Mayor Ed Lee's “Smoking Gun”

Did he write Obama a check today?

While Mayor Ed Lee has insisted he had no connection to the Progress for All committee, the group that was formed to draft him into the mayor's race, campaign records seem to tell a much different story.

Lee filed a form 470 on July 21, 2011 — about two weeks before he actually declared his candidacy for mayor. The paperwork is mandatory for elected officials and candidates who do not have a controlled committee and who don't anticipate receiving contributions of more than $1,000 in a calendar year. According to the form Lee filed, a “Run Ed Run Committee has been formed” primarily to receive contributions or to make expenditures on behalf of his candidacy.

Lee's spokesman, Tony Winnicker, told us that the mayor was simply following the advice of the ethics director, who had told him to sign the paperwork. “They were raising money and actively encouraging him to run,” Winnicker says of Progress for All. “It was just the mayor acknowledging that he had heard of the committee, but it continues to be true that he had zero involvement with it.”

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