by Brian Shilhavy
Editor, Health Impact News

Tony Roman’s defiance of the California lockdown policies and Governor Newsom’s directives against restaurants continued this week when he refused to attend a scheduled court hearing regarding his restaurant with the State’s health mandates, refusing to concede that the court had any jurisdiction over this matter.

Tony is the owner of Basilico’s restaurant in Huntington Beach, California. Not only has his restaurant not complied with COVID edicts, he has banned anyone wearing a face mask from dining in his restaurant.

When Newsom imposed a state-wide curfew of 10 p.m., Tony extended the hours his restaurant is open to 11 p.m.

Holy Cannoli! This a picture of a cannoli from Basilico’s!

As Tony puts it, not only is he not complying, he is defying and taunting the State’s unconstitutional edicts.

I will reject any invitation to appear and defend myself for something that needs no defense.

I will give you no authority over us where you have none, because we both know that there have been no real crimes or violations committed here.

It is instead all of you who must defend yourselves for willfully violating our constitutional rights.

Tony’s video to the State and to Governor Newsom can be viewed at a website he has put up called Make Restaurants Great Again.

To Governor Newsom, whom Tony refers to as the “Tiny Tyrant in Sacramento” and addresses as “Gavin Pelosi,” Tony states:

Hey Gavin, I’m talking to you.

Your attacks on us, a small Italian restaurant minding its own business started with a criminal case initiated against us last year by your attack dogs you call your “strike teams,” followed by multiple accusations of ABC violations and threats to revoke our valuable hard-earned liquor license, and even an OSHA search warrant.

As you attack and look to punish honest, hard-working Americans, you open the jails and release real criminals, violent criminals onto our streets, endangering innocent law-abiding citizens.

You invest resources in locking down churches, while you help unlock our border and kick the door wide open for anyone to enter.

You rob children of their education, but defend sex offenders who prey on them.

So I have since, on social media and in the news publicly, demanded that you either officially file charges and face us in criminal court before a jury of our peers, or get the hell out of our way.

And still not a peep out of you.

What you don’t seem to understand is that our stand is different than others you have faced. Ours is uncompromising and unbreakable because it’s not about our right to run a business, earn an income, pay our rent and save our business.

Our stand has always been about something so much bigger than ourselves. Our fight is only about one thing: to defend American liberty and freedom, and it begins and ends there.

And to be clear, we are not trying to make a political statement. You’ll never find campaign signs or party affiliations posted anywhere in our business, or on social media.

What we have done is not about being a democrat or republican, liberal or conservative, we are simply patriots who love our country.

And what we are fighting for should be important to every American.

So in this fight, as we have said so many times before, we have dedicated our business as a Constitutional battleground, willing to risk everything for the sake of doing our part to help defend and preserve America as we knew it.

This showdown between us all comes down to our will to defend liberty and freedom versus your apparent will to wage a war of tyranny on American citizens.

Between the two, you know you don’t stand a chance.

So I will make things easy, and again in open defiance lay it all out for you.

Since the first day of your lockdowns, the forced self-imprisonment of my fellow Americans, we have operated openly and fully, inside and out, with zero restrictions.

We have never shut down anything for one second.

We did not run from your threats, but instead thank God for putting us on the front lines of this fight, blessing us with this opportunity to go into battle against you and the legions of American hating zombies who worship people like you.

We have even flouted your tyrannical arbitrary NF mandates.

To name just a few. You mandated masks, the greatest weapon of the lockdown, a symbol of control, fear and surrender.

And we ban them. No one is allowed into our restaurant wearing one.

You impose a 10 p.m. curfew, and we extended our hours.

And when actions such as these made the heads of your anti-American supporters explode, the members of your mini gestapo went on the attack, making death threats, threatening my life personally. Threats to burn down our restaurant, to spread the virus inside, and flooding the Internet with one star reviews, along with your Hollywood elitist pals launching boycotts against us.

What did we do? We responded by erecting a billboard, taunting them:

What you seem to forget though, is that our position represents many millions of freedom-loving people around this state and this country, those who come from far and wide to support us.

We are no longer just a restaurant, but in spite of you, a gathering place of American patriots where we roll 1776 style, where a movement has taken hold and this is why you might now find yourself barely clinging to power.

So here is an idea for you Gavin. One I have shared with so many other government agents you have also pressured to enforce your mandates.

Try this. Look in the mirror, examine your conscience. Remember the oath you took, and stand down and stand with us.

For the first time in your life stand on the side of American liberty and freedom.

Stop with the political theatre already. Then you won’t have to sneak away and hide from the cameras again when wanting to dine out with a group of your friends and without masks.

Hell, I may even let you take a peek inside my restaurant to witness vintage America. If when there on the steps in front you admit to your mistakes, issue an apology to all Californians for the pain and suffering you have caused them, and for the wreckage you have made of their small businesses.

And most importantly you must also officially announce that you are stepping down a governor effective immediately.

But before you resign, I call on you to order all state judges to drop all charges against all California business owners who’ve defied your reckless mandates, and for you to urge all of your fellow governors to do the same in their states, especially the wicked witch in Michigan demanding that she release from jail immediately Marlena Pavlos Hackney, a business owner and brave American patriot who fled communism to only sadly experience the same thing here.

Instead, it is the witch who should be in prison for treason.

And because of your arrogance, if you ignore these conditions, then at least stop embarrassing yourself by sending your version of the Soviet Secret Police to our restaurant to do your dirty work for you.

Why don’t you instead find some courage and come down and face me yourself, man to man, and we could take it from there.

Because look Gavin, we aren’t backing down. We won’t ever surrender. We will never dishonor the founders of our nation who risked it all when gifting us the protections of our God-given freedoms.

And we won’t dishonor our brave soldiers who have over the last 244 years given their lives defending those gifts.

So stop acting like a wannabe little dictator.

This isn’t North Korea. This is the United States of America, the land of the free and home of the brave.

A place where a cowardly, shrinking man like you is way in over your head.

Never forget that you are just an elected public servant who will soon be rendered to the ash heap of history.

And you will only be remembered for the way you have betrayed the trust of American citizens, the same way you once betrayed the trust of your own deputy chief of staff and campaign manager, doing what you did to him, a very close friend of yours, should have disqualified you from holding any office ever again.

And your man card should also have been revoked.

Instead, it is time for you to surrender before it gets really embarrassing for you.

Watch the entire video:

About Gavin Newsom and his Rise to Power

Gavin Newsom with billionaire friend Gordon Getty, and former Governor Jerry Brown enjoy a glass of wine at the PlumpJack Winery in Oakville, California. Getty helped Newsom start the Winery after he graduated from College. Newsom received criticism for forcing many of state’s wineries to close over the July 4th weekend while keeping his open. The criticism prompted PlumpJack Winery to change their plans and close as well. Image Source.

While researching how California Governor Gavin Newsom became the Governor of the most populous state in the U.S., it is obvious that he was not “elected” based on merit, but apparently due to his powerful connections.

Gavin Newsom: His Education – Trying to Overcome Dyslexia and Low IQ

According to The Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity:

Gavin Newsom was diagnosed with dyslexia at age five, but his mother didn’t tell him, for fear he would use his disability as a crutch. So while he labored to read, spell, and work with numbers, his little sister sailed through school effortlessly. “As an older brother,” he says, “that was more difficult than you can imagine. I was always wondering why she would get done with her homework quickly and I was still struggling to work through it, and why my parents were so demanding with me and so easy on her as it related to academics.”

When Newsom was in fifth grade, he discovered in his mother’s office a stash of papers reporting on his dismal academic performance and describing something called dyslexia. “That really hit home, and it explained why everyone else was running into their parents’ arms after school and I was stuck in that shack behind the school every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with four or five other students.”

Of all the learning difficulties he endured, Newsom says that reading aloud was “the most humiliating.” He can still recall his fifth-grade classroom and the row he sat in, “with my heart just sinking and pounding, hoping that that period would end and we’d get the hell out of there, and then getting up and starting to read and having everybody in the class laugh. That’s when I basically gave up on any reading. I did book reports by literally reading the back of the book and just copying the text, thinking the teacher would never find out.”

High school was even worse. “The grades were bad, my self-esteem started to collapse, and I remember faking being sick all the time to avoid math class, which I just couldn’t handle.” But because he was expected to attend college, Newsom began to take summer classes to catch up, knowing that he would never get into “a serious university. I took the SAT and it was a complete disaster, and they didn’t even argue for me to take it again, because it was just beyond stressful. And I’ll be honest: had it not been for my mother and some remedial training, I never would have gotten into college.” Thanks to those and his outstanding abilities in baseball, Newsom began to receive scholarship offers from a number of colleges and attended Santa Clara University in California on a partial baseball scholarship.

Newsom was trained in the “tradition of the Jesuits” while at Santa Clara, and spent one semester in Rome. From an interview with The Santa Clara:

This is Santa Clara. It taught me how to learn. And you’re talking to a guy with massive dyslexia, that only got into Santa Clara because of baseball, that got student loans and that was given a waiver to graduate because I couldn’t pass a class — three times — that I took at College of Marin…

Santa Clara stands out, providing more of a Socratic method, so to speak, of education. And that’s the Jesuit tradition, of course.

I think that the greatest memories I had — and it’s rather perverse — were my semester abroad in Rome. I can’t impress upon people more the extraordinary opportunity of doing a semester abroad. I cannot underscore how great that was. It’s going to be a requirement when I have kids. They have to do a semester abroad. (Source.)

Gavin Newsom’s Wine Business – Powerful Friends

Gavin Newsom with former chairman of the California Democratic Party, John Burton. John Burton and Billionaire Gordon Getty provided the funding Newsom needed to start his wine business after college. Image Source.

Despite his apparent lack of academic excellence, after Newsom graduated from college, his family friends, billionaire Gordon Getty and Democratic leader John Burton, helped fund a new wine business, PlumpJack.

From This millionaire might be California’s next governor. How Gavin Newsom got connected, by Christopher Cadelago of the Sacramento Bee on July 31, 2018:

Up a narrow staircase above his wine shop, Gavin Newsom glides across the cramped office before making his way to its showpiece.

Off to the side sits a mop sink that city inspectors made him install even though he argued the floors were carpeted.

“I fought this, and lost,” said Newsom, the state lieutenant governor and frontrunner to succeed Gov. Jerry Brown next year. The 49-year-old Democrat raises one arm and grins, defiantly. “When you fight bureaucracy, make sure you have money and patience – and I didn’t have either.”

What Newsom lacked in poise and prosperity at the time he made up for in hustle and capitalizing on connections.

Newsom opened the wine shop in 1992 with the financial backing of family friend and oil fortune heir Gordon Getty. Newsom’s father, a classmate and close adviser of Getty, urged another prominent friend, John Burton, to recommend then-Mayor Willie Brown to appoint him to a vacant seat on the Board of Supervisors.

A fourth-generation San Franciscan who grew up around politics, Newsom said he still envisioned the life of an entrepreneur. But at just 29, the allure of citywide issues slowly began to win out.

As mayor, Newsom became nationally recognized for ordering the distribution of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. And the shop with the mop sink upstairs, PlumpJack Wines, grew into a line of successful restaurants, hotels and wineries managed by Newsom’s sister, Hilary.

Yet the early hand he received in politics and business continues to form the basis of criticism against him. Newsom’s opponents in the mayor’s race painted him as privileged and out of touch. In the gubernatorial contest, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Treasurer John Chiang, both Democrats, are beginning to do the same.

Villaraigosa dismisses Newsom as a “Davos Democrat,” after the town in the Swiss Alps that hosts a grand summit of world politicians, business leaders and celebrities and other elites. Chiang took a backhanded swipe by noting that he wasn’t born into a family with “wealth or big connections …”

In the interview above the wine shop, Newsom conceded he wouldn’t be in politics without Burton and Brown. (Source.)

When Newsom announced the re-closing of some businesses in certain counties due to a “spike” in COVID cases last year, it included several of his competitor wineries, while his was excluded, and he even tweeted about how his winery would be open during July 4th.

The criticism that followed prompted PlumpJack Winery to change their plans and close as well.

One has to also wonder if Governor Newsom’s relationship to the powerful Getty family who made their fortune in oil has affected his policies towards the oil industry in California, which is more similar to a Capitalist Republican than it is to a Progressive Democrat that Newsom claims to be.

From an article by Steve Horn on June 19, 2020 at Global Research titled California Governor Hands Out Fracking Permits on Behalf of Big Oil:
While California was convulsed by COVID-19 and George Floyd’s death, the governor gave Big Oil a big gift:

On June 1, in the midst of the turmoil created by the coronavirus pandemic and the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration quietly issued 12 fracking permits to Aera Energy, a joint venture owned by ExxonMobil and Shell.

Oil drilling in California has faced criticism for its disproportionately negative health impacts on Latino communities and other people of color. The 12 new permits will be for fracking in the Lost Hills Oil Field. The Kern County town of Lost Hills is more than 97 percent Latino, according to 2010 U.S. Census data.

The fracking permits are the latest example of California’s oil industry benefiting from regulatory or deregulatory action during the COVID-19 pandemic and came just months after the Newsom administration said it supported taking actions to “manage the decline of oil production and consumption in the state.” Aera, which also received 24 permits from the California Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM) on April 3 during the early days of COVID-19, has well-connected lobbyists in its corner who work for the firm Axiom Advisors.

One of them, Jason Kinney, headed up Newsom’s 2018 transition team and formerly served as a senior advisor to Newsom while he was lieutenant governor. He is also a senior advisor to California’s Senate Democrats. The other, Kevin Schmidt, previously served as policy director for Newsom when the latter was lieutenant governor. Aera paid Axiom $110,000 for its lobbying work in 2019 and, so far in 2020, has paid $30,000, lobbying reports reveal. (Full Article.)

And is Gavin Newsom related to Nancy Pelosi and former California Governor Jerry Brown?

From 4 Corrupt Families Of California – Newsom, Brown, Pelosi and Feinstein at

The connections date back at least 80 years, to when Jerry Brown’s father, Pat Brown, ran for San Francisco district attorney, losing in 1939 but winning in 1943, with the help of his close friend and Gavin Newsom’s grandfather, businessman William Newsom.

As mayor, Newsom became nationally recognized for ordering the distribution of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. And the shop with the mop sink upstairs, PlumpJack Wines, grew into a line of successful restaurants, hotels, and wineries managed by Newsom’s sister, Hilary.

A Times review of campaign finance records identified eight of San Francisco’s best-known families as being among Newsom’s most loyal and long-term contributors. Among those patrons are the Gettys, the Pritzkers and the Fishers, whose families made their respective fortunes in oil, hotels and fashion. They first backed him when he was a restaurateur and winery owner running for a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1998, and have continued their support through the governor’s race.

They are not Newsom’s largest donors: The families in total have given about $2 million of the $61 million that donors have contributed to his campaigns and independent committees backing those bids. But they gave while he was a relative unknown, providing crucial support to a political newcomer in the years before his campaign accounts piled high with cash from labor unions, Hollywood honchos, tech billionaires and donors up and down the state.

Gavin Newsom is succeeding someone who could be considered his quasi-uncle, since his inauguration continues the decades-long saga of four San Francisco families intertwined by blood, by marriage, by money, by culture and, of course, by politics – the Browns, the Newsoms, the Pelosi’s and the Gettys. (Full article.)

Gavin Newsom the Womanizer: His Affairs while in Office and Yet Never Prosecuted

Then San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom with CSI:Miami actress Sophia Milos in front of him, and Ruby Rippey-Tourk to his right, two women Newsom allegedly had affairs with while still married to his first wife and while serving as the Mayor of San Francisco. (Image source.)

From Newsom’s latest affair of the heart could turn into political heartburn by Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross of SFGate published in 2006:

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom is certainly feeling his oats these days — although, truth be told, his latest jaunt with “CSI: Miami” star Sofia Milos is giving some of his advisers a case of political heartburn.

As reported by The Chronicle’s Leah Garchik, Milos was introduced to the yet-to-be-officially-single mayor by former Supervisor Angela Alioto a couple of weekends ago at the wedding of Alioto’s son, Police Commissioner Joe Veronese.

Things must have clicked, because this past weekend Newsom — who is in the midst of a divorce with his TV-commentating wife Kimberly Guilfoyle — jetted off to spend a couple of days in La-La Land with Milos.

The mayor checked into the Chateau Marmont, the show-biz hotel just north of the Sunset Strip that is perhaps best known as the spot where comedian John Belushi overdosed on cocaine and heroin.

On Newsom’s agenda: a little visit with his new actress friend, then off with her to the Beverly Hilton to attend the annual dinner of the Citizens Commission for Human Rights. (Source.)

The image used in that story, posted above, not only shows him with Sophia Milos, but also with Ruby Rippey-Tourk, one of his aides who worked out of his office as Mayor of San Francisco, with whom he was also having an affair, and who was also the wife of his Campaign Manager, Alex Tourk.

But the photographer would not have known that yet, as it was revealed later.

From the San Diego Union-Tribune in an article published in 2018 titled: Former aide to Gavin Newsom speaks out about their affair while he was San Francisco mayor:

The woman gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom had an affair with when he was mayor of San Francisco spoke out about their relationship on Wednesday after questions about the liaison emerged in the governor’s race.

Ruby Rippey Gibney said that although their relationship destroyed her home life, it probably shouldn’t be part of the discussion about sexual misconduct surrounding the #MeToo movement.

“I fully support the #metoo movement. In this particular instance, however, I am doubtful that it applies,” Rippey Gibney wrote on her Facebook page. “Yes, I was a subordinate, but I was also a free-thinking, 33-yr old adult married woman & mother. (I also happened to have an unfortunate inclination towards drinking-to-excess & self-destruction.)”

Newsom and Rippey Gibney had an affair when she worked as the then-mayor’s appointments secretary. At the time, she was married to the Democrat’s campaign manager and friend, Alex Tourk.

The affair came to light in 2007. The controversy rocked San Francisco politics, but has largely gone unmentioned in the 2018 governor’s race.

Gavin Newsom with his first wife and now current girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr., Kimberly Guilfoyle in the middle. Image Source.

As a side note, these two particular affairs were going on while he was still married to his first wife, Kimberly Guilfoyle, who is now allegedly the girlfriend living with Donald Trump, Jr.

Maybe this is one reason why Governor Newsom and President Trump get along so well, even though they are supposedly on the opposite ends of the political spectrum?

Newsom’s use of women is not the main concern here, however, but the allegation that he used his position of power and influential connections to stop legal efforts to investigate the appropriateness of a powerful San Francisco Mayor to use his position to take advantage of women.

In 2012 Larry Bush, writing for CitiReport highlighted how Newsom was able to accomplish this. From his article, Mythologizing Gavin Newsom:

It is, we are told, spelled out in the City Charter. “Official misconduct means…conduct that falls below the standard of decency, good faith and right action impliedly required of all public officers…”

What that means – and doesn’t mean – comes through in sharp relief if you substitute the name Gavin Newsom for Ross Mirkarimi. Because Gavin Newsom would have been charged with Official Misconduct in 2007 after notoriously scandalous behavior that begged issues of unlawful behavior. In Newsom’s case, he was the anointed front man for a city establishment from the day he was appointed to a city commission, then to the Board, and then backed with the most expensive campaign in city history to be elected mayor.

Not only was nothing going to drive him from office, but every asset from Dianne Feinstein to the Chronicle to the Ethics Commission’s Executive Director to the head of the Commission on the Status of Women did everything in their power to make the issue go away.

The contrast with Mirkarimi, a political outsider who began as a member of the Green Party and who challenged longstanding city practices ranging from the reluctance to implement community policing to directing city funds to programs serving vulnerable people. In an instant, rumor morphed into a drumbeat, then an echo chamber, that was so overwhelming that a jury expert determined that it would be impossible for him to get a fair trial in the city where he had just won city-wide office.

The facts are not in dispute — although few ever saw them put together into a narrative that told the story. How the city establishment responded to those facts is the story.

If any city official ever collided right into the abyss described in this language it would be Gavin Newsom, who catapulted San Francisco into national disgrace after being forced to admit that he had a sexual affair with a subordinate.

Within hours, BeyondChron editor Randy Shaw had posted his prediction: “That’s what will likely lead City Attorney Dennis Herrera to file charges against Newsom by the end of the week.”

In the following days, questions emerged over just how many laws had been broken. The City Attorney was investigating whether Newsom’s scheme to pay Alex Tourk, the cuckolded husband and erstwhile deputy chief of staff, out of Newsom’s campaign funds. A second investigation was underway on whether Ruby Rippey-Tourk was given favorable treatment under the city’s catastrophic leave program that awarded her over $10,000 for her absences, why she was allowed the payment after she resigned, or whether she was entitled to sign her own time cards so she would be paid.

Looming over it all was the question of whether a mayor, or any city supervisor, would be violating ethics laws and public trust by having an illicit affair with a subordinate – that would most likely result in a private sector boss or even a CEO being canned.

More details revealed that Newsom’s office was dysfunctional, at times resulting in significant mismanagement affecting the city. He failed to establish an attendance policy for his office’s senior political appointees, and did not establish rules on approving leave.

Commission appointments, the duty of Ruby Rippey-Tourk, Newsom’s lover, were ignored even after months of pleading for action. One result: a complete melt-down of the city’s Taxi Commission with its executive director fired at 2 a.m. after an all-night commission meeting. The record showed that Rippey-Tourk had already been on unpaid leave for five weeks at the time.

Newsom Held The Aces

But Newsom held the aces that would trump any effort to legally hold him accountable.

He could count on the city’s powerful elites, from Senator Dianne Feinstein to the San Francisco Chronicle to even the city’s hobbled Ethics Commission, to immunize him from any legal consequences.

Indeed, the city charter language on Official Misconduct applies to all city officials – except the mayor. The only way to hold Newsom accountable would be if the City Attorney or District Attorney brought charges based on violations of the law, not violations of the charter.

By the morning after Newsom’s February 1 late afternoon press revelation, the Myth Machine was in full working order.

First, the Chronicle ran a February 2 story explaining that Newsom had not violated any city policies.

Mayor Gavin Newsom’s affair with his former aide Ruby Rippey-Tourk apparently violated none of the city’s ethics codes, which do not cover general moral transgressions or errors in judgment,” reported the Chronicle.

Despite the scant few hours since Newsom admitted to his affair, Ethics Commission Executive Director John St. Croix was ready to shoot down any notion that the city’s ethics laws were broken.

The ethics code could deal with situations where a supervisor gives something like a gift to a subordinate with the understanding that they will get something in return, (but) it doesn’t really cover sexual relationships,” said John St. Croix, executive director of the city’s Ethics Commission, in the same story.

Next the Commission on the Status of Women packed away any notion that a supervisor having sexual relations with a subordinate was a matter of concern.

The San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women, a seven-member board appointed by the mayor that, among other things, monitors complaints of unlawful treatment of women in city government, was keeping its distance,” reported the Chronicle in its February 2 story.

Emily Murase, director of the mayor-appointed commission, declined to comment about the affair. “We’re treating it as a personal issue,” Murase said.

That same day-after series of stories started a new narrative, this time from top political reporter Carla Marinucci, who just hours after Newsom’s announcement was redefining the issue as a “violation of the man code” for having sexual relations with his friend’s wife.

Senator Dianne Feinstein was ready, in 24 hours, to blame the pressures of being mayor as contributing to Newsom’s misbehavior, but voiced her belief that “I think he’ll go on from there.” She noted, “This is a young mayor. I know the pressures of being mayor, and I know how hard it can be.”

In a matter of days, the Chronicle was ready to offer its conclusions, including its view on whether the mayor should resign.

Newsom made it clear that he has no intention of resigning, leaving his fate where it belongs — with the voters. San Franciscans neither want nor need a mayor with an image that is too good to be true,” it editorialized on February 7.

Newsom Escapes His Past

A significant part of the Newsom Myth Making was the claim that Newsom handled the revelation in a textbook perfect example of crisis management. He announced it, took responsibility, and apologized.

But Gavin Newsom was no Betty Ford, stepping up to take responsibility for anything other than sleeping with his friend’s wife who was his subordinate.

It took several more days for Newsom to admit he had a drinking problem, and then he veered back and forth on whether he did have a drinking problem. Weeks later he was still saying he didn’t know if he had a drinking problem.

Newsom wasn’t just in denial. He had been using his office to make certain that he would not be confronted with questions about his excessive drinking even in public. At one point a month earlier, Newsom directed his police bodyguard to block a reporter trying to ask about Newsom’s drinking and its impact on his job as mayor.

After the story broke, Newsom refused to answer questions about his use of city funds to ease Ruby Rippey-Tourk’s transition or his effort to use his campaign funds to pay Alex Tourk despite the apparent violation of campaign laws.

Newsom’s refusal to respond to questions ultimately resulted in a four-minute video that stitched together footage of Newsom repeatedly refusing to deal with reporters.

The Walkaway Mayor” was posted on youtube by a group calling itself GavinWatch

At its core, Newsom’s problem appears to be less drinking than an immaturity that positions himself at the center of his world, petulantly acting out when others raise uncomfortable questions about his behavior. What the video documents most of all are a man given to tantrums, rudeness and insults when others stand in the way of how he views himself and wants others to view him.

For more than a year, Newsom benefitted from a City Hall press corps that was not aggressive in investigating accounts that Newsom was having an affair with a staffer or was drinking heavily.

Matier and Ross, the “Insiders,” told readers only after the news broke what City Hall had known all along.

For more than a year, the affair between San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and the wife of his good friend and campaign manager, Alex Tourk, was a bomb that those around the mayor knew would one day go off,” they wrote on February 2.

Rumors started making the rounds of City Hall in late 2005, soon after Newsom and Rippey-Tourk were reportedly spotted together in the mayoral town car at a wedding in Napa.

The cavorting with a 19-year-old model and nighttime public sightings in which the mayor appeared to have been drinking have damaged what was once Newsom’s strongest political asset — a squeaky-clean image.,” the duo wrote.

When he did decide to get counseling, he went to Mimi Silbert, a longtime friend and ally, but still refused to publicly discuss his drinking problem or to encourage others to take similar steps to get help with alcoholism. Newsom never discussed it.

With Newsom establishing a wall of silence, reporters option was to haunt the City Attorney to learn whether any action might come from that quarter.

KGO-‘s Dan Noyes of the stations’ I-Team went on the air on February 6 with one angle.

But there are new, serious questions whether Newsom is breaking campaign finance law. His close friend and campaign manager, Alex Tourk, resigned last week, after Newsom admitted having an affair with Tourk’s wife, Ruby. She was the mayor’s appointments secretary.

As part of a deal worked out with lawyers, Alex Tourk will continue to be paid his $15,000 dollar a month salary until he finds a new job.

The I-Team has confirmed the city attorney’s office is researching whether that’s against the law,” said Noyes.

The story died right there because the City Attorney doesn’t comment on investigations and doesn’t comment on advice it provides to office holders.

This past week, CitiReport asked the City Attorney’s office for the outcome of the reported investigation aired by Noyes.

Did Mr. Herrera either state, officially or informally, that Mayor Newsom could not use campaign funds to pay Alex Tourk after he resigned?” was the question CitiReport asked.

The answer: “Without indicating an answer either way, I was able to identify a record that while potentially responsive to this request is covered by the attorney-client privilege (Bus. & Prof. Code Sec. 6068(e)(1)).  As such, disclosure by the City Attorney’s Office is prohibited under the Public Records Act (Cal. Gov. Code Sec. 6254(k)) and S.F. Sunshine Ordinance.”

Newsom, for his part, backed out of using campaign funds and said he made the payments from his own accounts.

The City Attorney Finds No Wrongdoing

The question of payments to Rippey-Tourk was reviewed in a 31-page analysis by the City Attorney released on April 11, 2007. It was a comprehensive analysis of each of the major questions – the use of catastrophic leave, the payments made after leaving office, the issue of attendance and time sheets – and each time the City Attorney’s conclusions skated by questions of wrongdoing and tossed the issues to other city departments, the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor himself.

After noting that both Rippey-Tourk and Alex Tourk declined to be interviewed, the City Attorney’s analysis relied on interviews with others and available documents. The Mayor does not show up as being interviewed.

On the eligibility of Rippey-Tourk for catastrophic leave intended for those facing end-of-life illness such as HIV or Cancer, but extended to Rippey-Tourk reportedly to enable her to attend a substance abuse program:

We did not find any case in which DPH certified eligibility for the CIP based solely on substance abuse…We did find a few denials by DPH of applications where the catastrophic illness was substance abuse, but apparently unaccompanied by any life-threatening physical condition or behavior. We did not discover any DPH approval of a CIP application based solely on alcohol or substance abuse, including attending a treatment program.”

Whether there should be amendments to the Ordinance to set forth additional direction or criteria for making this determination is a policy matter for the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor.”

On approval for Rippey-Tourk to receive payment after resigning and before starting a new job:

But we could find no other instance where, as here, an employee received approval by the Controller for payment under the CIP after she indicated her intent to resign from City employment and received the payment just as she was starting a new job.”

Again, if as a policy matter the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor would prefer a rule prohibiting payments to employees who are separating from City employment, including circumstances where they have accepted a new job, they could amend the CIP ordinance to incorporate such a limitation.”

On the question of confirming attendance at the office:

During the time she served in the Mayor’s Office, there was no written City-wide or Mayor’s Office policy regarding the submission or approval of time sheets.  Our review indicates that during the majority of time that Ms. Rippey-Tourk was employed by the Mayor’s Office, senior staff members were not required by any policy or practice of the City or the Mayor’s Office to have a supervisor approve their time sheets.”

On the question of nepotism of Tourk signing time sheets in some cases for his wife:

Even though Mayor’s Office approval of senior staff time sheets was merely an internal departmental control and was not legally required for salary payments by the Controller, authorization of a spouse’s times sheets is not appropriate in light of this public trust. But the City’s anti-nepotism law prohibiting participation by an employee in employment actions involving that employee’s relatives does not appear to extend to this situation; it covers only hiring, promotion and discipline.”

Because Mr. Tourk approved his wife’s time sheets, this practice was inappropriate and at least created the appearance of impropriety though it does not appear to have violated City laws.”

It is a policy matter for the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor whether to amend the City’s anti-nepotism law to cover this type of situation going forward, and a policy matter for the Board of Supervisors, the Mayor, the Controller, the Department of Human Resources and the Ethics Commission whether to institute a formal City policy requiring approval of employee time sheets in a particular manner, or not at all.”

On the question of Rippey-Tourk signing her own time sheets:

Similarly, the fact that Ms. Rippey-Tourk occasionally signed as her own “authorized signature” during this period was not legally improper, as no such signature was required.”

Today, almost on the exact fifth anniversary of his report, City Attorney Dennis Herrera will go before the city’s Ethics Commission to argue that the charter provisions on Official Misconduct involving “conduct that falls below the standard of decency, good faith and right action impliedly required of all public officers…”  should serve as the grounds to remove Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi from office.

Meanwhile, Gavin Newsom’s failure to uphold a standard of decency, good faith and right action is seen as one of his finest hours.

Governor Newsom is an Alcoholic

This was mentioned above in Larry Bush’s article. Here is an account of Newsom getting treatment, although he did not “step aside” during this alleged treatment from his duties as Mayor of San Francisco, according to the SFGate’s article, Newsom seeks treatment for alcohol abuse:

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said today that he will seek treatment for alcohol abuse.

“Upon reflection with friends and family this weekend, I have come to the conclusion that I will be a better person without alcohol in my life,” Newsom said in a written statement. “I take full responsibility for my personal mistakes and my problems with alcohol are not an excuse for my personal lapses in judgment.”

Newsom told department heads at a meeting this afternoon that the help he is seeking would not require him to step aside even temporarily, as it might if he entered a residential rehabilitation program, sources familiar with the meeting told The Chronicle.

The move follows the revelation last week that Newsom had a sexual affair with an employee of his office, Ruby Rippey-Tourk, who also is the wife of one of his former top political aides, Alex Tourk. Tourk, the mayor’s former deputy chief of staff, resigned as Newsom’s re-election campaign manager after confronting Newsom about the affair.

The mayor admitted the affair Thursday after it was reported by The Chronicle and apologized to Tourk, his friends and family and the residents of San Francisco. He has since declined to say anything about the scandal and has stated repeatedly that he wants to get back to work.

Newsom’s alcohol use became an embarrassment for the mayor after witnesses reported he appeared to have been drinking late Dec. 22 before arriving at San Francisco General Hospital, where a police officer had been taken after being mortally wounded.

The mayor also faced scrutiny late last year for bringing a then 20-year-old woman out on dates, where she was reportedly seen drinking what appeared to be alcohol. (Full Article.)

Governor Newsom’s Connections to China

Newsom has used his position as Governor of California to strike a $1 BILLION deal with China for N95 respirator masks. This was reported in the corporate media, so this is not speculative.

C. Douglas Golden, in an April 22, 2020 article in The Western Journal, writes:

Consider the fact that conservative Newsmax and the liberal Los Angeles Times both hit him (Newsom) for what he did.

According to the Times, the problem wasn’t the cost of the masks — or where the money was going to, although that was equally problematic — but the lack of any details regarding the deal.

“The governor’s advisors have so far declined requests for information about the agreement with BYD, the Chinese electric car manufacturer hired to produce the masks, though the state has already wired the company the first installment of $495 million,” the Times reported.

“Newsom, who has been praised for his efforts to slow the spread of the disease, bristled on Saturday at suggestions that his administration has been too slow to explain a deal that will cost California taxpayers 30% more than his January budget would spend on infectious disease prevention for an entire fiscal year.”

Furthermore, he hasn’t bothered to brief the California Legislature on what, exactly, he agreed to.

“I must emphasize, that’s a big deal,” GOP state Sen. Jim Nielsen said during a legislative oversight hearing Tuesday. “And what is in the contract that ensures the deliverability — timely — is going to be really, really important. At the least, we cannot be just throwing out a false hope to people.”

The details sound impressive. Newsom’s office says it can buy 200 million N95 masks at an impressive price from BYD, heretofore known for its electric vehicles, using its state buying power. This may, in fact, be an accurate appraisal of how the deal would work — assuming, that is, BYD can convert its plants into N95-producing powerhouses.

“Exactly how BYD has converted some of its manufacturing efforts in China to begin producing protective masks is unclear,” the Times reported.

“On March 13, it touted the creation of ‘the world’s largest mass-produced face masks plant’ in a news release posted on the company’s website. The company announced that it would make 5 million masks a day — far surpassing the 100 million masks a month promised by 3M, the company best known for producing N95 masks, used to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“A spokesman for BYD referred all questions about negotiations over the purchase of masks to Newsom’s office.”

Given that Newsom’s office appears entirely unwilling to share these details with legislators, you may perhaps begin to see the problem here. (Full article.)

A few weeks later (June 9, 2020), the San Francisco Chronicle reported an update on this deal:

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s medical mask deal with a Chinese manufacturer will proceed after the company succeeded in obtaining federal safety certification, following two missed deadlines.

Newsom said Monday that supplier BYD had secured safety certification for its N95 particulate-filtering respirators, clearing the way for California to receive 150 million masks. A spokeswoman for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health confirmed that the certification was granted Sunday.

“This new supply of N95 masks, as well as the surgical masks this contract has already provided, are game-changing and play a crucial role in our state’s public safety and reopening strategy,” Newsom said in a statement.

Newsom’s office said the N95 masks, part of a $990 million deal, will be distributed to medical workers and others on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. (Full article.)

Do you think this deal would have anything to do with why Newsom and California (and other states for that matter) want to continue mandating wearing masks perpetually?

See also:

Booming Face Mask Business in U.S. Creating Instant Millionaires Using Government Funds to Buy Masks from China

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