News from the San Francisco Ethics Commission
Individual Expenditure Ceiling Adjusted for Two Board of Supervisor Candidates in November 2018 Election
September 27, 2018
Contact: Pat Ford (415) 252-3100
The San Francisco Ethics Commission announced today that it raised the Individual Expenditure Ceiling of two publicly financed candidates in the November 2018 supervisorial race for District 6. The Individual Expenditure Ceiling for Matt Haney was raised from $260,000 to $270,000 because on September 27th Total Supportive Funds for candidate Sonja Trauss totaled $278,197. The Individual Expenditure Ceiling for Christine Johnson was raised from $260,000 to $270,000 because on September 27th Total Supportive Funds for candidate Sonja Trauss totaled $278,197.
As part of the City’s voter approved public financing program, candidates must agree to abide by campaign spending limits as one of the requirements for receiving public funds. A candidate running for Board of Supervisor must agree to an initial spending cap of $250,000. Under City law, the Ethics Commission is required to raise the Individual Expenditure Ceiling of a publicly financed Board of Supervisor candidate when the Total Supportive Funds of one of the candidate’s opponents, together with the Total Opposition Spending against the candidate, exceeds the candidate’s own Individual Expenditure Ceiling. The ceiling is raised in increments of $10,000.
Total Supportive Funds is the sum of all funds (including monetary contributions, loans, in-kind contributions and public funds) received by a candidate other than funds in the candidate’s campaign contingency account, plus the expenditures made or expenses incurred by any person who makes independent expenditures, electioneering communications or member communications to support that candidate.
Total Opposition Spending is the sum of all expenditures made or incurred by any person for independent expenditures, electioneering communications or member communications to oppose a specific candidate. Total opposition spending does not include spending by a candidate to support himself or herself or to oppose his or her opponents in the same election.
To ensure the public is informed about third-party spending designed to influence voter choices, public disclosure reports are required during the 90 days prior to an election by persons who make independent expenditures, electioneering communications, or member communications that clearly identify a candidate for city elective office. These reports are due within 24 hours of each time a person spends $1,000 or more per candidate. Third party spending reports are regularly summarized by the Ethics Commission on its campaign finance data dashboards. Information about individual expenditure ceilings and public funding disbursed to qualified candidates for the November 2018 election can also be viewed on the Commission’s website.
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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, including the assessment of fines through its administrative enforcement authority. Its duties include: filing and auditing of campaign finance disclosure statements, lobbyist and campaign consultant registration and regulation, administration of the public financing program, whistleblower program, conflict of interest reporting, investigations and enforcement, education and training, advice giving and statistical reporting. We invite you to follow our work at https://www.sfethics.org.