Ethics Commission
City and County of San Francisco

Press Release – April 15, 2004 – SF ETHICS COMMISSION ANNOUNCES THAT THE VOLUNTARY SPENDING LIMIT HAS BEEN LIFTED FOR ALL BOARD OF SUPERVISORS CANDIDATES IN DISTRICT SEVEN

PRESS RELEASE

 

Contact:                                                                                 For release:

Mabel Ng                                                                                

April 15, 2004

(415) 581-2300

 

SF ETHICS COMMISSION ANNOUNCES THAT THE VOLUNTARY SPENDING LIMIT HAS BEEN LIFTED FOR ALL BOARD OF SUPERVISORS CANDIDATES IN DISTRICT SEVEN

 

The San Francisco Ethics Commission announced today that 

San Francisco

’s $83,000 voluntary spending limit for candidates for the Board of Supervisors in the November election has been lifted in District 7.  Elimination of the spending limit was triggered by one candidate, Tony Hall, who had earlier declined to accept the spending limit and who filed a form yesterday, as required by law, indicating that he had raised contributions to his campaign exceeding 100 percent of the $83,000 voluntary spending limit.  

 

The Commission has notified all District 7 supervisorial candidates that the spending limit is no longer in effect in that district in the general election, and in the run-off election if a run-off is necessary.  District 7 is the first district in which the spending limit has been lifted in the current election. 

 

Under the City’s Campaign Finance Reform Ordinance, the voluntary spending limit for candidates for the office of Board of Supervisors is lifted in a particular district if a candidate who does not agree to abide by the spending limits receives contributions or makes qualified campaign expenditures in excess of 100 percent of the $83,000 voluntary spending limit.   The limit is also lifted when a committee, or committees in the aggregate, make independent expenditures, in support of or in opposition to a candidate, that exceed 100 percent of the $83,000 spending limit.

 

Michael Garcia, Chairperson of the Ethics Commission, said:   “It’s clear that the voters want voluntary spending limits because they approved it by a vote of nearly 80 percent in 1999.  However, the lifting of the limits so early in the election season also makes clear that the Commission must revisit the law and make adjustments as necessary to make sure that spending limits are meaningful and that the public financing program is accomp
lishing its purposes.  In 2002, the only other time when the public financing program was in effect, the Commission did not lift the spending limit in any district until the last day for filing nomination papers in August.   I hope the Commission will be able to consider these matters after the November election.”

 

All candidates running for City office who agreed by the deadline to comply with the voluntary spending limits will be acknowledged in the Voter Information Handbook distributed to 

San Francisco

 voters.

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The Ethics Commission, established in November 1993, serves the public, City employees and officials and candidates for public office through education and enforcement of ethics laws.  Its duties include:  filing and auditing of campaign finance disclosure statements, lobbyist and campaign consultant registration and regulation, administration of the public financing program and whistleblower program, conflict of interest reporting, investigations and enforcement, education and training, advice giving and statistical reporting.

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S:\PRESS\CFRO\Nov 2004\lift limits Dist 7 4.04.doc

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