I once met Gavin Newsom at a house party when he was running for mayor and though I was skeptical at the time, he won me over through his mastery of detail and a certain hot aide he had running his appearances who shall remain anonymous. I always thought he'd have a difficult time time with the Board of Supervisors, but he seemed like he might be able to charm his way into enacting an actual agenda. Despite his association with Willie Brown- a politician in the worst sense of the word, he got my vote though I was more in line with Matt Gonzalez politically.
I think Newsom has been a huge disappointment as Mayor of San Francisco. The improvements to the City during his tenure have been hard to see if you don't live in Bayview or SOMA- perhaps the only parts of town that have seen any positive effects of 7 years of Newsom. The rest of City has either held the status quo, or, more likely, seen things get worse. I live downtown, in the Tenderloin, and I have watched as things in this neighborhood, central to San Francisco, right at the heart of the City, have steadily gotten worse during his administration. Eight years ago, I never saw people sticking spikes in their arms on Larkin on a Sunday afternoon. Now I do. The sidewalks are literally covered in shit. Alleys from Polk to the Embarcadero reek of piss. Try calling 311 or a police station. They're more often than not a dead line to nowhere.
Granted, this City is pretty much ungovernable due to an unbelievably inept and incompetent Board of Supervisors and the special interests who support them in their never-ending quest to make this place a joke to the rest of the world. Be that as it may, San Francisco is a special place dying a slow death by strangulation at the hands of the Police Commission, unions, NIMBYs and the myriad other special interest groups who impede progress and refuse to accept reality by any means available.
Is Newsom to blame for this? Yes and no. The city had these problems long before he was elected. But the fact is California is San Francisco writ large as far as being an ungovernable behemoth. If Gavin has been a failure at making a positive difference here, how can he possibly be effective on a larger, even more unmanageable stage? The answer is he won't. He will fail. And Californians will have at least four more years of negative growth and more importantly, a further decline in our quality of living. That's what we in SF have experienced during his tenure. He simply can't effect change for the average citizen.
My friends in L.A. say Villaraigosa is an equally empty, grandstanding, scandal-plagued suit. Great. One less option. So the governor's race looks pretty dismal from here. Brown? Sure, he has the brains, if not the heart, and is at least at the end of his career and not casting his eye toward the national stage, but really- what can Jerry Brown do for California at this point? He has the sex appeal of Linda Ronstadt and frankly, he didn't do all that much as mayor of Oakland, so he too, is a pretty weak choice unless you want to live in a TIC loft.
The elephants in the room? Please- have you ever seen a bigger bunch of libertarian clueless fucks in your life? All of the Republican candidates seem like they haven't read a newspaper or turned on the TV since 1985. They might as well have Max Headroom as a spokesperson.
But the state is in dire straits. What do you think will happen? Who should be governor- and why? The next one needs to be able to do the job effectively- if it can be done at all. At this point I'm afraid it may be too late. I really don't see anyone worth voting for.