Ethics Commission
City and County of San Francisco

Campaign Consultant Activity – 2009 to the Present

Introduction

In November 1997, San Francisco voters approved the Regulation of Campaign Consultants Ordinance (“Ordinance”), San Francisco Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code Sections 1.500-1.540.  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 Ordinance defines “campaign consultant” as a person or entity that receives or is promised $1,000 or more in a calendar year for providing either of the following services:

Campaign Management,” defined as conducting, coordinating or supervising a campaign to elect, defeat, retain or recall a local candidate, or to adopt or defeat a local ballot measure, including but not limited to:

  1. Hiring or authorizing the hiring of campaign staff and consultants; or
  2. Spending or authorizing the expenditure of campaign funds; or
  3. Directing, supervising or conducting the solicitation of campaign contributions; or
  4. Selecting or recommending vendors or subvendors of goods or services for the campaign.

OR

Campaign Strategy,” defined as planning for the election, defeat, retention or recall of a local candidate, or for the adoption or defeat of a local ballot measure, including not but limited to:

  1. Producing or authorizing the production of campaign literature and print and broadcast advertising; or
  2. Seeking endorsements of organizations or individuals; or
  3. Seeking financing; or
  4. Advising on public policy positions.

Employees of campaign consultants do not themselves qualify as campaign consultants.  However, persons and entities that subcontract with a campaign consultant to provide campaign consulting services and that receive or are promised $1,000 or more in a calendar year do qualify as campaign consultants.  Similarly, employees of campaigns who engage in campaign management or campaign strategy and who are promised or receive $1,000 or more in a calendar year also qualify as campaign consultants.

Campaign consultants are required to report only activity associated with local candidates or local ballot measures.  For purposes of the Ordinance, “candidate” means:  (1) a person who has taken affirmative action to seek nomination or election to local office, or (2) a local officeholder who has taken affirmative action to seek nomination or election to any elective office, or (3) a local officeholder who is the subject of a recall election.

Local officeholder” means the following elected officers:  Mayor, Members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, City Attorney, District Attorney, Treasurer, Sheriff, Assessor, Public Defender, Members of the Board of Education of the San Francisco Unified School District, and Members of the Governing Board of the San Francisco Community College District. 

Measure” means a local referendum, or a local ballot measure, whether or not it qualifies for the ballot.

The Commission staff has compiled the information filed by campaign consultants for the fourth quarter of 2012 in the attached tables.  All amounts reported by campaign consultants have been rounded to the nearest whole dollar.

Current List of Registered Campaign Consultants and their Respective Clients

Comparative Data

The chart below compares data compiled pertaining to campaign consultant activity since 2009.  As indicated, the level of campaign consultant activity generally increases or decreases depending on 1) whether an election is held and 2) the number and type of local items on the ballot.

Campaign Consultant Payments Timeline

Client Payment Activity

Filers are required to report “economic consideration” promised by or received from clients in exchange for campaign consulting services during the applicable reporting period.  Economic consideration includes payments, fees, commissions, and reimbursements for expenses, gifts or anything else of value. 

Total Client Payments Received by Consultants

The chart below shows the percent of total client payments received by consultants in 2013, grouped by consultant.

The chart below shows the percent of total client payments received by consultants in 2013, grouped by client.

Quarterly Client Payments Summary

The table summarizes the total payments received by consultants during each quarter.

Detailed Client Payments

The table below details the total payments promised by clients and received by consultants during each quarter.

Political Contributions

Filers must report each political contribution of $100 or more to a candidate for local office, a committee controlled by a local officeholder or a candidate for local office, or a ballot measure committee whether or not the committee is controlled by a local officeholder or a candidate for local office.  Filers must report contributions of $100 or more made or delivered by the filer, or made by the filer’s client at the filer’s behest, or for which the filer acted as an agent or intermediary during the reporting period. 

Total Annual Contributions by Campaign Consultants Compared to Total Contributions From Any Source

This chart below summarizes the total political contributions made by campaign consultants during the year compared to total contributions from any source. The dotted line represents the total contributions from any source during the year. The bar represents the total contributions from campaign consultants during the year.

Detailed Campaign Consultant Contributions

The table below details the political contributions made by campaign consultants each quarter.

Vendor/Subvendor Payments

Each filer must report economic consideration promised to or received by the filer during the reporting period from vendors and sub-vendors who provide campaign-related goods or services to the filer’s current clients.

Gifts to Local Officeholders

Each filer must report any gifts promised or made by the filer to a local officeholder during the reporting period which in the aggregate total $50 or more.  No filers reported any gifts promised or made to a local officeholder since 2009.

Employment of Local Officeholders and City Employees

If the filer employs a local officeholder or City employee during the reporting period, the filer must report the name of the officeholder or City employee and describe the nature of the employment by the filer.  In addition, if a client of the filer employs a local officeholder or City employee at the behest of the filer during the reporting period, the filer must report the name of the client, the name of each officeholder or City employee hired by the client, and the nature of the employment by the client.  No filers reported any employment of a local officeholder or City employee since 2009.

City Contracts Obtained During the Reporting Period

If the filer obtains a City contract during the reporting period and the contract is approved by a local officeholder who is the filer’s client, the filer must report the contract, the date the contract was obtained, and the name of the officeholder who approved the contract.  No filers reported obtaining a City contract since 2009.

Appointment to Public Office

If the filer is appointed to public office during the reporting period and the appointment is made by a local officeholder who is the filer’s client, the filer must report the public office to which the filer was appointed, the date of the appointment, and the name of the officeholder who appointed the filer.  No filers reported being appointed to public office by a client since 2009.

 

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