Angela Alioto parts ways with mayoral campaign consultants

Mayoral hopeful Angela Alioto’s campaign consultants have called it quits. With only two months until mail-in ballots fly from the homes of San Franciscans to the Department of Elections, it’s a pretty dire sign for a candidate already facing an uphill battle to the Mayor’s Office.

Brick Circle Advisers was a leading consultancy aiding the campaign. The outfit’s principal, David Latterman, told me “we had very different visions of what the campaign should look like,” though he maintained that “we hold Angela in the highest regard, we really do.”

Political consultant Jim Ross, who isn’t working on any candidate campaigns this election season, speculated the split may signal the campaign was pushing certain strategies that the candidate chafed against.

“I would suspect Angela had a clear vision of the campaign she wanted to run, and Brick Circle had an idea of what campaign she needed to run to win,” Ross said.

Alioto, for her part, who is always humorous, oft-upbeat, and tough as nails, minimized the role Brick Circle played in her campaign. “We are on a consulting basis,” she said.

Ultimately, though, “our campaign is formidable, our field and outreach is nothing like I have ever had in any campaign,” she said. “We are all over The City.”

If you say so, Angela.

* * *

So how the heck do all these famous people know London Breed anyway? The newest celebrity endorsement garnered by The City’s Board of Supervisors President and mayoral candidate comes via former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly.

Giffords is a national heroine. A survivor of gun violence, she’s battling for gun control at a time when Republicans are seriously talking about arming teachers in response to school shootings.

Though I am of the opinion Giffords is as close as we get to a politician who walks on water, I still have that columnist curiosity itching under my skull — I had to know. How could Giffords, who hails from a place as scorching as our Bay Area is dripped in fog, even know of Breed?

Well, they do have one high-profile mutual friend: tech mogul, Airbnb and Google investor Ron Conway. He’s given tens of thousands to Giffords’ efforts on gun control (good for him).

In fact, the power couple did have dinner with Conway on their trip to San Francisco, I’m told, the very same night they endorsed Breed at a campaign party in The City.

“I saw him last night,” Kelly told me, when I caught up with him at a fundraiser for a UC Santa Cruz scholarship at Chronicle Books. Kelly brushed off further questions on Conway.

That of course doesn’t mean Giffords and Kelly were introduced to Breed through Conway, but given the tech mogul’s previous support for the late Mayor Ed Lee, including a music video featuring MC Hammer, 49ers owner Jed York and other celebrities, it’s a move that makes sense.

Yet, if you believe the San Francisco Chronicle, Conway is “too busy” to engage in local politics. Personally, I think that’s complete horse hockey.

Tara Moriarty, Breed’s campaign spokesperson, wrote in an email that Giffords “connected with London after hearing of her removal by the Board of Supervisors as Acting Mayor on January 23rd.”

And Tony Winnicker, who was formerly Mayor Lee’s senior advisor but now is a spokesperson for Conway, told me “this petty obsession with Ron Conway appears to have no limit, now working to tarnish his relationship and friendship with Gabby Giffords, a national heroine and champion for gun control. It would be almost comic, were it not for the very real crisis of gun violence in our country that Mr. Conway and Congresswoman Giffords work closely together to end.”

On Guard prints the news and raises hell each week. Email Fitz at joe@sfexaminer.com, follow him on Twitter and Instagram @FitztheReporter, and Facebook at facebook.com/FitztheReporter.

This column has been revised to reflect the correct spelling of David Latterman’s name.

Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez
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