What a predicament! Cross the firefighters (and a snub of the folks
in Providence would be taken as a hostile move by the locals -- they
don't call 'em unions for nothin') and cross your tip-top political
adviser, or turn your back on Cicilline, a darling of the LGBT
political set (folks Newsom stands to rely upon for goodwill and
dollars down the road).
To be fair, a number of folks, including Vice President Joe Biden and Obama administration officials, were spooked by the prospect of crossing a picket line and didn't show up. But they're not running for governor, and Newsom is. It'll be interesting to see how this move is handled by LGBT activists and potential donors.
Finally, congratulations to Providence, R.I. for staying true to character -- and electing a true character as mayor. Prior to Cicilline, the long-time bossman was Buddy Cianci, Jr. His character file: He quit the job back in the 1980s after supposedly assaulting a man -- with a burning log and burning cigars, among other weapons of choice -- for allegedly cuckolding him. After a cooling off period of seven years, Ciacnci ran for mayor and won again in 1991 -- until things went south in 2002, when he ws convicted of racketeering and sentenced to five years in prison. Naturally, he became a talk radio host upon release. Topping it all off, an off-broadway musical was made about Cianci's quasi-charmed life, and, during the 1990s, he hawked his "Mayor's Own"-brand of marinara sauce in stores throughout Providence (your humble narrator bought a bottle, found it a bit oily, and was spooked by Cianci's Hanna-Barbera-like visage on the label).
Cicilline, meanwhile, is a Jewish-Italian son of a prominent mob lawyer who became a rich, hotshot lawyer himself -- and, what's more, is a gay man who doesn't like firefighters.
Now those are some interesting mayors!