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Ethics Board: Kenney camp used D.A. spokesman as messenger

The city Ethics Board says D.A. Seth Williams' spokesman attacked GOP mayoral candidate Melissa Murray Bailey on behalf of Democrat Jim Kenney

Interesting little development here.

You may remember that Cameron Kline, spokesman for District Attorney Seth Williams, got himself in a bit of trouble late last month when he sent out a press release attacking Republican mayoral candidate Melissa Murray Bailey on behalf of the Liberty City LGBT Democratic Club.

By sending the press release – which blasted Bailey for accepting campaign contributions from a donor that Liberty City described as "homophobic" – Kline violated the City Charter. As Williams' spokesman, he is prohibited from engaging in political activity.

But, apparently, Kline was moonlighting as a messenger for Democratic mayoral candidate Jim Kenney.

According to a settlement agreement that the city's Board of Ethics just released, Kline sent the email after a representative from Kenney's campaign "emailed the co-chair of the board of Liberty City LGBT Democratic Club and asked if the organization would be willing to issue a statement about online comments made by the largest contributor to the Republican nominee for Mayor. The Kenney campaign provided the text of the proposed statement, a list of reporters' email addresses, and screenshots of Facebook posts made by the contributor."

See, in politics, sometimes it's better to just sic the dogs on your opponent, while you chill on the porch with a nice glass of sweet tea. That's what we always say.

Kenney has previously declined to comment on this. (Update: Kenney spokeswoman Lauren Hitt said today: "We flagged the comment for the group because they are important advocates in speaking out against LGBT discrimination.")

The Ethics Board settlement says Kline did not help draft the press release and didn't participate in discussions with the Kenney campaign. He merely sent it from his personal computer and gmail account.

Kline, who subsequently resigned from Liberty City's board, has agreed to pay a $600 fine, as part of the Ethics Board settlement. And to take "ethics training." Whatever that is.