Daly accuses Newsom of illegal use of funds

Supervisor Chris Daly accused Mayor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday of illegally using taxpayer-funded resources for re-election campaign activities, pointing to the mayor’s promotion of a rally in support of his budget priorities on his campaign Web site.

Daly was scheduled to hold a dueling press conference today at the same place and time as the mayor — at noon on the steps of City Hall — but sent out a press release Tuesday canceling his event, as well as today’s meeting of the Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee.

At that meeting, the committee was scheduled to vote on a proposal to cut money from Newsom’s budget for next fiscal year, which starts July 1, to fund programs supported by Daly, who is the budget committee chairman.

“I want to ascertain whether public resources were inappropriately used for electioneering purposes and whether Newsom ’07 is appropriately engaging the legislative process before making crucial decisions in this year’s budget process,” Daly said in a press release Tuesday. Daly also sent a letter to The City’s Ethics Commission outlining his concerns.

John St. Croix, executive director of the Ethics Commission, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

Newsom’s budget rally was organized by his City Hall staff but also promoted on his campaign Web site. Newsom’s top campaign strategist, Eric Jaye, was dismissive of Daly’s accusations. “It’s not a campaign event,” Jaye said. “These are baseless accusations.”

The budget battle was sparked in May, after the Board of Supervisors approved a $28 million affordable housing spending measure authored by Daly. Newsom sent the bill back unsigned and said The City could not afford to spend the allocated funds.

A few weeks later, the mayor unveiled a budget proposal that included millions of dollars in new funding for more police, homeless workers and Muni operators.

In response, Daly introduced a resolution cutting $37 million in line items from the mayor’s budget to put money back into the board-approved affordable housing priorities. If passed, Daly’s proposal would be forwarded to the full board for approval.

beslinger@examiner.com

Each day until voters go to the polls Nov. 6, The Examiner lays odds on local figures beating Mayor Gavin Newsom. Check out our exclusive blog: San Francisco's Next Mayor?

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