Fun With Campaign Cash

Fact No. 1: San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi is running unopposed for a second term.

Fact No. 2: He plans to raise $50,000 for his re-election campaign.

Asked why Adachi feels the need to muster money for a campaign that is now a nonevent, the public defender said he still feels it important to ask the public for its vote. The campaign is also a chance to educate people about the duties of his office and to reach out to the community, he said. “A lot of people don’t realize the public defender is an elected office,” Adachi continued. “You still have to be accountable to the voters.”

As for the cynical view that he is just as interested in raising his own profile (he is often mentioned as a possible 2011 mayoral candidate), Adachi acknowledged he might face that criticism. Yet he reiterated his argument that voters shouldn’t be taken for granted. Adachi also noted he isn’t the first elected lawyer to raise money without an opponent: City Attorney Dennis Herrera did the same last year, spending roughly $300,000 for his re-election campaign. The public defender said he won’t spend nearly that much.

— Dan Levine 

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