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San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio accepted a donation to his 2012 mayoral campaign Tuesday morning, a staffer with a local organized labor umbrella group said. If true, it would be a violation of the city’s campaign rules.

Kyle Haverback, a campaign manager with the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council, said DeMaio’s campaign website allowed him to donate to the Republican councilman’s mayoral bid this morning. Candidates cannot solicit or accept contributions prior to June 5, a year before the 2012 primary.

“I actually made a $5 contribution from the website,” Haverback said.

DeMaio’s homepage and donation function are not currently active, but Haverback provided a screen shot of his contribution.

Accepting contributions more than a year before an election is against campaign rules, but there is no penalty if they are returned within 10 days.

Haverback said he hadn’t filed a complaint against DeMaio with the city’s Ethics Commission, but “probably” would.

Besides the election rule issue, the flare-up highlights what is sure to be a common theme in the mayoral election: organized labor vs. DeMaio. Case in point: Labor leaders have been touting an AnybodyButCarl Twitter feed whose mission is stated as “Dedicated to electing anyone but Carl DeMaio for Mayor of San Diego in 2012.”

DeMaio, a Republican from Rancho Bernardo, is one of two high-profile declared candidates for the mayor’s race along with San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis. Other possible candidates include City Councilman Kevin Faulconer, state Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, Unified Port of San Diego Commissioner Scott Peters, U.S. Congressman Bob Filner and state Senator Christine Kehoe.

Update: Just heard from DeMaio’s campaign. No donations have been accepted or processed, said campaign spokesman Stephen Puetz. A beta version of the campaign website mistakenly went up Tuesday morning and has since been removed. Puetz likened the donation to someone finding out the post office box for DeMaio’s campaign and mailing a check before it was allowed. “He could hand Carl DeMaio a check for $5,” Puetz said. “He’s not going to accept it or process it.”

We also have added “high-profile” to the description of the declared mayoral candidates since other candidates have formally filed.

Please contact Liam Dillon directly at liam.dillon@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.550.5663 and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/dillonliam.

Liam Dillon

Liam Dillon was formerly a senior reporter and assistant editor for Voice of San Diego. He led VOSD’s investigations and wrote about how regular people...

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