In response to a campaign ad by San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim attacking an HIV-positive, formerly homeless gay man featured in an ad by Equality California, Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur issued the following statement:
“It is a tactic for some candidates in electoral campaigns to attack the character and integrity of their opponents in order to marginalize and discredit their participation in the political process. Starting in the primary in the race for Senate District 11, Supervisor Jane Kim launched a coordinated attack on our endorsed candidate, Supervisor Scott Wiener, and on Equality California itself. She spread blatantly false information about the funding of our electoral program in an attempt to disparage the character of Supervisor Wiener and the integrity of Equality California. Kim launched her attack at a time when Equality California was running ads focused solely on Supervisor Wiener’s endorsements and record of accomplishments.
The latest example of Supervisor Kim’s use of these troubling campaign tactics occurred this week when she attacked the character of Gary McCoy, who volunteered to participate in an ad prepared by Equality California PAC that focused on Supervisor Kim’s record on homelessness. McCoy is an HIV-positive gay man who fought substance abuse and nearly developed full-blown AIDS while living on the streets. In the ad, he discussed Kim’s purported support and compassion for the City’s homeless population with her opposition to measures that would provide $1 billion in funding over 20 years for homeless assistance programs and for transitional and permanent housing.
In response to the ad, Supervisor Kim launched a character attack on McCoy, asserting falsely that he was paid to participate in the ad, in an apparent effort to raise questions about his veracity and honesty. The Kim campaign went on to assert that “nothing he says is true.”
In fact, the ad educating voters about Kim’s record on homelessness was entirely accurate, as documented by numerous news accounts and by Kim’s own, publicly accessible voting record. Her claims that McCoy was paid to participate in the ad are wholly false. Our organization contacted him after reading his moving story online about how Supervisor Wiener helped him off the streets, into recovery from meth addiction and, ultimately, into a job at city hall. He volunteered his time because he felt voters should know the truth about Kim’s record of opposing and obstructing measures that would bring real help to San Francisco’s homeless population.
Kim has once again obscured the issues at hand with outright lies and personal attacks on anyone who dares to support her opponent. We urge her to return to an honest discussion of the issues that matter to San Francisco and to California.”