“California will suffer irreparable harm–to our economy, education and health care systems, environment, infrastructure and so much more–unless we elect a Democratic governor in 2010,” reads a resolution passed by The San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee.

Such cautionary words are typically reserved to sway moderate voters from choosing the Republican Party. But this time the words are directed squarely at Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom, regarding the dangers negative campaigning in the primaries would pose to the outcome of 2010.

The resolution continues: “Democrats cannot afford a negative, bruising primary that leaves our nominee weakened and damaged going into the general election.” An overly negative primary would produce a sufficiently dirtied candidate with an even bigger bullseye on his chest for smear-ready Republicans.

Even though the resolutions have passed, I’m still worried. Take a look at their campaign pitches, and keep in mind that a pitch is supposed to be a summary of a candidate’s OWN agenda:

Newsom: “You need a governor who is willing to take on those tough fights and not a governor who just uses you as a pawn…you’re going to need a governor who is truly interested…not one who is interested, then six months later walks away on some ‘quixotic mission.”

Brown’s Retort: “For every hair I lost, I got more brain cells. So I’m really smarter and ready to go…we can talk about ‘Restoring the Dream.’ Well, I was around when the dream was here…I used to governor.”

Sigh. At least 2008 taught us that excessive smearing doesn’t mean former opponents can’t become lifelong friends.

What do you think? Will Newsom heed his own party’s advice? Or are we destined to another decade of Republican control?

Please make sure your comment adheres to our comment policy. If it doesn't, it may be deleted. Repeat violations may cause us to revoke your commenting privileges. No one wants that!
  • Greg Dewar

    Garry South is a smart strategist. However, he clearly doesn’t know Gavin Newsom very well, because his new strategy of having Gavin on the phone raising big bucks from big donors to pay for a TV campaign that’ll be almost 100% negative in the primary is not a good fit for Gavin the Green.

    First, Gavin does not raise money on the phone. His idea of ‘Fundraising” is going to an event or begging on Twitter. That’s worked out well so far – he’s got little in the bank and spent a lot of what he’s raised.

    Second, if Gavin think that he can’ toss attacks at Jerry Brown, or any Democratic or Republican candidate for governor, and not expect to get hit back (and hard), he’s dreaming. He’s been insulated from anything that suggests he doesn’t walk on water by the local press and a flailing ‘progressive’ movement locally, and he can’t take even the slightest bit of criticism. Imagine the spectacle of Gavin getting the crap kicked out of him over the affair, the sanctuary city policy, SF’s poorly run MUNI which he looted, or any one of a number of press confernece-y feel good policies that has failed to deliver, and let’s just say Gavin the Green will have a meltdown or 10.

    yeah, that’s a winning strategy.

    Oh and fun fact: Jerry Brown has out-raised Gavin 7-1, and with a LOWER campaign donation limit. And he has it all in the bank, while Gavin spent his money on parties and Facebook.