Monday, June 2, 2008

Why I'm Taking Public Financing

Joshua Sabatini of the SF Examiner reported the other day in his article, "Potential Supes Tap Public Funds," how 8 supervisors are taking public funds. I agree with the premise that public financing helps level the playing field, helps grassroots candidates compete with candidates with access to deep-pocketed donors and can eliminate the appearance of money having a corrupting influence on our elections. I have chosen to take public financing for all of these reasons.

Moreover, I will not be taking campaign contributions from registered lobbyists, corporate interests and real estate developers. I will meet with them when elected, but do not want any appearance of having to owe them anything after I am elected. Public financing makes it possible to run without going after the big money.

Of course, I realize that I have to work extra hard to raise campaign funds, but fundraising is all part of what I have set out to do on my campaign. So far I've been supported by social workers, lawyers, teachers, community leaders, labor activists, small businesses owners, a few government workers and six politicians, including two supervisors Tom Ammiano and Chris Daly and four school board commissioners, Eric Mar, Mark Sanchez, Jane Kim and Kim-Shree Maufus. By the end of the summer I will achieve my fundraising goals in relationship to the public financing program and the spending cap of $140,000.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi John,

When will you set up a campaign website? This blogger account isn't satisfactory.

In addition, now that the "independent" conservative vested interests are devoting their resources to boost that Safai guy, when will you get the matching funds to close the gap? And how is he able to get public funds in the first place? I thought that Chris created a 'Rob Black Law' that would prevent that sort of shit.

And it appears that those push-poll people aren't revealing who is funding them and admitting that they are push-pollers, per the law.

By the way, the ethics commission, as we all know, is impotent. Chris Daly suggested that he might put a measure on the ballot that would supply it with a consistent and plentiful amount of funds to give it some razor-sharp teeth. Has there been any progress on that issue?

Matt (formerly the 2nd anonymous guy) said...

By the way, since IRV will be used, do you plan on running as a team with any of the other candidates? Will you be endorsing other candidates as a second or third choice? Perhaps Emily Drenned and/or Randy Knox?

John Avalos said...

Hi Matt -- Our website will be up in about a week. I've used this blog just to keep current with events.

There was no distinction where you get your funds from to qualify for public financing. Might be another amendment at a later time, but it gets complicated to impossible to figure out. Btw, the Mayor held a big fundraiser for Ahsha Safai on Wednesday at the offices of Platinum Advisors who are lobbyist for some of the biggest corporate interests.

I have sufficient funds to keep up with Safai during the summer months. I'm also aggressively pushing to raise up to the cap by the end of the summer. If you'd like to make a donation you can write a check to Avalos 08 and send it to 542 Munich St, SF 94112. Once the website is up you will be able to donate online.

Matt said...

Hi John,

I already donated $85 to your campaign but I might donate more in the future. I don't have a lot of money so it might take a while.

I know that you are supposed to only accept donations up to $100 in order to get matching funds, right? Or is that just for the first threshold of matching funds? Should I just donate another $15? I'm happy to donate more when I can.

The Fog City Journal mentioned that Safai had a shady fundraiser with Newsom and that Safai was uncomfortable answering any questions about it.
God, I hope you win (which is why you might want to think about running as a team with other progressives now that IRV is in place). Or maybe you want to distinguish your candidacy from the other candidates first?

I don't want to even think about what San Francisco would be like without a majority of progressives on the Board of Supervisors.

John Avalos said...

Thank you for your donation. Ethics only counts up to $100 from each donor from a candidate for the candidate to qualify for public financing. At least 75 donors also must contribute to the candidate. So your donation helped to get me there. Every donor can donate up to $500.

You should expect that I will ask you for another down the line!

I'm currently considering many IRV strategies.

Matt said...

Hi John,

As I said, I'm happy to donate more. But one of the problems I have is that you don't really mention what personal info is necessary when making a donation. I heard that they are doing cavity searches to know if you live in SF, what your job is, phone number, etc., etc. I think that once you have your campaign website up and running, you should be really clear as to what information is needed when making a donation. Please let me know when your website is all set up. I'll make another donation to you online.

Also, I think that now that District Elections are in place, the law of diminishing returns becomes quite powerful. Chris Daly has proven this twice.

Anonymous said...

Hey John,

I'm pretending to play ball with the other team (you know how that goes). I want to make a donation to your campaign but don't want team Gavin to find out. What's the limit before it goes public?

John Avalos said...

Hey Anonymous -- Come out of the closet with all the other Team Gavin defectors/John Avalos believers!

After $99.99, it shows up online. Welcome to the team.

Anonymous said...

You know I probably would get more "love" from Team Gavin if i came out of the closet. We'll see. Should be a good poker game as we move forward. Nothing like pretending to work hard.

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