Ex-DNC Spokesman and Board Member of Project to Tackle Gender Stereotypes Arrested for Assaulting Woman

When The Representation Project said it wanted to tackle gender stereotypes, it probably meant that metaphorically, but one board member took it literally.

 Prominent California Democratic strategist Nathan Ballard — a longtime friend and adviser to Gov. Gavin Newsom — was arrested and jailed on two felony domestic violence charges in Napa that include an allegation of attempting to suffocate a four-year-old child with a pillow.

Planned Parenthood would approve.

Ballard, 51, was booked on Oct. 18 on two felony charges of willful cruelty to a child with possible injury and death, and domestic violence, according to documents on file with the Napa County Sheriff's Office, shared with POLITICO. 

Ballard was Newsom's press secretary. And more.

He served as spokesperson for then-San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, a role he has also played for the Democratic National Committee and the California Democratic Party, the Getty family, the Golden State Warriors, the Super Bowl and for the presidential campaigns of former Sen. John Kerry and Gen. Wesley Clark.

Somehow if a former RNC spokesman and McCain presidential campaign spokesman had been arrested for trying to suffocate a four-year-old child, I think it would be a bigger story and it wouldn't be buried at the end of paragraph 5.

Sources say the events occurred at the swanky Carneros Resort and Spa where, according to victim statements, Ballard reportedly “had consumed a large amount of alcohol and some marijuana.’’

The adult victim told authorities that Ballard “charged her and pushed her with both hands into the glass doors,’’ causing her to fall and hit the back of her head on the door. Ballard also stumbled and fell onto the ground, bleeding, according to documents on file with the Napa County Sheriff's department.

Then Ballard “attempted to suffocate the child victim with the pillow,’’ the adult victim told the police. “Ballard grabbed the pillow from the bed, placed it onto the child victim and laid on top of the pillow, placing his weight on the child victim who was under the pillow,’’ according to the report.

The adult victim said “she was able to remove the child victim from the room,’’ and locked herself and another child in a separate room away from Ballard.

Perfect for the board member of a project to tackle gender stereotypes.

The founder of The Press Shop, a San Francisco-based public relations firm, Ballard is also currently on the board of The Representation Project, a nonprofit founded by First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom to advance women’s rights.

The Representation Project has made it its mission to  "ensuring all humans achieve their full potential, unencumbered by limiting gender norms" and "offers robust training and education to individuals and communities seeking to deconstruct limiting gender norms." 

That doesn't seem to have worked out well for Ballard.