Information obtained from Jack Ryan, spokesman for the New York Department of
Probation, indicates that a warrant was issued for Longo in 1984. This came to light during Winokur's reporting in 1997
and Longo said at the time he would clear the matter up. Ryan reported that it
wasn't until 2002 that Longo returned to Manhattan where he was
re-sentenced to probation, which was transferred to California. Longo's
case was closed in January of 2004.
Longo said his background was ancient history, and accused Daly of
attempting to plant the story with "every paper in town." This came as
a surprise, as Daly had not returned your humble narrator's calls since
that one time in 2007.
"I've been vetted and I think this race will be decided on who will be the best regional director," Longo said. "The fact Chris Daly is trying to bring this up ... I think he can count the votes just like I can count the votes."
Our subsequent call to Daly was returned (!) -- and he denied spreading stories about Longo's past. Daly said he sees his role as reaching out to the young, largely politically inexperienced folks energized by Barack Obama's run to the presidency and bringing them into the Democratic Party -- and these people would be turned off if he ran a nasty campaign. "I'm not going negative. I'm not going to run a negative race," he said. "There have been negative e-mails from the other side against me, and I'm trying not to take the bait."
Longo said he was confident he'd win the election, which will be held on April 25 in Sacramento. He carries endorsements from a number of elected officials and is a longtime ally of likely future state party chair John Burton. Yet a handful of city progressives told the Weekly they are eager for "new blood" and are backing Daly. And while no voter would say on the record that Longo's criminal background would influence the election -- it certainly can't help, and, in this contested race, it could become a factor.
If you believe Longo, it already has.