THE SUNLIGHT ON DARK MONEY INITIATIVE
Since the bass-ackwards 2010 Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC, big money has dominated San Francisco's elections like never before. The 2018 elections were the most expensive in SF history. Voters are flooded with ads paid for by unlimited Dark Money from Corporate SuperPACs like "Progress San Francisco" and prevented from making fully informed choices by lax laws that allow these fake named shell committees to hide the names of the true funders of these ads. Loopholes in existing law allow prohibited corporate money to keep flowing. "Pay-to-play" politics undermines voter trust in the integrity of the decisions made by City Hall.
The Sunlight On Dark Money Initiative strengthens the San Francisco Campaign Finance Reform Ordinance to assist voters in making informed decisions, limit corruption or the appearance of corruption, and enhance the integrity of the election process. The Initiative Sponsor is Peter Keane, former Chairman of the San Francisco Ethics Commission. The Campaign Committee Chair is former Assemblymember Tom Ammiano. The lead Proponent is Supervisor Gordon Mar.
The Sunlight On Dark Money Initiative will:
1) STRENGTHEN DARK MONEY DISCLOSURE: Significantly increases disclosure of the advertisements by Dark Money SuperPACs to enable voters to more fully understand who is paying for the ads they receive in the mail, at their door, on tv, and online. The initiative restores important disclosure provisions that were quietly repealed by the Board of Supervisors in 2015.
2) LIMIT PAY-TO-PLAY: Prohibits "pay-to-play" campaign contributions in land use matters during consideration of a land use matter or within 12 months following approval of the matter. The "pay-to-play" provision in the initiative is similar to a provision defeated by the Board of Supervisors on a 6-5 vote in April 2018.
3) CLOSE THE CORPORATE MONEY LOOPHOLE: Extends the prohibition on corporate contributions to candidates to include limited liability corporations and limited partnerships, which have been increasingly used to circumvent the corporate campaign contribution restriction.