to a recent poll by JMM Research.

Raising campaign funds also isn’t an issue for Brown because under California law he can transfer his sizable AG re-election war chest to his campaign for governor account when he officially declares his candidacy. And while Newsom is spending the lion’s share of his time running for governor, drawing widespread criticism for abandoning his responsibilities to San Francisco voters while using City resources to run his campaign, Brown is focused on serving as California’s elected AG, a point Brown and other candidates will likely exploit as the race heats up in 2010.

And if a picture is worth a thousand words, here’s a photo of a less than gracious city Mayor walking past his expected opponent yesterday, avoiding any contact with Brown before sitting down to chomp on scrambled eggs and pork sausages.

Snubbed: San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom avoids a simple greeting
with his out of town guest during the annual Alice B. Toklas Pride Breakfast yesterday.

Luke Thomas

Luke Thomas is a former software developer and computer consultant who proudly hails from London, England. In 2001, Thomas took a yearlong sabbatical to travel and develop a photographic portfolio. Upon his return to the US, Thomas studied photojournalism to pursue a career in journalism. In 2004, Thomas worked for several neighborhood newspapers in San Francisco before accepting a partnership agreement with the, a news website formerly covering local, state and national politics. In September 2006, Thomas launched The BBC, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, New York Times, Der Spiegel, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Magazine, 7x7, San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Bay Guardian and the San Francisco Weekly, among other publications and news outlets, have published his work. Thomas is a member of the Freelance Unit of the Pacific Media Workers Guild, TNG-CWA Local 39521 and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.

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Comments for Brown to Officially Announce Candidacy for Governor are now closed.

  1. Hum, as compared with the resounding conservative, neo-lib, corporate successes, or excesses, as you will.

  2. Patrick:

    Typically nasty and witless comment from you. Of course you find reading my blog a lot like a root canal, since it delineates with some precision progressive failure on so many local issues—homelessness, housing, graffiti, transportation, development, the bike fantasy, to name a few.

  3. Rob,
    If you are referring to the “District 5 Diary”, I do periodically check it out, I imagine others do also, so we know what you think, it comes as no surprise. As far as ‘intellectual’ stimulation goes, it probably ranks up there with mediocre Limbaugh or George W. I think it is important to know how the ‘other side’ thinks, I actually quite enjoy Mellisa Griffin in the SF Expletive.
    But as for your ‘stuff’, well I can usually find something more pleasant and worthwhile to do, like cleaning the grout lines in the shower stall or getting a root canal.
    Once again, thanks for all the new recruits you have encouraged to join SFBC. We couldn’t have become this strong without you.

  4. “Rob, I beg to differ. ‘pimp’ is a totally appropriate description of this little toad whose entire career is founded on living off the money and creative work of others. He is a nasty user and a loser.”

    Calling Mayor Newsom names just shows how intellectually bankrupt—and nasty—you and the city’s progressives are. Funny how Newsom has completely routed progressives on almost every issue, including the homeless issue, which you folks understandably don’t even want to talk about anymore, even though it was the issue that got him elected mayor in 2003. And to your astonishment he completely routed you progs in November, 2007. You couldn’t even find a serious candidate to oppose him! You and other name-calling progs are nothing but a shrill fringe tendency in city politics who provide Newsom with a convenient political foil.

    “Hey Rob, EVERYTHING is about bicycles isn’t it?”

    It evidently is for you and city progressives, which only demonstrates how the city’s left has degenerated into a kind of lifestyle movement, not a responsible political tendency with a serious analysis of the problems facing the city.

    “Is your argument that since some cyclists solo fall, that there is no point in making the street scape safer?”

    Typical that even though for years I’ve been doing a blog explaining exactly what I think of the Great, Planet-saving Bike Movement and a number of other issues you don’t know what I think. Of course you and other progs don’t read my blog, because it’s too painful when someone calls you on your shit, especially the bike fantasy. Your assumption seems to be that the city is obligated to completely redesign its streets on behalf of a small minority of cyclists, a bit of civic narcissism common to cyclists: it’s all about you and your goofball hobby disguised as a serious transportation “mode.”

    You seem to have opinions on everything, so why don’t you do a blog on city politics and issues? Instead of sniping at everyone else on other people’s sites? Your sniping strategy insulates you from having to substantiate your views with links and evidence, doesn’t it? If you had your own blog, you would get comments, feedback, and challenges that would be harder to deflect.

  5. Richmondman,
    Just your typical run of the mill SF politicians.
    Once anyone gets ‘elected’ to a position higher than dog catcher they are on the slippery slide into self aggrandisement, enrichment and promotion. There are always a few exceptions, Jeff Adachi being one of them. Some of the new supes seem to holding fast to their principles, for now at least. Time will tell.

  6. Hey Rob, EVERYTHING is about bicycles isn’t it?

    Is your argument that since some cyclists solo fall, that there is no point in making the street scape safer?

    Similarly, since some cyclists don’t obey the law, then motorists are given leeway to break the law against cyclists or otherwise to further their convenience?

    I agree with Patrick, in that Rob has done more to empower the SFBC than they could ever have achieved given their limitations. Absent any learning process, the harder they come, the harder they fall. Again.


  7. I agree that Newsom is a pimp. My question is, what will that make Peskin and Daly after the SF DCCC endorses him for govenor? Whores or Johns?

  8. Rob, I beg to differ. “pimp” is a totally appropriate description of this little toad whose entire career is founded on living off the money and creative work of others. He is a nasty user and a loser.
    By the way, thanks for all the publicity you have generated through your opposition to the “Bike Plan”, something else Newscum is now taking credit for. It helped raise awareness of the need to transform this city into a ‘livable city’ and attracted hundreds of new converts to our cause.

  9. “Hey Rob, when I see you, I do not shun you as if I am afraid of you even though we disagree most of the time and you’ve taken legal steps which have put my life and limb in further danger.”

    Still waiting for a detailed discussion of cycling accidents—yours or those of others—that could have been prevented by the Bicycle Plan. Don’t forget that most cycling accidents have nothing to do with other vehicles. They are “solo falls.”

  10. Hey Rob, when I see you, I do not shun you as if I am afraid of you even though we disagree most of the time and you’ve taken legal steps which have put my life and limb in further danger.

    But when Gavin Newsom is in the same room with Jerry Brown, he does not have the wherewithal to acknowledge his opponent as a peer, under the misapprehension that not legitimating his opponent makes him go away.

    Sure, when I see Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier, I can’t help but crack up laughing for the sheer absurdity of it all. And I can’t get over cracking up at the absurdity of her oeuvre to conceptualize her as a peer.

    But Jerry Brown is no lightweight like MAP, and unlike those nurtured in the Newsom/Eric Jaye/Jim Sutton farm team, Brown handles his handlers and exudes confidence when viewed next to Plumpjack.

    Thus, Newsom’s appearance as a cardboard cutout in the above photo tells it all.


  11. fraid i have to agree with marc on this one. newsom hasn’t earned anything on his own merits nor been elected without a lot of help, money, or in a basically uncontested field.

    he was appointed by willie brown to the board of supes.
    he ran for reelection as a supe either unopposed or virtually unopposed (sorry h.!).
    “care not cash” had a catchy but misleading name and the backing of the downtown biz money and gg restaurant types and voters who mistakenly thought it would help end homelessness, but was also criticized for its callous exploitation of the homeless by none other than john burton among others. prop n, followed by newsom’s second kick in the shins to the homeless, the prop to ban panhandling, were primarily devices to get around campaign finance limits and funnel more money to his mayoral campaign and publicize his name. newsom doesn’t actually care about the homeless — or anyone else in s.f. for that matter, as demonstrated by his AWOL reign as mayor, especially now as he panhandles nationwide in his fatuous attempt at running for governor.

    but i digress…

    in his run for mayor in 2003, he outspent matt gonzalez 8-1 or so (an obscene and unprecedented $8 million to $900,000), needed the hand-holding of feinstein and pelosi, and last minute propping up by al gore and bill clinton (flown in on a getty jet), as he slipped behind gonzalez in the polls. under questionable circumstances, a dirty campaign, and allegations of voter fraud, and thanks to the republican vote and early banked absentee ballots, newsom managed to squeak out a close 53-47% win against gonzalez’s galvanizing grassroots campaign. on a level playing field, newsom would have lost. anyway, newsom had no mandate, gonzalez won the progressive, gay and democratic vote.
    which is why newsom did the gay marriage stunt, which in turn succeeded in hoodwinking various members of the gay and progressive community into thinking newsom was ok after all – at least on that one issue.
    which is a key reason why he was left unchallenged (again) in 2007 and got reelected — with only about 25 percent of eligible voters voting for him by the way. no great mandate there either.
    and of course the minute he got reelected, he very predictably ditched sf to run for governor.
    meanwhile, prop 8 happened, and newsom’s earlier self-serving, media-hungry response to the first court decision (“whether you like it or not!”) which had initially legalized gay marriage, helped propel the odious prop 8 campaign to victory, to outlaw it once again. nice work, gavin.
    so yeah, a lot of true progressives are not impressed with newsom, and legitimately so.

  12. Don’t be so quick to support Brown over Newsom. To be clear, I can’t stand Gavin Newsom and his administration. His cynical PR machine bent only on increasing his electability above all other goals is a total insult to public service, and has perpetrated true harm on the community of San Francisco.

    But the crucial key here is to consider what will happen to California in the actual case that either Brown, or Newsom, gets elected.

    Newsom, because he runs as a progressive and has to retain those credentials, constantly has to capitulate the left and give us a -lot- of what we are asking for to stay in power.

    Brown on the other hand is a powerful old school machine politician who needs owe no allegiance to anyone but his elite circle once he gets into office. Brown continuously espouses, in excellent speeches, all sorts of progressive values and objectives, only to totally betray those expirations once he gets elected.

    His mayoralty in Oakland is a perfect example. For years prior to his election as Oakland Mayor, Brown suckered the progressive public with a very radically oriented call in show on KPFA radio. The tactic worked, and Brown got enough progressive support to get elected.

    He then proceeded to completely betray progressives in his actual policies, gentrify downtown Oakland, and generally behave just as any other multi-national corporate oriented machine politician would. He outrageously culminated his betrayals by allowing the U.S. Marines to use Oakland as a training ground for urban operations (essentially they were training for attacking and suppressing the American public if it ever gets too uppity and starts demanding real change in this country).

    The point here is that Brown is a global player with the elite backing and power to betray his campaign promises, while Newsom is a developing politician who must play ball with progressives and give us a lot of what he promises to get where he’s going. Yes, Newsom constantly takes credit for progressive gains that are actually created by Supervisors and other legislators in San Francisco; but the point is, under Newsom, those gains actually happen.

    The elites who Brown serves have an entirely different and grim agenda, and have the global muscle to make it happen. Brown is the most serious danger to California in this race not Newsom.

    If Newsom gets elected as Governor he will be compelled to work with the Senate and Assembly to actually get things done, or otherwise lose his career. Not so with Brown, who can basically do whatever the hell global capital wants once he gets in office, and he undoubtedly would do just that to the detriment of us all.

    So, strange as it may seem, more power to Gavin Newsom, lets put him in Sacramento and get him the hell out of San Francisco.

    Unless of course, someone who in fact -is- a progressive Democrat enters the primary; at which time we should dump -both- Brown and Newsom for a candidate who actually gives a damn about the public good and the planet.

  13. Good pics,

    All the way around. Bill Wilson got a couple of good shots of Gavin and a priceless one of Don Choi and Anthony Woods leading the ‘Knights Out’ contingent which was truly historic. Congrats to you all. Note that Jerry seems to have lost about 20 lbs.


  14. I’m supporting Brown, but prog hatred of Newsom is over the top. Calling him a “pimp” is just nasty. And “Newsom is so insecure in his power, because he’d had it handed to him for so long” is also way wide of the mark. Newsom was originally appointed to the Board of Supervisors by Mayor Brown, but he won re-election as a supervisor, got Care Not Cash passed, was elected mayor, and then re-elected, when city progs were too feeble to mount any serious opposition. Hence, this bitterness is nothing but sour grapes by bad losers.

  15. By the way, did you notice how Newsom has perfected that whole Obamaesque, rolled up shirt sleeves, ‘I’m just a regular ol’ guy like you’ look?

  16. Not that I give a shit, but if Brown wants to win, all he has to do is challenge Newsom to as many public debates as possible. If Newsom declines (which would be likely), Brown should turn it into a campaign issue. All he would have to do is keep repeating the mantra of “Why won’t he debate me?” After eight years of George W. Bush, I’m confident that the voters will be able to answer that question for themselves.

  17. Oh, I thought that was the Newsom cut-out figure used during the die-in, not a real picture of him avoiding his opponent.

    Newsom is so insecure in his power, because he’d had it handed to him for so long, that he allows himself to be intimidated whenever the prospect of engagement at the level more direct than a press release is afoot.


    The picture and caption pretty accurately sum up this classless little poseur. He has the social skills and graces of a pimp. But then what else would you expect from one.