It turns out that California gubernatorial candidate John Cox’s “caviar” dig at Gavin Newsom last week was more than just a jab at the former San Francisco mayor’s penchant for the finer things in life (including his friend’s wives): Tuesday morning the Cox campaign announced the launch of a new website aimed at pointing out Newsom’s “fortunate son” background as part of the “champagne and caviar” set.
— Phil Willon (@philwillon) September 4, 2018
A newly-created Facebook page states:
“New website will look into Newsom’s monied past including a tangled web of business dealings and millions of dollars in handouts to Gavin Newsom by his own personal special interest, the oil-rich Getty family as well as the lavish lifestyle Newsom enjoys while claiming to be a ‘man of the people.’”
Newsom’s connected to the Getty family through his father, a “powerful, politically-connected” attorney who managed the J. Paul Getty fortune. Newsom grew up enjoying his privilege in well-to-do Marin County, outside of San Francisco. As a young adult, Gavin capitalized on that connection, and Gordon Getty was the investor behind his first business, a San Francisco wine shop.
“In addition to investing in the businesses, a Getty trust paid Gavin Newsom for investment advice, and Gordon and Ann Getty provided gifts and loans for his home, according to reports and disclosures. They paid about $233,000 toward his first wedding reception. His thirtieth birthday party, given by the Gettys, was Great Gatsby-themed, down to the flappers and Charlestons. Newsom bid adieu to his Roaring Twenties as Alphonse, the Gettys’ chef, reportedly prepared sushi, lamb chops, mashed potatoes, asparagus and a fish pasta.”
Newsom slummed in San Francisco for a few years for political reasons, turned the place into a s***hole, then eventually fled back to Marin.
Oh, and how did that political career get started? In 1992 Newsom’s father leaned on another friend, John Burton, to suggest that then-Mayor Willie Brown (who also brought us Kamala Harris via his, uh, well…) appoint Newsom to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
So far, Newsom’s been immune to any attacks on his character – and there are many. But, the only thing he has accomplished as Lieutenant Governor has been pissing off the middle class, and his advocacy of draconian water usage restrictions, universal healthcare for illegal aliens, and never-ending increases in gasoline and vehicle taxes are further alienating him from both the middle class and business owners.
A Sacramento Bee op-ed writer wondered at Newsom’s popularity earlier this year:
The 50-year-old lieutenant governor and former mayor of San Francisco is the living embodiment of privilege, and people seem to be OK with that. He has white male privilege. Class privilege. Wealth privilege. The privilege of good looks.
All creates a Teflon exterior, protecting Newsom’s horrendous lapses of judgment and character, excusing his questionable background. It is simply accepted without eliciting the negative scrutiny that would dog or even derail lesser mortals.
If one of Newsom’s opponents – say, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa or State Treasurer John Chiang – were bankrolled by one of the richest men in California for most of their lives, as Newsom has been by oil heir Gordon Getty, they would be answering for it every day on the campaign trail.
But for Newsom, Getty is portrayed as a “family friend.” Meanwhile, Newsom has gotten to call himself an “entrepreneur” for years.
Though Getty money was the first invested in Gavin’s business ventures, in politics he has hypocritically railed against “Big Oil.” But that’s not nearly the extent of Gavin’s peccadilloes.
“[I]n 2007 Newsom had an affair with his appointments secretary. And she wasn’t just his secretary. She was married to one of his top political aides and best friend. After the affair became public, Newsom’s lover somehow landed a $10,000 payout in public money from a fund intended for city employees with catastrophic and life-threatening illnesses.
How can sleeping with Gavin Newsom be considered a catastrophic or life-theatening illness?
What was the catastrophic or life-threatening illness the secretary claimed? Substance abuse. However, she was the only person who ever received a payout from that fund for substance abuse “treatment.”
Stepping back from the obvious jokes and funny slams that are just too easily made here, this “indiscretion” is extremely problematic, especially in the #MeToo era. The woman was one of Newsom’s subordinates. She received a payout that no other employee ever received. And, of course, Gavin wasn’t found to have done anything wrong. The $10,000 payment the secretary received should be correctly classified as a sexual harassment payout.
In addition, this wasn’t just an affair. This was his best friend’s wife. If a person can just rationalize away that level of deception, well, personally, I could never trust them.
Newsom, a quick study of how other lecherous politicians weaseled out of potential problems, came up with an excuse and took absolutely no blame for his actions.
“Newsom told everyone he had a drinking problem. So his grievous betrayal became about substance abuse. He had a problem, right? The narrative became that Newsom was going to rehab. He let everyone believe that he was going into legitimate alcohol rehab. It was all part of the Newsom redemption tour.”
Except, as Newsom said in a Sacramento Bee interview this year after his opponents claimed we don’t want a drunk running the state, it wasn’t *really* rehab; it was just a few meetings.
“No, there’s no rehab. I just stopped. There was no treatment, no nothing related to any of that stuff. I stopped because I thought it was a good thing to stop.”
Who really knows what the truth is? We certainly aren’t going to get it from Newsom, who’s used to skating through everything in life. Hopefully, John Cox has the guts to keep hammering Newsom on these issues.