Mayoral candidate Steve Francis today criticized Mayor Jerry Sanders for his connections to the Corky McMillin Companies — a company whose employees supported Francis during his failed 2005 campaign.

Francis today sent out a copy of a fundraising request that Mark McMillin, the CEO of Corky McMillin Companies, a housing developer, e-mailed out on Sanders’ behalf.

From Francis’ news release sent out this morning:

In light of recent private fundraising emails that we have uncovered, the pattern of Jerry Sanders’ political career being underwritten by special interests is as true as ever. We already knew that the big developers were Sanders’ primary go-to source of campaign cash (although the brazenness of the appeal attached below reaches new lows), and now we can add nightclub developers to the list of special interests funding his campaign. What other special interests are propping Sanders up?

Email #1 (emphasis added):

From: Mark McMillin

Date: Wed, May 14, 2008 at 12:30 PM

Subject: FW: Jerry Sanders Re-election

To:

As you might be aware, The Corky McMillin Companies and the San Diego Building Industry Association are supporting San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders’ re-election. In a final push before the June 3rd primary, I am trying extremely hard to raise funds for his campaign before this Friday or, at the very least, a commitment with a check to follow next week. Please consider writing a personal check for $50, $100 or up to $320, payable to Re-elect Mayor Sanders, and send it to me or Machele Taliaferro.  Any contribution is appreciated.  You may also visit the reelection website, www.reelectsanders.com directly to make a contribution, but please let us know if you decide to do so and the amount contributed.

It is my opinion that giving Jerry Sanders another four years in office is vital to San Diego, the building industry and The Corky McMillin Companies.

Thank you for your consideration; this is very important to me.

– Mark McMillin

(The emphasis is Francis’, not ours.)

Francis, though, had close ties to McMillin during his 2005 campaign. From a July 21, 2005 story written by Union-Tribune reporter Matt Hall:

Francis has campaigned as an outsider from the get-go but also accepted financial aid from influential San Diego interests, including 40 employees and executives of the McMillin development and real estate companies and their families.

ROB DAVIS

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