Brace yourselves, folks, the October Surprises have started rolling in, albiet a bit late: As the Chronicle reports today, new allegations of money laundering have hit another already shady supporter of Mayor Ed Lee's campaign for a full term. Andrew Hawkins, perhaps best known as an "eviction strongman" (Chron's words) for the notoriously sketchy CitiApartments rental company, offered to reimburse 16 of his associates for donating the $500 maximum to Ed Lee's campaign at a recent fundraising event thrown by his current employer, Archway Property Services.
According to the Chronicle report, Hawkins wrote in an email to his coworkers (in all caps, even): "I expect each and every one of you to be at this event tonight. Bring your check books and write a check for $500.00 for Ed Lee donation. You will be reimbursed right away for you coming." At least nine people followed the advice, one even provided a copy of Hawkins' reimbursement check to the Chronicle. Not helping his credibility at all is the fact that Hawkins uses the name "Dr. Andrew Hawkins-Cohen" as his email alias.
Meanwhile, Ed Lee's camp is playing the victim here, they already returned $4,500 in checks after the Chronicle started snooping around and Lee's team has informed the District Attorney's office that they may have been a victim of fraud. The DA's office, you might remember, is currently looking in to another criminal investigation in which employees at GO Lorrie's shuttle service were asked to donate to Lee's campaign.
The other leading candidates have been quick to denounce the new accusations. City Attorney Dennis Herrera has called for another investigation, while the Chiu, Yee and Avalos camps have all released statements as well.
Adding to the pile of scandal coming out in the last six days before Tuesday's election are even more accusations of voter fraud in Chinatown. As the Epoch Times reported yesterday Ed Lee supporters from the Chinatown Community Development Center and the Community Tenants Association were observed accepting signed, but unmarked ballots from voters in the neighborhood and dropping them off in bundles at the elections department.
Update: SFist was contacted by the CCDC, to clarify some of the information in the Epoch Times piece. The connections between persons alleged to have helped filling out ballots and the CTA or CCDC are tenuous at best. The ballots arrived at the Department of Elections by mail on the same date.