Timing, they say, is everything in life, and San Francisco city attorney investigator Adriel Hampton has shown nothing if not good timing.
The latest tweet (at “press time”) from power-Twitterer Adriel Hampton.
This week the Dublin, Calif., resident has become possibly the first candidate to announce a run for Congress on Twitter, the hot micro-blogging service that allows users to post atom-sized dispatches for the world to see. Hampton is going to make a stab at the state’s 10th District, which will open up if/when the Senate confirms current Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Walnut Creek, to a position in the State Department.
Twitter racks up millions of visitors per month, and Hampton’s move definitely caught him a wave: He snagged mentions on Politico, the Hill and the Calitics California politics blog, and on Tuesday afternoon he had more than 2,100 people following his “tweets.”
Of course, he’ll eventually have to confront other trifling matters, like staking out policy positions and tangling with politicians, such as state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Walnut Creek, who has said he will run for Tauscher’s seat. But for the moment, that can wait.
Hampton on campaign conflicts, and then we talk to a non-twittering maybe-candidate for San Mateo County DA, after the jump ...
Hampton said he is counting on Twitter to lend his efforts some media buzz, and that he will run a mostly “Internet-based” campaign.
“I needed the political community nationwide to know that I’m running, I’m the first one out, I’m going to win this thing,” he said. Hampton, a graduate of UC-Berkeley, has spent some of his career as a journalist, working for the Hayward Daily Review and the San Francisco Examiner, according to his Web site. He told Legal Pad he knows plenty of people in the local legal community — including Matt Gonzalez, whose mayoral campaign Hampton covered — and that he hopes to convince a significant number of them to donate to his campaign. He said he’d like to raise $500,000, but thinks he can win the race with $250,000. As for potential work conflicts, he said that if he were ever assigned to investigate a campaign contributor, he would “abstain” from the case.
In other Bay Area legal/political news, it appears that Michael Guingona, the Daly City vice mayor and SF defense attorney, hasn’t let go of his so-far dormant plan to become San Mateo County’s district attorney. We had a story in The Recorder on Monday saying that the county’s current DA, James Fox, plans on retiring at the end of his term next year, and that Chief Deputy DA Stephen Wagstaffe has Fox’s backing to take over after he’s gone.
Guingona said he approached Fox several years ago to let him know he was interested in becoming DA, and told Legal Pad on Tuesday that he’s still thinking about challenging Wagstaffe in the June 2010 election. And if Fox were to step down in an attempt to allow the board of supervisors to appoint Wagstaffe, Guingona said, he would try to apply for the position as well.
“I did say, ‘Please keep me in mind for the future, because I may be interested when and if the time comes for you to step down,’” Guingona recalls telling Fox. Fox said he remembered having a meeting with Guingona in 2004 or 2005, but that he never made any promises and that anyone who’s qualified can run for DA.
Guingona said he wants to shed light on the fact that the office has only had two DAs since 1953, and that he’d like to see prosecutors allow more non-violent, first-time offenses go to pre-trial diversion, rather than push for harsher punishments.
— Evan Hill