Gov. Newsom claimed that he was just going to appoint a temporary seat-warmer to the Senate seat held by Sen. Dianne Feinstein. As one might expect of a politician with a valuable commodity on his hands, he was lying.
As Gov. Rod Blagojevich once observed, “I’ve got this thing, and it’s f_____ golden. I’m just not giving it up for f____ nothing. It’s a f____ valuable thing, you just don’t give it away for nothing. If I don’t get what I want … I’ll just take the Senate seat myself.”
Following the Blago playbook, Gov. Newsom didn’t give up Feinstein’s Senate seat for nothing either.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom will appoint EMILY’s List President Laphonza Butler to fill the seat of the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein, elevating the head of a fundraising juggernaut that works to elect Democratic women who support abortion rights, according to a person familiar with the decision.
Butler is a veteran organizer and well-known in Newsom’s orbit. He contemplated hiring the Southern Mississippi native to be his first chief of staff, and she was a one-time partner in the San Francisco-based consulting firm, now known as Bearstar Strategies, with his top political advisers. She has remained a confidant of Vice President Kamala Harris, after serving as a senior strategist on her 2020 presidential campaign.
Gov. Newsom gets to do a major favor for SEIU California, Emily’s List and put a major political ally whom he considered for his chief-of-staff into the Senate. There are a lot of very useful and lucrative connections there that would be helpful for a man who, and I’m just speculating wildly here, might have plans to become president.
And he avoids any of the criticism for it because she’s also a black lesbian.
Rep. Adam Schiff and Rep. Katie Porter will now have the thankless task of running against a black lesbian. Rep. Barbara Lee got the Congressional Black Caucus to sign on to a demand letter that Newsom give her the job, but not being a lesbian, Lee also loses.
This wouldn’t be that big of a deal if Gov. Newsom had kept his word an appointed a placeholder who wouldn’t actually run. But Newsom, as usual, lied.
The announcement was expected to come Monday, and an adviser to the governor, Anthony York, told POLITICO that Newsom is making his appointment without putting limitations or preconditions on his pick running for the seat in 2024. That means Butler could decide to join the sprawling and competitive field of Democratic contenders seeking to succeed Feinstein, with special elections now layered on top of the March primary and November runoff.
Newsom screwed Rep. Schiff, Porter, Lee and a variety of California congresspeople who wanted the Senate seat, while rewarding power brokers. It’s the move you expect from a player who wants higher office and who is term limited in his own state anyway.