Gavin Newsom on Ross Mirkarimi: 'I understand his ... feeling he's being picked on'

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Gavin Newsom
UPDATE, 11:35 A.M., 2/3/12: Newsom spokesman Francisco Castillo responded to the below story with an e-mail, stating, "The Lt. Governor never said he thought press coverage was 'unfair,' nor did he suggest that domestic violence charges not be treated with extreme seriousness -- any suggestion otherwise is sloppy and just plain wrong."

ORIGINAL STORY:
California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, San Francisco's former mayor, said on a local radio program today that he feels news outlets are being unfair to Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, who is facing charges of domestic violence.

On KQED radio's Forum talk show, Newsom expressed a surprising degree of sympathy with Mirkarimi, a former political rival who is facing trial on charges that he abused his wife. In particular, Newsom called into question the frequent news stories that have appeared about Mirkarimi's case, coverage spurred by a second woman's decision to come forward with allegations of physical violence against the sheriff.

"It's a little indulgent, in terms of just the day-to-day pounding in the media," Newsom said to host Michael Krasny. "There's got to be something else to talk about, as important as this is. So I understand his frustration, feeling he's being picked on. But trust me, I've been there, we all have, and such is the nature of responsibility in the public realm."

Newsom spokesman Francisco Castillo did not return a call seeking comment.

It's interesting to note that Newsom, when faced with a career-threatening transgression in his own personal life, took a decidedly different tack from Mirkarimi, who has refused to explain the circumstances that led to the charges against him. In a now-famous utterance, Newsom admitted at a 2007 press conference that he had had an affair with the wife of a close aide, declaring, "Everything you've heard and read is true."

Mirkarimi, a former supervisor who often butted heads with Newsom when the pair occupied City Hall, is scheduled to go on trial Feb. 24 for three misdemeanor counts of battery, child endangerment, and dissuading a witness after he allegedly abused his wife, Eliana Lopez during a New Year's Eve dispute. A former girlfriend of Mirkarimi's, Christina Flores, plans to testify that she, too, was abused by the sheriff when they dated in 2008.

Newsom, a father of two young children, said he can understand the anguish Mirkarimi has expressed over being separated from his wife and child in accordance with a judge's protective order.

"I understand it's difficult for him, and he seems to be, under the circumstances, weathering it well," Newsom said. "And I can only imagine, as a new father -- and sincerely I believe this -- how difficult it is for him to be separated from his son. But those are the rules of engagement. To the extent that he's been accused of something, he understands that system as well or better than anyone."

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Lioness7
Lioness7

Having worked as a preschool teacher this type of separation is really hard of young children.  It is my hope things can be resolved quickly.

sfsoma
sfsoma

Newsom should be doing some kind of work instead of calling into obscure radio shows to gossip because he so desperately wants his name on some public media regardless how inane.  He's the kinda DINO that makes you want to take a shower after shaking his hand.  yuck.

coppersmom
coppersmom

isn't that a very popular show? the most popular in fact..in the bay area? hardly obscure..unless you are a dim-wit

BarryEisenberg
BarryEisenberg

You got THAT right sfsoma Lt. Gov. Bonk wants to be President Bonk.

Katherinegrahamcracker
Katherinegrahamcracker

The guy is a serial abuser with a violent temper -- would you have preferred the neighbor (who had a big fundraiser for him) waited until Mirkarimi put his wife in the hospital

As for Newsom -too bad for the State of California but good for SF that he gone

Sjlebl
Sjlebl

The man is 50 years old.  The WORST allegations against him, if true, are that he grabbed his wife's arm twice during the last year and he grabbed a former girlfriend's arm once.  Also, he apparently raises his voice and swears on occasion.  How do you characterize that as "serial abuse?"  This is a political witch-hunt and feeding frenzy.  Lopez's wishes and well-being have been shoved aside by the DA and whomever is calling the shots to hurt a potential progressive political rival.  The truth and common sense have also been shoved aside.  Citizens and our government suffer when a dishonest witch hunt like this is swallowed so uncritically by the media and the public.  The fact that progressives are so quick to abandon their political allies even under allegations as filmsy and politically motivated as this is one reason conservatives win.   

I am very much against domestic abuse.  However, I am very much for honesty and fairness.  Everything in the press thus far fairly suggests a witch hunt and political hatchet job....and not domestic abuse that justify the wife's wishes and statements being ignored or discounted by the police, press, and prosecutors. 

Stephen LeBlanc

Oaklander
Oaklander

you are probably an abuser.."the WORST allegations...that he grabbed his wife's arm..." 

BarryEisenberg
BarryEisenberg

Well put Stephen. Three elements are driving this: the anti-domestic violence groups, the police bureaucracy that opposed him in the election and Mirkarimi's unscrupulous political opponents in general. All three have an agenda and don't give a hoot about the facts or common sense. The media dishes it all up with relish while the more unsophisticated among the general public lap it up like some soap opera. The D.A. is either a gullible fool, serving some hidden master or politically ambitious.He and Ross have quarreled in the past over policing issues. Did you know that Gascon used to be a Republican?

David Elliott Lewis
David Elliott Lewis

Dear Mr. Newsom,

Thank you.  I applaud your comments.  

I continue to support Ross and hope he and his family can get past this soon.

Sincerely,David Elliott Lewis

Patrick Connors
Patrick Connors

There is a big fat difference between Newsom's admission that he fucked his best friend's wife in City Hall and allegations of domestic violence against Mirkarimi - Newsom was in no danger of being arrested for being a cad.

Mirkarimi is under much more pressure than a divorced Mayor with a hard on and a taste for his friend's wife's vagina. An admission that "yeah it's all true" from Mirkarimi isn't quite Penthouse Forum material as it was from Newsom.

Guest
Guest

 The word is "allegation" which by the way has been denied by all parties. By who cares  about proof? You have a DA saying it happened so it must be true!

Meatsack
Meatsack

There is a commonality in that everyone who pays some attention to city politics is jabbering about it.  These are the not usual non issues that Ross wants to known for.

There's other commonalities between the two, blow dried, idea men, blow hards, lacking in self awareness, neither of much substance, Mirkarimi a mindless doctrinaire, Newsom a opportunist climber.

Since long before this I thought the two were separated at birth.

David Elliott Lewis
David Elliott Lewis

Looking at substance over style, there really are many differences between the two men.  They have also been political opponents, if that matters.

Meatsack
Meatsack

Yes, of course, Mirkarimi agrees with your opinions s fact, that makes him rife with substance.

Sjlebl
Sjlebl

Is the SFWeekly ever going to step back and cast any kind of skepticaleye on what the DA's office and police department is spinning here.  Justfrom the SFWeekly's coverage, it seems this whole incident arose from a concernabout a possible custody dispute should Ross and his wife break up.  Thatmakes sense.  That would explain why Eliana would want a record, even ifshe did not feel threatened or feel she needed to talk to the police or even ifshe never felt abused by Ross in any way. 

The idea that Ross was controlling her access to food or isolating her is justridiculous.  She has a phone right?  A car? A fridge at home withfood in it? Money?  Credit Cards?  I don't know her, but know she wasa successful actress with an independent career so I assume she has all thosethings.  Why then is the DA/press making ridiculous statements about Rossisolating her or controlling her access to food?  Why is the DA pushingforward on this when the "victim" is pleading them to stop? Therehave been no allegations of hitting or emotional abuse or controllingbehavior.  What is motivating the push to pursue this in the press and thecourts, when Eliana says she is not a victim and her husband is beingpolitically attacked through her?

Eliana says Ross is not an abuser, and the DA says she is likely sufferingbattered spouse syndrome.

Ross says there was no domestic abuse, and the DA and press suggest he is indenial.

We are through the looking glass here.  Lopez’s or Mirkarimi’s insistencethat there is no domestic violence in their marriage is taken as the strongestproof that there must be.  Only a wife who is being abused would deny sheis being abused, right? 

The few facts that have been released by the press taken AT THEIR WORST AT FACEVALUE, suggest some marital strife and a man with a temper, but nothing more.

To get to more, we have to imagine that these facts are the tip of some deepdark iceberg of spousal abuse for which there is NO EVIDENCE and which Lopez insists doesn't exist.  Even after 4 weeks of this, there is NOACTUAL EVIDENCE that anything happened here other than a marital fight that gotphysical...and not even very physical.  Given all the scrutiny.  All themedia reports.  All the press conferences by the DAs office.  Theneighbors and ex's who have come forward, if there really were somethingseriously wrong in the Lopez- Mirkarimi marriage, wouldn't some more solid andsubstantial evidence than has yet even been hinted at be apparent?

Meatsack
Meatsack

Dude, you spend way to much time working this out trying to string together some plausible deniability.  Kissinger I bet didn't work this hard after Pinochet came to power.

Guest
Guest

 No you don't spend enough time working it out before posting.

Meatlock
Meatlock

It's normal to feel a bit sorry for Ross, to have his private life drug through the media like this.

But 'it's Ross Mirkarimi so I don't really care.

If it was someone less authoritarian and up in everyones business with the plastic bags, prop H hand gun laws, obsession with Sharps Park, happy meal banning... screw him, he deserves every second of it.

David Elliott Lewis
David Elliott Lewis

It’s easy to spew venom when you are anonymous.

Meatsack
Meatsack

David, you're a one man army of fawning Mirkarimi sycophancy.  What do you get out of that servility?

What venom?  Mirkarimi is now on the sour end of busy body government, something he has been happy to do to the rest of us.  Life sucks.

Lioness7
Lioness7

Gentlemen, as I mention above I use to be preschool teacher and an elementary teacher so can we use our words with a bit more kindness.  Thank you.

MrEricSir
MrEricSir

Unfortunately you're too much of a stupid hick to understand what a hypocrite you are.

Meatsack
Meatsack

 Keep changing your complaint, you will latch onto something sooner or later.

MrEricSir
MrEricSir

Holy mother of unintentional irony! Oh dear, you really don't have a single brain cell, do you?

Seriously, you don't think it's wrong to attack Ross personally because of HIS political beliefs, but when someone does the same to you it IS wrong?

You are the definition of a hypocrite. Please, don't come to SF. We don't want or need people like you here.

Meatsack
Meatsack

Now, I'm just laughing.

Someone doesn't agree with your opinions, they must be from Texas and are ignorant.

Typical intolerant SF hipster.

MrEricSir
MrEricSir

 No, you just seem like one of those people who's proud of their own ignorance based on everything you've said in this thread.

Thanks for proving me right about that.

Meatsack
Meatsack

 Jesus H Christ that was a stupid post on your part.

It would be impossible to live in San Francisco and not revel in the correct intolerance values system?

I'm sure I predate you.

MrEricSir
MrEricSir

Let me guess: you live in Texas and watch a lot of Fox News?

Guest
Guest

David is not a "one man" army other such as I agree with him.

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