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Monday, January 10, 2011

Newsom Did the Most Work in His Last Seven Days as Mayor

Posted By on Mon, Jan 10, 2011 at 12:49 PM

click to enlarge A Moderate Win
  • A Moderate Win

Gavin Newsom, who is this afternoon departing his post as mayor, is leaving Room 200 with his prints all over it.

As former Supervisor Aaron Peskin -- a Newsom critic --  pointed out this morning on NPR: If Newsom's last seven years in office had been anything like the last seven days, he would have accomplished a lot more as mayor.

While Newsom will say one of his greatest legacies as mayor is reducing the homeless population by 40 percent, critics will argue those numbers, claiming the city is far from resolving chronic homelessness.

What they won't deny is that the tactical mayor spent his last week in office skillfully navigating volatile political waters -- and coming out ahead.


In the last seven days, Newsom managed to play the system to his favor. He extended his stay as mayor until today, despite the fact that lawyers and pundits questioned the legality of what he was doing.

Newsom said he had more business to take care of before he was sworn in as lieutenant governor.

And that business included beating out progressives on the Board of Supervisors, in one final move that would seal his legacy as the moderate mayor. He worked behind the scenes influencing votes that eventually led to securing his ally, City Administrator Ed Lee, as the interim mayor. The Board of Supervisors is expected to officially appoint Lee on Tuesday.

If that wasn't enough to satisfy moderates around City Hall, Newsom then gave the final punch on Sunday when he abruptly appointed Police Chief George Gascon as the interim District Attorney in a quick and dirty swearing in ceremony that even caught Gascon off-guard.

"The number of decisions that have moved from idea to reality in the past seven days have been enormous," said Alex Clemens, a local political consultant. "They are highly political decisions with far and ranging consequences for politicians, policymakers, business interests, and labor unions as they line up to decide where to put their resources in the November election."

Newsom completely reshuffled the deck, and now the moderates of San Francisco are dealing the cards.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Bio:
Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.

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