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Newsom returns contribution from Savage’s son

Last week, you read it here first that Rockstar energy drink founder and CEO Russell Weiner – son of Michael Weiner, aka Bay Area-based, nationally broadcast conservative talk radio talk host Michael Savage – had made a $25,000 contribution to San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign. Weiner told me he and Newsom are longtime friends.

But Newsom’s campaign today said it’s returning Weiner’s money.

“The Newsom for California campaign is returning the contribution of Russell G. Weiner,” campaign director Eric Jaye said in an e-mailed statement. “We believe that the confusion caused by the conflicts between the views expressed by Mr. Weiner in his campaign for State Assembly and the views and values of Mayor Newsom are best adressed this way.”

Russ Weiner ran for the state Assembly in 1998 as a Republican, touting the fact that he with his dad had founded the conservative Paul Revere Society (later stripped of its nonprofit status, and now redirecting Web browsers directly to Savage’s site.)

And Savage just last October was saying Newsom is “in love again with the gay mafia” and “a whack-job as a mayor – ‘Any-twosome’ Newsom.”

Weiner told me a few minutes ago there are no hard feelings.

“I still wish Gavin the best – always have, always will,” he said. “I’m just going to give this money to charity instead, I’m going to give it to Project Open Hand in San Francisco. … Let’s turn a misunderstanding into a positive.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.