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Press Release – March 1, 2011 – SF Ethics Commission Certifies a Candidate for Mayor as Eligible to Receive Public Funds


John St. Croix
(415) 252-3100

For Press Release: March 1, 2011


On March 1, 2011, the Ethics Commission certified Dennis Herrera, a candidate for Mayor, as eligible to receive public funds from the San Francisco Election Campaign Fund.  Based on the declaration and supporting documentation that Mr. Herrera submitted on February 11, 2011, the Commission determined that he received qualifying contributions totaling $25,000 from at least 250 residents of the City, thus making him eligible to receive public funds.  Mr. Herrera will receive an initial public grant of $50,000.

Candidates who seek public funds must agree to abide by an individual expenditure ceiling, which begins at $1,475,000 for each publicly financed candidate.  Candidates who are certified to receive public funds may receive up to $900,000 in funds, depending upon the amount of matching contributions they raise from San Francisco residents.  If the Commission determines to raise the individual expenditure ceiling of Mr. Herrera, he may be eligible to receive funds in excess of $900,000, depending on the amount of funds available in the Election Campaign Fund, the number of candidates seeking public financing, and the amount of matching contributions he raises.

The certification of a candidate as eligible to receive public funds triggers reporting requirements under section 1.152(b) of the Campaign Finance Reform Ordinance (S.F. Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code § 1.100 et seq.).  Under section 1.152(b)(2), each candidate for Mayor must file Form SFEC-152(b)-2 with the Ethics Commission within 24 hours of receiving contributions, or making expenditures that equal or exceed $1,000,000.  Thereafter, the candidate must file an additional supplemental statement within 24 hours of every time the candidate receives additional contributions, or makes additional expenditures that in the aggregate equal or exceed $50,000.

Under section 1.152(b)(3), any person (individual, partnership, corporation, association, firm, committee, club, or other organization or group of persons, however organized) who makes independent expenditures, electioneering communications or member communications that clearly identify any candidate for Mayor, and the amount of those expenditures in the aggregate equals or exceeds $5,000 per candidate must, within 24 hours of reaching the spending threshold, file Form SFEC-152(b)-3 and a legible copy of the communication with the Ethics Commission.  Thereafter, any such person must file a supplemental statement and a legible copy of the communication each time that the person makes or incurs an additional expense of $5,000 or more. The costs of a communication that supports or opposes more than one candidate or measure must be apportioned among each candidate and measure in the communication.

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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, conflict of interests reporting, investigations and enforcement, education and training, advice giving and statistical reporting.

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