Board calls Daly attack on Newsom 'sleazy politics'

In the latest public clash between Supervisor Chris Daly and Mayor Gavin Newsom, Daly blasted Newsom for proposing cuts to health services while accusing the mayor of dodging questions about his own substance abuse problems.

Daly’s comments quickly drew admonishment from the Mayor’s Office and Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin, who last Friday sought to quiet the battle between Newsom and Daly by removing Daly from the board’s Budget and Finance Committee.

“Where does Gavin Christopher Newsom get his substance abuse services and how much do they cost the city and county of San Francisco?” Daly asked during Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors hearing on Newsom’s proposed funding reductions for certain health services.

Newsom announced in February that he entered an outpatient program at Delancey Street Foundation for alcohol abuse treatment, days after acknowledging he had a sexual affair with an employee of his office, who was also the wife of one of his former top political aides.

Daly also criticized Newsom’s proposed funding cut to a stimulant treatment program, and said Newsom had the “audacity” to reduce the funding while he “artfully dodges every question about allegations in his own cocaine use” and “without answering the question directly about his own substance abuse problems.”

Newsom spokesman Nathan Ballard said, “Supervisor Chris Daly crossed the line today by making these false allegations against Mayor Newsom.” Ballard said that since Daly cannot prevail against Newsom in a “serious debate about policy, he’s trying to drag San Francisco politics to a new low.”

“It’s time for the Board of Supervisors to police itself and censure Daly for comments like these. Chris Daly’s allies need to rein him in and reject these sleazy politics of personal destruction. Enough is enough,” Ballard said.

“I appreciate vociferous advocacy on behalf of San Francisco’s most vulnerable populations. But Supervisor Daly’s comments were conduct unbecoming and do not represent the views of the Board of Supervisors or its president,” Peskin said.

IN OTHER ACTION

POLICE CONTRACT: As Supervisor Chris Daly took shots at the mayor, Police Officers Association President Gary Delagnes ripped into Daly, calling him an “idiot” for voicing opposition to a proposed four-year contract between the police union and The City. Daly said he opposed the pay raise in the contract, which would grant a 23 percent pay hike to officers during the four-year period.

jsabatini@examiner.com

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