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NYT columnist admits ‘something has gone badly wrong’ in West Coast states because of Democratic leadership

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New York Times columnist and former Oregon Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nicholas Kristof admitted on Saturday that the West Coast cities is “a mess” because of Democratic Party leaders.

In a column for the New York Times, Kristof argued that “West Coast liberalism” is more focused on the intentions behind its policies rather than its outcomes. As a result, deep blue states like Oregon have major homeless and drug problems, “below-average” high school graduation rates, and high murder rates.

“But liberals like me do need to face the painful fact that something has gone badly wrong where we’re in charge, from San Diego to Seattle,” the columnist declared at the outset of his piece, adding that the West Coast offers “a version of progressivism that doesn’t result in progress.”

OREGON DAD ACCUSED OF DRUGGING GIRLS’ SMOOTHIES AT DAUGHTER’S SLEEPOVER GOT DIVORCED WEEKS AFTER INCIDENT

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof slammed West Coast Democratic Party leaders for turning their states and cities into a “mess.” (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

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Kristof, who was compelled by the Oregon Supreme Court to end his bid for governor in 2021 for failing to meet eligibility requirements, did clarify he does not believe this is a problem with liberalism across the board, and cited examples of how he believes Democratic states do better than Republican ones in general. 

“Democratic states enjoy a life expectancy two years longer than Republican states. Per capita G.D.P. in Democratic states is 29 percent higher than in G.O.P. states, and child poverty is lower. Education is generally better in blue states, with more kids graduating from high school and college.”

“The gulf in well-being between blue states and red states is growing wider, not narrower,” he wrote, prompting him to conclude, “So the problem isn’t with liberalism. It’s with West Coast liberalism.”

He went on to point out major issues in California and Oregon, noting that blue states on the East Coast don’t have them. 

“The two states with the highest rates of unsheltered homelessness are California and Oregon. The three states with the lowest rates of unsheltered homelessness are all blue ones in the Northeast: Vermont, New York and Maine. Liberal Massachusetts has some of the finest public schools in the country, while liberal Washington and Oregon have below-average high school graduation rates.”

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Kristof added that mental health services for the youth have declined in West Coast blue states, while they have flourished at the other end of the country. Additionally, drug use is up in the west and down in “the northeast.” The murder rate is seeing the same corresponding dynamic as well, he noted.

He then offered his theories on why Democratic Party leadership appears “less effective on the West Coast,” stating, “my take is that the West Coast’s central problem is not so much that it’s unserious as that it’s infected with an ideological purity that is focused more on intentions than on oversight and outcomes.”

“Politics always is part theater, but out West too often we settle for being performative rather than substantive.”

EX-NEW YORK TIMES COLUMNIST NICHOLAS KRISTOF ANNOUNCES HE’S RUNNING FOR OREGON GOVERNOR

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Gov Gavin Newsom

California Gov. Gavin Newsom was recently ripped by critics for describing California as a “national model” for combatting homelessness. (California Governor Gavin Newsom YouTube channel)

Kristof provided examples, like the fact that Oregon took money from an already “tight education budget” to put tampons in boys’ restrooms in elementary schools, “including boys’ restrooms in kindergartens.”

He also mentioned Portland setting up the “Portland Freedom Fund,” a volunteer group that pays bail for people of color. He explained how it paid bail for a man after he was arrested for allegedly threatening the life of his girlfriend. Once he got out of jail, he murdered the woman. 

Kristof continued, noting that despite being inspired by anti-racist Critical Race theorists like Ibram X. Kendi, West Coast leaders have “impeded home construction in ways that made cities unaffordable, especially for people of color.”

“We let increasing numbers of people struggle with homelessness, particularly Black and brown people. Black people in Portland are also murdered at higher rates than in cities more notorious for violence, and Seattle and Portland have some of the greatest racial disparities in arrests in the country,” he wrote.

Driving the point home, he added, “I think intentions and framing can matter, but it’s absolutely true that good intentions are not enough. What matters is improving opportunities and quality of life, and the best path to do that is a relentless empiricism.”

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At the end of the column, Kristof concluded, “We need to get our act together. Less purity and more pragmatism would go a long way. But perhaps the first step must be the humility to acknowledge our failures.”

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San Francisco, CA

SFist Turns 20: The San Francisco Scandals That Made This Website What It Is

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SFist Turns 20: The San Francisco Scandals That Made This Website What It Is


As SFist celebrates its 20th anniversary, we remember the ridiculous San Francisco City Hall scandals that made us a go-to destination for salacious political gossip and mockery in our early days.

We are celebrating our 20th anniversary at SFist this week, and in looking back, we acknowledge that some of our critics have called our tone perhaps a little unprofessional in the early years. But those early years were a time when San Francisco had a famously philandering mayor, a supervisor who used the word “fuck” at every board meeting, and another supervisor who secretly did not even live in San Francisco but still shook down local boba shops for $80,000 bribes. So really, our unprofessional tone was perfect for covering such an unprofessional era at SF City Hall.

SFist published its very first post just six months after Gavin Newsom was sworn in as Mayor of San Francisco in 2004. At the time, Newsom was married to a certain Kimberly Guilfoyle, who is (sigh) that Kimberly Guilfoyle. But back then, Guilfoyle was a highly respected SF assistant district attorney known for winning a conviction in a high-profile dog-mauling case.

The two had a dignified break-up in 2005. But the path going forward for both was anything but dignified.

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Image: KLTV

The then-38-year-old Newsom quickly developed a reputation for dating much younger women. The most infamous of these paramours was a 20-year-old Brittanie Mountz (seen above), who appeared to have used a fake ID to get into events at which she drank with Newsom.

But there were others! So many others that SFist ran updated power rankings on the always fluid pecking order of Newsom’s various side-pieces: CSI: Miami bit-part player Sofia Milos, reality TV personality Erin Brodie, and the eventual winner of the Gavin girlfriend sweepstakes, Jennifer Siebel (now Jennifer Siebel Newsom).

Image: SFist

This all hit fever-pitch in January 2007, in a bombshell incident that spurred the greatest SFist headline of all time. News broke that Newsom had an extramarital affair with his own campaign manager’s wife Ruby Rippey-Tourk. Her husband Alex Tourk had been Newsom’s deputy chief of staff before being named reelection campaign manager in September 2006. And for months after that, it became appointment reading to catch each day’s developments as side-splittingly summarized by SFist writers Eve Batey and Rita Hao in their As the Gav Turns series.  

Newsom blamed the behavior on alcohol and entered treatment. But many SFist commenters alleged that it was fake rehab and Newsom never really stopped drinking (which was confirmed by the Sacramento Bee years later).

Image: From a political hit piece, origin/authenticity unknown

It was during this phase that Newsom dealt with the fallout of a very hilarious photo of him staring at a woman’s breasts that became public. The image was from the political hit-job mailer against Newsom from the 2007 mayoral election seen below, and its origin, and degree of authenticity, are still unknown.

Image: From a political hit piece, origin/authenticity unknown

Just one week before the Rippey-Tourk affair scandal broke, Newsom’s campaign was reeling from a separate scandal, unearthed here at SFist.

SFist discovered that Newsom’s press secretary Peter Ragone had been posting sock puppet comments in the SFist comments section under someone else’s name, a scandal came to be known as SFistGate.

So at this point, SFist wasn’t just covering the scandal, we were part of the unfolding scandal.

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Despite all of this mortifying behavior, Newsom still easily won reelection that year with a landslide 74% of the vote. This was likely because his opponents were a cast of gag-candidate characters like Chicken John, and Power Exchange bondage club owner Michael Powers.

There were other ongoing scandalous matters which obsessed SFist and our readers during this mid-to late-2000s era.

We chronicled the exploits of foul-mouthed then-supervisor Chris Daly in a series called Everybody Hates Chris. A reckless driving incident from then-state Senator Carole Migden inspired the How’s Carole Migden’s Driving? series. And surely the most bizarre ongoing SFist series of that day was Oh No, Ed Jew!, the saga of the then-District 4 SF supervisor who secretly did not even live in San Francisco, but more significantly, solicited an $80,000 bribe from a Quickly boba shop. He was sentenced to more than five years in prison.  

On a personal note from this SFist correspondent, one day I was called to serve on a jury duty pool with Ed Jew, and at the height of the Ed Jew scandal at that. I wrote a lengthy SFist comment about the experience, and SFist co-founder Rita Hao emailed me later that day and offered me an (unpaid) position as an SFist contributor. And I’m proud to once again be an SFist contributor today.

So in some ways, some of these scandals truly did, to some degree, make SFist what it is today.

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SFist Turns 20: Here’s to 20 Years of Gossip, Snark, and Covering This Beautiful City [SFist]

Image: From a political hit piece, origin/authenticity unknown



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Denver, CO

Defense attorneys accuse Denver DA Beth McCann of misconduct in high-profile murder case

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Defense attorneys accuse Denver DA Beth McCann of misconduct in high-profile murder case


via Denver Channel

Pamela Cabriales

The murder charges against a teenager accused in a high-profile shooting three years ago should be dismissed because Denver District Attorney Beth McCann made inappropriate comments to the news media about the case, defense attorneys argued this week.

Remi Cordova, now 17, was 14 when he was arrested and accused of killing 32-year-old Pamela Cabriales at a red light on West Colfax Avenue on Feb. 20, 2021. Prosecutors allege Cordova opened fire with an AR-15 rifle after a fender bender and killed Cabriales in an attempt to earn status within the Eastside Crips gang.

The man driving the car that night — Neshan Johnson, then 18 — was convicted of second-degree murder in Cabriales’ death and sentenced to 35 years in prison after jurors found he gave the younger Cordova permission to start shooting.

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Cordova was initially charged as a juvenile but McCann later moved his case to adult court. Cordova’s public defenders argued in a Thursday court filing that McCann made several comments to the media that violated her ethical obligations as a prosecutor and a court order limiting pre-trial publicity in the case.

“Ms. McCann’s misconduct is shocking to the universal sense of justice and violates fundamental fairness,” wrote James Zorich, deputy state public defender. “By willfully and intentionally making malicious, inflammatory, improper extrajudicial statements to the media, Ms. McCann disregarded her ethical obligations and violated Mr. Cordova’s constitutional rights, depriving him of the chance of receiving a fair trial by an impartial jury.”

McCann declined to comment through a spokesman Friday.

The state’s professional rules for prosecutors prohibit district attorneys from making “extrajudicial comments that have a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation of the accused,” but make an exception to that rule for statements that are “necessary to inform the public of the nature and extent of the prosecutor’s action.”

Zorich took issue with McCann calling the killing a “cold-blooded murder” and saying she moved the case to adult court in part because of the “absolute brutal savagery of this shooting” during an interview with Fox31 in October 2023. McCann also told members of the media that a person like Cordova should be put in prison for a “long, long time,” the motion reads.

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The motion quotes McCann as saying: “‘Unfortunately, he is capable of killing someone in a very, you know, just cold-blooded way with no indication of remorse or concern or anything of that nature.’”

The motion to dismiss also cites a Denver Post story that relied entirely on information presented in open court during a public jury trial, as well as reporting by 9News, Denver7 and Westword, including a cover illustration Westword later apologized for. The defense attorneys took issue even with stories that did not cite McCann as a source of information and pieces that did not name Cordova.

They called for the case against Cordova to be dismissed as a sanction against McCann’s “outrageous” misconduct. Cordova is set to stand trial in August on charges of first-degree murder and attempted murder in the killing. He is also due in court next week for a motions hearing.

The call for sanctions comes weeks after 11th Judicial District Attorney Linda Stanley went through a public disciplinary hearing that centered on comments she made to the media and other members of the public during the since-dropped prosecution of Barry Morphew in the murder of his wife.

The state alleges Stanley’s comments in that case and another were inappropriate and that she violated professional rules for attorneys. Stanley could be disbarred if a disciplinary panel sustains the charges against her. That decision is pending.

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Seattle, WA

Video: Which bats should the Seattle Mariners pursue in the trade market? – Seattle Sports

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Video: Which bats should the Seattle Mariners pursue in the trade market? – Seattle Sports


ESPN’s Jeff Passan joined The Brock & Salk Show to analyze Salk’s list of potential bats the Seattle Mariners should pursue in the trade market. Passan listed one player who ‘is the right fit’ for the Mariners between Brent Rooker, Yandy Diaz, Isaac Paredes, Lamont Wade, Johnathan India, Jazz Chisholm, and Charlie Blackmon.

Listen to The Brock & Salk Show weekdays from 6 a.m. – 10 a.m. on Seattle Sports 710 AM and the Seattle Sports App, or on-demand wherever you listen to podcasts.

More info on The Brock & Salk Show here: https://sports.mynorthwest.com/category/brock-and-salk/

More Seattle Mariners coverage from SeattleSports.com here: https://sports.mynorthwest.com/category/mariners/

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