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Politics

ELECTION BRIEF: Prop T - Regulating lobbying

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"Day 36/366.....I Voted," by Flickr user Denise Cross Photography. Used under CC BY 2.0. Cropped and overlaid with text.

Prop T would set restrictions on lobbyists making financial contributions to elected officials.

Lobbyists try to persuade legislators to enact bills that would benefit the interest of the group they represent. They do that with advice and sometimes gifts and money, and they have to follow certain rules.

In San Francisco, lobbyists must register with the city’s Ethics Commission. They have to file reports and disclose campaign contributions made either by themselves, their employers, or their clients. The Ethics Commission actually put forward Prop T. It would require lobbyists to identify the city agencies and officials they plan to work with. It would prohibit campaign contributions and gifts to those people. And it would stop lobbyists from bundling contributions to elected officials from other groups.

Prop T is supported by the local Democratic Party, the local Republican Party, the San Francisco Green Party, and the San Francisco Chronicle, Bay Guardian and Examiner. Of course there are some who oppose this ballot measure. The Bay Area Reporter is one of few to oppose it openly.

To sum up, a “yes” vote on Prop T means that lobbyists will be prohibited from making campaign contributions and cannot provide gifts of any value to elected officials. A “no” vote means that the current system of lobbying would remain the same.

Citizen respondents to KALW's elections call-out contributed to this post. Our call-outs are part of our community reporting project.