Investigation sought in Lee’s campaign

(KTSF by Sean Au)

At a press conference today in San Francisco, five mayoral candidates reiterated their request to the Department of Justice and the Secretary of State authorities to investigate the alleged unlawful election activities related to Mayor Ed Lee.

In an earlier report appearing in the San Francisco Chronicle, Ed Lee’s election campaign allegedly received questionable donations through possible money-laundering activities. Employees of Archway Property Services allegedly received an email from the company’s managing director, Andrew Hawkins, to attend an Ed Lee fundraiser and they were reimbursed for their donations.

The mayoral candidates today claimed that this is a reflection upon Lee’s ability to lead.

Candidate Michela Alioto-Pier said “You can’t just take the tough issue and just walk away and was our hands, and pretend it has nothing to do with you. Part of what we are seeing in this race is a real lack of leadership. The fact that this has continued and that it persists, that it’s escalating, should really be a point for all of us to stand back and take notice.”

Fellow candidate Jeff Adachi adds, “The point is not whether Ed Lee actually knew about this. The point is that it’s occurring, because the people who are benefitting from this are expecting a payback.”

Since the San Francisco Chronicle  reported the incident related to Archway Property Services, an attorney for the Lee campaign says the checks in question have been returned.

Tony Winnicker, spokesperson for Lee’s campaign says “What we do is that when there’s any concern, we demand that they be held accountable, and certainly anybody who thinks that they’re supporting Mayor Lee should be held accountable.”

The Department of Elections notes that there will be similar allegations in every election.

John Arntz, Director of the Department of Elections clarifies,  “So many times, it’s never substantiated. We found that if it’s substantiated, the District Attorney will make its move legally.”

Arntz adds that San Francisco has all along received more attention in its elections so federal and state inspectors can only further provide reassurance of a safe voting environment, which will protect the right to vote of San Franciscans.

Vincent Pan, Executive Director of Chinese for Affirmative Action says “We’ve had a very intense campaign, a very heated debate. I think it’s important for community members to remember that whichever candidates they prefer, whichever issues they advocate for, it’s still important for all of us to come out and vote.”

The Elections Department reminds voters that all polling stations will have Chinese voting materials and 80% of the stations will have Cantonese or Mandarin-speaking poll workers. Any reports of election-related issues can be directed to the SF Local Election’s hotline at 415-554-4367 (Chinese).

(Copyright 2011 KTSF. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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