Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mysterious, Crude Anti-Newsom Mailers Go Out Again

Posted By on Mon, Mar 22, 2010 at 9:30 AM

Once again, a misleading and anonymous anti-Gavin Newsom mailer featuring this eye-catching image has landed in Californians' mail boxes
  • Once again, a misleading and anonymous anti-Gavin Newsom mailer featuring this eye-catching image has landed in Californians' mail boxes
A political postcard depicting Mayor Gavin Newsom with what appears to be a rectum for a mouth -- and also featuring the above, undoctored, photo -- has been sent to homes around the state. The mailers implore recipients to contact political consultants Garry South and Clint Reilly, and list Oakland political consultant Larry Tramutola's office as the return address. Reilly and South told the Los Angeles Daily News they're mystified and Tramutola told SF Weekly he has no idea what's going on.

"Because the return address for all these things is my office, all the ones that don't get delivered come to me. I've got at least 30 or 35," said Tramutola. "I called Clint and he had no idea. I have no clue -- I think someone is trying to be cute or clever. I don't know what they're hoping to accomplish, candidly."

The mailers are nearly identical to a series of anti-Gavin postcards sent out in 2007, which also featured the above photo of Newsom. Instead of including South and Reilly's phone numbers, however, the '07 mailers instructed recipients to phone San Francisco political movers-and-shakers Jim Sutton and Eric Jaye. Both Sutton and Jaye's wives received a copy of that anti-Newsom mailer -- and Tramutola says his wife received a copy of the current incarnation at the couple's Piedmont home. What's more, both the '07 and '10 postcards were emblazoned with the Web sites and

The Gavin Watch Web site has not been updated since 2007; SF Weekly's e-mail to its anonymous keeper has not yet been returned. the Gavin Sucks site is not currently live -- though it was apparently previously maintained by blogger Dean Barbella, who authors similarly named Gavin-bashing Web sites. These, too, haven't been updated in eons. SF Weekly was unable to reach Barbella.

In 2007, incidentally, Newsom's mayoral campaign pointed the finger at neither nor for the lurid mailers, but simply at "A Newsom hater."

It is unclear whether the Newsom-hater of 2010 has run afoul of California campaign law. Roman Porter, the executive director of the Fair Political Practices Commission, told the Daily News that anyone spending upwards of $1,000 on political mailers or sending out 200 or more of them must register with his organization. And no one has in this case.

Tramutola said that he's heard of mailers arriving at homes all over the state -- and the sheer number of undeliverable postcards piling up in his office indicates "a lot" more than 200 were sent out.

But as to why he's involved and what's going on here -- it's a mystery.

"Honest to God," says Tramutola, "I don't know."

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , ,

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.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"