Newsom Doesn't Want To Be Mr. Irrelevant

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, seeking the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor, celebrates his projected primary victory on Tuesday, June 8, 2010, in San Francisco. Early returns showed Newsom defeating Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn.

    A few months ago Mayor Gavin Newsom may not have known what the lieutenant governor actually did but now he says he wants to make his new job more relevant.

    Newsom knocked off incumbent Republican Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado in Tuesday's election. The heated race between the two drew more attention than most races for the seat.

    One of Maldonado's strongest ads against Newsom was one where the mayor -- then still a gubernatorial candidate -- admitted on camera that he did not know what a lieutenant governor does.

    Some have described the position's power as a figure who attends all state Senate meetings and when there is a tie, he breaks it. Some have questioned the need for such a position, including Hamline University law professor David Schulz, who has advocated for the elimination of Minnesota's lieutenant governor position.

    "What the lieutenant governor does is not a lot," he said. "To summarize it: they wait for the governor to get sick, die or go on an extended leave."

    But Newsom, who has his heart set of filling the governor seat, wants to do something with his new office. Something more relevant than waiting for a 72-year-old man to get sick.

    “I have some really exciting ideas and I am fully committed to doing things differently up there,” Newsom said Thursday. “I’m motivated by what the office can do on the state's land (commission) and the UC Board of Regents, but also the new opportunities to inject into that office, which I will talk about in the next few weeks.”

    What those ideas are specifically, no one knows. But the San Francisco Examiner says his vision might be important enough for Newsom to leave his plush Pacific Heights home and actually get an apartment in Sacramento.