Saturday, March 31, 2007

Gavin In The Chronicle

Dedicated Newsom Bashers: Eclectic mix of bloggers, activists delights in skewering mayor

Under the sign "Photo-op mayor," Dean Barbella threw his arm over the shoulder of a cardboard cutout of Gavin Newsom and posed for the camera.

It was the closest he's ever been to the San Francisco mayor and probably will be the closest he'll ever get.

Barbella, a 37-year-old software salesman who describes himself as "not really political," runs the Internet blog gavinnewsom, a domain name he bought one night a few years back for $7. He originally wanted, but that site was already taken. A friend suggested he try Gavin Newsom's name and it worked.

"My message isn't really anti-Gavin. It's that I want a better San Francisco," said Barbella, whose white-collared shirt had the words emblazoned on it with stick-on letters. "But Gavin Newsom does suck because San Francisco isn't what she should be."
Barbella, bourbon and Coke in hand, commiserated about life in San Francisco under Newsom at a party in the Mission District on Thursday night thrown by the League of Young Voters and another anti-Newsom blog,

Under the Christmas lights hanging from the ceiling at El Rio bar and to the sounds of salsa and disco beats, the 85 or so attendees relished being in the majority in their anti-Newsom stance. In San Francisco, where Newsom has enjoyed sky-high approval ratings since taking office in 2004, it's often a rarity for them.

Their frustrations with City Hall unite the eclectic mix that included everyone from software salesmen and nurses to political gadflies and activists -- that, and a growing number of anti-Newsom blogs popping up on the Internet through which information is shared and jabs taken at the 39-year-old mayor and his headline-making personal life.

But, for now, it's a movement without a leader. While Newsom's campaign for re-election in November is in full swing, the anti-Newsom crew is eagerly awaiting the emergence of a candidate to rally behind. Will it be Green Party member and former Supervisor Matt Gonzalez, who ran a tight race for mayor against Newsom in 2003? Or maybe Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi? Actor Danny Glover? For some, it doesn't really matter.

"Everybody should run. ... Whether they can win or not, someone needs to stand up and mount a credible challenge against Gavin," said San Francisco registered nurse Patrick Monk, a former Gonzalez campaign volunteer who stood near the Newsom cardboard cutout that drew a short line of people waiting to take a picture alongside it.

Yet Monk, like many others, was not overly confident about any future opponent's chances.
"You should look at my bike helmet and see the stickers all over it," the 63- or 64-year-old (he couldn't remember his exact age) Noe Valley resident said. "It's a testament to lost causes, and I believe in every single one of them."

The bash, billed as a night of partying and politics where people could learn about the "absent and ineffective mayor," was dubbed "The Real Scandal: Who Gavin is Screwing over," a reference to Newsom's recent admission of his affair with the wife of his former campaign manager and close political aide.

There were lollipops with tags attached that said "Gavin sucks" and a map on the wall showing trips Newsom has taken around the country and overseas since taking office under the sign "Travelin' Gavin." Another sign highlighted the city's homicide rate, and another questioned Newsom's environmental policies.

The list of complaints that attendees have about the mayor is long: Newsom takes credit for ideas that weren't his. He focuses too much on photo-ops and not enough on substance. The Municipal Railway doesn't run on time. He refuses to show up and answer questions at Board of Supervisors meetings, as a nonbinding measure passed last year by voters asked him to do. He vetoed legislation to close Golden Gate Park to cars on Saturdays.

The creators and identities of those paying for the gavinwatch .com Web site, one of the party's sponsors, remains a mystery. Natasha Marsh, the state director of the League of Young Voters, said her group helped throw the party to highlight Newsom's political shortcomings, rather than his personal indiscretions that have garnered so much attention.

Click here to continue reading. By Cecilia M. Vega, Chronicle Staff Writer

Friday, March 30, 2007

A Movement Without a Candidate

With his re-election just months away, Mayor Gavin Newsom has no credible opponent in sight – and his approval ratings remain high. But many are dissatisfied with a Mayor who governs by press release – with the city’s climbing homicide rate, scarce affordable housing, and inadequate Muni service. And if last night’s “Gavin Watch” party at El Rio was any sign, there’s a lot of energy among frustrated activists to meet and talk about the issues. On short notice, a large crowd gathered to celebrate a movement without a candidate – launched and encouraged by a website whose identity remains secret.

by Paul Hogarth‚ Mar. 30‚ 2007

Click Beyond Chron to continue reading

The Mayor & The Hair

Plucky broadcast reporters Maggie Arlington and Alex Newkirk chronicle Jesse Katsopolis, America’s favorite sexy uncle from the Full House. However, these lovely ladies contend Jesse was the star of a reality show, not a sitcom. In fact, he is still living in San Francisco. And his BFF is the country’s hunkiest mayor, Gavin Newsom.

Understandably, these busy gals don’t have much time for human contact. So, please, keep Maggie and Alex company on MySpace.

Want to know more about Maggie and Alex? Read their life stories!

After the Party

The GavinWatch (Re) Launch Party at El Rio was a smashing success. It is invigorating to meet with a diverse mob of talent, passion and optimism with hope for a better mayoral candidate and a better San Francisco. I’m looking forward to posting forthcoming pictures and press, so stay tuned. Also, a well deserved tip of the cap to GavinWatch as fantastic a host. They raised $500 for the League of Pissed Off Voters.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

City Closes GavinWatch Launch Party

Regrettably, GavinWatch had to postpone thier Re-Launch party, originally scheduled for this Thursday. It turns out, Balazo gallery has been shutdown by the City. They are busy searching for a new venue and plan to re-schedule the Re-Launch Party sometime in the next two weeks.

I smell a rat in City Hall. Nixonian ‘Dirty Tricks’ wouldn’t be a first for Gavin Newsom’s Chief Spokesman, Peter Ragone, who admitted to posting comments on local news-oriented Web sites using the identity of other people.

The admission came the same day Newsom was confronting a political crisis over revelations he had an affair with an aide who is married to his campaign manager. Suspicion began to center on the blog postings last week after SFist identified the Internet Protocol address for a home computer that Ragone had been using to make comments under his own name.

Editors at the Web site checked to ensure that somebody wasn't impersonating Ragone -- but soon discovered similar comments had been posted from the same home computer but under other names and sometimes early in the morning before 8 a.m.Other pro-Newsom blog posts made from Ragone's computer were signed by his wife and someone using the name Byorn. Peter Ragone said he didn't recall using the name Byorn.

"If it's from my (computer) IP (address), it must be me.

Thanks for breaking it down, Peter. Your dismissal is way overdue. My humble opinion is the closing of the venue by the City will only serve to pour publicity on a the fire to open more eyes to the inept administration. Therefore, an even bigger venue will be needed require more DJ’s, Bartenders and a bigger viewing screen to debut even more GavinWatch material.Sweet Pete!

See you there, Gavin Newsom

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Escape to New York

With his girlfriend's posts still burning up the webpages of local blogs with attacks and apologies regarding the mayor's affair with Ruby Rippey-Tourk, Gavin Newsom jetted to Chicago, Washington and New York to meet with tourism officials.

Newsom said he fielded a lot of complaints concerning panhandlers and other seamy elements of the city's street life, adding tourism officials also bemoaned about the city’s high prices and inadequate convention facilities.

After three years in office, what a revelation? I can't wait to see the Gav go 'giuliani' on this town - rudy, rudy, rudy! Not gonna happen. I've talked to cops on beats such as Market & Powell, Civic Center and up and down Van Ness. They have to turn a blind eye to the homelss public urinating, loitering, panhandling, etc. Rather, they deploy a 'scarecrow' technique in which police officers fan out and look intimidating and not much more. Case in point, I had to go vigilante on some homeless alcoholics drinking their liquid lunch from brown paper bags in the BART Mall area. Esentially their mid-day booze-fest dammed up the steps exiting towards the Park 55 Hotel and wouldn't allow a Japanese girl through.

This administraton has zero respect for its pedestrian constituency and tourist. Sidewalks are thoroughfares and should be managed just as freeways. We need to remove the chalk outlines of homeless highjacking our sidewalks. We need to police vendors who bottleneck our sidewalks with tables and signs set across from trees, fire hydrants, garbage cans, etc. We need to mandate tempory facades on boarded windows of abandoned buildings. We need to address graffiti and launch a public service campaign to teach tourists and citizens alike how to walk:

  • Limit yourself to two people astride.
  • Keep Right. Pass on the Left.
  • Look Left. Look Right. Then merge. Don't interupt traffic.
  • Look where you're walking.
  • Window shoppers: Stop & Go with care.
  • Don't walk too close to walls. Doors open, Coffee spills, and Pigeons poop.

Think of this as a pedestrian's Bill of Rights & Responsibilities. Cleaner sidewalks mean cleaner air, cooler tempers and increased tourism tax dollars. Let's do this already.

Dean Barbella

Thursday, March 15, 2007

GavinWatch Launch Party

Gavin Newsom plans to attend and look forward to meeting the creators of this entertaining site with plenty of wisdom to bestow.

GavinWatch & the League of Pissed Off Voters
When: Thursday, March 22, 7:00pm
Where: Balazo Gallery 2183 Mission at 18th Street

  • Get your picture taken w/ the Mayor (cardboard cut out)
  • World Premieres of several new GavinWatch videos
  • DJs in the front & back rooms
  • Other fun & surprises!
  • $5 donation

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Gavin Newsom on Pirate Cat Radio

Gavin Newsom had fun airing Gavin's dirty laundry as a guest of the Bunnywhiskers Radio Show, 87.9 FM and online at

Download the Bunnywhiskers Podcast 3-15-07 and share a non-partisan laugh at Gav's expense as we beg the question, What's he thinkin'?!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

The Trouble With Romance

Gavin Newsom's girlfriend, Jennifer Siebel, apologized Monday after making disparaging comments on a local blog about Ruby Rippey-Tourk - Newsom's former commission appointments secretary and the wife of the mayor's longtime political aide, Alex Tourk.

Siebel, the daughter Siebel Software founder and aspiring actress, commented extensively about Newsom's affair on, in which she said Ruby Rippey-Tourk is someone with a "checkered history."

Siebel made the comments in reaction to others on the SFist site who criticized her after a story in Sunday's Chronicle about Siebel's new movie and in which she defended Newsom's affair with Rippey-Tourk. In the story, Siebel said of Rippey-Tourk, who worked in Newsom's office at the time of the affair: "The woman is the culprit."Just a few hours after she posted the comments online Monday, Siebel, issued an apology through her friend, Lori Puccinelli Stern, a San Francisco public relations executive and close Newsom friend, who confirmed that the Internet post was written by Siebel.

"I am deeply sorry that I have made some public statements in the past few days that have hurt Alex and Ruby Tourk and everyone else involved in this issue. This is a very painful situation for everyone involved and in my case it lead (sic) to an expression of frustration that I profoundly regret."- Jennifer Siebel said in the statement, which was sent to The Chronicle.
On the Web site, Siebel blamed Rippey-Tourk for the affair adding, "I have tried to see Ruby's side of the story but unfortunately everyone near to her has stories and says she is bad news."Paraphrased from Newsome's Girlfriend Apologizes for Remarks She Commented Online About S.F. Mayor's Affair with Aide by Cecilia M. Vega, Chronicle

Sodomy and Gomorrah and the GAVYN Awards

Gavin Newsom says he was unaware his office declared Feb. 23 to be Colt Studio Day, honoring the 40th anniversary of a San Francisco movie company whose Web site invites visitors to "come inside to experience the hottest man-on-man action." a gay porn studio. But in the wake of attacks by conservative media figures such as talk show host Bill O'Reilly -- who said the proclamation reinforced San Francisco's reputation as the nation's "Sodom and Gomorrah" -- Newsom has decided to change the policy and have any potentially controversial proclamation cleared by either his chief of staff or director of government affairs.

San Francisco has the reputation of being the world headquarters of the gay adult entertainment industry. Last weekend, the industry held the GAYVN Awards (aka GAVYN Awards) -- the Oscars for the gay porn industry -- at the Castro Theatre.

As much as the Gav hates surprises (See: Town Hall Meetings), he gets fooled again (See: 49ers; Olympics; His Chief Spokesman, Peter Ragone aka Byorn; Valentine's Day with Han Shin; His Campaign manager's wife exercising the 9th step of the 12-step program - admitting to an affair with the Mayor; finally, the Gav's crack staff prove their loyalty and professionalism [we got your back, boss] by plunging the knife further into his downward spiral cord - approving Gay Porn Day) - Sweet!

To summarize, the Gav antagonizes the conservatives; insults his gay constituency and proves he's an inept frat boy pretending to be the mayor.

Here’s how the proclamation reads: Therefore be it resolved that I, Gavin Newsom, Mayor of the City and County of San Francisco, congratulate Colt Studios on the occasion of their 40th anniversary and proclaim February 23, 2007 as Colt Studio Day in San Francisco.

Good grief, I think the Gav's mask of sobriety is starting to slip.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Gavin 'Pics' a Winner!

Gavin Newsom, Photojournalist? As part of its new "Moving Pictures" feature that debuted this month, NBC11 gave digital cameras to a dozen folks around the Bay Area and asked them to photograph their lives. Folks like grave-diggers, young CEOs, recuperating Iraq War vets...and Gavin Newsom.

Don't get too excited. Don't you think we'd have been carpet bombed by
"What's on Gav's Camera" coverage by now if there was something juicy to pass along on it? Besides, Newsom snapped off about two dozen photos before copping to sleeping with his pal/campaign manager's wife/former underling. And before he said he was headed to alcohol rehab. From what we hear, of the two dozen images the mayor shot, only a few were of him."
- As posted by Joe Garofoli, SFGate

The problem for NBC11's Newsom story arises from is, the way "Moving Pictures" works. After a week or so of self-documentation, the subjects send the images back to the station. Editors and reporters would review the shots, then return with a camera crew to interview the subjects about what they shot and weave a story around them.

That's why the story is holding. Like the rest of the Bay Area's media pack, "Moving Pictures" is waiting for a follow-up interview with Newsom.

Thursday, March 1, 2007


After several embarrassing revelations this week, Gavin Newsom saved the best for last with an admission that he wears diapers during long staff meetings and “some cross country air travel.”

Although he had already admitted to an affair with a veteran aide’s wife and sought help for alcohol abuse, experts are saying that Diapergate could be the ultimate act that chases his base support to more “controlled” candidates.

“People don’t mind if Gavin is taking keg stands before meetings. Nor do they care who he’s sleeping with…but in my experience, rock stars don’t wear diapers. It is perceived as weak and he has much work to do to restore the people’s trust.”

- Senator Dianne Feinstein

Newsom’s chief City Hall rival, Supervisor Chris Daly, has assembled a mayoral exploratory committee to test his chances as the Candidate of Continence.

As reported by San Jose Inside , Diapergate May Derail Newsom's Reelection Bid.