Gavin Newsom continues media blackout

Another day, another dodge of the media by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. (AP)
November 18, 2009 7:32:26 PM PST
Another day, another dodge of the media by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. Newsom has been unavailable to reporters ever since he suddenly dropped out of the governor's race three weeks ago.

It was the kind of event many might expect Newsom to attend. His Chief of Protocol Charlotte Schultz and her husband former Secretary of State George Schultz were being honored by the Salvation Army.

Former San Francisco Mayor Frank Jordan was there and says Newsom should stop avoiding the press and open up about dropping out of the governor's race.

"I would advise him to possibly talk to the press as soon as possible, clarify that issue, get it out in the open, then it becomes a non-issue," he said.

The last time Newsom had a news conference was at the end of last month when there was an oil spill in the bay.

Now his press office sends out an e-mail each day announcing no public events, a significant change from a mayor who used to have one or two media events a week to talk about everything from recycling to urban gardening.

According to Supervisor Bevan Dufty, the mayor made an unexpected stop at a business luncheon Wednesday.

"Maybe this is just a transition period, none of us can know; I think in many respects the mayor is still a very private person," Dufty said.

But some members of the public are beginning to wonder what is going on. One website is running a poll asking if people think the mayor will resign.

All the intrigue comes as the city grapples with new, gloomy economic indicators and an on-going hotel strike.

The union president says he is satisfied with the mayor's role.

"He's absolutely engaged, I'll say that, he knows what's going on, yeah," Mike Casey said.

While looking for the mayor, ABC7 ran into members of the Convention and Visitors Bureau coming from a meeting with the mayor at City Hall. So Newsom is conducting business, he is just not letting the media know about it.

"That's one of his responsibilities, is to communicate with the public and he should do that; one of the ways is through the press; I'm concerned he's dodging the press, what does he have to hide," San Francisco resident Larry Baumgartner said.

The mayor has announced where he will be in the next couple of weeks. The day after Thanksgiving he heads to India and Dubai.


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