A spot-on blog post by gay rights advocate and former U.S. Senate candidate Jim Neal (NC).
San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom was thrown under the bus by the Democratic Party, and it's a shame. Men with intelligence and a backbone like his deserve to lead.
The original posting by Jim may be found at: http://pamshouseblend.com/...
"Gavin Newsom: A Civil Rights Icon Falls into Oblivion"
By Jim Neal
Maureen Dowd's piece in the NY Times today is a must-read. A righteous guy defies party politics and does the right thing. Subsequently he's thrown under the bus for being too controversial. Frankly, Gavin's too smart, too principled to be treated in that fashion.
Notwithstanding his good looks and metrosexual charm and bon vivant flaire, he wasn't born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Newsom's father was a political operator in San Francisco and his aunt was married to a relative of Nancy Pelosi. What few know is that his mom worked several jobs to support Gavin and his sister- all while opening their home to foster children which heavily-influenced Gavin's passion for public service. When his dad's finances ebbed Gavin took on jobs in high school to help support his family. He's dyslexic so it wasn't easy for him as a kid.
He's earned every nickle he has and and was a millionaire at a very early age. Those of you in SFO have likely eaten at the PlumpJack Cafe which gave rise to a host of other succesful business ventures.
I lived in SFO during the late 1990s and met Gavin rhrough a mutual friend. He was anything but prententious. When I returned to SFO a few years ago and grabbed a burger at PlumpJack, Mayor Newson was at the bar talking to whomever was seated around him. I grabbed him to come over to our table and meet my partner Ben and some friends. He sat down and bandied about-- and like the good mench he is bought me and my buddies a beer.
When he decided to run for governor of California I was absolutely shocked to when my liberal friends-- people who talked a big game about marriage equality-- lined up like sheep and threw dollars and fundraisers in support of Democratic Party establishment candidate Jerry Brown. Many, many of those supporters and big donors were from the LGBT community. I was and continue to be dumbfounded. Take 2 and watch this YouTube segment of an interview of Gavin during the campaign. Now ask yourself- did he nail it or not?
While America is pointing fingers and engaging in flame-throwing about Scott Brown and the evil Republicans and lining up behind the next wave of Democratic politicians who will tell you what you want to hear but waffle when elected-- just stop for one damned minute. Ask yourself why and how did so many turn on this guy. Who the hell do you think was responsible for the Prop 8 tweets being streamed? Who inspired brillaint attorneys David Boies and Ted Olson to take up the mantle of marriage equality? Who lit the match that started the wildfire across America?
Folks we lost a huge ally in Gavin Newsom. He's one of the rare politicians who not only talked the talk but walked the walk. Aside from ordering that civil marriages be performed in SFO, he introduced universal healthcare to the city and signed the city on as a supporter of the Kyoto Protocol. Accomplishments that no elected official in America can boast. Here's a guy who has dropped off the map because he couldn't raise the damned money from either the power elite or the same sort of netroots sources which fueled the campaigns of Obama nationally and Scott Brown locally. He's feeling low and downtrodden and sad for himself and by God that is perfectly understandable.
America wake up! Get out and vote for nothing less than what you want, and not what you think you can get, in 2010.
You know, we deserve what we get. It's hardly enough to complacently rant online, join the chorus of meaningless partisan squabbling and wallow in the nightly partisan newstainment bacchanalia. It takes guts, sweat and tears, a commitment of time, passion and a reality check to drive change. For it's the very Democrats we elected who enjoy an enormous majority in Congress that have wasted the trove of political capital they enjoyed one year ago.
An incredible friend of civil equality has been marginalized, ignored and to a large extent betrayed. It's no small wonder that so many bright, commited and principed candidates have grown cynical about politics. The Party elite rolls out a constant parade of cookie-cutter, smooth-talking opportunists of- the-moment who are adored while running based upon what they say, only to be pillored once elected by what they do not do. Our President is the most obvious case-in-point.
I hope Gavin heals- and finds a place outside politics to continue the doing the good thing for the right reason.