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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Kamala Harris Calls AG Opponent Chris Kelly Liar, 'Rookie' in Latest Attack Ad

Posted By on Tue, Jun 1, 2010 at 1:30 PM

San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris has launched a new television ad attacking former Facebook executive Chris Kelly, her foremost adversary in the Democratic primary for the California Attorney General's race.

In this latest bout of mud-slinging between Harris and Kelly, the D.A.'s campaign says Kelly is a "rookie" who helped engineer the social-networking site Facebook's controversial privacy policies. The TV spot also decries as "false" accusations leveled at Harris in a recent Kelly attack ad. (We were tickled to see that the allegedly "false" information consisted of statistics cited from a recent SF Weekly cover story on Harris' declining felony trial conviction rates. Those stats came straight from the D.A.'s office and San Francisco Superior Court, so we're willing to vouch for their accuracy.)

Kelly's campaign reacted predictably to the latest televised sniping. "It's just a lie," spokeswoman Robin Swanson said in an interview. (She was referring to a particularly ominous dig at the end of the 30-second ad, when a disembodied voice informs viewers, "Chris Kelly released your private information.") Swanson noted that Kelly went on a leave of absence from Facebook last August to campaign -- prior to the latest scandal over Facebook's "Instant Personalization" feature -- and formally severed his ties to the company in March.

Okay, but there's no denying that as Facebook's chief privacy officer -- a title, as The New York Times noted recently, that he has lately let lapse in favor of more generalized job descriptions -- Kelly was instrumental in dealing with the site's repeated controversies over what information was released about users. Both Harris and Kelly clearly find it easier to call each other nasty names than deal with substantive questions about their records.

Follow us on Twitter: @PeteJamison and @TheSnitchSF

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