The mayor has a campaign fund that he has the right to spend however he wishes .... Generating public education about an issue seems to me a perfectly appropriate use of that money.
First of all, this is a paternalistic defense. CM Steine takes it upon himself to assume that we are looking for education instead of seeing influence and prerogative for what they are in the game of local politics.
Second of all, it is disingenuous. Calling a public relations blitz "public education" truly dumbs down the meaning of education. Although in an era where "public education" can mean almost anything, including the newspeak-opposite of its traditional meanings, I guess the CM feels free to apply it where convenient.
Finally, I guess if money can be speech and corporations can be persons, political donations that serve to advance a short but happy political career can be education. However, it is no less a cynical claim on CM Steine's part.
Oh, and by the way, we still do not know whether the Dean for Mayor campaign donated to a non-profit or a PAC. The difference seems lost to Dean Team apologists.