Willie Brown to hold fundraiser for Ed Lee, responds briefly to scrutiny 

click to enlarge former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown (Getty Images file photo) - FORMER SAN FRANCISCO MAYOR WILLIE BROWN (GETTY IMAGES FILE PHOTO)
  • former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown (Getty Images file photo)
  • former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown (Getty Images file photo)

While the primary criticism of Mayor Ed Lee has been that he is too cozy with powerful city insiders like former Mayor Willie Brown, a fundraiser invitation recently sent out by Brown’s assistant takes that sentiment to task.

Brown, who promoted Lee to top city positions during his tenure as mayor, responded to the widely scrutinized relationship by saying Lee should feel no shame about the association.

“My record with you and with San Francisco as well as the state of California for over 40 years should not be a burden to anybody running for public office,” the invitation for the Tuesday event says. “To put these critics in their place once and for all I need your help.”

Brown’s office was the subject of a five-year FBI probe over alleged corruption which didn’t end up resulting in an indictment. During the run up to Lee’s appointment to the mayor’s seat in January, Willie Brown bragged in his column in The Chronicle that he was the first to suggest Lee as a good choice.

Tony Winnicker, Lee’s campaign spokesman, said “you would have to be living under a rock” to not known that Brown openly supports the current mayor. When asked if the feeling was mutual, Winnicker said Lee generally enjoys the support of many politicians, including former mayors.

He did acknowledge that Brown is a little more outspoken than others.

“We expect nothing less of him,” Winnicker said.

dschreiber@sfexaminer.com

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Dan Schreiber

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