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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Newsom Attorney: Lt. Gov Rival's Complaint 'A Desperate Ploy' For Press

Posted By on Wed, Mar 17, 2010 at 2:55 PM

click to enlarge Gav's counsel says politics has intruded on this political race...
  • Gav's counsel says politics has intruded on this political race...
You may have read this morning that would-be lieutenant governor Janice Hahn filed a complaint with the state accusing rival Mayor Gavin Newsom of shimmying around campaign spending limits. Not only is Newsom's San Leandro-based attorney Tom Willis not a bit worried, he blasts the move as more about publicity than substance. Imagine that in a political race.

"I think it's a desperate ploy to get some press and chill some contributors," Willis told SF Weekly. "It's kind of classic textbook strategy."

It's also a strategy seemingly engineered by Hahn's campaign consultant Garry South, who took the Hahn gig after his erstwhile employer, Newsom dropped out of the race for guv. "The issue was raised a month ago by Garry South," Willis said. "He tried to get play in the papers but it didn't go really far."

South charged that Newsom couldn't accept contributions to his

lieutenant governor's race from folks who'd already donated the maximum permitted amount to his governor's campaign to . Even back then, the executive director of Fair Political Practices Commission, Roman Porter, brushed off South's theory as bunk. He said contributions are "per candidate, per election."

Yet somehow Hahn still filed the complaint today. The so-called desperate ploy worked to a degree -- we're writing about it, aren't we? But if the commission rejects it, the ploy might just come back and bite Hahn in the rear.

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Lauren Smiley


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