Contact: For release:
John St. Croix September 5, 2008
SF ETHICS COMMISSION ANNOUNCES THAT THE VOLUNTARY SPENDING LIMIT HAS BEEN LIFTED FOR BOARD OF SUPERVISORS CANDIDATES IN DISTRICTS 3 AND 4
The San Francisco Ethics Commission announced today that San Francisco’s $140,000 voluntary spending limit for candidates for the Board of Supervisors in the November election has been lifted in Districts 3 and 4. Elimination of the spending limit was triggered by two candidates who declined to accept the voluntary spending limit. One of these candidates made expenditures in excess of the spending limit. The other candidate received contributions in excess of the spending limit.
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 limit receives contributions, makes qualified campaign expenditures, or has funds in his or her Campaign Contribution Trust Account in excess of 100 percent of the $140,000 voluntary spending limit. The limit is also lifted when a committee, or committees in the aggregate, make independent expenditures to support or oppose a candidate that exceed 100 percent of the $140,000 spending limit. Candidates who receive public funds remain subject to their Individual Expenditure Ceilings (see discussion below).
Yesterday, Claudine Cheng, a candidate for the Board of Supervisors seat in District 3 who did not accept the Voluntary Expenditure Ceiling, filed a form indicating that she has made expenditures in excess of $140,000. Today, Carmen Chu, a candidate for the Board of Supervisors seat in District 4 who did not accept the Voluntary Expenditure Ceiling, filed a form indicating that she has received contributions in excess of $140,000. Accordingly, by law, the Ethics Commission is required to lift the voluntary spending limit in Districts 3 and 4.
The Commission has notified all supervisorial candidates in Districts 3 and 4 that the spending limit is no longer in effect in these districts. The $140,000 spending limit remains effective in Districts 1, 5, 9, and 11. The $98,000 spending limit remains effective in races for the Board of Education and Community College Board.
As of today, three candidates in District 3 and one candidate in District 4 have been certified to receive public funds. These candidates must abide by their Individual Expenditure Ceilings, which begin at $140,000, and may be raised in increments of $10,000 based on the opposition spending against the participating candidates or total supportive funds of the candidates’ opponents. All candidates in the district are required to file Form SFEC-152(a)-2 within 24 hours of receiving contributions, making expenditures or having funds in the Campaign Contribution Trust Account that equal or exceed $100,000 and for every $10,000 thereafter. Any person making independent expenditures, electioneering communications, or member communications in support of or in opposition to a candidate is required to file Form SFEC-152(a)-3 within 24 hours of spending $5,000 or more. Additional information about the public financing program is available on the Commission’s website at www.sfgov.org/ethics.
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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.