Let’s start with a little backstory. More than $15 million was raised for last year’s elections in San Francisco, according to the city’s Ethics Commission. That’s a lot of cash! About a third of it came from independent groups that raise private money to influence voters. The concern with these political action committees or PACs is that, because they’re private, you don’t really know who’s behind them.
Proposition F would address that concern by modifying campaign advertising requirements and adding some new fundraising restrictions.
So the way things are now, independent PACs must include a disclaimer in their ads. It lists the top 3 donors only if they’ve given $10,000 or more. If Prop F passes, that list would be for the top 3 donors who give $5,000 or more. The measure would also make these disclaimers much more obvious.
Prop F would also restrict direct campaign donations from a wider range of businesses than current law allows.
Several former Ethics Commission chairs and progressives, including Mark Leno and District 4 Supervisor Gordon Mar, support this measure. They argue it will provide more transparency and close corporate money loopholes. The city’s Republican Party opposes the measure arguing it will exacerbate the problem it’s designed to address.
So, vote YES on Prop F if you want new disclaimer requirements for campaign advertising and if you want to expand restrictions on campaign contributions. Vote NO if you don’t.