If you were Gavin Newsom — and, odds are, you weren't — these were your choices: Head to last weekend's U.S. Conference of Mayor's in Providence, R.I. and talk about your treasurer's innovative economic plan and a former supervisor's innovative health care plan — or skip the conference and keep your top adviser happy by giving the cold shoulder to America's only openly gay mayor of a state capital. Wow — no one said being a politician is easy (and, it warrants mentioning, whichever decision Gavin made wouldn't do a thing to actually help anyone — that's hard too!)
Anyhow, if you're reading a post in our “politics” section, odds are you know which decision Newsom made. Talking about Jose Cisneros' and Tom Ammiano's big plans at the conference would have been great political fodder. But crossing a picket line organized by Providence's firefighters, angered at Mayor David Cicilline's refusal to sign generous contracts in the face of a mounting human services crisis, would have been unthinkable — especially when San Francisco's own firefighters are making similar demands and Newsom's longtime political svengali, Eric Jaye, is organizing the whole campaign (incidentally, some local observers are acting as if it's a revelation that Jaye manages Newsom's political fortunes and the firefighters' union — when he's been putting fires out for the firefighters since 1996 and calling the shots for Newsom since Gavin was still known as “Anakin Skywalker”).