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San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom has been coy with the press since dropping out of the race for governor last month. And by coy we mean giving the proverbial Heisman to any member of the Fourth Estate who wants to ask the mayor a question. Whatever is going through Gavin’s mind, we’ll just never know as long as his one-man media blackout continues. Well, one person is not going to take it any more. Newsom’s press secretary — you know, the guy who has been charged with beating back the media hordes during Gavin’s monklike vow of media silence — is moving on. Nate Ballard is calling it quits, and going back to the private sector. Ballard is the latest long-time Newsom staffer to depart, after political guru Eric Jaye’s departure earlier this year. As one local writer put it, “with Eric Jaye, Newsom lost his brain … With Nate Ballard, Newsom is losing his voice …” Hey, at least he’s still got his hair… Speaking of departures, Darrell Steinberg adviser Dennis Mangers is leaving the state Senate this week. Also giving notice is Allen Davenport, the director of governmental relations at SEIU. Davenport’s departure leaves another hole in the organization, after Courtni Pugh’s departure last month.

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