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CA-Gov 2010: Blogger Busts Gavin Newsom with Garry South

by: Bob Brigham

Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 14:57:09 PM PDT

Score another win for the internet exposing the ugly underbelly of transactional politics at it's worst. A SoCal Blogger started rolling his camera when Gavin Newsom parked his SUV in a fire lane for a meeting at Starbucks. It didn't take long for Carla Marinucci to notice the person he was meeting with, DLC Strategist Garry South.

Who is Garry South? Joe Lieberman announced he was running for president on Janunary 13, 2003. A January 16-20, 2003 ABC News/Washington Post Poll had Lieberman the clear front-runner, with more support than his next two closest competitors combined. Then Lieberman hired Gary South, started tanking, then started talking about Joementum just before calling his FIFTH place finish a three way tie for third. David Letterman said, "Because of poor results at the primaries last night, Senator Joe Lieberman will be dropping out of the race. Earlier today, he broke the news to his supporter." Lieberman was subsequently kicked out of the Democratic Party.

Garry South elected Gray Davis with an impressive 58% and drove him so far south that he was kicked out by 55%. Jay Leno said, "Another hot day in California. It was so hot I actually saw a mirage. It was a Gray Davis supporter, I couldn't believe it." Steve Westly had all the money in the world, double digit lead two months out and ended up losing by 5 points thanks to Garry South. His DLC triangulation (Mayor Newsom is a long time DLC member) is so bad that many California bloggers signed on to an an open letter warning the presidential candidates about Garry South (must read, long but exposes exactly why this is the last person Newsom wants to get busted by bloggers with).

Bob Brigham :: CA-Gov 2010: Blogger Busts Gavin Newsom with Garry South

Interestingly enough, this is not even one of the better scandals the mayor has had online. This doesn't come close to the sock-puppet-gate scandal that brought down his press secretary. Jennifer Siebel thought a good follow-up on that would be to go to SFist and make front page news. Then, just two weeks ago, Newsom thought a bloggers convention would be a good venue to come out against clean energy. The internet sure is going to be a fun place to watch the 2010 Democratic Primary play out.

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video should be up later this afternoon (0.00 / 0)
I wonder if Calitics user Garry South will come by.

Twitter: @BobBrigham

Are you saying .. (0.00 / 0)
South is the California version of Bob Shrum?

[ Parent ]
in terms of outcome (5.00 / 1)
But South bashes Dems along the was that us more like Lieberman or Dan Gerstein

Twitter: @BobBrigham

[ Parent ]
Gavin Newsom (0.00 / 0)
He thinks marriage equity will carry him all the way to Sacramento. However, I see signs that the CDP might be pulling him for. As you might recall, someone from the state party posted diaries on Calitics and I believe Daily Kos when he was at Netroots Nation. First, Phil Angelides, now Gavin Newsom. They sure know how to pick winners.

This is unfair (5.00 / 1)
I think the other folks here can attest to the fact that neither I nor Penny Denenberg (who posted the video in question from Netroots Nation) have done anything to warrant your insinuation that "the CDP might be pulling" for Gavin Newsom.  

Penny put up a video of Gavin Newsom because he was a prominent California Democrat at Netroots Nation.  I put up two videos of Rocky Delgadillo.  We also put up videos of a number of candidates running for Congress in California.  There's nothing sinister in any of this.  Insinuations to the contrary are frankly unfair.

If you ever have questions about why the CDP does certain things online, please feel free to contact me at my first name at cadem.org.  

Matt Lockshin
Online Organizing Director
California Democratic Party


[ Parent ]
I agree with Lockshin (5.00 / 1)
Newsom may be going out of his way as if late to not live up to his potential, but he is big enough of a California Democrat that the CDP should point out what he's up to.

And I don't think he has a chance at the CDP nod unless his consultants (South now too?), let Newsom be Newsom.  

Twitter: @BobBrigham

[ Parent ]
Pulling? (0.00 / 0)
Well, I don't really think that's true. Newsom was at Netroots Nation, unlike any other real or potential candidates. If I recall the CDP diaries, they pretty much featured all of the California Dems that were there.

As for Phil, he did a good job of running a constituency campaign. He really did have the support of the activist base of the party. Westly never got any traction not because of something the CDP did, but because he wasn't successful at connecting with the activists.

I think?

[ Parent ]
A note on Newsom... (0.00 / 0)
I don't really know about the PG&E stuff or Garry South that Bob is writing about, so I cannot comment on that.

But on health policy, I can say that Gavin Newsom is one of the real bright stars nationally.  Dealt a terrible hand as a big-city mayor during a healthcare meltdown, he came up with the creative and effective Healthy San Francisco plan, that guarantees primary care to every SF resident.  No other city in the U.S. can make a legitimate claim to universal healthcare.  Moreover, Newsom is a supporter of HR 676 and SB 840, the state and national single-payer bills, and he is happy to talk them up in various campaign settings I've seen him.    

I am a healthcare activist for the National Nurses Organizing Committee/California Nurses Association.  We are the nation's largest RN union, the nation's fastest-growing union, and leading advocates for single-payer healthcare.

You don't live in SF, do you? (0.00 / 0)
Aaron Peskin and the Board of Supervisors started the work on that and Newsom jumped in front of the parade when it was obvious that it would pass.

[ Parent ]
I agree with Shum and Randy (0.00 / 0)
It was great Newsom endorsed SB 840 and HR 676 (I was proud to be there for the signing), but Randy is also correct about him jumping on the bandwagon with his support of Ammiano's legislation in San Francisco.

Twitter: @BobBrigham

[ Parent ]
Fair enough... (0.00 / 0)
I'll amend "came up with" to "signed and supported".  Props also go to Ammiano, Peskin, Dr. Mitch Katz at DPH, and Tangerine Brigham who is running the whole she-bang...

(Oh, and PS, yes I do live in the Mission....)

I am a healthcare activist for the National Nurses Organizing Committee/California Nurses Association.  We are the nation's largest RN union, the nation's fastest-growing union, and leading advocates for single-payer healthcare.

[ Parent ]
so if I read this right (0.00 / 0)
So if I read this right, the only way we can be a Democrat is to refuse to speak to Garry South?

I don't understand. So what if he worked for Lieberman? Lieberman is no favorite of mine, but what's with the fatwas issued on people just because of their past? Seems a bit un-progressive to me.


he went out of his way to re-elect Arnold (0.00 / 0)
Read Brian's open letter, what he did before and especially after the 2006 Democratic Primary was disgusting at best.  

Twitter: @BobBrigham

[ Parent ]
um yeah but....he still won anyway! (0.00 / 0)
I seem to remember every single "progressive" leader in town chickening out of a run against Newsom. Despite all these "problems" he won in a landslide, while "progressives" ran around gossiping and talking their way around the fact they couldn't get their act together.

And now those "progressives" run our County Party? The same people who created the "progressive convention" that gave us Quintin Mecke? God help us.

For all the complaining, the fact remains, you cant beat something with nothing. And right now, progressives in SF have a whole lotta nothing going on. Sucks to be them.




[ Parent ]
and I hit the wrong button... (0.00 / 0)
I hit the wrong reply button. sucks to be me i guess!

as for South and Arnold - a lot of Democrats voted for Arnold. Maybe if we had higher turnout in the primaries, and maybe if we had better candidates than the ones we had, perhaps things might have turned out differently. How that is Mr. South's fault, I dunno.

Seems to me unless Democrats address the abysmal turnout in their own primaries, we may be looking at more GOP statewides in 2010 and beyond. But no one talks about that - we're all too busy crowing about being a blue state. Even though it was less than 20 years ago the GOP owned California statewides.


[ Parent ]
I'm assuming (0.00 / 0)
That if he'd been meeting with Karl Rove you'd not have quite the same perspective. Garry South is not Karl Rove of course, but on a certain relevant level, non-progressive is non-progressive. It's cause for pause and investigation at the least.

[ Parent ]
indeed. (0.00 / 0)
Plus, there is video and I'm guessing that is scaring the crap out of Newsom. There isn't a way for them to keep it off the web, but I wouldn't be surprised if they are going with the intimidation move they used against Luke Thomas when he was asking around about the Ruby Rippey-Tourk scandal before the Chronicle ran with it.

I can't wait to see what South suggests, and how Newsom responds. This could be a macacca.  

Twitter: @BobBrigham

[ Parent ]
Honeymoon? (5.00 / 3)

Put aside the nerdy policy arguments for a sec.

Is Gavin's idea of romancing Jen after the wedding taking her for coffee with Garry South at a crappy Starbucks in LA? Shouldn't he at least have splurged for the Kopi Luwak at Funnel Mill ($65 a cup; stick Garry with the bill).  Say what you will about our Mayor's politiks, but we used to be able to all agree that he was a master of glamorous romance.

I liked him better when he was sprawled across expensive rugs in oil-family mansions.

he should watch Entourage (0.00 / 0)
They always went to nice places on that show. Heck he should be a guest star. Now THAT'd be awesome.


[ Parent ]
Garry South (0.00 / 0)
I would assume some of this is a joke.  First on Lieberman, he was well known nationally because he had been a VP candidate in the election prior, but he had no depth of support and in fact polled fifth among high propensity Democratic voters including moderates.  The casual people who were supporting him early based on name ID went away and he did badly.  That's not a compliment to a consultant that the campaign didn't come together, but it's no great insult either.  As for the other stuff, every political consultant has some clients that activist won't like.  As James Carville pointed out in his book on the 1992 election, consultants are generally former activists themselves who move into the paid gun world and have to balance their own checkbooks with their ideals.   Some do it better than others, but they all make compromises and running campaigns in the media oriented world we live in is a technical enough business that you can't do it without some professional help.   If Newsom brings South on board, judge him on the advice he chooses to take, don't criticize him for listening to the advice South chooses to offer, especially since most of his advice is given behind closed doors where no one except the candidate knows what really happened.

not behind closed doors this time (0.00 / 0)
This video could be a ton of fun. We get both South's advice (triangulate, run from San Francisco is my guess) plus Newsom's reaction. I can't wait.

Twitter: @BobBrigham

[ Parent ]
nevermind, video is weak (0.00 / 0)
Who knows what can be pulled out after running it through some sound filters, but what I saw is nowhere near as damaging as this video, put together by (surprise, surprise) bloggers...

Twitter: @BobBrigham

[ Parent ]
Yeah ... (0.00 / 0)
but this guy seems like the California version of Bob Shrum

[ Parent ]
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