Thursday, February 01, 2007
Smash-Up: The Story of a Mayor
San Francisco City Hall is suddenly feeling like a 1947 Susan Hayward film (click here).
Alex Tourk, Mayor Gavin Newsom's right-hand man and the winning campaign manager for Newsom's mayoral campaign four years ago, resigned from his job in the Mayor's Office yesterday. He did so after confronting the Mayor with evidence that Newsom had an affair with Tourk's wife, one Ruby Rippey-Tourk.
She also happened to be Newsom's "appointments secretary" at the time of the affair, which opens up a whole other workplace sexual harassment can of worms. There are rumors of an abortion involved, along with the fact that Ms. Rippey-Tourk has been in rehab for undisclosed addiction problems, and her confession to her husband was part of her 12 Step Program.
A press confreence was called for this morning at 11:30 AM and instead of it being in the rotunda or outside on Polk Street or even on the balcony in front of the mayor's office, it took place in the anteroom to Room 200 itself, which is meant for about 30 people. So, about 100 reporters and photographers crammed into the tiny room.
As usual, Mayor Newsom was ten minutes late, and he gave an abashed, two-minute speech saying he was very sorry for his behavior, and that all the reports were true, and that he hoped to regain the trust and confidence of San Francisco.
Somebody tried to ask a question at the end of this statement, but only got about five words into it before the Mayor exited.
The media swarm was amazing to watch, including Eve Batey (above) from SFGate...
...along with trashy bloggers like myself...
...rubbing elbows with local TV news personalities trying desperately to come up with a spin.
Dan Noyes (above), the local ABC-TV anchor, who has been treated horrendously by the Newsom administration for simply asking a few hard-hitting questions over the last year, was looking rather stunned by the developments. (Click here to get to his fine blog.)
He was joined by Steve Jones (above) of the weekly "Bay Guardian."
Newsom staffers such as Wade Crowfoot (above) were scattering quickly throughout City Hall to get away from any reporters, and who could blame them?
The hallway in front of the Board of Supervisors offices was eerily quiet as if everyone was waiting for a bomb to go off.
According to a staffer in Supervisor Daly's office, everyone at City Hall has known about the affair and its messy aftermath for the last year. Everyone, that is, except for the poor husband, Alex Tourck.
"This is just the beginning. There are a lot worse things involved that haven't been disclosed in public yet. You'll see." What is poor Pat Murphy (above) and the "San Francisco Chronicle" going to do when they can no longer just print out Mayor's Office Press Releases as news?