The first rule of the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee is you have to live in San Francisco to be a member.
The second rule of the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee is you have to live in San Francisco to be a member.
After vacating Room 200 and having his second child, former Mayor Gavin Newsom did what so many other San Franciscans with young families do-- he moved to Marin. While decamping to the bucolic North Bay has its benefits (not coming home to a doorstep covered in human feces prime among them), it also has some drawbacks. For example, the bylaws of the DCCC mandate all members live in San Francisco proper, something the Newsom clan clearly no longer does.
As a result, at a meeting earlier this week, the committee, led by Chairman and long-standing Newsom foe Aaron Peskin, voted to kick the Lieutenant Governor off its roster.
The move sticks in moderates' craws for a variety of reasons. First, that it was done at the beginning of the meeting, when a fair number of voting members had yet to arrive.
Second, it was done without advance warning to Newsom or anyone else, without being placed on the agenda.
While the vote itself largely came as a surprise, it was clear Newsom's removal was a priority for Peskin. Last month, the the chairman sent Newsom a letter asking him to clarify his address, to which Newsom allegedly never responded.
"The rules are the rules," Peskin told SF Appeal. "The same thing happened when [member of the Board of Equalization] Betty Yee moved to Alameda."
The DCCC is the 32 (formerly 33) member organizing committee governing the San Francisco Democratic Party. While the DCCC serves a number of functions, one of its most crucial is voting on the party's endorsements for local races. That vote is coming up in mid-August and Newsom's removal is seen a victory for progressives as he now won't be there to throw his support behind moderate candidates like District Attorney George Gascon and Sheriff candidate Chris Cunnie.
In an (effectively) one-party town like San Francisco, a Democratic party endorsement, or even merely convincing the party not to endorse a specific candidate, could be the deciding factor in any race come November
As the Bay Guardian notes, Newsom rarely showed up for DCCC meetings himself; however, he often sent a proxy who shares his political viewpoint to vote in his stead.
Newsom's relationship with the DCCC is complicated. He only joined the committee last year, during his campaign for Lieutenant Governor, and his seating was the subject of intense debate. The Chronicle's City Insider reports:
Newsom maintained he was allowed a seat on the so-called "D triple C" under state election law because he is the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor. DCCC chair Aaron Peskin, who clashed repeatedly with Newsom while president of the Board of Supervisors, had pointed to a legal opinion indicating that local bylaws prohibited Newsom from automatically serving on the committee as a party nominee because the statewide post Newsom is running for is held by a Republican rather than a Democrat.
So the DCCC voted to change its bylaws to allow Newsom on the committee until Nov. 2 -- election day. If he wins the lieutenant governor's race, he'll remain on. If he loses, he's off.
Newsom was victorious, so he was able to stay on the committee until this week.
Even though Newsom is no longer on the DCCC, he's still finding ways to keep himself busy. On Friday morning, he presented a plan to rescue California's economy by centralizing state employment regulation in a single-cabinet level post and focusing on high-skill exports in the clean energy and technology sectors.