San Francisco mayoral candidates calling for halt of negative campaigning 

Just as San Francisco's mayoral race heated up with the entry of Mayor Ed Lee, many are now calling for all the candidates to cool it with the negative campaigning.

Mayoral candidate Phil Ting on Wednesday joined another candidate, Tony Hall, in calling for a race that concentrated on the issues rather than negative campaigning, and a group of Chinatown and North Beach community members held a press conference to keep the bashing of candidates to a minimum.

The calls for civility come as rumors swirl that at least one campaign will soon be unveiling television commercials that bash Lee. The interim mayor turned candidate has been under fire lately for breaking his word in January that he would not run for office if appointed as interim mayor.

Ting called on eight other candidates who have accepted public financing to sign a pledge that those public dollars would not go toward negative campaign ads. Lee is the only candidate of ten that has not applied for public financing.

“San Franciscans are tired of all the political attacks, and they shouldn’t have to pay for it through public financing,” Ting said in a statement.

Those thoughts echoed those of attorney Doug Chan, vice-chair of the Human Rights Commission. At a small press conference at Portsmouth Square Wednesday, Chan said that Lee, Ting, Leland Yee and David Chiu, all Chinese Americans with a shot at becoming mayor, should help rather than hurt each other.

“There was once an unwritten rule not to speak ill of a Chinese candidate,” he said, specifically pointing out criticism about Lee’s association with Chinatown powerbroker Rose Pak and former Mayor Willie Brown.

bbegin@sfexaminer.com

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