The day after the June 30 campaign finance deadline, mayoral candidate Bevan Dufty fired off an e-mail to his supporters congratulating them for helping him reach a milestone mark in his once troubled campaign: He had raised more than $1 million.
But the problem with that statement was that Dufty actually hadn't raised that much money.
According to his campaign filings, Dufty claimed on July 1 that he had collected in excess of $1 million. However, eight days later, his campaign filed an amendment, saying the longtime candidate really not raised the $1 million until July 8 -- a week after the deadline.
Was this nothing more than an underdog acting like an underdog in the competitive race?
We reached out to Dufty's campaign to find out what happened, but no word back yet. What we can tell you is that, technically, Dufty's mistake indeed violates the campaign code, which could result in a hefty fine. However, John St. Croix, executive director with the San Francisco Ethics Commission, says he has no plans to treat this as an infraction and punish the former city supervisor.
"This just doesn't look like anything but an accounting error to me," St. Croix tells SF Weekly. He noted that the two filings were a week apart, and that had been a lag of six months, then yes, the commission would consider it an egregious error, he says.
"Or if there was some attempt to deceive the public, but I just really don't see one here," St. Croix says.
So this filing faux pas doesn't indicate that Dufty's running a nefarious campaign. However, it does serve as one more signal that he's operating an unstable campaign. "He's had a new campaign consultant every week, and with that kind of turnover, there's a good chance that mistake would happen in the shuffle," one consultant told us.
"Bevan's a lot of things, but he's not generally sleazy," the consultant said. "If it were Leland Yee, that would be a different story, but it's Bevan Dufty."