Joe O'Donoghue sues Willie Brown for failing to properly launder illegal Breed campaign money

What is the world coming to when you can't count on Willie Brown to commit election fraud properly?

Here's one for the ages: Joe O'Donoghue, longtime political leader of the Residential Builders Association and political player in SF, is suing former Mayor Willie Brown -- because he says Brown misdirected $50,000 that O'Donoghue wanted spent on an independent campaign to elect London Breed.

The politics here are amazing: Two former allies are at odds -- and a charitable nonprofit that Brown sent the money to says it was, indeed, fulfilling O'Donoghue's wish to influence the election. [...]

O'Dononghue knew he couldn't give that money directly to Breed; that would violate campaign-finance laws. So he wanted Brown to advise him on how to spend it on an independent-expenditure effort.

Brown, Berko told me, promised that if Joe wrote a $50,000 check, it would go to an IE supporting Breed. "He said that something just needed to be set up," Berko said.

There were, at that point, at least two existing IEs supporting Breed. But Brown didn't direct the money to them. Instead, he asked O'Donoghue to make out the check to APRI -- a nonprofit with an SF chapter in the Bayview. Berko said his client had no idea who APRI was. When he learned that the cash had not gone to a Breed IE, but instead to "a favorite charity of Willie Brown," he asked for his money back. [...]

If this doesn't settle soon, the discovery is going to be really, really interesting.

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