Matt Smith: Leno Accuses Migden of Wrongly Using $1 million

Late Inning Hardball Begins in Senate Race — Leno Accuses Migden of wrongly using $1 million in old campaign cash, Migden’s campaign consultant: Shut up or I’ll own your house

By Matt Smith

San Francisco has long been represented in the statehouse by two political rivals with radical-seeming exteriors, and mainstream, Sacramento-moneyball-playing cores.

California State Senator Carole Migden, up to retain her seat in this November’s election, is gay and courts radical allies such as Chris Daly. But she seems to pride herself more in her effectiveness as a fundraiser and Democratic policymaker than as a left-wing ideologue. Migden’s opponent, Assemblyman Mark Leno likewise might superficially seem like an only-in-San Francisco fringe-dweller: he’s gay, and he occasionally champions kooky causes such as hemp farming. But Leno has expressed scorn for politicians who don’t realize that the key to moving bills in Sacramento is raising campaign money and effectively helping spread it around. Like Migden, Leno is good at this craft.

So it might seem only natural that the until-now unusually civil contest between these two would become nasty over what might be termed these politicians’ core issue: campaign cash.

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