Newsom Family Mystery Deepens - NBC Bay Area

Newsom Family Mystery Deepens

Local tabloid can't find any evidence of oft-cited family member



    Newsom Family Mystery Deepens
    Rita Hao
    Newsom's mysterious brother wasn't on hand to help during an uncomfortable town hall in the Bayview in 2006.

    As San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom prepares to be a new father at Lamaze classes, wild rumors and anonymous quotes have begun swirling about his gubernatorial campaign.

    On the same day of the announcement of Bill Clinton's support, the ironically-named blog I Love You Gavin Newsom published reports from anonymous sources suggesting that the mayor will be subject to more leaks about his personal transgressions over the course of the campaign.

    It was even suggested that an official departure from the race is in the offing, with the birth of his child as convenient pretext. Harsh!

    And the SF Weekly, after getting Newsom supporters to go on the record in an article critical of the mayor's chances in the statewide race, is now questioning whether a troubled foster brother the mayor cites as an influence can't be found by any name.

    The mayor, his sister and his spokespeople have used different names for his brother, variations on "Suliman/Steven Ashby/Akabar," requests for information about inmates under those names and with alternate spellings turned up no information about anyone at San Quentin where the mayor says his brother was incarcerated.

    The mysterious relative has been cited repeatedly by Newsom for helping him understand issues related to crime and rehabilitation.

    If anonymous sources and backbiting former friends aren't enough, Political Science Professor Jack Citrin from the University of California, Berkeley isn't big on the mayor's chances, regardless.

    When asked whether the Clinton endorsement would change the primary landscape where Newsom trails Attorney General Jerry Brown, Citrin answered, simply, "No."

    Photo by Rita Hao.

    Jackson West has certainly survived bouts of sleep deprivation, but still can't imagine keeping up with a campaign schedule and a newborn.