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In our story today about Mayor Jerry Sanders and his ties to San Diegans for City Hall Reform, representatives of the mayor and the committee tried to play down the current link between the active campaign committee and Sanders, its chief spokesman in last year’s election.

Fred Sainz, the mayor’s spokesman, said:

“I would argue that there is not an existing relationship,” Sainz said. “They were an elected official and campaign committee who had the same goal.”

Fred Sainz

He also told me that, “To say there’s any formal connection, that would not be accurate.”

But an e-mail forwarded to me from Steve Francis, a local businessman who ran against Mayor Jerry Sanders in 2005, showed the mayor was at the very least, keeping tabs on, the committee.

The e-mail committee fundraiser Jean Freelove sent to Francis on April 13 — five months after the passage of Props B and C — reads:

Steve — I’m meeting with the Mayor next week (Tuesday late) to give him a report on progress I’ve made of raising some additional monies for the San Diegans for City Hall Reform account that we’ve kept open in anticipation of the possibility of going back to the voters to make the reforms passed last November permanent.

If I could get another $25-$30,000 in total pledges, I think that would be a comfortable amount going forward. Do you think you’d be interested in giving another $2,500/$5,000? It can take corporate checks in any amount.

Thanks — I’m attaching a contribution envelope if you’re interested in helping out Jerry.

Francis was a main contributor to the committee when it promoted Propositions B and C. He gave more than $110,000 to the committee before the Nov. 7, 2006 election, but he is not listed as one of the 58 donors who gave to the committee after the propositions were approved.

The committee currently has no stated cause and several of the donors had business before City Hall.

EVAN McLAUGHLIN

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