No to Public $ Allows Ed Lee to Raise Millions

By Chris Roberts
|  Tuesday, Aug 9, 2011  |  Updated 7:19 PM PDT
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No to Public $ Allows Ed Lee to Raise Millions

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They said Ed Lee would bring a new era of civility to City Hall. One thing is certain: he's going to bring a truck load of cash to City Hall.

Unlike his nine opponents who have been campaigning for months under a $1.5 million spending cap, Mayor Ed Lee refused to accept public financing. That means that not only will he be able to spend and raise millions more than his opponents -- he'll also be able to tap the rich and powerful interests who pushed him into the race for more money, more quickly, according to the San Francisco Examiner.

The reason? It's the economy, stupid: in a turbulent budget year, the mayor does not want to use the dollars with which he balanced the budget to run for office, he said.

Sounds noble, but the situation has nonetheless has rankled his opponents to no end. "Ed Lee told us he didn’t want to be interim mayor.  But powerful people insisted he do it, so he did," said City Attorney Dennis Herrera in a statement blasting Lee's entry into the race as craven and contrived (though in not so many words, of course).

However, if Lee blows the spending cap as he is expected to do, it means the other candidates will also be able to raise and spend over $1.5 million, even as they use tax dollars to run campaigns, buy TV ads, and attack each other in mailers and over the airwaves. Tired of the mudslinging? You're paying for it; might as well watch.
 

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