Your communications advisors are supposed to be part of the team that keeps you out of situations like this one.
Mayor Kevin Johnson got out in front of the response to the Arizona immigration law, then had second thoughts after talking with Arizona contacts. Now, he's planning a trip there for reasons that have yet to be clearly explained.
It's a bit all over the place and not conducive to rebuilding an image damaged by what looked like impetuousness during his first year in office.
It's possible his team isn't in on these things until it's too late to prevent them. It's possible they are, but Johnson isn't listening to them. And, it's possible these missteps are actually the product of their advice. Whatever the case, when you occupy above-the-fold space for easily preventable mistakes, something needs to change.