Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Yahoo's CEO Mayer 
Gave $$ to CA Lt Gov Newsom

(Mayer appeared on Newsom's Current talk show back in May. Courtesy photo.)

Kudos to Michelle Quinn at Politico for reporting yesterday that Yahoo's new CEO Marissa Mayer gave $32,500 last year to President Obama's Victory Fund, plus $91,600 to the Democratic National Committee, in addition to bundling between $100,000 and $200,000 to Obama's PACs.

Quinn's story's piqued my interest in whether Mayer made any contributions as a Google executive in her home state of California, and she has. Mayer gave a total of $17,000 to Gavin Newsom's campaign for lieutenant governor and $17,000 to Act Blue California, a Democratic political committee. No local donations turned up at the SF Ethics site.

As a San Francisco resident, who was glad Newsom pulled a Sarah Palin and resigned as the city's mayor before his second term was finished because he was bored and wanted to move on to bigger and better opportunities, I'm no fan of the man.

Yes, his then-radical action in 2004 legalizing gay marriages is certainly laudatory, but shouldn't overshadow his terrible leadership on other local issues.

Newsom's tenure failed to address myriad funding and management problems at the Muni transit system, lack of affordable housing for low-income people, wealth disparities and the oily political patronage machine of Willie Brown and Chinatown powerbroker Rose Pak. He also had a cocaine and alcohol problem that diminished his ability to run the city, while he slept with the wife of a close friend and political confidante.

But Newsom developed beneficial friendships with lots of Google and Silicon Valley executives, that greatly aided him personally and politically as the $17,000 from Mayer attests. For the rest of San Francisco, Newsom's coziness with those business leaders didn't trickle down to improved city services or greater tax revenues.

Best of luck to Marissa Mayer as she assumes the helm at Yahoo, and may she find better politicians to contribute to at the state level.

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