San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee

Guardian editorial: The DA and mayoral corruption

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EDITORIAL The indictments of two executives of an airport shuttle company on charges of laundering campaign money are, in themselves, a rarity and something to celebrate: the district attorney of San Francisco is actually attempting to enforce the laws against political corruption. That's unusual in this city, and worthy of note.

But at this point, the entire sum total of prosecutions involving the scandal-ridden campaign of Mayor Ed Lee amounts to a pair of cases against people who made what appear to be illegal contributions. As of today, the message that's being sent is that nobody in the Lee campaign did anything wrong. And that seems a little bit curious.

Lee's late entry into the race — after he'd promised for months not to run — and his refusal to abide by the rules of public financing forced his supporters to raise a large amount of money very quickly. There were so-called independent expenditure committees collecting donations and running parallel campaigns that, by law, should have been entirely distinct from Lee and his official effort. We've always been dubious about the supposed lack of coordination. Read more »