Monday, June 04, 2007
Mayoral Politics 2: Newsom Lines Up Supporters
North of the Progressive Convention at Van Ness and Sutter, a rally was being held where supporters of Gavin Newsom could pick up petitions to sign up "endorsers" from citizens around the city.
There was a fairly large contingent of union guys who seemed to prefer hanging outside than being cooped up in the low-ceiling room.
The emcee was Tom Hsieh, who did a nice job warming up the crowd.
He introduced Assessor Phil Ting, who was originally appointed by Gavin Newsom.
He was then followed by Supervisor Sean Elsbernd, who was also originally appointed to his seat by Newsom.
Elsbernd made a crack about how he couldn't talk long because his phone was ringing and it was Chris Daly from down the street who couldn't find a candidate so he wanted Elsbernd to run as The Progressive.
This got a big laugh from the crowd, which reminded me in a creepy way of Elsbernd's resemblance to Dan White, the San Francisco native-born supervisor who decided all the progressives of the 1970s were out to get him personally so he murdered a few.
The photogenic City Treasurer, Jose Cisneros, came up for a speech...
...and was followed by Art Torres, the head of the California Democratic Party, who made property tax jokes and who came off as a bit of a gangster.
Finally, the star of the show appeared and decided he didn't want to address the crowd from the makeshift stage but pulled a chair out in the middle of a group and stood on top of it.
Newsom exhorted the crowd to "be doers," and not to be quitters, and admitted that he hadn't done the best job in his first term but was completely determined to be a better mayor this succeeding term.
During the fifteen-minute speech, Newsom's would-be movie star girlfriend, Jennifer Siebel, stood a few feet away looking on adoringly.
Not far from her, there was also a bizarre looking gentleman (above) wearing a horse-riding cap throughout the whole thing.
Finally, Newsom took a swipe at his opponents and encouraged his supporters with, "They’re just dreaming. You’re out there doing!" I wanted to reply, "Yes, and that's part of the problem," but decided to keep my journalistic integrity intact.