The latest Lee voter fraud charges


The Ed Lee campaign is, of course, distancing itself from the latest voter fraud allegations. Spokesperson Tony Winnicker says nobody on the Lee team knew anything about it, that the idea of eight low-level associates at a property firm each giving the maximum $500 didn't ring any alarm bells:

"If this is true, then these people have perjured themselves," Lee campaign spokesman Tony Winnicker said when The Chronicle informed him about the donations. "They looked directly into the eyes of our campaign staff and lied, and they should be held accountable.

And honestly, I don't think anyone on Lee's team directly solicited the illegal contributions. I could be wrong, but let's give them the benefit of the doubt. But the notion that Winnicker is shocked -- shocked -- that this sort of behavior was going on doens't quite pass the sniff test. The problem is that Lee refused to take public financing, got in the race late and decided to raise a buttload of money really fast -- and when you do that, and you take cash from the likes of Andrew Hawkins, you're almost guaranteed to run into trouble.

I think Dennis Herrera has it right; his press statement makes the point:

"Too many of Ed Lee's supporters act as though they're above the law -- on money laundering, on ballot tampering, and more -- and Ed Lee isn't strong enough to stop it.  If this is how they behave before an election, just imagine how they'll behave after the election, if Ed Lee wins.

This has always been the danger with Mayor Lee -- he's surrounded by some very bad actors, he can't keep them under control -- and if he wins, they'll have the run of City Hall.

Is this enough -- or the cumulative impacts of this enough -- to allow someone else to win the election? I don't know. Around 30,000 people have already voted. Some of Lee's hard-core supporters will ignore the problems and vote for him anyway. But maybe, just maybe, the stench surrounding the campaign will convince a lot of the people who were considering putting Lee second or third to vote for someone else. That's what would turn the tide in the Nov. 8 election.

UPDATE: Bill Barnes, who reviews the contributions for the Lee campaign, told me that since Hawkins had used a different name (Dr. Andrew Hawkins-Cohen) and since the eight donors all listed occupations that seemed plausible for a large donation and all signed the document saying it was their own money, nothing set off any alarms. "We've gotten about 4,000 checks," he said.

But still: If Andrew Hawkins wants Lee to be mayor that badly, there's plenty to worry about.


100% record so far of refusing to talk about any of the issues here, and instead just parlaying second-hand dirt.

Then again, if my side were heading for a massive loss, maybe I'd act that desperate as well. Are any of us truly innocent of massive bias?

Still, I wouldn't mind hearing you discuss policy, just for once, to show that you can.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 10:52 am

The election is coming in less than a week. San Franciscans looking for comprehensive and nonpartisan information about the contest on their ballots can check the League of Women Voters' Smart Voter website It provides with balanced information to help you make up an informed decision. Make sure to check this out.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 12:03 pm

If so, why would we believe anything else you say?

Posted by Guest on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 12:23 pm

Quick question, Guest, can you prove that you are not being paid to post here with dirty landlord money that is lining up behind Ed Lee?

On the issues, I think the Guardian has done a pretty good job at covering Ed Lee's abysmal record on tenant issues this year -- most notably with his signing the demolition orders at Parcmerced. Now, the dirtiest landlord money is being illegally funneled into his campaign.

Willie Brown's last campaign wasn't even this corrupt. If Ed Lee holds on to win, I'm certain that we will only see more of the pay-to-play, quasi-legal administration that we had from 96-03.

The good news is that the political opposition that delivered a near sweep of Supervisor races in 2000, is stronger now than it was then. If we don't pull it out next week, we will be back very soon.


Posted by Chris Daly on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 12:07 pm

I can't prove I'm not from Mars either.

The SFBG generally does try and cover the issue but, in the weeks leading up to the election, they have abandoned that effort, and have focused entirely on personalities and spreading dirt.

I find that sad for a fringe journal that seeks credibiity and broader influence.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 12:26 pm

Only if your a lying sack of shit employed by the guilty puppet mayor.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 12:58 pm

i heard Randy Shaw dressed as the bottom half of Ed Lee's human centipede this year.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 9:17 pm

The election is coming in less than a week. Have you checked for your polling place and information about the contests on your ballot? San Franciscans looking for comprehensive and nonpartisan information about the candidates and proposition can check the League of Women Voters' Smart Voter website It provides with balanced information to help you make an informed decision. Make sure to check this out.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 12:19 pm


I rarely post on this site, and when I do, it's usually to make fun of your dumb ideas. But I have to give you credit on this one. You've been warning us all along about the likelihood of corruption and fraud from the people behind some of the various organizations stumping for Lee. And now here we are...

I'll be very candid - initially, I was planning on voting for Lee. Partially because I liked the idea of a no-flash worker bee running the show after 6 years of Mayor McCheese. I never cared about his "broken promise" not to run. I figured, anyone that didn't see that coming is too naive for SF politics anyway. Even after the 1st questionable campaign donation incident, I was willing to give him (and his "independent" supporters) the benefit of the doubt. After the 2nd incident, I decided to make Adachi my #1 choice, but still considered putting Lee in there at #3 (stupid ranked choice voting). But now I'm seriously pissed off. This is a goddamn outrage!

Lee's off my ballot. Avalos will now be somewhere in my top 3. I'm sure some of you are thinking, "Big deal", But Avalos' policies are about 180 degrees away from what's in my own personal best interest. Both financially and otherwise. That fact doesn't matter as much as casting a vote for integrity. Avalos has integrity, so he's getting my vote.

And, just to head off any snarky comments from the romper room radicals and self-delusional Union officials who normally monopolize this board, you know you're voting for what's best for you personally. So, please, spare me your horseshit.

Adachi's still my #1 pick though. Undecided on the last slot. I'm open to suggestions. NOT Yee. Gotta draw the line somewhere.

*** One last thing ***

Ross for Sheriff. Like Avalos, I'm not exactly thrilled with Mirkarimi's politics, but he's been my District Supervisor for 8 years and he's always listened to us (his constituents), and he's always been fair - even when we weren't. I could give examples, but I doubt anyone cares. He'll make a great Sheriff.

Posted by RamRod on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 6:43 pm

I would have said "agrees", but it messed up the rhyme.

Posted by matlock on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 7:11 pm

He's a true believer that wants to get over anyway he can.

His "integrity" is being really good at dogmatism.

Posted by matlock on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 7:50 pm

Thanks for the thoughtful post. Based on what you've said above about your politics, it seems like Herrera belongs in your top 3.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 7:51 pm

Hall would be a better fit for his politics and interest in integrity.

The bagged ballots must not be counted.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 03, 2011 @ 10:13 am

the main issue. Voters don't think it is though, which is why Lee and Yee are doing well.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 03, 2011 @ 10:27 am

Integrity is an issue, and you're for Herrera over Yee?

I don't know what definition of integrity you're operating under, but to me that means honesty and independence. Only Avalos and Yee fit the bill. Adachi's tainted by his billionaire funders. Herrera's a developers' shill. I guess one could say that Baum and Hall have integrity too. But Hall is too far right (in his case "integrity" means he doesn't need to get paid to work for the 1%), and Baum is an asterisk. So is Hall, for that matter.

Posted by Greg on Nov. 03, 2011 @ 11:15 am


#2 and #3 - a much tougher call.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 9:09 pm

His constant claims of ignorance have reached the level of deliberate ignorance. It makes you wonder if he has a sand box in his office and he walks in and buries his head in it during the day. The City is screwed if Lee "the ostrich mayor" wins.

Posted by The Commish on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 7:36 pm

Start preparing Mr Ed Recall now.

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Nov. 03, 2011 @ 9:38 am