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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

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Home Featured A letter from the Gavster

A letter from the Gavster

Newsom is running to the left, his fundraising email shows -- but there's nothing about economic justice

Gavin Newsom is suing the city where he was born and served as mayor. Photo by Steve Rhodes

I don’t know why I am on the Gavin Newsom for Governor fundraising email list, but I am, and it’s kind of fun.

Last week, he sent out a “survey,” of sorts, the kind of thing politicians do when they want to pretend that they care what their constituents think. Mostly, they’re a fundraising ploy: Get people to think you really want their opinion, and they might send you some money.  I used to get these surveys in the mail from Rep. Nancy Pelosi; I filled them out, honestly, and sent them back, and then after a while they stopped coming. Probably because I never enclosed a check.

Gavin Newsom seems to be running to the left. Imagine that. Photo by Steve Rhodes

I’ve been a political reporter for more than 35 years. I don’t give money to candidates for elected office.

But the Gavster has my email, which is lovely, and here are some of the questions he asked me:

Which are most important to you (select all that apply)

Making health care accessible to everybody

Investing in infrastructure

Defending women’s rights and supporting Planned Parenthood

Allowing education to be affordable for all

Protecting our planet from the effects of climate change

Keeping families together, not tearing them apart in cruel raids

Social mobility, creating good jobs, and building our economy

Supporting queer, trans and gender non-conforming communities across California

There’s a box for “other.” I added: “Taxing the rich to reduce economic inequality and pay for the services necessary to do all of the above.”


CA is invested in creating sanctuary cities, protecting families, and keeping our promise to DREAMers. But what do you think we can be doing to make California even better for immigrants – either documented or undocumented?

I wrote: Tax the rich to create affordable housing so that immigrants will be able to stay in our communities


Everybody deserves access to a great education, and our team is working every day to make that a reality. Universal pre-K, two years of free community college through the California College Promise program – we can do it all. What do you want me to know about improving our education system in CA?

I wrote: Tax the rich and reform Prop. 13 to pay for quality education for all.


Every single health care plan that Republicans in Congress came up with was a disgrace. At best they were trying to strip 16 million people of their coverage – at worst 32 million. All so the wealthy can receive a tax break. Health care should not be a corporate commodity, but a basic human right. What do you think CA should do to ensure everyone has access to affordable health care?

I wrote: Raise taxes on the richest Californians to pay for a single-payer system.


I’m excited to head into the next phase of this campaign and want to make sure I represent everybody who’s part of this team. If I could only focus on one issue, what would you want it to be?

I wrote: Economic justice, which means income and wealth redistribution and a tax system that doesn’t allow a few people to have billions while others are homeless in the streets. Do the opposite of what you did with Care Not Cash and create a guaranteed annual income.

Then he asked me for $5. Sorry, Gav.

What does all of this mean? For starters, Newsom is focusing on raising money from liberal Democrats (or at least, he is in this email). Maybe there’s another set of “survey” questions sent to more moderate voters. But since the June race is a primary, and after being a relatively conservative, pro-corporate mayor of San Francisco, he is now trying to run to the left.

He may be testing which messages work best.

But I don’t think he is going to either respond to  any of my comments. 


  1. All true. But he will forever be known as the Mayor who married gays, and was the highest ranking politico in California to support legal weed.

    He will be the next Govenor. Thats the way it is.

  2. Yes, the people of California are clamoring to remove the height limits on San Francisco's waterfront. Or something.

  3. The will of the voters is not always paramount – as was the case with Prop 8. Newsom is Lt. Gov of the state of California, not of San Francisco. He took an oath to the state of California, his legal and ethical obligations are to the people of California, not to the 5% of the voters of San Francisco who passed the measure.

  4. California Coastal Commission has ultimate authority over that issue – the city does not. That may give you a case of the sads, but them's the breaks sweet cheeks.

  5. I hear if you complain enough about Gavin Newsom enough, maybe, just maybe you can imagine in your heads that Tom Ammiano was mayor?

  6. Why would Gavin Newsom want to tax the rich? He IS the rich, because his dad was the legal fixer for the Getty Oil family. (You might have heard them being the richest family in the world at one time. They had the exclusive rights to a huge amount of oil in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.)

    Ever heard of Plumpjack? It was a business partnership, where the incredibly wealthy scion of the Getty family bankrolled about 40 Bay Area hoity-toity high end restaurants, country clubs, etc. and put Gavin Newsom in charge of it, essentially funneling money to him. Oh, and to not stop there, Newsom got his start in San Francisco politics due to his close ties with former Mayor Willie Brown, at the behest of… you guessed it… the wealthy heir to the Getty oil fortune. He wouldn't have come to power without political appointments. And he was the S.F. Supervisor assigned to the very, very richest district of San Francisco, put there because he basically couldn't lose. He was Willie Brown's chosen heir, basically. And then he was mainstreamed into state politics by Jerry Brown, who's dad Pat Brown *ALSO* had close ties with Newsom's father, who appointed him as a judge.

    Gavin Newsom protects the rich of San Francisco and everywhere else, and they'd rather not be taxed, thanks. We absolutely need leftists in positions of power… but Californians *HATE* aristocrats and view them as a disgrace in a country that is supposed to not be run that way.

    So while I prefer Democrats over Republicans, Gavin Newsom should be unceremoniously dumped by the party as simply not being representative of the people.

  7. Unfortunately, Gavin's not the first to use social issues as a wedge, and he won't be the last. I keep wishing it would stop working.

  8. He supports overthrowing the will of SF voters who voted at least 3 times to have strict height limits on a small strip of San Francisco's waterfront.

    He can go fuck himself for that.

  9. Gavin's running for president (god forbid!). He's really good at using social issues as a wedge to further his political ambitions. If that's the best the Dems can come up with, I'll vote third party again like in 2016.

  10. Tim sees no problem that can't be solved by throwing money at it. I mean, after all – that's worked so well with our various poverty alleviation programs over the past 50 years. Just ramp them up – and you'll get a different result!!

  11. Gelboy's hair blows with the wind. He and his trustfund baby wife are one-percenters who could care less about working people. He's just another pol who wants to be POTUS. He doesn't understand yet that the Lt. Gov. job is a boneyard where politicians die.

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