City Beat

News, insight and discussion on Sacramento and its neighborhoods

November 1, 2012
Sacramento council campaign getting tense in final days

Hansenmailer.jpegAfter weeks of cordiality, the race for the city's most coveted council seat has gotten a bit contentious.

One candidate has filed a complaint with the state's political watchdog, charging the opposition with failing to report rent paid or donated for campaign office space. And the other side has taken issue with a campaign mailer they said implies President Obama has taken a position in the race.

First the mailer. Steve Hansen, one of the two candidates running for the seat covering Land Park, the Central City and the River Oaks section of South Natomas, sent out a piece this week featuring a photograph of the president. Under the picture, it reads, "Democratic Leaders & Progressive Organizations Support Steve Hansen for Sacramento City Council."

The campaign consultant for Joe Yee - who is running against Hansen - said the ad is misleading.

"I guess it is Halloween and Hansen is trying to play a political trick," Andrew Acosta said. "Unless I missed a press release, the President hasn't endorsed Steve Hansen."

I haven't heard back from the Obama campaign on whether they in fact have taken a position on the council race. Hansen's campaign consultant, Thomas Dodson, said he thinks the criticism over the mail piece "is a non-issue."

"The implication there is that Steve is a big supporter of President Obama and the values he stands for are the same that Steve has," Dodson said.

Meanwhile, Hansen's campaign has filed a complaint with the FPPC charging that Yee has not reported rent on his campaign office space, either as an expenditure or an in-kind contribution. That space is located in an S Street building owned by developer Paul Petrovich.

"In other words," the complaint reads, "campaign finance reports that were filed under penalty of perjury are silent on how the Joe Yee for City Council (campaign) is paying for, or receiving the value of, office space, in direct violation of California campaign finance law."

Acosta brushed the complaint aside, saying the campaign has not yet received a bill for the space.

"When we get a bill, we'll pay it," he said.

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About City Beat

Ryan Lillis has covered the city of Sacramento, its 108 neighborhoods and its politicians since 2008. Prior to that, he covered crime at The Bee. A native of upstate New York, Lillis has a journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Contact reporter Ryan Lillis at rlillis@sacbee.com

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