Score another win for the internet exposing the ugly underbelly of transactional politics at it’s worst. A SoCal Blogger started rolling his camera when Gavin Newsom parked his SUV in a fire lane for a meeting at Starbucks. It didn’t take long for Carla Marinucci to notice the person he was meeting with, DLC Strategist Garry South.
Who is Garry South? Joe Lieberman announced he was running for president on Janunary 13, 2003. A January 16-20, 2003 ABC News/Washington Post Poll had Lieberman the clear front-runner, with more support than his next two closest competitors combined. Then Lieberman hired Gary South, started tanking, then started talking about Joementum just before calling his FIFTH place finish a three way tie for third. David Letterman said, “Because of poor results at the primaries last night, Senator Joe Lieberman will be dropping out of the race. Earlier today, he broke the news to his supporter.” Lieberman was subsequently kicked out of the Democratic Party.
Garry South elected Gray Davis with an impressive 58% and drove him so far south that he was kicked out by 55%. Jay Leno said, “Another hot day in California. It was so hot I actually saw a mirage. It was a Gray Davis supporter, I couldn’t believe it.” Steve Westly had all the money in the world, double digit lead two months out and ended up losing by 5 points thanks to Garry South. His DLC triangulation (Mayor Newsom is a long time DLC member) is so bad that many California bloggers signed on to an an open letter warning the presidential candidates about Garry South (must read, long but exposes exactly why this is the last person Newsom wants to get busted by bloggers with).
Interestingly enough, this is not even one of the better scandals the mayor has had online. This doesn’t come close to the sock-puppet-gate scandal that brought down his press secretary. Jennifer Siebel thought a good follow-up on that would be to go to SFist and make front page news. Then, just two weeks ago, Newsom thought a bloggers convention would be a good venue to come out against clean energy. The internet sure is going to be a fun place to watch the 2010 Democratic Primary play out.