Lobbygate: Dennis Herrera Fires Alex Tourk

Written by Luke Thomas. Posted in Arts and Entertainment, News, Politics

Published on May 12, 2011 with 1 Comment

By Luke Thomas

May 12, 2011

Following the resignation of GroundFloor Public Affairs founder Alex Tourk from two high-profile campaigns this week, a second video in as many days has surfaced on YouTube parodying a conversation between City Attorney Dennis Herrera and Tourk.

In the video, Herrera asks for Tourk’s resignation over alleged violations of campaign ethics laws.

“I need you to resign as my campaign consultant,” Herrera says to Tourk.

“What the hell!” Tourk responds. “You told the press that I didn’t actually lobby you illegally.”

“Yes, but nobody believed that,” Herrera retorts.

Revelations about Mr. Tourk’s lobbying activities were first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle and the BayCitizen.org website.

According to the reports, Mr. Tourk allegedly violated a campaign ethics law when he lobbied two campaign clients, Mr. Herrera and District Attorney George Gascón, on behalf of several of Tourk’s lobbying clients.

The law was passed in 2004 to prevent pay-to-play politics. Tourk was then Mayor Gavin Newsom’s chief of staff at the time.

Mr. Tourk resigned from the Herrera and Gascón campaigns Tuesday.

From the video author:

Dennis Herrera, candidate for SF Mayor, has fired his campaign consultant Alex Tourk because of the controversy around Tourk illegally lobbying Herrera. But it’s common practice for San Francisco campaign consultants to profit by selling access to the elected officials they work with.

This video is based on this Matier and Ross article.

Luke Thomas

Luke Thomas

Luke Thomas is a former software developer and computer consultant who proudly hails from London, England. In 2001, Thomas took a yearlong sabbatical to travel and develop a photographic portfolio. Upon his return to the US, Thomas studied photojournalism to pursue a career in journalism. In 2004, Thomas worked for several neighborhood newspapers in San Francisco before accepting a partnership agreement with the SanFranciscoSentinel.com, a news website formerly covering local, state and national politics. In September 2006, Thomas launched FogCityJournal.com. The BBC, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, New York Times, Der Spiegel, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Magazine, 7x7, San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Bay Guardian and the San Francisco Weekly, among other publications and news outlets, have published his work. Thomas is a member of the Freelance Unit of the Pacific Media Workers Guild, TNG-CWA Local 39521 and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.

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