Carole Migden Comes Clean on Billboards

by Paul Hogarth on July 12, 2007

Several weeks ago, I reported that Clear Channel had put up massive billboards throughout the City to promote State Senator Carole Migden, who is facing a tough re-election fight against Mark Leno. The billboards did not disclose who paid for them, and I speculated that Michael Colbruno – Migden’s former chief of staff and Clear Channel’s V.P. of Government Affairs – was behind this.

Yesterday, Migden called the Bay Guardian and finally came clean about the billboards – Clear Channel paid for them, and donated the space because it wasn’t being used. For a large billboard company to give a political candidate free ad space is highly suspect. Bob Brigham, who works for Mark Leno’s campaign, said it was “like a campaign producing a campaign ad with no disclaimer and a TV station running it every day for free.”

Migden also acknowledged that – yes – Michael Colbruno helped arrange it at Clear Channel. When the Bay Guardian originally wrote a blog entry about the billboards, Colbruno posted seven different comments in which he refused to answer who paid for them – despite being repeatedly asked by others to do so.

With the Senate race eleven months away, this is already the second time that Michael Colbruno has put Carole Migden’s campaign in an embarassing light, after he attacked Mark Leno by calling him a “kiddie porn king.” This created an outcry within the gay community, and Migden finally told Colbruno to remove the blog posting.

EDITOR’S NOTE: As a private citizen, Paul Hogarth has endorsed Mark Leno in the State Senate race. He does not play an advisory role in the campaign, nor did he coordinate with Leno’s staff in writing this article. Bob Brigham’s quote came from an unsolicited mass e-mail that was sent to Beyond Chron. Send feedback to

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