A group that supports San Diego City Council candidate Felipe Hueso is returning a $25,000 contribution from the state Assembly campaign of Hueso’s brother Ben, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
Ben Hueso, the council president who sits in the District 8 seat Felipe is trying to win, gave the money to a group created by the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council in support of Felipe Hueso’s council candidacy.
According to the U-T:
State law prohibits candidates from giving their campaign funds to a separate group for the purpose of spending that money to support or oppose another candidate. In other words, Ben Hueso can’t give campaign money directly or through a surrogate to assist his brother’s campaign. Under the city’s campaign contribution limits, Hueso could only have given his brother $500 of his own personal money.
Such laws are intended to limit influence on campaigns and make clear who is funding them.
In a release this morning, Evan McLaughlin, the labor council’s political director, cited a June memorandum from the city’s Ethics Commission stating that groups like the one supporting Felipe Hueso can accept “unlimited contributions from any source.”
The U-T quoted labor council leader Lorena Gonzalez saying the group would return in the money, “[o]ut of an abundance of caution.”
Felipe Hueso is running against fellow Democrat David Alvarez to represent the city’s southernmost neighborhoods. Counting outside expenditures, more than $400,000 has gone to Hueso and Alvarez in the campaign.