The D6 sleaze reaches high tide

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By Tim Redmond

For starters, don't the over-funded losers who are attacking Sup. Chris Daly have anything better to do than keep on circulating the same old image?

This comes from one of six -- count 'em, six -- expensive attack mailers aimed at ousting Daly, one of the city's most progressive and hard-working supervisors.

Before I get into the ugly politics, let me give a bit of background on the photo.

That picture comes from a protest over plans by Hastings College of the Law to build a giant commercial parking structure in the Tenderloin, something the community didn't want. Hastings, claiming that it's a state agency (because it's part of the University of California) refused to follow local zoning laws and insisted that the city couldn't stop if from constructing whatever the hell it wanted.

The issue wasn't getting much press attention until Daly agreed to join a protest at a Hastings board meeting that led to his arrest. The cops weren't terribly gentle to the supervisor, and he got into it with one of them. Frankly, it's not that big a deal -- I've done the same thing.

The bottom line, though, is that Daly's arrest put the story on the front pages, drew John Burton, who was then the state Senate president, into the act, and ultimately scuttled the garage. Daly, in other words, stood up to a powerful state agency, took one for the team, and won. It was something to be proud of, something most supervisors would never do.

Now back to the sleaze:

This mailer isn't just a hit on Daly -- it goes on to explicity and strongly promote his top challenger, Rob Black. Black is a turkey, but the realtors, the cops, Republican power-broker Don Fisher and others who see Daly as the anchor of the board's left want him out at any price, and they see Black as their hand-picked alternative.

Here's the problem: The flier wasn't send out by the Black campaign, but by the Plumbers Union Local 38, which claims the mailer is an "independent expenditure." These so-called IEs are a way around campaign contribution laws -- and legally, the people who put them out have to be totally independent of the Black campaign. That seems hard to believe in this case, since Black's campaign office is in the Plumber's Union headquarters and the messages from this and all the other IEs seem to match so nicely.

This looks an awful lot like a scam to me. District Attorney Kamala Harris needs to investigate it right away (and if she feels she's conflicted, she needs to appoint outside counsel to investigate).