SF Ethics Commission
Campaign Consultant Filing, Fourth Quarter 2003
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 fourth quarter activity reports were due on December 15, 2003 and covered the filing period beginning September 1, 2003 and ending November 30, 2003. Sixty-four campaign consultants filed with the Ethics Commission in the fourth quarter of 2003.1
The level of campaign consultant activity has fluctuated since the first filing in June 1998 (the second quarter of 1998). The chart on the next page compares data compiled pertaining to campaign consultant activity since implementation of the Ordinance. 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.
Due to recent increased education by the Commission about the regulation of campaign consultants, a record number of consultants registered during the third and fourth quarters of 2003. There was considerable activity in the fourth quarter 2003 due to the greatly contested mayoral and district attorney races. However, the total payments received by campaign consultants during the fourth quarter 2003 was considerably less than the total payments received by campaign consultants during the fourth quarters of 2000 and 2002 when campaign consultant activity was high due, respectively, to candidates running for all eleven seats of the Board of Supervisors and a large number of highly contested local ballot measures.
1 The Campaign Consultant Ordinance
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:
(a) Hiring or authorizing the hiring of campaign staff and consultants; or
(b) Spending or authorizing the expenditure of campaign funds; or
(c) Directing, supervising or conducting the solicitation of campaign contributions; or
(d) Selecting or recommending vendors or subvendors of goods or services for the campaign.
"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:
(a) Producing or authorizing the production of campaign literature and print and broadcast advertising; or
(b) Seeking endorsements of organizations or individuals; or
(c) Seeking financing; or
(d) 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 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 2003 in the attached tables. All amounts reported by campaign consultants have been rounded off.
Description of Quarterly Report Tables
Fifty-two out of the sixty-four filers reported activity pertaining to the November 4, 2003 and December 9, 2003 elections.2 Table 1 reflects the elective offices and ballot measures appearing on the ballots.
Table 2 summarizes all reported activity by campaign consultants for the fourth quarter of 2003. Filers are listed in descending order of the payments received. Also reported are the total payments promised by clients and any political contributions or gifts to officeholders made by the filers.
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. Table 3 lists the name of the filer in alphabetical order, the filer's clients, the services performed for that client, the payment promised by the client in the reporting period, and the payment actually received. The table also indicates the total payments promised or received by all filers. The payments promised by all clients to filers during the fourth quarter totaled $1,112,506. The payments received by all filers from clients during the fourth quarter totaled $1,367,183.
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. This chart indicates the political contributions made by campaign consultants during the reporting period. The total reported amount of political contributions made by filers during the fourth quarter was $10,125.
Each filer must report economic consideration promised to or received by the filer during the reporting period from vendors and subvendors who provide campaign-related goods or services to the filer's current clients. The payments promised by or received from vendors or subvendors during the fourth quarter totaled $4,519, and the total payments received from vendors or subvendors totaled $4,896.
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. One filer reported making a gift to a local officeholder in the amount of $75.
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. One filer reported employing a City employee.
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 filer reported obtaining a City contract during the reporting period.
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 filer reported appointment to public office during the reporting period.
1 All campaign consultants are sent pre-deadline notices. Non-filers are subject to late fines. Five registered campaign consultants, John Barber, Patricia Calfee, Strat Cavros, Andrew Hayward, and Douglas Schoen, have not filed a fourth quarter 2003 report as of the date of issuance of this report.
2 See footnote 2.