Lee hit with voter tampering allegations and negative mailers, but he dodges questions about a homophobic colleague -- and more news you need to know this week.
The mailer highlighted Prop. D's small group of wealthy backers such as George Hume and Michael Moritz, who in turn funded a Yes on D mailer that was a bit more positive than earlier pieces stressing the "backroom deal" that put Prop. C on the ballot, this time focusing on the issue: "Did You Know? Pension Spring is Costing You $132 Million!"
And then there's the black and white mailer with the photo of John Avalos darkly asking, "Who's the Real Power Behind John Avalos?" And then you realize it's not a hit piece after opening it up and seeing it's an Avalos mailer that answers the question, "Everyday People With a New Vision for Working San Francisco."
Gee, maybe politics isn't so nasty after all. (Jones)
LEE AND LUMPKIN
Ed Lee didn't show up for an Oct. 19 forum on AIDS and HIV issues that he had confirmed for, which is hardly a surprise: Lee has been ignoring, ducking, or blowing off events like this all fall. Yet in this case, there's an interesting twist. If Lee had shown up, activists told us, he probably would have been asked about Eugene Lumpkin, the homophobic minister who served on the Human Rights Commission while Lee was executive director.
In 1993, Lumpkin, a Baptist minister appointed to the panel by then-Mayor Frank Jordan, told the Chronicle: "It's sad that people have AIDS and what have you, but it says right here in the scripture that the homosexual lifestyle is an abomination against God." At first, Jordan defended Lumpkin — and when Lawrence Wong, who also served on the commission, made a huge fuss and denounced both Lumpkin and the mayor, Jordan fired Wong. But when Lumpkin went on to say he believed in the Biblical edict that a man who has sex with another man should be put to death, Jordan finally fired him. Yet according to people who followed the furor at the time, Lee remained silent the entire time. "I personally covered the controversy and I have no recollection of Ed Lee ever saying anything about Lumpkin," journalist Larry Bush told us. We asked Tony Winnicker, press spokesperson for the Lee campaign, if Lee has any recollection of speaking out against Lumpkin, and he responded: "I don't know." He added: "I can tell you that Ed Lee as Human Rights Commission Director held the first hearings on transgender employment discrimination, supported the equal benefits ordinance, made competitive bidding more transparent, and opened up contracting to women and minority local contractors." All no doubt true — but Lee would have faced a tough crowd once the Lumpkin issue was raised. Which would have been plenty of reason not to show up. (Tim Redmond)
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