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Politics

Phil Matier: Political Fallout From San Francisco Mayoral Ballot Flap

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Ed Lee, San Francisco Mayor

San Francisco interim Mayor Ed Lee speaks to reporters after he filed paperwork to officially run for mayor on August 8, 2011. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Phil-Matier_BIO-HEAD Phil Matier
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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Seven San Francisco mayoral candidates have sent a letter to federal and state officials, requesting an investigation into media reports suggesting that supporters of Mayor Ed Lee were filling in ballots for voters Friday.

The letter points to reported witness testimony and video allegedly showing staff members from the group SF Neighbor Alliance for Ed Lee for Mayor 2011 “completing ballots for voters” and “preventing voters from marking their ballots for other mayoral candidates.”

KCBS and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier Reports:

In the letter, the mayoral contenders ask Assistant U.S. Attorney General Thomas Perez and California Secretary of State Debra Bowen to investigate these claims. The letter was signed by Public Defender Jeff Adachi, County Supervisor John Avalos, Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, City Attorney Dennis Herrera, state Senator Leland Yee, Michela Alioto-Pier and Joanna Rees.

Lee has already responded to the allegations, going on record as saying that the group in question has “nothing to do with my campaign” and indicating that he fully supported an investigation into the allegations.

Arguably, an investigation into the matter would take some time. The political fallout, on the other hand, could be near instantaneous.

“Not only was it reported by witnesses…it was videoed and so you can see it up on the proverbial YouTube network as well,” pointed out KCBS Political Insider Phil Matier.

“I was talking with the mayor yesterday morning,” added Matier. “He basically called it moronic. He knows that this is not looking good for his campaign. The District Attorney is already looking into questions about whether a shuttle company out at San Francisco Airport may have laundered money through its drivers to his campaign.”

“He’s already got one mark up there. This just doesn’t help things at all,” summed up Matier.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News contributed to this report.)

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