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The leak, a clear political maneuver, may backfire on Newsom

What’s a political junkie to make of last week’s leak of a confidential City Attorney memo, wherein Mayor Gavin Newsom’s office first denied, then the Mayor himself admitted to handing a “confidential” legal opinion – which more or less stated that “we could possibly be sued if we continue to flout federal law like we already do in multiple ways” – to the San Francisco Chronicle?

It’s but a few days on, and both (legitimate) legal analysis and a possible “formal investigation” are forthcoming but at least two facts have become clear:

1.Newsom or a Newsom handler told his staff to leak the memo to score political points.

2.And it hasn’t (yet) worked.

For cynics and critics of the Gavinator, there’s perhaps a third and most salient point to be made: not only was this a political maneuver that hasn’t (yet) worked and could quite possibly be illegal (so what better time for the Mayor to jet to Mexico?), but that this maneuver was made the day after it came out that ole Governor Moonbeam is kicking Newsom’s ass in both fundraising and at the polls.

Why do we say it might backfire? First, the legislation in question – a tweak of the city’s sanctuary city policies (which already flout federal immigration laws) authored by Supervisor David Campos that would make it city policy to hand over to the feds illegal aliens under the age of 18 only when convicted of a felony – is far from unpopular. In fact, eight of the city’s eleven supervisors have endorsed it, and eight is a Mayoral-veto-proof majority.

But by placing a “confidential,” “insider” story in the city’s largest (and from what we’ve observed, most Newsom-loyal) news organ, complete with stock quotes from Newsom, the District Attorney, the newly-installed police chief and even the local US Attorney (who has in the past not given a flying fuck about following federal law himself), Newsom’s camp could work to break that support. But the leak has not yet had that effect – the likeliest target, moderate supervisor and 2011 mayoral hopeful Bevan Dufty, told The Appeal on Monday that he is still supports Campos’ proposed legislation.

And as Campos pointed out in the Chronicle article (in what is perhaps the hatchet-job Chronicle piece’s one and only nod towards objectivity), there’s nothing new about challenges to SF laws in federal court. Healthy San Francisco could yet be heard by the Supreme Court; medicinal cannabis is not permitted under federal law; and there’s nothing on the books in Washington about allowing same-sex marriage, “like it or not”.

Why is it that any confidential legal opinions in those situations weren’t leaked?
“I’m sure (Newsom) received cautionary memos about same sex marriage in February 2004 – if someone shared that legal advice with the media, he’d be furious,” noted Supervisor John Avalos, who filed a complaint last week with the city’s Ethics Commission. “(Newsom) wants to be assured he can beat us (on the legislation), so he’s trying to pick off some people. But you just don’t do that this way.”

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  • PatriciaA

    Me thinks this is the same ole story from Newsom – self implosion is like he needs publicity even really bad publicity…in the past weeks we have seen Newsom hint ( if that is even possible ) that he was all so innocent in the Rubygate, next up was the defeating if not absolute embarressing Muni /Bart Fiasco ( how many people can they run over???) and now he is practically giving away “confidential” memos ….

    Me thinks that the baby jennifer is carrying isn’t his and it might be african american because you know she loves Africa so much…

  • PatriciaA

    Me thinks this is the same ole story from Newsom – self implosion is like he needs publicity even really bad publicity…in the past weeks we have seen Newsom hint ( if that is even possible ) that he was all so innocent in the Rubygate, next up was the defeating if not absolute embarressing Muni /Bart Fiasco ( how many people can they run over???) and now he is practically giving away “confidential” memos ….

    Me thinks that the baby jennifer is carrying isn’t his and it might be african american because you know she loves Africa so much…

  • Brittanicus

    If another AMNESTY sneaks past Americans, then their must be at least a ten year moratorium of the 20 million plus Path to Citizenship recipients. The consequence for these millions getting immediate access to government welfare, would be financial ruin to our national wilting economy. Nor will a new amnesty end there, because millions more in every impoverished niche around the world, will come–expecting a welcome? Only if we enforce the border with engagement by the National Guard, who are armed and ready to stop drug smugglers, terrorists and a host of other criminal enterprises, will US citizens feel safe.

    We desperately need strong immigration laws such as E-Verification. Do not let politicians undermine the “Rule of Law” and our very Constitution pandering to the profiteering special interest lobbyists, while jobless American workers numbers grow. My health care experience was mainly in England, Germany and 15 months in Australia and prior to the mass European immigration invasion was positively first class. FIRST CLASS AND EXEMPLARY! THERE WAS NO SUCH THING AS RATIONING?

    Of all the states that should be using E-Verify, is the illegal immigrant sanctuary state of California. Illegal immigration attributed to the near bankruptcy of California and many of the bordering territories.

    We are still conveying many entitlement programs to illegal aliens and their families, with extorted taxes including health care. Free health care given in the hospitals and passed onto taxpayers. We have always been the recipients of business welfare and likely always will be? Pariah businesses that hire illegals, never pay anything to their support. THATS THE TAXPAYERS YOKE TO BARE! . GET RAW ANSWERS AT NUMBERSUSA Contact those in WASHINGTON! NO MORE AMNESTIES. USE ATTRITION TO DEPORT THEM THROUGH E-VERIFY, 287 G, NO MATCH SOCIAL SECURITY LETTERS AND LIGHTENING ICE RAIDS. CONTACT YOUR POLITICIAN 202-224-3121 AND DEMAND NO WEAKENING OF CURRENT 1986 (IRCA), also Simpson-Mazzoli Act (Pub.L. 99-603, 100 Stat. 3359,LAWS?

    We already have the laws, that become saturated with corruption. The legislation made it illegal to knowingly hire or recruit illegal immigrants (immigrants who do not possess lawful work authorization), required employers to attest to their employees’ immigration status. It also granted amnesty to certain illegal immigrants who entered the United States before January 1, 1982 and had resided there continuously. From its inception it was full of fraud leading to 5 million illegal aliens instead of 3.5 receiving green cards.

  • Brittanicus

    If another AMNESTY sneaks past Americans, then their must be at least a ten year moratorium of the 20 million plus Path to Citizenship recipients. The consequence for these millions getting immediate access to government welfare, would be financial ruin to our national wilting economy. Nor will a new amnesty end there, because millions more in every impoverished niche around the world, will come–expecting a welcome? Only if we enforce the border with engagement by the National Guard, who are armed and ready to stop drug smugglers, terrorists and a host of other criminal enterprises, will US citizens feel safe.

    We desperately need strong immigration laws such as E-Verification. Do not let politicians undermine the “Rule of Law” and our very Constitution pandering to the profiteering special interest lobbyists, while jobless American workers numbers grow. My health care experience was mainly in England, Germany and 15 months in Australia and prior to the mass European immigration invasion was positively first class. FIRST CLASS AND EXEMPLARY! THERE WAS NO SUCH THING AS RATIONING?

    Of all the states that should be using E-Verify, is the illegal immigrant sanctuary state of California. Illegal immigration attributed to the near bankruptcy of California and many of the bordering territories.

    We are still conveying many entitlement programs to illegal aliens and their families, with extorted taxes including health care. Free health care given in the hospitals and passed onto taxpayers. We have always been the recipients of business welfare and likely always will be? Pariah businesses that hire illegals, never pay anything to their support. THATS THE TAXPAYERS YOKE TO BARE! . GET RAW ANSWERS AT NUMBERSUSA Contact those in WASHINGTON! NO MORE AMNESTIES. USE ATTRITION TO DEPORT THEM THROUGH E-VERIFY, 287 G, NO MATCH SOCIAL SECURITY LETTERS AND LIGHTENING ICE RAIDS. CONTACT YOUR POLITICIAN 202-224-3121 AND DEMAND NO WEAKENING OF CURRENT 1986 (IRCA), also Simpson-Mazzoli Act (Pub.L. 99-603, 100 Stat. 3359,LAWS?

    We already have the laws, that become saturated with corruption. The legislation made it illegal to knowingly hire or recruit illegal immigrants (immigrants who do not possess lawful work authorization), required employers to attest to their employees’ immigration status. It also granted amnesty to certain illegal immigrants who entered the United States before January 1, 1982 and had resided there continuously. From its inception it was full of fraud leading to 5 million illegal aliens instead of 3.5 receiving green cards.

  • Fred

    “which already flaunt federal immigration laws”: the word is “flout”. C’mon, SFAppeal, don’t be Chron-like in misuse of the language. Invest in a dictionary. Proofread.

  • Fred

    “which already flaunt federal immigration laws”: the word is “flout”. C’mon, SFAppeal, don’t be Chron-like in misuse of the language. Invest in a dictionary. Proofread.

  • Eve Batey

    A definition of “flaunt” is “to treat contemptuously.” Look it up.

  • Eve Batey

    A definition of “flaunt” is “to treat contemptuously.” Look it up.