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Press Release – February 25, 2013 – San Francisco Ethics Commission Releases Fourth Quarter 2012 Report on Campaign Consultant Activity

John St. Croix
(415) 252-3100

For release: February 25, 2013


Pursuant to San Francisco’s Regulation of Campaign Consultants Ordinance, the San Francisco Ethics Commission has released its summary report of campaign consultant activity for the fourth quarter of 2012.  The summary report includes information disclosed in the fourth quarter activity reports, which were due on December 17, 2012, and covered the filing period beginning September 1, 2012 and ending November 30, 2012.  Thirty-nine campaign consultants were required to file quarterly reports with the Ethics Commission for this reporting period; one consultant failed to file. 

Payments to Campaign Consultants.  For the fourth quarter of 2012, active campaign consultants reported receiving $1,759,850 in payments from their clients.  Of this amount, Stearns Consulting, Inc. reported receiving the highest total in payments, $381,790.

Political Contributions Made by Campaign Consultants.  Political contributions by registered campaign consultants during the fourth quarter of 2012 totaled $5,085.  John Whitehurst, of Whitehurst Mosher Campaign Strategy & Media, reported the highest amount in political contributions, $3,000.

The Commission reported that the level of campaign consultant activity has fluctuated since the first filing in June 1998 (the second quarter of 1998).  Commission staff compiled data pertaining to campaign consultant activity since the implementation of the Ordinance as follows:

QuarterNumber of ConsultantsTotal Payments PromisedTotal Payments ReceivedTotal Contributions Made
First Quarter 201026$273,847$348,578$100
Second Quarter 201030$449,666$666,692$3,900
Third Quarter 201041$593,564$635,782$3,118
Fourth Quarter 201047$1,575,846$2,766,813$1,600
First Quarter 201130$228,264$400,226$2,100
Second Quarter 201129$475,807$399,184$270
Third Quarter 201148$757,556$738,202$1,950
Fourth Quarter 201164$3,502,429$3,757,950$3,551
First Quarter 201229$87,739$102,990$1,500
Second Quarter 201233$437,751$513,041$650
Third Quarter 201237$401,754$401,239$200
Fourth Quarter 2012 39 $1,759,850 $1,620,836 $5,085

The Regulation of Campaign Consultants Ordinance (“Ordinance”), San Francisco Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code, Article I, Chapter 5, Sections 1.500 – 1.540, was approved by San Francisco voters in November 1997.  The Ordinance requires persons who earn $1,000 or more per year for campaign consultant services to register with the Ethics Commission and file quarterly activity reports.

The reports include the following information: payments promised by or received from clients of campaign consultants, political contributions made by campaign consultants to local candidates and local ballot measure committees, gifts made by campaign consultants to local candidates, payments promised by or received from vendors or sub-vendors, employment by campaign consultants of local officeholders and City employees, and City contracts obtained by campaign consultants during a reporting period and appointment of campaign consultants to public office.

The registration and quarterly activity reports filed by campaign consultants are available for viewing at the Ethics Commission office, 25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 220, San Francisco, CA 94102.  The telephone number is (415) 252-3100.  The Campaign Consultant Summary Report is also available at the Commission office and will be available on the Internet by accessing the Commission’s web site:

The Ethics Commission was established through voter approval of a Charter Amendment in November 1993.  The Commission serves the public, City employees and officials, and candidates for public office through education and enforcement of ethics laws.  It also provides open access to public records in ethics-related matters.  Its duties include: filing and auditing of campaign finance disclosure statements, campaign consultant and lobbyist registration and regulation, administration of the limited public finance and Whistleblower programs, conflict of interest reporting, investigations and enforcement, education and training, providing advice and conducting statistical reporting.    

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