Hahn strips soundtrack out of Newsom piece *

After Ben Sheffner pointed out yesterday that the Janice Hahn campaign could be in some unpleasant trouble for using a copyrighted Sam Cooke song in its video hit on Gavin Newsom, the video was relaunched without the track. Now the audio is just Newsom sounding clueless about the post of lieutenant governor, though in this exchange it's the Hahn group that looks a bit like amateur hour. Of course, amateurs they aren't — political insiders are enjoying the anticipation of what Garry South does next. Hahn's lead strategist and her campaign's social media consultant, Joe Trippi, were with Newsom when he was wasting a lot of money trying to run for real governor. "They clearly have an inside take on everything Gavin. Not their fault that the conflict exists, but it will make this battle interesting," emails another Democratic consultant. "Gavin must be thinking about what he said to South on those walks along the beach in Malibu."

Willie Brown on Newsom: The former speaker and mayor continues to be the most fun-to-read politics columnist in the state. Brown's latest says he met Thursday with Newsom and "my bet is that he announces by March 1." He adds, "No sooner did Gavin go public with the idea of making the run than Hahn's people were sending out e-mails accusing him of trying to bully her out of the race. That tells me they are scared witless. All good news for Gavin."

Also this: Jerry Brown can "morph into whatever the audience wants faster than any other politician I've ever seen. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if he turned up at the next Tea Party convention."

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