A new batch of attack-ad mailers from the California Association of Realtors — and not the Matt Haney campaign — says “We can’t trust Campos in the Assembly” because he worked on Chesa Boudin’s staff.
It’s frankly only surprising that it took this long into the AD-17 state Assembly race between Supervisor Matt Haney and former supervisor David Campos for it to become a political issue that Campos used to work for Chesa Boudin. (Boudin hired Campos as his chief of staff in September 2020, and Campos went on a leave of absence this past November shortly after announcing his Assembly candidacy.) And as a bonus to Matt Haney, Matt Haney is not the person who has to get his hands dirty lobbing attacks against Campos for working with the DA who is definitely controversial, and might or might not be wildly unpopular.
SFist received the above ad mailer on Tuesday, April 12, and you might receive it too if you're a registered Democrat. “David Campos and Chesa Boudin failed victims of domestic violence,” the mailer declares. “David Campos’ record in public service is disqualifying. As Chief of Staff to failed District Attorney Chesa Boudin, Campos oversaw an office that has prosecuted only 15% of domestic violence cases.”
The mailer pulls that statistic from a year-old Heather Knight article in the Chronicle. That article stated that “The District Attorney’s Office filed charges in 15% of felony domestic violence cases last year, a rate that has continued so far this year. The same figure ranged from 20% to 27% from 2016 through 2019. Boudin’s filing rate for misdemeanor domestic violence cases is 38%, which is more in line with previous years.”
The piece was also published well in advance of SFPD’s use of rape kit DNA to prosecute a suspect, which may have affected Boudin’s image among domestic violence victim advocates. But it was clear during the recent SFPD use-of-force trial discourse that the ”Boudin is soft on domestic violence” line of attack would be used against Boudin, and by extension, now it is on Campos.
Except it’s not Matt Haney doing the attacking, but the political action committee (PAC) of the California Association of Realtors. The full name of this PAC does not fit into the above image, which says in fine print, “Ad paid for by San Franciscans for Affordable Housing and Safe Streets Opposing Campos for Assembly 2022, sponsored by the California Association of Realtors.”
PACs cannot coordinate directly with campaigns, but they can produce ads and mailers. The latest campaign finance filings (which lag by a few days) show that the California Association of Realtors has given $50,000 to the Boudin recall campaign, and do not yet show contributions opposing Campos. That’s not a ton compared to some donors, but it is significant that Campos’ work for Boudin is now being used as a line of attack.
Is it too late in the game, though? The election is in a week, but the SF Elections turnout data is not yet showing how many people have returned their mail-in ballots. So we don’t know how many votes are still up for grabs. Moreover, Mission Local reports that both campaigns have polls saying they will win.
Those are internal polls, so take them with a grain of salt. But after Haney edged Campos by a mere 726 votes (out of 94,000 cast) in the February primary, it’s a surprise that this line of attack is not arriving until the 11th hour.
Images: Joe Kukura