After quitting the mayoral campaign of San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera in the wake of an ethics investigation, political consultant Alex Tourk is now managing the day-to-day operations of former Supervisor Bevan Dufty’s campaign.
Tourk is currently under investigation for lobbying Herrera after serving as his campaign manager for his reelection campaign for city attorney. A 2004 city law prevents campaign consultants from lobbying current and former clients for five years.
Around the same time, Tourk also resigned from the campaign of San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón despite having lobbied him only before he became his campaign manager.
While it does not appear to violate the law, Tourk also lobbied Dufty in August 2010 when the mayoral candidate served on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, records show. Tourk had been hired by Target to lobby Dufty on behalf of a new store in San Francisco.
While Dufty had been critical of Target for contributing to a group that supported outspoken conservative Minnesota Republican Tom Emmer, who has opposed same-sex marriage and other gay rights initiatives, the project sailed through The City’s approval process.
Tourk still remains a well-connected force in city politics, and his work with leading candidate Herrera earlier this year could provide a competitive edge for Dufty.
Through a Dufty spokesman, Tourk said that he has not been contacted by anyone regarding an investigation, and as far as he knows there is no investigation.
“Hiring Alex Tourk to run my campaign day-to-day is the final piece of the puzzle,” Dufty said in a statement. “He is a veteran of many hard fought, successful campaigns in San Francisco. I am thrilled to have his leadership, experience and talent managing my campaign.”
Dufty noted that he and Tourk have a working relationship that spans more than a decade. The two worked for former Mayor Willie Brown starting in 1999, which may explain why Dufty went to Brown, who currently works as a consultant on politically charged issues and pens a weekly column for the Chronicle, to break the news.