Tag Archives: Torch Relay

Gavin Newsom on the Environment, Marriage Equality, and China

Gavin NewsomYesterday, I sat down for a discussion with San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom to discuss his take on some of the issues that he’s dealing with right now.  You can hear the discussion right now on BlogTalkRadio, or you can download the podcast on iTunes. We have an array of technology here at Calitics.

We talked about several subjects, but began with a discussion of hybrids and the environment. The Mayor was recently named the “Greenest Mayor in the World.” (Um, that’s kind of lofty. I suspect we could talk to some European Mayors about that.) He certainly understands many of the issues related to alternative energy, but there is much work to be done here in SF so that we continue to be a leader on the environment.

We shifted to the Torch Relay and the fact that China has the Olympics. He acknowledges that it wasn’t perfect, but I’m not so sure that I really believe that it was a “real-time” decision. Surely there was planning before the day for the route to be transitioned to Van Ness. He said that he was trying to protect the First Amendment rights of everybody at the relay. I’m not sure how this could have better been handled, though. Would the planned route have been successful? I really can’t say.

As to China’s human rights record and getting the Olympics, the Mayor argues that those in glass houses shouldn’t cast stones.  In other words, America has its problems, Gitmo, wiretapping, Iraq, etc. To which, I didn’t have much to say.

On Marriage, he called the governor “consistently inconsistent” with his flip-flopping. And finally, on the budget, Newsom argues that he has insufficient flexibility to do much in the area of raising revenue. So, he’s raising parking fines, and other “hidden taxes.” The Bay Guardian argues that Newsom cuts too deep. It is obvious that the cuts will draw blood. I’d love to see the revenue sources that allow us to balance our budget. I’d love to see additional revenue at the local level, but that’s easier said than done.