Mayor Cooks His Own Goose

Muni network controversy pales next to the mayor's private scandals

February 2, 2007

1 Min Read
Mayor Cooks His Own Goose

4:00 PM -- Poor Gavin Newsom. It wasn't enough that the mayor of San Francisco has seen the proposed Google-EarthLink wireless network blow up in his face; now it seems he's been finding some, ahh, interesting ways to spend his free time as well. (See SF's Muni Mesh Mess.)

Newsom's personal life exploded yesterday when, after months of rumors, he confessed that he'd had an affair with the wife of his campaign manager (and ex-good friend), Alex Tourk. Newsom and Ruby Rippey-Tourk, his former appointments secretary, had apparently had a brief fling last year that included a jaunt up to a wedding in Napa in the mayoral town car.

"Ruby Rippey-Tourk." You couldn't make this stuff up.

Rippey-Tourk left the mayor's staff last spring to seek "drug and alcohol treatment." The divorced Newsom's not-so-private life, meanwhile, continued to set tongues wagging as he was seen in public in the city with a "19-year-old restaurant hostess," as the San Francisco Chronicle delicately put it.

Elected in 2004 and facing no serious challenge for re-election next year, Newsom, 39, was considered a rising Democratic star and a possible successor to Calif. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Now he's got a scandal of Hollywood proportions on his hands, and while the voters of liberal SF might forgive him, his potential career at the state and national level may be cooked.

Kinda makes negotiating with EarthLink over access fees and lamppost rights look like a cakewalk, doesn't it?

— Richard Rippey-Martin, Senior Editor, Unstrung

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