S.F. Mayor Newsom to Seek Alcohol Treatment

Embattled San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom will undergo alcohol treatment:

Just days after disclosing his affair with a staff member married to one of his top political aides, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom admitted Monday he has a drinking problem and said he would seek treatment for alcohol abuse.

[Background here.]

...."Upon reflection with friends and family this weekend, I have come to the conclusion that I will be a better person without alcohol in my life," he said in the three-paragraph statement. "I take full responsibility for my personal mistakes, and my problems with alcohol are not an excuse for my personal lapses in judgment."

Apparently, there have been prior signs of alcohol-related problems for the Mayor:

Rumors about Newsom's drinking have long swirled around his administration. They reached a head in December after the mayor appeared to have been drinking when he arrived at San Francisco General Hospital to pay his respects for a police officer who had been killed in the line of duty.

....Reports about the mayor's after-hours drinking have in recent months become increasingly public and increasingly embarrassing for his administration. In addition to reports that he had been drinking at a holiday party before visiting the hospital for the police officer, he also was spotted in a restaurant window in North Beach in December, slurping pasta and kissing his girlfriend and appearing to be intoxicated.

As to the treatment,

Newsom said he would seek treatment from Mimi Silbert, head of San Francisco's famous Delancey Street Foundation.... Newsom reportedly spent the weekend with family and friends discussing the situation, though insiders said disclosing his alcohol problem probably was a necessary step in his efforts to salvage his political future in the Democratic Party.

It sounds to me like a family intervention took place. Those are not fun. Delancey street is not for occasional drinkers. Silbert says,

No one comes to me or Delancey Street for any kind of help unless they are deadly serious," Silbert said. "We are no lightweight or BS."

I send my good thoughts to the Mayor. I have never met him, but I have been on tv numerous times with his ex-wife, Fox News Anchor Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom, and I like her a lot. I hope Gavin's problems aren't getting her down. She's got a great new life for herself in New York.

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    ok, i think i'm confused (none / 0) (#1)
    by cpinva on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 09:11:58 AM EST
    what does his alcohol problem have to do with having an affair with the wife of one of his employees? is he implying that he was so drunk, he didn't realize who she was, or that she was married, to someone else?

    call me jaded, but "rehabilitation" has become the flavor of the month with any public figure committing an unrelentingly stupid gaffe', and getting caught.

    the bottom line: you can't "rehab" stupid.

    Exactly... (none / 0) (#2)
    by Slado on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 10:03:10 AM EST
    Is it me or is addiction now the cure all for bad behavior amoung politicians, celebrites etc...

    Is this the 10th or 11th person to now claim some sort of addiction when they act inappropriately?

    Maybe I'll go out tonight, sleep with some hookers, beat up a homeless guy and then if I do get caught I'll dive into a re-hab center because I like to drink and people will give me a pass on bad behavior if I hide behind addiction.

    Now I have no doubt that this man has a drinking problem but that is a separate issue to sleeping with someone who isn't his wife.   That involves pre-meditation and I don't care how drunk you get or how often you drink alchohal doesn't become an excuse for poor judgement.  

    It's just another thing you're doing to screw up your life.



    Well, I agree (none / 0) (#4)
    by Patrick on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 10:24:42 AM EST
    that rehab has become cliche, but drinking does lower inhibitions and reduce one's ability make good decisions, often playing a part in these types of scenarios.  

     I applaud the Mayor for his statement the other day, no matter what your political ideology, that took some guts.  I hope he is able to reach his goals w/respect alcohol.  

    Patrick (1.00 / 1) (#5)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 10:31:43 AM EST
    And besides that it will cure his bad breath..

    And that really is a political problem.



    Alcoholism loosens social constraints (none / 0) (#6)
    by MSS on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 12:02:17 PM EST
    Most of us know not to drop our pants in the lobby of the Palace Hotel. Or dance with a lampshade as a hat in the company president's office.

    For those who ask how alcoholism might have 'caused' Newsom to bed with his friend's wife (I notice that nobody asks why she went to bed with Newsom):

    Excessive alcohol consumption means that people no longer recognize common social constraints. They act inappropriately, do not recognize boundaries or appropriate behavior.

    It's a good thing that Newsom is taking this seriously and recognizing that alcohol has led to a lack of control over his behavior.

    He has many good years left. Hope that he will undertake them without alcohol.

    Actually, (none / 0) (#7)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 12:39:41 PM EST
    It's a good thing that Newsom is taking this seriously and recognizing that alcohol has led to a lack of control over his behavior
    MSS, I think lack of control over his behavior has led him to, repeatedly, shack up with the wife of one of his best friends and closest advisers.

    Lack of control over his behavior may also have led him to drink too much, but booze is merely his all too transparent excuse for his actions.

    After all, since she was, presumably, willing participant in the shacking, but, also presumably, she does not similarly claim to have an alcohol problem, what's the logical conclusion?

    She's a dirty wh*re and he's a victim of Jim Beam and, therefor, has a moral right to our sympathies?

    Or is it that both of them, of their own free will, decided to do what both of them knew they really, really, shouldn't do.

    And, yes, we're all guilty of actions that show a real lack of character at times. This is not a condemnation of Newsom, merely an acceptance of the truth of his actions.

    The wife... (none / 0) (#8)
    by desertswine on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 05:39:36 PM EST
    was already undergoing treatment for substance abuse.

    Alex Tourk, 39, who served as Newsom's deputy chief of staff before becoming his campaign manager in September, confronted the mayor after his wife, Ruby Rippey-Tourk, told him of the affair as part of a rehabilitation program she had been undergoing for substance abuse, said the sources, who had direct knowledge of Wednesday's meeting.

    Too tired to link.

    Well (none / 0) (#9)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 05:57:45 PM EST
    that settles it then. Drugs made her do him, and booze made him do her. And after they finish their respective rehabs, neither will ever do wrong again.

    SUO (none / 0) (#11)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 08:24:46 PM EST
    By jove I think you've got it!

    Why can't people simply be bad? (none / 0) (#10)
    by Slado on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 07:22:15 PM EST
    I'm sorry but people do horrible things and sometimes are just bad.   He did a horrible thing.  He slept with a married women and to top it off she was the wife of a close freind.

    That breaks every guy code in the book and he's a dirtball for doing it.   If he was on drugs, if he was drunk it doesn't matter.  He was a dirtball for sleeing with his freinds wife and if he's now going to clean up his act that makes him a dirtball that doesn't drink anymore.

    Sometimes people just do horrible things and while they deserve forgiveness they don't deserve to have excuses made for them.

    Slado (none / 0) (#12)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 08:28:07 PM EST
    I have always maintained that 99% of divorces in the "cheating and got caught category" happen not because of one partner knowing about the other, but a bunch of people knowing... I call it the embarassment factor.

    I wonder how her husband feels.


    who did who (none / 0) (#13)
    by diogenes on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 10:20:38 PM EST
    I think that the problem wasn't the affair per se but the fact that he was not only her boss but her husband's boss (i.e. the power issue).  
    And who said that he was continually drunk when he had the affair (it's kind of hard to perform when your judgment is so addled by drink that you go from big city mayor to totally disinhibited fellow).    

    MSS said, in part: (none / 0) (#14)
    by cpinva on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 01:39:20 AM EST
    I notice that nobody asks why she went to bed with Newsom

    nobody asked, because it's irrelevant. she's not a public figure, and she didn't publicly blame her bad actions on addiction, she did it privately.

    slado's right, newsome broke the basic "guy code": "thou shalt not sleep with your friend's wife"

    whether he was drunk or otherwise intoxicated, he knew this basic rule of guyness, we all do. frankly, if he was that drunk, he probably wasn't all that great in bed anyway. but i digress.

    he's a sleaseball. perhaps a sleaseball with a drinking problem, but a sleaseball nonetheless. fixing his drinking problem won't change that.

    Bravo cpniva (none / 0) (#17)
    by Slado on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 08:32:29 AM EST
    Let's face it some peole on this site are willing to give this guy a pass because he's in their political camp.

    I know I'm more inclined to give republicans the benifit of the doubt as well but this guys is a "sleaseball" pure and simple.

    I didn't even realize that he was the boss of both married people so not only is he breaking the guy code he's breaking the work place code and if he wasn't a democratic mayor in a democratic town he'd be run out of office.  

    Let's hope he puts his life back together and stops sleeping with married women.   Is their rehab for that?


    coinva.....indeed (none / 0) (#16)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 06:52:01 AM EST

    Alcohol Rehab (none / 0) (#18)
    by andreea360 on Mon Apr 14, 2008 at 10:59:46 AM EST
    That ain't so good for a mayor indeed. A public person should never be exposed to such scandals in order to be a politician. Now, he should go to an alcohol rehab and continue his life.

    S.F Mayor (none / 0) (#19)
    by rahulkumar on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 04:43:20 PM EST

    Mayor is public person and he dont need to declosed to such scandals, if he is really a alcoholic person than he have to leave the post of mayor and after finishing his course in alcohol rehab center. try to strat their normal life.


    Rahul Kumar
    Alcohol Treatment