How campaign consultants built a highrise

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By Tim Redmond

The line between campaign consultant and lobbyist has always been far too fuzzy -- but now the Center for Public Integrity has issued a report on how the revolving door can lead to terrible public policy. A central example in the report:how San Francisco consultant John Whitehurst and his firm, Barnes Mosher Whitehurst Lauter, "traded on its campaign connections to lobby for changes in California law and city zoning, paving the way for high-rises that will dramatically alter the San Francisco skyline along the eastern waterfront."

It's a fascinating tale of how Whitehurst parlayed his ties with Gavin Newsom's mayoral campaign and Mark Leno's Assembly campaign to win approval for 40-story luxury condo buildings. It shows exactly how sleazy local politics has become.