Gavin Newsom has a book deal

The Penguin Press, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA), today announced the acquisition of North American rights to a forthcoming book by California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, with publication planned for Winter 2013 – shortly before Newsom will be seeking re-election (or some other office?) in 2014.

Asked how much this book deal is worth, Newsom’s office referred me to longtime Newsom political consultant Peter Ragone. “Basically, we’re not disclosing terms at this time, but we will make appropriate disclosures on our form 700 for this calendar year,” Ragone replied in an e-mail.

The book, the publisher says, “will show how citizens can use social media, technology and available government data to cut through the bureaucratic red tape and redesign government in their own image. This solution-driven book suggests that we are at the dawn of a revolutionary change in the way government and the people interact.”

Penguin Press President and Publisher Ann Godoff, in the news release, said Newsom is “employing what America does best – innovation – and using it to call for many local revolutions that will overcome the epidemic gridlock in our government bureaucracy.”

Said Newsom, in the same release: “Just as Apple’s app store succeeded by tapping into the ingenuity of ordinary Americans, so can government harness the collective intelligence of citizens to help solve our greatest challenges.”

The Chronicle late last month had reported Newsom already “is prepping to run for governor again,” having asked a political insider to help him start raising money. But Newsom a few days later told me there was “nothing unusual” about the request.

“I’m doing what everybody else does, paying down a little debt on the LG’s (lieutenant governor’s campaign) account,” he said. “I’m never going to run against Jerry Brown.”

UPDATE @ 2:27 P.M. FRIDAY: Newsom, at an event this morning in Fremont, reiterated that the public will know how much he’s being paid for the book when he files his next statement of economic interests. “I was blessed,” he said. “I can’t believe it, I didn’t know they do advances. That means it had better be good – they’ve got to earn their money back.”

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.