A Smile and a Shiv: Gavin Newsom’s Cruel Policies Help Position Him to Replace Biden 

California Governor Gavin Newsom is increasingly looking like the Democratic Party oligarchy’s preferred candidate – if they can just get rid of President Joe Biden.

While the signals are getting louder that the Obama camp is unhappy with old Joe, the number of media rumblings about Newsom waiting in the wings are growing.

The New York Times says “Newsom Is in the Spin Room to Pump Up Biden, and Maybe Himself.”

The Guardian asks “Newsom 2024: could the California governor be a rival to Joe Biden?

The Hill declares “Biden will be the nominee, but Newsom is the one actually running for president.”

Newsom is being lavished with praise for getting China President Xi Jinping to visit San Francisco this week for the APEC Summit. Newsom visited China in October and met with Xi, which raised eyebrows considering Biden had been trying to get a sit down for some time. That was considered a big moment on the “world stage” by Newsom. Back at home the governor will debate GOP presidential candidate and Florida counterpart Ron DeSantis on Nov. 30.

As The Hill puts it, Newsom is doing all this “just in case President Biden succumbs to the realities of his age and waning mental capacity.” (Or if the forces that run the Democrats force Biden out in some way and are able to conveniently bypass all the pesky primaries and voting and simply install the Golden Boy as the nominee.)

The problem for Newsom is that it’s already too late in the game for a primary challenge to Biden that adheres to Democrats’ precious norms. As the Washington Examiner points out:

…Newsom isn’t a “viable candidate.” This was reaffirmed by political scientist Josh Putnam who said it would be “nearly impossible” for Newsom to launch a late primary challenge to Biden. One reason is the ability to get on the ballot in states for the presidential primary elections, which awards delegates for the Democratic National Convention.

Filing deadlines have already passed in Nevada and New Hampshire. And many more cutoff dates are fast approaching in November and December, including Michigan (Dec. 8), Colorado and Texas (Dec. 11), Virginia (Dec. 14); and North Carolina, Louisiana, Vermont, and his home state of California (Dec. 15), according to Ballotpedia.

Newsom continues to deny any designs on the 2024 nomination, and yet he continues to gear up to be the Democrats anointed one nonetheless by putting his stamp on a host of destructive policies that will play well with the Democrat base and allow him to sell himself as a Clinton- and Obama-esque triangulator. Let’s look at a few.

Counterproductive Get-Tough-on-Crime Policies

Newsom and San Francisco Mayor London Breed are planning to have drug dealers charged with homicide. San Francisco Public Defender Mano Raju says this will be entirely counterproductive:

Threatening to charge people with murder is unfortunately likely to result in more overdoses, as people will be afraid to call for help. A report from Fair and Just Prosecution notes that such prosecutions ‘do not alleviate the risk of fatal overdoses; are ineffective as a deterrent to drug use, drug sales, and overdose deaths; can be legally problematic and consume significant resources; often target friends and family members; and worsen racial disparities in the system.’ The Drug Policy Alliance concluded that ‘drug-induced homicide prosecutions waste resources that could be spent on effective interventions.’

Of course, the real goal might not actually be to help improve the drug overdose crisis in San Francisco. As Tim Redmond writes at 48 Hills about the failed policy:

I would like to think that Newsom and Breed know this; they are smart people with a lot of background in public policy. But that would suggest they are doing something they know will do more harm than good just to make [a] political point.

I wish I didn’t have to be this cynical.

Elsewhere, Newsom continues to back inhumane treatment of prisoners in an effort to maintain his tough-on-crime credentials. As just one example, the Ninth Circuit Court recently ruled that prisons can use solitary confinement for as long as they would like. The ruling invalidated a 2015 settlement between the state and prisoners, which limited the hours a prisoner could be in solitary confinement and restricted its use to those who pose a danger to other inmates.

Naturally, a bill in Sacramento to restrict the use of solitary confinement died at the end of the legislative session. The Sacramento Bee reported that ‘this is to allow time to “facilitate good faith negotiations” with Newsom, who vetoed a previous attempt at limiting the use of solitary in prisons.’

Cruelty to the Working Class

This is hardly anything new for Newsom, but it’s worth reviewing some of his most recent vetoes as California governor.

He vetoed a bill that would make workers who are on strike for more than two weeks eligible for unemployment benefits. Hollywood writers had been on strike for more than 100 days when the legislature passed the bill. Newsom killed it after the WGA and studios came to an agreement. The bill would have been a boon to other low-wage workers across the state, however, even if the large majority of strikes in 2022 lasted less than five days, however.

Newsom also killed a bill that would have included the roughly 300,000 housekeepers, nannies and other household staff in laws requiring health and safety protections. The wealthy governor’s stated reason is that private households cannot be regulated by the state in the same way as businesses.

An Embrace of Identity Politics Mixed with Surveillance and a Giveaway to the PMC Base 

Newsom helped bring into existence this year a multilingual statewide hotline and website that encourages people to report all acts of “hate.” While California already has a criminal justice system for hate crimes, this new program, “CA vs Hate”, wants to know about all hate “incidents” as defined by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). That connection to the ADL creates a whole other set of problems, but in the meantime the program is another way to collect data on citizens and gives away hundreds of millions to the California non-profit complex tasked with servicing the hotline and providing support to “victims.”

Pandering Dangerously to Tech Industry Benefactors

Newsom, a longtime recipient of money from the tech industry, vetoed a bill that would have required a trained human safety operator to be present in self-driving trucks using public roads in the state.

According to a recent report issued by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), from January 2019 to June 2023, there were 612 autonomous vehicle collisions documented in California, including at least 17 reported fatal incidents (11 since May 2022).

The Newsom administration’s stated reason for vetoing the safety legislation was that it could hamper “innovation.”

Counterproductive Homelessness Solution that Blames the Homeless and Does Nothing to Address the Main Driver of the Problem

Newsom’s biggest legislative priority the past few years has been finding a way to disappear the homeless. He settled on CARE Courts that now allow family members and others (such as police) to petition someone with suspected mental illness into civil courts, where a judge would order a treatment plan and require mental health departments to provide it.

The problems with such a system are almost too numerous to list, but subjective, speculative, subject to bias, and ineffective to boot:

  • Involuntary treatment does not work.
  • Newsom’s plan overburdens a system already stretched thin, and with its mandated treatment, could end up prioritizing the ineffective (forced) over the effective (voluntary) treatment.
  • The CARE Courts do nothing to stop people from becoming homeless. One of the biggest problems is the following: a homeless individual gets into supportive housing. Success, right? Well, in the meantime five more people have taken that one person’s place.
  • The California law is not designed to actually help the homeless or stop more people from becoming homeless, which would actually require resources and/or taking on powerful interests like the private equity-dominated real estate rental market, the healthcare industry that bankrupts people, major corporations that pay poverty wages, etc. Let’s remember that  40-50 percent of people experiencing homelessness are employed. Instead these laws are simply designed to remove from view the people our society has chewed up.
  • By doing nothing to stop the primary drivers of homelessness, Newsom’s plan ignores the facts that homelessness is has a major impact on mental health. Just poverty and the threat of eviction can severely damage mental health. Suddenly finding oneself living on the streets can be devastating and often leads to chemical dependencies as a coping mechanism.
  • Simply calling the homeless mentally ill (and the California laws are increasingly expanding the definition of mental illness) and removing them from sight, excuses the rest of our predatory economic structure and does nothing but guarantee that mental institutions will soon be overflowing the same way our prisons are.


With all that said, what’s not to love for Democrats?

Newsom’s entire life has been devoted to being a faithful stooge for the California oligarchy. He was born into connections and used them every step of the way – from opening a wine shop in 1992 with the financial backing of friend and oil fortune heir Gordon Getty to his start in politics when his father got him appointed to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. As the Sacramento Bee wrote about Newsom’s beginnings:

Newsom’s appointment in 1997 was viewed as providing a dose of moderation to the liberal board. A 29-year-old wine and hospitality entrepreneur backed by Getty oil fortunes and the city’s political elite, he described himself as a “dogmatic fiscal conservative and a social liberal.”

Newsom shifts his positions depending on political expediency and where the money is. Through it all, he remains a leader of the “Resistance” doing all he can for the publicity on identity politics as long as it doesn’t hurt the bottom line of powerful economic interests.

With the aging out of the geriatric quartet and the complete flop of VP Kamala Harris, it looks like it’s time for the “Golden Boy” to emerge as the new leader from the incestuous cesspool of privilege that is California politics:

Source: CalMatters

This is what Newsom identifies with and who he serves while in office. It surely helps Newsom that he hails from California, which by nature of giving the most money to the Democrats, plays an outsize role in the direction of the party.

Democrats of course don’t see that the problem isn’t just that Biden is old and confused, it’s the sorry quality of the political product. Replacing the senile friend of white supremacists hailing from the tax haven capital of Delaware with the younger identity politics wizard from the surveillance state doesn’t change any of that, except that Newsom could rival the tackiness of Trump:

Unfortunately for Newsom, he also bears an uncanny resemblance to Christian Bale’s portrayal of Patrick Bateman in “American Psycho.”

While Newsom likely isn’t a serial killer in the classic sense, his policies contribute to the premature extinguishing of many more lives. Consider a few of Newsom’s recent accomplishments:

That’s carnage that Bateman could only dream of.

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    1. ChrisRUEcon

      No. No. No.

      Kamala is a “vanity Veep”. She’s as empty as Mother Hubbard’s cupboard. To mimic Lambert’s excellent use of contrarium: Newsom may be the best of the Democrat bench. He’s turned California into a high inequality, high-functionally-poor state – and has suffered no consequences!

      I keep saying that Joe Biden never wanted Harris, but was forced to accept her as payback to Clyburn. He wanted Amy K. Kamala’s vapid, near-invisible tenure as Vice President does not exude the same capacity to do harm big things on the national stage like Newsom.

      1. Mark Gisleson

        Agreed. Harris is whatever the other people in the room tell her to be. Newsom is not an empty suit. I’m pretty sure that if you checked his pockets you’d find dirt in every one of them.

        1. ChrisRUEcon

          > Harris is whatever the other people in the room tell her to be.

          Yep! And never forget that in to ’20 election cycle, she was the first one out to the Hamptons to meet the people in the room.

        2. Michaelmas

          Mark Gisleson: Newsom is not an empty suit. I’m pretty sure that if you checked his pockets you’d find dirt in every one of them.

          Well put. I lived in the SF Bay Area for decades. K. Harris is merely a malignant PMC bozo who happened to suit her betters’ requirements and be parachuted into a position.

          Newsom is an operator competent enough to steadily grift his way up through the ranks over the years, and pull off stunts like meeting with Xi and getting him to that meeting in SF. This despite being dyslexic.

  1. Pat

    Andy Cuomo must be screaming in rage when he isn’t crying in his beer. He worked years to get where Newsom is today.

    The steep decline of the Democratic Party in my lifetime has been staggering. That the biggest possible replacement is so hideous he might make me hope Biden holds it together until after he gets his ass handed to him was just not something I considered. I didn’t think anyone would seriously consider Newsom a viable candidate either.

    But then I have to remember that “they” thought HRC was inevitable, and it took a pandemic and Obama pulling every string he could to get Biden elected. There are no absolutes in politics, but my gut feeling is that Newsom is not the winner the oligarchs running the party thinks he is except at raising money. California governor is not going to play well in most needed swing states.

    1. nippersdad

      I think I can safely affirm your statement that he will not fly here in Georgia. I am not even sure he would do well in the Democratic hotspots. The guy is just so greasy that were that picture of he and his wife laying on a carpet to get out that would be all that was needed for the R’s to sweep the state.

      The movers and shakers in Atlanta thought that silver pickup trucks at the Olympics were a good idea, after all. He is the wrong kind of shiny.

    2. Altandmain

      The big issue is that Newsom has little, if any appeal to the critical swing states. Think of the Midwest, states like Georgia, and Arizona.

      He’s not selling to his base, highly paid PMC workers in cities like San Francisco, where he was mayor before his current position as Governor.

      It’s very easy to see how his disdain for the working class is going to result in him being defeated in a way that Hillary Clinton lost in 2016.

      Ultimately, the problem is that the Democrats are not the party of the New Deal anymore. They are the party of Finance, War, and other wealthy special interests. Newsom will also have to justify the Democratic Party to voters in states like the Midwest that have been devastated by NAFTA.

      1. Michaelmas

        Altandmain: It’s very easy to see how his disdain for the working class is going to result in him being defeated in a way that Hillary Clinton lost in 2016.

        Nope. Newson is smarter than Hillary and slick enough to put on an act that may convincingly hide any disdain he may have.

        Whether he’s slick enough for people in the Midwest and the South to buy what he’s selling is another question. But this is a real political operator compared to P. Buttgeig, K. Harris, and the rest of the clowns the Dems fielded in the 2020 primaries

    3. Lefty Godot

      The steep decline of the Democratic Party in my lifetime has been staggering.

      It’s truly shocking. In one sense, they have become the Rockefeller Republicans from the 1960s (culturally liberal, fiscally conservative on social programs, aggressive interventionist foreign policy). But the quality of those Rockefeller Republicans was so far above the third-rate hacks, many of them ancient time-servers like Biden and Pelosi, that the Democrats elevate now. If Newsom is the best that the farm system has been able to produce, they need to fire all the party functionaries that have been in charge of developing new talent. I thought they had taken a small step in a better direction back when Howard Dean was the party chair (with his “50 State Strategy”), but the insiders sure froze him out fast once Obama got into the White House.

      And the Republicans are a travesty now. Never mind comparing their current crop of knuckle-dragging thugs to Rockefeller Republicans, they don’t even compare in any way favorably to Goldwater Republicans. Barry was a positive moderate in contrast to the Gaetz, Mike Johnson, Graham, Taylor Greene, Boebert, et al.

    4. ChrisRUEcon

      > Andy Cuomo must be screaming in rage when he isn’t crying in his beer. He worked years to get where Newsom is today.

      This made me LOL in the dentist’s waiting room … :)

      Too right! Newsom hasn’t won an Emmy AFAIK (although Andy’s was rescinded)! Newsom doesn’t have the equivalent of “Cuomosexual” t-shirts! (Newsom as a surname just not lending itself to edgy adult kink!)

      But also, adding insult to injury, seeing hair-sniffer and Tara-Reade assaulter #Jo3yN0rdStre4M ascend to the highest office in the land must have also hurt a lot … there, there Andrew … America loves a good comeback story! And perhaps, yours may yet in the cards … ::cough:: snowballinhell ::cough::

  2. The Rev Kev

    That bit in that chart where it says that the Gettys informally adopted Gavin into the clan. It sounds so Roman that. They too had wealthy families that talent-spotted young people that they thought might advance their family and its fortunes. Perhaps the most famous example was Julius Caesar who adopted a very young Octavius and who would later become Augustus – the first Roman Emperor.

  3. Paul Art

    What is even more sobering is that California voted this guy into office in 2022 with a massive thumping majority. But then they also voted in Reagan. I do have mixed feelings though about the homeless and crime issues. I was recently visiting a friend there and he seemed very concerned about the homeless and theft in San Francisco. “Be careful of where you park your car in San Francisco” he said ominously. He was actually repeating the same thing that the Car Rental clerk mentioned while handing over the keys at the airport. Despite my superior knowledge of all issues political and social by reading NC, I temporarily lost all sympathy for the homeless. When we were sightseeing, near the Cable Car turn around vicinity, there were a whole bunch of homeless guys sprawled around on the street and some of them with Dogs. I felt more sorry for the Dogs truth be told. They were a raucous bunch talking in loud voices and emitting ear splitting guffaws. My own waffling is proof enough I suppose as to how easy it is for politicians to use the crime and security issues to scare the populace.

    1. Socal Rhino

      I hear almost nothing from our Governor these days concerning California despite, as you may have heard, our state having its own share of challenges. Mostly attacks on GDP presidential candidates, and of course his China trip. I think he’s well suited to represent democrats nationally, take that as you will.

      1. JBird4049

        It can be easy to lose one’s sympathy for the homeless in the city or anywhere in the Bay Area. Please do keep in mind that third rate junior one bedroom apartments cost $2000 per a month and half of the homeless are employed and sleeping in their cars. The real estate-poverty-NGO-industrial complex is supreme in the state. Most of the funding given to “fight” homelessness goes to the pockets and slush funds of the government agency and NGO heads, not to actually solving anything, which would be counterproductive money wise for the grifters.

        If the lack of housing was the problem, our beloved politicians could have created social housing, or public housing, or just housing, adding some limits on rents. But forty years of seeing all this and I have come to understand that the goal is to make money while shoving the poor into some isolated trench somewhere.

        Gavin and company are servants to this complex, not to California, and certainly not Californians. Think of the permawar that the United States is in and how it enriches everyone in the Military Industrial Complex.

        1. Michaelmas

          JBird4049: keep in mind that third rate junior one bedroom apartments cost $2000 per a month and half of the homeless are employed and sleeping in their cars.

          Thank you. A primary reason I left the SF Bay Area — and the US — was that it became unbearable to live in a society where single mothers with children worked two jobs and slept in SUVs on the Oakland waterfront and where, as you say, the goal was to make money while shoving the poor into some isolated trench somewhere — and, indeed, to make yet more people poor so as to make yet more money.

          1. Deshawn

            Newsom made California a sanctuary state and Oakland and San Francisco go beyond that. Millions of new immigrants, at least half “undocumented” are competing for housing with the moms living in cars. Thank Biden and the Democratic supermajority for that. Now tens of thousands are coming to the Bay Area every week. How the F. can we expect to find reasonable housing, or demand liveable wages with that???

            You cannot have reasonably priced low end housing with literally millions pouring in and willing to live four to a room with the higher rents they can pay landlords.

            “Recent Census Bureau estimates show net immigration to California increasing to 126,000 from July 2021–July 2022. This was almost triple the net flow from July 2020–July 2021 (44,000), the lowest in at least three decades—a consequence of the pandemic and policies that limited travel.”


      1. juno mas

        … and that disruptive milieu leads to mental illness and drug use.

        The homeless issue in California is a complex mess with no end in sight. Affordable housing takes time to build. Some homeless won’t want to live in it, anyway. There are truly mentally incapable people on the streets who, if not treated, will step into speeding traffic. Some into oncoming passenger trains (in my community). The ongoing stress of living in many American cities/suburbs seems to have made us all a little crazy. It’s now anything goes and nothing matters–JHKunstler.

  4. ProNewerDeal

    I am pleasantly surprised by IL Gov Pritzker. Actually seems like he might be the rare Actually Good major US politician instead of the typical Lesser Of 2 Evils, not another Neoliberal Reagan clone.

    Pritzker campaign-promised $15 min wage (in steps by 2025) and cannab1s legalization, and within a few months in office, both were completed. This alone is superior to any US Pres in my lifetime, who all seem to abandon most of their key campaign promises immediately (0bama & Biden both on Pubic Option, Biden on $15 min wage, Trump on eliminating manufacturing job offshore outsourcing, etc)

    Pritzker is pro-free speech with his anti-book banning law, and legislated legal abortion in IL

    Pritzker is better than I expected for a Nepo-Billionaire. As a Billionaire, perhaps Pritzker feels more free to act, than the typical Billionaire Funder (family blog)-riding pols like Newsom/Biden/etc.

  5. flora

    Newsom is WEF. Trudeau is WEF. Jacinda is WEF. Macron is WEF. etc. They don’t represent you the voter. They represent Davos’ and Schwab’s grand plan. Any questions? / ;)

        1. JonnyJames

          It doesn’t matter, the oligarchy rules. The WEF is just one forum for the oligarchy; the BS they tout is nothing new.

          1. flora

            Well, OK. Except, oligarchy is not completely identical to globalist new world order, not completely identical to anti-democracy for example. Ya gots yer oligarchs, and then ya gots yer oligarchs, to put a humorous touch on the thing.

  6. jhallc

    Newsom is additioning for the VP spot where he can to the presidency thru the backdoor when Biden resigns to spend more time with Hunter :)

    1. Neutrino

      Anything to keep the power in the right hands. Friends in California despise Newsom as he has ruined so much through that weathervane approach.

      Groucho Marx has a line for Newsom and by extension so many modern politicians of all stripes.

      Principles? If you don’t like those, we have others.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      He meets the qualifications for top of the ticket candidate like Biden: he could be worse. I’m not sure Harris would be worse anymore.

  7. Cat Burglar

    Don’t forget Newsom”s heavy lifting for convicted felon PG&E, that killed people in San Bruno with its gas pipeline, and killed and unhoused people in the Tubbs and Paradise fires by deferring maintenance to fund stock buybacks, then used Newsom to intervene in the bankruptcy process.

    Add to that Newsom’s admnistrative incompetence during the first years of Covid — his unemployment department managed to foster huge scams at the same time it denied rightful benefits to thousands of unemployed applicants. People were committing suicide.

    No, Gavin Newsom is not your friend. He is the instrument of Rule #2.

      1. flora

        In Cuomo’s case it was improving Medicare’s financial status with one Nursing Home’s wipe out of residents after another at the time. And with complete indemnity for the Nursing Home owners. Too harsh? /grrrr

  8. Nikkikat

    I can add another issue to Newsome long list of cruelties. During the pandemic, the unemployment system was a disaster. The system became overwhelmed immediately. The unemployment system in California, never more than barely able to operate neglected for years Due to an antiquated computer system and a lack of employees to work the cases. It took weeks to even get my husbands unemployment to be approved. Then checks would come for a couple of weeks and was delivered via an agreement with Bank of America. We got a bank card in the mail and we had to go to Bank of America and withdraw the cash from an ATM. Bank of America ran out of cash every couple of weeks where we had to drive to multiple banks to find one with money in the ATM. Numerous people were cut off by B of A as suspicious.
    The account would then be closed. You had to reapply and go thru the entire process again.
    When some prisoners figured out how to game the system. How is it even possible for that to happen? It was decided everyone needed to have fraud checks run on them. California hired a private company to check our identities. This required us to send, utility bills, copy of drivers license, social security cards to a facility after two weeks, we got a letter saying we were identified. Then you had spend days on the phone trying to get through to unemployment to get another two weeks of checks and it would start all over again. We had to withdraw money from our 401k to pay bills. We had payed off our home a couple of years prior or we would have been homeless too. We never got more than two weeks unemployment in any given month. My husband had never received unemployment, he worked and paid into the system for 40 years only to find out that the entire system was a disaster. Newsome never lifted a finger to fix it.
    The homeless situation there is unbelievable. We had a dry river bed nearby with 4 to 5 thousand homeless living there in tents. 80% according to newspapers were employed in minimum wage jobs. Every where you looked people living under bushes, begging in parking lots and many of them quite elderly. I never blame the homeless. It hurt my heart every day to see that no one cared about human beings left with no resources.

    1. Cat Burglar

      Amazing you ever got through to the Employment Development Department on the phone — a friend of mine never did. You were forced to do it online.The identity check contractor, Pondera, seems to have used their contract as a gigantic data-scraping operation — which is likely why the EDD won’t provide any contract documents to journalists (see the link above to the best article I have found on the EDD debacle).

  9. Joe Renter

    Jimmy Dore, about two months ago said he was going to be lined up for the White House. I follow an astrologer on utube that says Biden will resign due to health issues in the next six month. Take that as you like. Regardless, more of the status quo.

  10. JonnyJames

    Great expose of the Gaviner: He’s a perfect candidate for superficial, dumbed-down ‘merka: he’s tall, has the good hair, bleachy-white teeth, many say he’s “handsome”, and he has a slick line of BS. Since I live in CA, I have to put up with him and the corruption of his admin and state gov in general.

    Some compare him to Prime Minister Pretty Boy (Trudeau) or even the white Obama.

    As noted: Newsom is part of the D oligarchy, comes from a privileged background and is part of deep-seated institutionalized corruption. The relationship with the insurance cartel and PG&E are a case in point.

    Time to boycott anyone with a D or R after their name and start over. The phony PR democracy BS got old decades ago. We can at least try to “elect” non-oligarchy candidates.

    1. WLGR

      re: “white Obama,” Newsom’s early posturing on gay rights (ordering SF to start performing same-sex marriages shortly after becoming mayor in 2004, which was quickly nixed by the courts and did little if anything to actually further the cause of gay rights) is starkly reminiscent of Obama’s vague noises against the Iraq war circa 2002-03 — a shrewd gambit by an ambitious political climber to anticipate an issue where public opinion would swing to the left in the near future, and where staking out an ineffectual rhetorical stance now would pose negligible political risk in their current low-level positions, but would enable them to posture as courageous and principled in a future big-ticket race against slower-climbing rivals whose higher-level positions demanded taking the then-“serious” centrist position, as Obama and Newsom both certainly would’ve done themselves on the respective issues had they been in national office at the time.

  11. Tom Stone

    Aw. C’mon, He’s the “NEW JFK!”.
    If you want to understand Politicians, study addiction.
    Nothing is more addictive to Human beings than Power over other Humans.
    Governor Noisome is but one of many examples in American Politics of how corrupting that addiction is.

  12. WLGR

    It seems to have been largely forgotten now, but one of the earliest moves of Newsom’s political career (shortly after winning the mayor’s office against a credible Green Party contender in 2003, a landmark year in the centrist shivving of the SF left that also saw Kamala Harris defeat the left-wing DA Terence Hallinan as an aggressively generic tough-on-crime center-rightist) was the high-profile publicity stunt of ordering the city in early 2004 to start performing same-sex marriages for a brief window before being shut down by the courts, a more that posed no political risk for Newsom locally and had more or less zero effect on the overall political trajectory of gay rights at the state or federal level, but made it crystal clear that, as I distinctly remember an acquaintance putting it at the time, this guy will be gunning for the White House in about 20 years or so… right on schedule, it seems!

    1. JonnyJames

      With a “left” and “centrists” like those, we don’t need no right-wing authoritarians. If we evaluate the policies, not the blah blah: Both factions of the duopoly are firmly right-wing, authoritarian. That’s why Ds and Rs cynically focus on superficial, emotional identity politics.

      1. WLGR

        Very appropriate for Newsom to do a debate against DeSantis: two perfect little Patrick Batemans whose efforts to launch themselves into the limelight as human cannonballs in a culture-war circus act are both just a wee a bit too transparently fake for their own good, as if both of them had modeled their personas around Bateman’s “general social concern” monologue as the genuine archetype of earnest and effective rhetoric.

  13. PUC Watcher

    Newsom’s main job seems to be keeping the value of PG&E’s stock elevated. His entire portfolio of actions, not words, seems to promote nuclear power and the use of electricity generated by PG&E.

    Privately owned Solar was cost effective to generate rooftop electricity until the All-Newsom appointed P.U.C. lowered utility paybacks to homeowners. “Customers will be credited 5 cents per kilowatt-hour for the energy their arrays send back to the grid, compared to about 30 cents per kilowatt hour under the previous system.” San Francisco Chronicle 4/9/23


    Now his stooges on the PUC have decreed a flat tax for all California utility customers, not matter how little electricity or gas they use.

    1. JonnyJames

      The Private Utility Cartel (So Cal Edison and PG&E). Textbook example of “regulatory capture”. PG&E gets away with murder (no hyperbole) due to willful, criminal negligence. No one at PG&E was investigated for criminal behavior.

      Of course there are civil suits that result in billions in payouts, but the taxpayer and ratepayers have to pay for their crimes in more way than one. PG&E customers already pay the highest rates in the country (even higher now than Hawai’i, if I understand my bill correctly). My latest bill says PG&E is asking for another massive rate increase, which the PUC always rubber-stamps.

      Because of the fires, insurance rates have skyrocketed and many have been dropped altogther. Major insurance cos will not write policy in CA. So, we have to pay an extra “vig” to Pacific Graft and Extortion Co. and to the Insurance mafia. I would rather deal with the old Cosa Nostra

      It’s enough to make you boil with rage, and then puke

      Meanwhile PGE parasites rake off more for themselves

  14. Joe Well

    Re: filing deadlines being months ahead of the actual votes. What possible justification could there be for that, other than to give the Establishment time to destroy them?

  15. Matthew G. Saroff

    Nothing but my gut, but my sense is that Newsom has been doing some truly skeevy (though not necessarily illegal) things that will not survive opposition research in a presidential primary.

    Take that with a grain of salt though, except for identifying alcoholics in public life, my gut bats about about .188.

  16. Feral Finster

    As The Hill puts it, Newsom is doing all this “just in case President Biden succumbs to the realities of his age and waning mental capacity.”

    That was, well, subtle.

    1. JonnyJames

      The reality of his diminished cognitive abilities (and creepy, perv behavior) has been ignored, covered up, and excused for years. A friend says it’s to the point of elder abuse.

  17. Carla

    “Newsom’s plan ignores the fact that homelessness has a major impact on mental health. Just poverty and the threat of eviction can severely damage mental health.”

    I don’t think this can be emphasized enough. Matthew Desmond’s “Evicted” drove it home for me.

    Thank you, Conor, for this very important piece.

  18. NYMutza

    Once Newsom’s second term as California governor is complete his political career needs to end, with his POTUS ambitions DOA. He can go back to running his winery and sleeping with his friends’ wives and girlfriends. Screw the Gettys.

  19. flora

    So Blair and Cameron and Hills are once again walking the stage. What is this: The 2023 reunion tour of the big neocon brands?

  20. ian

    Forget charging drug dealers with homicide. If Newsom and Breed really wanted to make a difference, they would charge shoplifters.

  21. Brzuno

    Boy, you people are so mean to our governor, but I gotta say ole greasy hair Gav richly deserves it. The clincher for me was his vetoing the law reducing solitary confinement in CA prisons, which was actually a decent thing that our famously spineless and yet overwhelmingly liberal Democrat legislature did. Solitary confinement is a hands free form of torture just as hideous as all those metal contraptions from the Spanish Inquisition. What more does one need to know about this guy ?

  22. Grant Ave Lad

    Supprised that no one has made this connection:

    Willie Brown appointed Gavin Newsom to his first political job supervising parking meters in San Francisco. Later he controlled his rise to mayor and then to higher offices like Lt. Governor when Brown was Speaker of the State Legislature.

    Willie was also the one who gave Kamala a new BMW and several state medical board appointments for which she was unqualified. In return she serviced willies needs as he later admitted.

    At least theirs was an honest transaction.

    Willie was originally tutored by Saul Alinsky, Obama’s handler, and Hillary’s hero. Will someone please flush this political toilet?


  23. tomk

    Gavin’s great-grandfather was interesting figure, not as well known as he might be, Dr. Thomas Addis, kidney researcher, Stanford professor and left-wing activist. He saved Linus Pauling’s life and was friendly with Oppenheimer. If only Gavin had some of his ideals, but who knows? Maybe he’s being strategic with his cruel policies.



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