Hon. Willie Brown

Politics Blog

Posted By: Joe Garofoli | October 19 2010 at 12:08 PM

Just got back from Willie Brown’s annual pre-election breakfast in San Francisco — a place for donors and pols to schmooze. Even Guv Schwarzenegger showed up (to a standing O, no less).

After we fought through the line of folks there to kiss Willie’s ring afterwards, we asked the Da Mayor about something one of the morning’s speakers, former Gov. Gray Davis campaign czar Garry South, said about the lack of a Democratic ground operation.

South, who also ran Brown’s erstwhile primary opponent Gavin Newsom’s gov campaign, also praised Republican Meg Whitman for setting up an “operation unlike anything we’ve ever seen in California.”

Willie agreed — about the Dems.

“I do not believe that Jerry Brown has a ground operation,” Willie said. He also wonders if it is a good idea for the Dems to rely so heavily on labor for their ground operation. We wrote about labor’s efforts microtargeting efforts here.

South told the gathering that unless Jerry Brown has a lead of 7 or 8 points going into election day, “we’re in serious trouble.”

Not surprisingly, Dems are ticked about Willie and South’s comments.

Dem Party chair John Burton told us in plain Burtonese: “Willie Brown is full of (poo-poo). And Garry South never liked any politician who wasn’t paying him. So you’ve got two full of (poo-poo) guys who aren’t relevant to anything in this campaign talking about it.”

In defending the Dems ground operation, Burton said “We’ve already made 1 million calls and have about 80 headquarters and thousands of volunteers. But Willie Brown wouldn’t know that because he’s too busy patting himself on the back.”

Jerry Brown spokesman Sterling Clifford chose a more diplomatic response: “People who aren’t involved in the day-to-day fight of the campaign don’t know what’s going on within the campaign.”

California Labor Federation organzier Steve Smith — which has done tons of innovative microtargeting in this race — also swung back at Willie:

To read entire story, click here.