Newsom's Latest Curious Donor: Sugar Daddy For Anti-Rent Control Proposition

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Will it burn a hole in his pocket?
Last month we reported on how gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom took a hefty donation from Rockstar Energy Drinks' CEO Russell Weiner. When the media began reporting extremist positions Weiner touted on immigration and same-sex marriage in the past (and that he's Michael Savage's son) Newsom's campaign soon saw fit to return the money, citing differences between the "values" of the donor and recipient.

Well, it'll be interesting to see if that happens again any time soon.

As first reported Friday by the Bay Area News Group's Josh Richman, Newsom last week accepted a $25,000 donation from real estate investor Thomas J. Coates -- who pumped nearly $1 million into last year's Proposition 98, which would have abolished rent control statewide. Newsom denounced that measure -- and Prop. 98 was similarly decried by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a wide consortium of Republican- and Democrat-friendly organizations and unions -- and, ultimately, 62 percent of the state's voters (and 74 percent of San Franciscans).

So, again, it will be intriguing to see if this clash of "values" -- in which Coates not only expressed views differing strongly from Newsom's (and three-quarters of the mayor's constituents) but put his millions behind them -- warrants another "thanks but no thanks" from the erstwhile mayor's handlers.

On a bright note, Newsom's campaign finance records reveal he also last week received $15,000 in donations from an unimpeachable source -- his dad, Judge William Newsom.
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