Witty and wise Newsom spokesman Nathe Ballard made a choice decision today: he quit Newsom's (sinking?) ship. To the press release:

San Francisco, November 16, 2009 — Today Mayor Gavin Newsom announced that Nathan Ballard, his director of communications, will be leaving the Newsom administration.

Newsom praised Ballard’s skills.

“Nathan Ballard is unflappable, smart and a fierce advocate,” said Newsom. “He is a talented communicator and a consummate professional, and we will miss him.”

Ballard praised Newsom for his leadership.

“Mayor Newsom is a gifted leader who fearlessly tackles significant issues such as health care, the environment, education, and equal rights,” said
Ballard. “It has been a privilege to serve this administration.”

Ballard took the helm of Newsom’s communications operation in February,
2007. He will be leaving the administration in February, 2010. He said he plans to spend more time with his family and to relaunch the business he founded in 2004, Earned Media, LLC.

Ballard, 40, has served as a spokesman for two presidential candidates, Senator John Kerry and General Wesley Clark. He has also been a communications director for the Democratic National Committee, the California Democratic Party, and California’s largest labor organization, the California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO.

Ballard's decision to leave comes after Gavin Newsom quit the governor's race and escaped to Hawaii without telling his staff, lied to the press, and.... God only knows what else. This surprising news also comes just months after Eric Jaye bolted from Team Newsom in July.

As local scribe and activist Paul Hogath puts it, "with Eric Jaye, Newsom lost his brain ... With Nate Ballard, Newsom is losing his voice ..." Agree? Disagree? Thoughts? Musings? Quips? Savory gossip? Let us know in the comments, folks.