Sunday, July 27, 2014

Get even political ethics, a Willy Brown story

San Francisco Chronicle/Willy Brown, 7/26/14.  "Willy Brown aide too sharp to be caught in FBI sting." 

Thanks for your contribution
to my campaign, FBI !
"The revelation in the Matier and Ross column that the FBI sting operation made $20,ooo in phony contributions to Ed Lee's 2011 mayoral campaign hit close to home. They did the same thing to me when I was Assembly speaker.In my case, an undercover FBI agent approached one of my aides with a $2,000 contribution - all in crisp $100 bills.

The aide, Karen Sonoda, had no idea the guy was an FBI agent - he was posing as an economic development man. But she did know the law, and told him, "You can't make a contribution that way."
She walked him across the street to a bank and had him take out a cashier's check, and fill it out with his name and address.

When the operation was revealed a few months later and a couple of legislative staffers were convicted, she saw the undercover agent's fake name in the news coverage. Mortified, she came to me and said, "I took a contribution from these people and I reported it under what was a fake name. I'll return the check and resign."I was both stunned and angry - not at her, but at the FBI.  "First off, you are not resigning," I said. "But you are going to amend the filing report, and where it lists the source of the funds, I want you to write 'FBI' in big, bold letters." And I kept the money."

Note photograph by Lacy Atkins from a San Francisco Chronicle article 4/30/01.

Posted by Kathy Meeh


Anonymous said...

That's what we need. An FBI sting. Here, more likely to be a butt boil.

Anonymous said...

Don't say cheese, say Pacifica to get a really big laugh.