Janice Hahn Still Tearing Into Gavin Newsom

Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn, who's running for California lieutenant governor, shows no signs of easing up on San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who may also be a candidate for the same office.

L.A. City Councilwoman Janice Hahn
L.A. City Councilwoman Janice Hahn

This morning, Hahn's chief strategist, Garry South, wrote a doozie of a press statement that paints Newsom as some kind of political opportunist who had previously "expressed nothing but disinterest in and disdain for the office of

lieutenant governor."

South and Newsom worked together during the mayor's brief run for California governor last year.

South, who's known as a top notch attack dog for his political clients, also writes that Newsom "directed me to repudiate publicly in the

strongest terms that he had any interest in ever running for lieutenant

governor."

Hahn hasn't run a bare-knuckled campaign in years (she breezed through two re-elections in 2005 and 2009 for L.A. City Council), but a possible Newsom candidacy has forced her to come out swinging.

Published in full below, the South statement is the most recent example of that.

"I am surprised and perplexed that my

friend and former client Mayor Gavin Newsom apparently has decided to

jump into the lieutenant governor's race at the last minute - especially

against an already-announced candidate who would be the first woman

lieutenant governor in California history.

"In every one of several conversations we had about the job while he

was running for governor, the Mayor expressed nothing but disinterest in

and disdain for the office of lieutenant governor. In fact, he was

derisively dismissive of Gray Davis's decision to run for and serve as

lieutenant governor prior to running for governor ("I'm not a Gray

Davis," he said). On a couple of occasions, he directed me to repudiate

publicly in the strongest terms that he had any interest in ever

running for lieutenant governor.

"The Mayor himself told the Chronicle in October that rumors he may

run for lieutenant governor were "absurd" and "a complete lie," and

angrily accused Jerry Brown of personally spreading false information to

that effect. As recently as December, he himself said flatly "no" when

asked directly on a San Francisco radio show whether he intended to run

for lieutenant governor.

"In addition, when he precipitously pulled out of the governor's race

in late October - against my advice - he said he couldn't continue as a

statewide candidate because he was a husband, a new father and the mayor

of San Francisco. So far as I know, he's still a husband, a new father

and the mayor of San Francisco. So it's pretty hard to see what's

changed over the last four months that would now allow him to run for

another statewide office.

"If the Mayor does run, it is his responsibility to explain why he now

claims to want an elected office he summarily dismissed publicly

numerous times over the last several months, and which just earlier this

year he called "a largely ceremonial post" ... "with no real authority

and no real portfolio.""

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.



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