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Friday, August 19, 2011

DA George Gascón Says He Won't Investigate Run, Ed, Run Campaign

Posted By on Fri, Aug 19, 2011 at 5:33 PM

click to enlarge Right back atcha, Aaron Peskin - CAROLINE CHEN
  • Caroline Chen
  • Right back atcha, Aaron Peskin

As if mayoral candidates weren't already pissed enough about Mayor Ed Lee's last-minute jump into the race. District Attorney George Gascón is now saying he will not investigate the questionable Run, Ed, Run campaign that helped get Lee drafted into the mayor's race.

Mayoral candidates and community members have accused Progress For All, the committee behind the Run, Ed, Run campaign, of skirting election laws to help Lee gain financial leverage even before he jumped into the race on Aug. 12. The Ethics Commission recently cleared the committee of any wrongdoing, and now the District Attorney is saying there's no good reason to investigate it any further.

"We conducted a preliminary investigation and concluded there is insufficient evidence to proceed with any further investigation." Gascón said in a statement released.

Aaron Peskin, chair of the local Democratic Party, had written a pointed letter to the Ethics Commission last month, detailing exactly how this shadowy campaign was illegal. The campaign had filed as a general purpose committee -- one that isn't there to raise money for a candidate, but rather to inform voters. However, the campaign was blatantly rallying around Lee, giving him a boost even before he was a candidate.

But the Ethics Commission decided that there was nothing illegal about this activity since Lee himself was not yet a candidate. The committee disbanded about a week before Lee officially announced his candidacy. The Commission also decided that it was okay for volunteers who worked on Run, Ed, Run to now join Lee's campaign.

"It's business as usual," Peskin told SF Weekly. "Just one hand washing the other."

Next stop: the U.S. Attorney, Peskin tells us.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert has been Online News Editor for SF Weekly since 2010. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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