Bay Area tech moguls backed group to draft Ed Lee for mayor 

A committee to draft Ed Lee for mayor — an entity separate from the embattled Run, Ed, Run campaign — received $7,730 in contributions from tech moguls, a Harvard professor and an equestrian instructor.

The committee Support Drafting Ed Lee for SF Mayor 2011 ran a Facebook page and produced a television commercial that aired during Sunday talk shows.

Support Drafting was run by Michael Breyer, who was appointed to The City’s Library Commission by Mayor Gavin Newsom.

According to paperwork filed Wednesday, donors include tech investor Ron Conway and Marc Benioff, the CEO of Salesforce.com. That company is developing its new headquarters in Mission Bay. Both contributed $1,000 to the committee.

Another $1,000 supporter was Julie Ha, president of Mayfield College in Southern California.

In all, the committee reported 17 contributions between $100 and $1,000. The money was spent mostly on production of the commercial, airtime and Facebook ads.

Now that Lee has entered the race, the committee has been terminated. It stopped spending money after Lee declared his candidacy, said Breyer, who now plans to campaign to get him elected.

"I think he’s been doing a phenomenal job," Lee said. "He’s just staying on message and trying to talk about the issues San Francisco is facing."

Another political action committee that worked to get Lee to run for a full term in November was under almost-constant pressure by the Ethics Commission. That committee, Progress for All, refused to declare it was a committee focused entirely on getting Lee to run, and instead called itself a general purpose committee.

Breyer’s committee, however, did the opposite, documenting that the committee’s sole purpose was to draft Lee, despite the fact that he wasn’t a candidate. That distinction means Breyer’s draft Lee movement hasn’t been dogged by the Ethics Commission.

Progress for All, on the other hand, was the target of a scathing report from ethics director John St. Croix. The five-member commission voted to absolve Progress for All of any wrongdoing.

Lee announced he was running for mayor Aug. 8. Since then, local and federal prosecutors have been probing the Progress for All committee.

bbegin@sfexaminer.com

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