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Take a photo tour of Gavin Newsom’s old house

the former Newsom abode (Photo - SFARMLS via Curbed)Curbed SF had the scoop Friday on Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s former house at 1581 Masonic in San Francisco hitting the market, listed for $2.75 million; the former mayor moved out of the 4-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom, 3,051-square-foot home last month, headed for bigger digs in Marin County. Lotsa pictures… check it out.

Posted on Monday, July 11th, 2011
Under: Gavin Newsom, Lt. Governor | No Comments »

Angry words as Democrats move budget forward

Lots of tough words are flying back and forth across the aisle as the Legislature has sent a Democratic party-line budget to Gov. Jerry Brown.

From state Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro:

“Today Democrats have passed a balanced budget and respected the state constitutional deadline and voters’ wishes. While this was the responsible thing to do, it is heartbreaking. Republicans were unwilling to give voters the option to avoid cuts and slashing funding for courts and education.”

“This deadline, and our commitment to meet it, has been known to all, including Republicans, since Proposition 25 passed last November. Republicans’ steadfast resistance to putting another option before voters – to ask whether to continue taxes at their current level instead of letting them expire – is undemocratic.

“The truth is we have no other option to pass a budget that is balanced. Without more revenue, the only option left is to make awful cuts. And these come after we already made $11 billion of tough cuts in March.

“There is no doubt we can do better – we must do better – for California and its future. I call on Republicans to consider the consequences of what is happening here today, and ask all Californians to contact Republican legislators and demand another option.”

“The bill now goes to the governor, who will continue to seek Republican support for an alternative to this harsh, all-cuts budget. All Californians should contact the governor and Republican legislators today to demand a more equitable solution.”

From state Senators Tom Berryhill, R-Modesto; Anthony Cannella, R-Ceres; Bill Emmerson, R-Hemet; and Tom Harman, R-Huntington Beach, the four Republicans seen as pivotal to a budget deal:

Tom Harman“Today’s actions prove that the bridge tax isn’t a stumbling block – it’s political theater. The real stumbling block for the Majority Party are the unions and trial lawyers demanding they block the reform proposals we have been pushing for months.

“Instead of a political drill, today we could have had a real bipartisan budget – one that allows voters to weigh in on Governor Brown’s tax proposal as well as a hard spending cap, significant reforms to our broken pension system, and improvements to California’s business climate to spur the economy and get people back to work.”

From Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom:

“Today, through their inexplicable refusal to engage in a responsible and balanced budget solution, Republican legislators have forced an additional $300M in devastating cuts to our public universities.

“For six months, Governor Jerry Brown and Democratic leaders have tried to work with Republican legislators to reach common-sense, common-ground solutions to California’s budget problems that would have minimized already enormous cuts to the University of California and California State University systems, the cornerstone of California’s economic engine.

“But, even after Democrats passed $12.5B of budget cuts in March, including $1B from higher education, Republican lawmakers have been incapable and unwilling to meet anywhere near the middle.

“These cuts are penny wise and pound foolish and threaten to further damage a stretched-to-the-limit public university system that was once the envy of the world. In volatile economic times, we should be investing in our universities to ensure we are producing the highly-skilled, educated workforce California needs to compete in the global economy.

“If Republicans want to walk the walk on job creation and attract and retain businesses in California, they should immediately return to the table and negotiate a good-faith solution that reverses these additional cuts to the State’s universities.”

From Board of Equalization member George Runner:

George Runner“Make no mistake, this Democrat budget isn’t about solving California’s fiscal problems—it’s only goal is to ensure lawmakers keep their paychecks flowing.

“When voters last fall granted Democrats their wish of majority-vote budgets, they demanded lawmakers forfeit their pay if those budgets are not approved on-time. But it was never the voters’ intention for lawmakers to approve a sham budget simply to keep their paychecks coming.

“What’s worse is that to protect their own pay, Democrats are poised to sacrifice the paychecks of thousands of California small businesses known as affiliates. Up to 25,000 of these Internet entrepreneurs will lose their affiliate status if Democrats approve a so-called ‘Amazon tax.’ According to the Board of Equalization’s analysis, ‘termination of affiliate programs would have an adverse impact on state employment’ and ‘lead to lower revenues.’

“The dumbest idea of all is the Democrats’ plan to sell state buildings for one-time revenue. If lawmakers want real one-time dollars, they should consider my proposals to raise billions in revenue by (1) granting an interest and penalty holiday to spur collection of delinquent tax payments and (2) selling-off aging debts owed the state.”

More, after the jump…
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, June 15th, 2011
Under: Assembly, California State Senate, Ellen Corbett, Fiona Ma, Gavin Newsom, Gov. Jerry Brown, Jerry Brown, Leland Yee, Lt. Governor, Mark Leno, state budget, Tom Harman | 4 Comments »

Lt. Gov’s kids now a Newsom twosome

Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom and Jennifer Siebel Newsom announced the birth of their second child, Hunter Siebel Newsom, born in San Francisco at 9:18 a.m. today. Hunter is 20.5 inches long and weighs 8 lbs. 4 oz.

“The Newsoms and their 20-month old daughter Montana look forward to bringing baby Hunter home and spending time together with family,” according to the lieutenant governor’s news release.

Posted on Sunday, June 12th, 2011
Under: Gavin Newsom, Lt. Governor | 1 Comment »

House to mull oil drilling off California’s coast

The House is expected to vote tomorrow on a bill that could re-open oil drilling off California’s coast.

H.R. 1231, the “Reversing President Obama’s Offshore Moratorium Act,” would do just that, requiring the Interior Department to offer leases in every area with significant oil deposits three miles off the coast.

The California State Lands Commission – consisting of Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, state Controller John Chiang and state Finance Director Ana Matosantos – passed a resolution April 28 opposing this bill, and Newsom wrote to Congressional leaders today urging that it be voted down.

Newsom wrote that House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings, R-Wash., “intends to mandate oil and gas drilling off all U.S. coasts and weaken the system for reviewing offshore drilling – even after last year’s disaster in the Gulf.”

“Healthy coasts and oceans are a critical priority for California, yet these bills counter California’s short and long term environmental goals, Newsom wrote. “California’s state and local governments, businesses, and civil society are all devoted to managing, protecting, and restoring our marine environment for the benefit of current and future generations. These bills would undermine the state’s efforts to keep our ocean clean and protect fisheries, marine life and key habitats.

Newsom said Hastings’ “drill-at-all-costs” mentality would actually weaken existing oversight, and contradicts the renewable energy policies the nation should be pursuing.

“It is imperative that the United States does not fall further behind in the development of efficient renewable power,” he said, citing his tenure as San Francisco’s mayor. “In my two terms elected, we voted to reach a goal of 100% renewable energy by 2020 and are well on our way towards it. These goals can and should be implemented at a wider scale without having to resort to mandated oil drilling. I challenge our government to mandate stricter renewable standards, and challenge our engineers to develop carbon zero technology.”

The House last week passed Hastings’ H.R. 1230, the “Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act,” on a 266-149 vote; that bill dealt with four specific oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and off Virginia’s coast.

Today, the House grappled with amendments to Hastings’ H.R. 1229, which would give the Interior Department a 30-day window in which to decide on Gulf of Mexico drilling applications. Among those amendments was one by Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, which would’ve required the Interior Secretary, when reviewing drilling permits, to consult with an independent drilling safety organization not affiliated with the oil industry trade association; his amendment was defeated on a 169-240 vote.

None of these bills are likely to fare well in the Democrat-dominated U.S. Senate, which was abuzz today with talk of ending tax subsidies for oil companies.

Posted on Tuesday, May 10th, 2011
Under: energy, Environment, Gavin Newsom, John Garamendi, U.S. House | 5 Comments »

More politicos react to Osama bin Laden’s demise

I’ve just filed a story based on conversations I had today with several Bay Area members of Congress regarding the slaying of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, but other politicos have a lot to say on the matter, too…

From U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano:

“The death of Osama bin Laden is an important success not only for the United States, but the entire world. Our efforts to combat terrorism, however, do not fixate on one individual, and we remain completely focused on protecting our nation against violent extremism of all kinds.

“We remain at a heightened state of vigilance, but the Department of Homeland Security does not intend to issue an NTAS alert at this time. I have been clear since announcing NTAS in January that we will only issue alerts when we have specific or credible information to convey to the American public. However, our security posture, which always includes a number of measures both seen and unseen, will continue to respond appropriately to protect the American people from an evolving threat picture both in the coming days and beyond.

“I commend the President and offer my gratitude to the men and women who defend and protect our nation at home and abroad, whether they wear a military or law enforcement uniform or serve as one of thousands of unsung heroes in the intelligence and homeland security community. It is true that we are stronger and safer than we were on 9/11 – not only because Osama bin Laden is dead, but because of the unflagging dedication and hard work of so many people throughout the world committed to freedom and security.”

From former Congressman and possible 2012 Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich:

“The killing of Osama bin Laden is a significant victory in the long struggle between radical Islamists and modern civilization.

“This victory is a tribute to the patient endurance of American justice. I commend both President George W. Bush who led the campaign against our enemies through seven long years and President Obama who continued and intensified the campaign in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“We should remember to thank those who made this possible. Without the courage and professionalism of our men and women in uniform and in the intelligence services, this victory would not have been achieved.

“This victory is only a milestone in a long war. We must also recognize the long struggle ahead. Radical Islamism did not start with bin Laden and it will not end with his death. This is the 32nd year since the Iranian dictatorship seized our diplomats illegally and held them hostage for 444 days. It has been 28 years since Iranian-supported terrorists killed 241 servicemen in Beirut in 1983.

“As long as there are schools teaching children to hate; as long as there are state-supported terrorist systems; as long as several countries actively recruit children to be suicide bombers; this war will continue.

“The world is a better place without Osama bin Laden, but his just demise cannot erase the loss and suffering of the families and friends of those who died on September 11 or died fighting in the war since September 11. So while we are celebrating this victory, we should take time to remember all who suffered and sacrificed and pray for them.”

From Gov. Jerry Brown:

“Tonight, Americans can be grateful that President Obama brought bin Laden to justice. Our friends as well as our adversaries throughout the world can be assured of America’s resolve in combating terrorism and protecting the values of democracy and freedom.”

From Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom:

“On this night of remarkable accomplishment, Californians and Americans everywhere honor our Commander-in-Chief and our brave men and women wearing our nation’s uniform and serving our country around the world. We will never forget the despicable legacy of terror that ended today nor the thousands of innocent lives it destroyed. But, now, thanks to the heroism of U.S. intelligence and military personnel, our national family has a true measure of justice and the world is surely a safer place.”

From Assemblyman Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber:

“The death of Osama bin Laden is testimony to the relentless pursuit of justice by the United States since 9/11 through both the Bush and Obama administrations. Our United States military have again demonstrated their professionalism and excellence. Terrorists from bin Laden to the lowest operative know there are consequences for their heinous deeds.

“This, of course, does not diminish the sorrow of all who have lost loved ones in those cowardly attacks on our homeland. Hopefully, the death of this terrorist will bring some finality and sense of justice to them. We must not now let up, but rather redouble our resolve to seek and find others who would continue to do us harm. The War on Terror must continue.”

Posted on Monday, May 2nd, 2011
Under: Assembly, Gavin Newsom, Homeland security, Jerry Brown, War on Terror | 12 Comments »

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.”

Posted on Thursday, April 21st, 2011
Under: Gavin Newsom, Uncategorized | No Comments »

Newsom: Bring check-cashing biz under control

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom hopes to put a measure on the 2012 ballot asking voters to enact tight controls on check-cashing and payday loan businesses that he said are sucking working people and communities of color dry.

“This would be at the top of my list,” he said this afternoon, and efforts to push such regulations through the Legislature have failed because this industry is “very influential out here in Sacramento.”

“These guys just buy us off” and bills “don’t even get out of committee,” Newsom said, adding he’s “talking to folks” about a ballot measure. “It would be ideal to have it on the 2012 ballot, it would be an interesting debate, an important one.”

Newsom brought this up as we discussed his touting a new online calculator that will help California families determine if they qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a federal tax credit that can boost an individual’s or family’s federal refund by as much as $5,666.

The WEb Connector EZ asks four questions and within minutes lets taxpayers know whether they are eligible for the EITC. When taxpayers finish using the WEb Connector EZ, they can enter their zip code to locate free tax assistance programs available from the IRS and community agencies.

Created in 1975, the EITC is a refundable federal income tax credit for low to moderate income working individuals and families, conceived in part to offset the burden of social security taxes and to provide an incentive to work. When the EITC exceeds the amount of taxes owed, it results in a tax refund to those who claim and qualify for it.

But Newsom said today that more than half of California’s African-American and Latino families don’t have accounts at banks or other credit institutions. Even if they qualify for and get the EITC, what do they do with the money, he asked?

He said he’d like to find a way to expand the Bank on San Francisco free banking program conceived during his mayoral tenure to a statewide level so more Californians can start saving money and building credit ratings. Meanwhile, he said, the nation has as many check-cashing and payday loan businesses as it does McDonalds’ and Starbucks Coffee stores combined, many of them charging percentages that are “devastating working people and poor folks.”

Asked about last week’s Chronicle report that he’s prepping to run for governor again, Newsom insisted “it’s nothing unusual … I’m doing what everybody else does, paying down a little debt on the LG’s (lieutenant governor’s campaign) account.”

“I’m never going to run against Jerry Brown,” he said.

For this week, he’s concentrating on making Californians aware they may be eligible for the EITC so that they don’t leave thousands of dollars they’ve earned on the table as they file their tax returns. He called the EITC “one of the great anti poverty programs in this country – it makes work matter.”

The WEb Connector EZ calculator – created by Intuit Inc., makers of popular products such as TurboTax, Mint.com and Quicken – is offered by the WE Connect campaign, which aims to empower low-income families to lead healthier and more financially secure lives by connecting them to resources such as the EITC, California’s Healthy Families Program and CalFresh. Founded in 2005 by former California First Lady Maria Shriver and now run by the California Endowment, WE Connect has helped millions of Californians through its community events, web-based tools, public-private partnerships, and publications.

“WE Connect is committed to making it as easy as possible for families struggling during this economic downturn to connect with money-saving programs and services that help bring economic security into the household,” Dr. Robert Ross, president and CEO of The California Endowment, said in a news release. “It’s important we help get the word out about these programs so that families can take advantage of them.”

Meanwhile, if you made $49,000 or less last year; if you made $58,000 or less and on active military service; or if you qualify for the EITC, you can come to a free tax preparation event from noon to 6 p.m. this Friday, April 8, at Eastmont Town Center, 7200 Bancroft Ave. in Oakland (enter the building off Foothill Blvd.). To avoid waiting in line, call 866-577-1231 to make a reservation; mention that you’re calling to reserve your spot for the California Free Tax Event, which is co-sponsored by the Earn It! Keep It! Save It! program.

Participants can use TurboTax with help from volunteers and tax experts, and obtain refunds in as few as 12 days. You’ll need to bring a copy of your 2009 tax return, if available; a Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number for each family member; proof of income including W2s and 1099 forms; documentation of deductible expenses; account and routing numbers of checking and savings accounts for direct deposit and a faster refund; child care provider information; and landlord’s information if you’re claiming a renter’s credit.

Posted on Tuesday, April 5th, 2011
Under: ballot measures, Gavin Newsom, taxes | 1 Comment »

Canciamilla: Burton doesn’t speak for all Dems

Former Assemblyman Joe Canciamilla, D-Pittsburg, accompanied Republican incumbent Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado to his campaign stop this afternoon in Walnut Creek. Per my article, he explained that serving with Maldonado in the Assembly convinced him that Maldonado is truly interested in working across the political aisle, and is a straight shooter who means what he says.

Canciamilla and Maldonado 10-29-10 -- photo by Josh RichmanCanciamilla said that’s why other moderate Democratic former lawmakers like John Dutra of Fremont and Joe Nation of San Rafael are on Maldonado’s side, too.

That reminded me of what happened last week when Dutra, now an independent, was named the head of a Democratic and independent voter coalition supporting Republican gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman: California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton unleashed his legendary ire.

“John (Dutra) is a nice guy, but if that’s the best she can do, her campaign is in more trouble than I think it is,” Burton had said at the time, noting Dutra finished third in a three-way Democratic primary for state Senate and since had abandoned the party.

So I asked Canciamilla if he was prepared to brave Burton’s raging rhetoric himself, and he replied with some of his own.

“I respect John but I think the years of drugs and alcohol have taken their toll,” Canciamilla said. “He doesn’t speak for all Democrats, and the extremes are entitled to their opinion but they shouldn’t be allowed to be the dominant voices in the debate.”

UPDATE @ 4:15 P.M.: While we’re on the subject of cross-party endorsements, Democrat Gavin Newsom‘s campaign sent out an advisory a few minutes ago announcing his endorsement for lieutenant governor by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a Republican. “Running a city requires creativity and a commitment to solutions that work, regardless of their ideological origins,” Bloomberg said in the news release. “Mayor Newsom has demonstrated a dedication to innovative policies that protect the environment, improve the city’s education system, and create jobs. Gavin Newsom will bring this commitment to making government work for its citizens to Sacramento.”

Posted on Friday, October 29th, 2010
Under: 2010 election, Abel Maldonado, Assembly, Gavin Newsom, Lt. Governor | 6 Comments »

We knew the hair would come into it eventually.

I talked with Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado yesterday and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom today for a story we’ll publish next week about their contest for the lieutenant governor’s office. Here’s an amusing snippet:

Newsom blasts Maldonado for taking campaign money from oil and energy companies while opposing AB 32, California’s greenhouse gas emissions law, and other air and water protection efforts. Maldonado replied that he opposed AB 32 because the Legislature should enact regulations instead of leaving it to the California Air Resources Board, which doesn’t answer to voters; however, he opposes Proposition 23, the ballot measure to roll back AB 32, lest it discourage clean-energy sector investment. He added that he has always opposed off-shore oil drilling, and that Newsom is hypocritical given his personal ties to the Getty family of oil heirs and his own family’s investments in concerns such as Transocean, which operated the now-notorious BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig. “He’s oil soaked … His whole life is oil.”

“Maybe he’s referring to my hair,” Newsom quipped, adding the oil interests Maldonado cites were independent investments made on his wife’s behalf, having nothing to do with him.

Posted on Friday, October 15th, 2010
Under: 2010 election, Abel Maldonado, Gavin Newsom, Lt. Governor | No Comments »

SF Dem group snubs Newsom for Lt. Gov.

The political action committee of San Francisco for Democracy – a grassroots progressive group “inspired by the leadership of Howard Dean” – released its slate of endorsements yesterday for November’s election. The group endorsed Democrats for every congressional, legislative and statewide office – with the exception of the lieutenant governor’s office, for which San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom is the Democratic nominee.

The group’s website indicates the 60 percent threshold for endorsement wasn’t reached for that race during an Aug. 17 endorsement meeting. I couldn’t immediately reach the group’s president or communication director this afternoon, and my query to Newsom’s campaign wasn’t immediately returned. The campaign of Republican incumbent Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado chose not to comment.

Two polls last month – one commissioned by Maldonado’s campaign, the other independent – showed Newsom and Maldonado in a statistical dead heat.

UPDATE @ 12:47 P.M. FRIDAY: First, I was mistaken in calling San Francisco for Democracy an “SF Dem group” – it’s a nonpartisan progressive club, president Tim Durning said in a voicemail he left for me this morning. Durning went on to explain that Green candidate Jimi Castillo and Peace & Freedom candidate C.T. Weber got enough support from members of the club that Gavin Newsom didn’t have enough left to break the 60 percent threshold required for an endorsement; Republican Abel Maldonado was “a nonfactor in the race,” he said.

Posted on Thursday, September 2nd, 2010
Under: 2010 election, Abel Maldonado, Gavin Newsom, Lt. Governor, San Francisco politics | 6 Comments »