Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

The fight started on Twitter.

It continued this week with a Central Valley assemblywoman bankrolling thousands of robocalls asking San Francisco Republican voters not to elect state Sen. Leland Yee as their mayor.

Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen, R-Modesto, said she paid about $600 out of her own pocket to send more than 4,000 Sunday night robocalls that do not support any mayoral candidate but ask San Franciscans to reject Yee, a Democrat.

Specifically, the robocall says:

"This is Republican Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen asking you to vote for someone other than Sen. Leland Yee for mayor. In a time when we need reform, Yee says he wants to release his state office budget but the Rules Committee won't let him.

"I released my office budget because the money belongs to taxpayers. True leaders do the right thing despite bureaucratic red tape. If you're looking for a real reformer for mayor, vote for someone other than Leland Yee."

The robocall ends by saying it was paid for by Kristin Olsen for Assembly 2012. But Olsen, in an interview, said that claim was incorrect and that she paid for the robocall personally.

Jim Stearns, Yee's campaign manager, fired back with a press release Monday calling Olsen an "ultra-conservative" politician launching negative and false robocalls to benefit San Francisco's interim mayor, Ed Lee, in the Nov. 8 election.

"I haven't even met Ed Lee," Olsen responded.

Adam Keigwin, Yee's Senate chief of staff, said that the Senate does not give each member an annual budget - like Olsen receives in the Assembly - but that Yee supports release of his itemized expenditures and that the Senate provides such a list to anyone who requests one.

Not good enough, counters Olsen.

"He continues to stand on this mantel of reform but hasn't been willing to show his own personal commitment to the same level of transparency and reform," she said.

Bad blood has simmered between Yee and Olsen since 2010, when she ran the office of communications at California State University, Stanislaus. Yee blasted the university that year after Sarah Palin spoke at a fundraiser and a foundation linked to the college declined to identify donors who paid her speaking fee.

Olsen said she is fed up with accusations of wrongdoing by Yee and his staff, so she saw red when Keigwin posted a tweet last week that claimed she had hidden records in connection with Palin's appearance.

"I said, 'Enough is enough," Olsen said.

Olsen said she attempted to call Yee personally to protest, but that he did not return her call. She does not plan to become active in the San Francisco mayoral campaign but bankrolled the robocalls because "people need to know who (Yee) really is," she said.

Keigwin said he "tweeted" about Olsen hiding records in a lighthearted response to a separate tweet by the Flash Report, a conservative blog, that suggested pitting Yee against Olsen in a "mosh pit."

Keigwin said that Olsen was directly involved in the college's Palin scandal and that if she didn't reach Yee by phone "she should have tweeted him back, rather than questionably spending money in the San Francisco mayor's race."


More Capitol Alert

Capitol Alert on Twitter

Popular Categories

Now on


November 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Monthly Archives

Latest California Clips