EXCLUSIVE: Downtown’s slate

Pub date October 14, 2008


Reports filed with the city’s campaign finance database show that six big downtown outfits — the San Francisco Apartment Association, the Building Owners and Managers Association, Plan C, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, the Committee on Jobs, and Pacific Gas and Electric Co. — are spending millions to stop progressive candidates and measures and elect a pro-downtown, pro-landlord slate for the Board of Supervisors.

These political action committees (PACs) use their huge war chests in several strategically significant ways.

They make direct monetary contributions to each other, with most paying directly into Plan C, which seems to stand for "Condo Conversion Complex" PAC. Almost $20,000 has moved between these committees in recent months.

They directly fund local candidate and ballot committees, pay for independent billboards, mailers and postage, write ballot arguments, and host fundraisers for their preferred slate. The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) has spent $130,000 to date promoting its candidates.

They use Carmen Chu’s image on $11,500 worth of the No on H mailers. They have funneled $63,000 into the into the Yes on V campaign, which is being used against progressive candidate Eric Mar.

You can follow the money yourself at www.sfgov.org/site/ethics_page.asp?id=74890

But with the next filing deadline set for Oct. 23, and some committees willing to pay late fines, much of what transpires won’t be disclosed until after Nov. 4.

The city maintains an updated list of independent expenditures and electioneering or member communications at www.sfgov.org/site/ethics_page.asp?id=88183.

These show massive amounts of late money being spent to support Sue Lee, Alicia Wang, Joe Alioto, Mike Denunzio, Chu, Eva Royale, and Ahsha Safai and oppose Mar. Stay tuned. And vote early and often.