The Sentinel's Lobbyists

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by Amanda Witherell

It's no secret that the San Francisco Sentinel has really slipped since Luke Thomas struck out on his own with Fog City Journal, but an article this past weekend represents a new low. "Has Anti-Incumbent Fever hit San Francisco?" makes reference to three polls showing Rob Black leading Chris Daly in the District 6 race for Supervisor. The author of the piece, Sam Lauter links to an article in the Chron about the polls, but he could have just linked to the raw data -- at least one of the polls was commissioned through his political consulting firm, Barnes, Mosher, Whitehurst, Lauter(ahem) and Partners.

This lobbying firm is also a liason for much of the thousands of dollars being spent by independent expenditure committees on anti-Daly hit pieces. Before messing around in local elections, Lauter had a career in governmental relations at PG&E, though a Sentinel reader wouldn't know it -- there's no bio included with the author's "article," except that it was formerly printed in a "Red Meat for a Blue State" online publication. Meanwhile, another unauthored Sentinel article criticizes Daly for supposed contributions from lobbyists, though fails to mention that the anti-Daly movement is controlled by a similar crowd of money-runners.