Gavin Newsom wants out of a political ad aimed at Mayor Ed Lee, but the ad's creators -- the campaign of state Sen. Leland Yee -- say it's fair game.
Former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's been removed from the local political scene ever since he was sworn in as lieutenant governor in Sacramento. And apparently he wants to keep it that way.
Newsom is asking state Sen. Leland Yee's handlers to remove him from a Yee television ad, in which the mayoral candidate attacks Mayor Ed Lee for reneging on the one-time interim mayor's promise to not run for a full term, according to the San Francisco Examiner.
The ad, called "Who Changed Ed Lee's Mind?" -- see it for yourself on YouTube -- uses footage of Newsom, culled from a documentary created by SFGovTV, the taxpayer-funded city government television, in which the former mayor says that his successor should be a caretaker mayor. Newsom fired off a statement Friday in which he demanded his image be removed from the ad, which is in circulation on television as well.
"I urge him [Yee] to take down the ad immediately," Newsom wrote in the statement. "I did not authorize the use of my image. Nor do I condone the ad, its highly negative tone or the cynical attempt to mislead voters into thinking that I approved the message in any way."
Political consultant Jim Stearns, Yee's campaign manager, says no dice, noting that Newsom's clip is public record and therefore OK to use, and that the ad's negativity is all in the eye of the beholder.
"If [the Ed Lee campaign] feels guilty about it, then he would think it negative," Stearns told the newspaper.