As California gears up for a gubernatorial election in 2010, and an unlikely set of news outlets may figure into the campaign equation -- gossip sites fueled by paparazzi photos.
TMZ, one of more popular Web sites and cable gossips, has already poked its lenses into the life of movie star and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Now San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who has declared his intent to run for the job, and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who may also run, have come to expect the kind of coverage once limited to celebs like Paris Hilton.
The treatment may actually give the two big-city mayors a leg up against primary opponents like state Attorney General Jerry Brown -- the relatively young politicians, and admitted philanderers, exude sex appeal that may turn on, and turn out, younger voters.
As public figures, politicians can't count on the same level of privacy that normal citizens enjoy, making them fair game for anyone with a telephoto lens -- or just a cell phone camera.
"We're in a reality TV series now in politics, 24/7," Newsom told the San Francisco Chronicle.
And Newsom should know, as he's been the subject of storylines in the press that would fit in with shows ranging from "The Bachelor" to "Intervention."
Jackson West can't wait for Newsom to woo Southland voters with an appearance on "Snoop Dogg's Father Hood."