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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

San Jose, San Diego, Los Angeles Mayors to Visit D.C., Beg for State Money. Newsom to Travel Around State, Beg for Newsom Money

Posted By on Tue, Feb 10, 2009 at 12:38 PM

click to enlarge wheresgavin.jpg
While Gavin Newsom continues his "Get to Know Me!" fund-raising tour around California, the mayors of the three largest cities in the state will be in the nation's capital, pleading for funds for our broke, broke state.

Mayors Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, Chuck Reed of San Jose, and Jerry Sanders of San Diego will be in Washington, D.C., promoting California. Newsom will be in San Jose tonight and Stockton on Thursday -- promoting Newsom.

And while this doesn't look good for San Francisco's mayor -- let's be honest: It looks terrible -- it may not be his fault. The other three mayors may not have wanted Newsom's company. No one from Newsom's office could answer whether the trio of mayors even bothered to invite San Francisco's mayor along (also, hilariously, queries about Newsom's public schedule this week resulted in SF Weekly being referred to Newsom's Facebook page).

Michelle McGurk, a spokeswoman for San Jose's Mayor Chuck Reed, said that Reed was invited on the trip to D.C. by Mayors Villaraigosa and Sanders on Feb. 6. Calls to the San Diego and Los Angeles mayors were not returned, but McGurk's subsequent words indicate that the "Big Three" don't feel they need Newsom and his piddling constituency of 744,230 along.

"This trip was specifically designed to advocate for the three largest cities in California and advocate for the major cities," she said.

The major cities? Ouch.

And yet, perhaps there's another reason Gavin is in barnstorming the state (other than the fact he's running for higher office and wants money). According to McGurk, San Jose, San Diego, and Los Angeles are all clients of the lobbying firm Patton Boggs, which represents the cities in D.C. San Francisco, she believes, is not a client (calls and messages to Patton Boggs have not yet been returned).

Perhaps Patton Boggs only represents "major" cities.

Update:  3:40 p.m. Rebecca Carr, the communications director for Patton Boggs, notes that Newsom was invited to attend the D.C. trip, but declined: "Mayor Newsom recently traveled to Washington to advocate on the

stimulus bill. Unfortunately, he was scheduled to attend an economic

forum this Wednesday morning. It was because of this complicated

timing -- not by exclusion or choice -- that San Francisco was unable

to join on this trip."

Patton Boggs does not represent San Francisco but does "collaborate constantly with San Francisco and its federal advocate (Eve O'Toole at Holland & Knight) on numerous initiatives..."

Word of this "economic forum" was news to SF Weekly. The good folks at the mayor's press office promised to explain what, exactly, it is and where it will take place -- soon.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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