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Candidate Financing: What We Know, Part 2

by Larry Bush on 08/24/2011

in Paper Trails

Analysis of Mid-Year San Francisco Campaign Financing of Candidates for November 2011 Election Part 2

(Link: Part 1)


By Oliver Luby & Marc Salomon

Data source: San Francisco Ethics Commission.

Scope: The base data used for this article originate from the candidate disclosures submitted as of August 1, 2011 (disclosing activity for the reporting period ending June 30, 2011).  All electronic filings submitted by the identified candidates as of August 1st were reviewed, including for the 2010 and 2009 reporting periods.  This article does not cover any financial activity that occurred after June 30, 2011.

Therefore, candidates that announced after June 30th (such as Chris Cunnie for Sheriff and Jeff Adachi for Mayor) obviously had no data for the period ending June 30th and were not examined for this article.

This article about the financing of San Francisco 2011 candidates follows Part 1 of this series, which was published on August 8, 2011.  The present article provides five new sections (see links below) analyzing the candidate campaign financing.

The analysis of Sections 1 and 2 of this article are based on the number of itemized monetary contributors for each candidate.  Note that the total number of itemized monetary contributions reported by candidates does not equate with the number of contributors making those contributions to the candidates, since many contributors make two or more contributions to the same candidate (typically in amounts totaling less than $500).  To demonstrate the comparison between itemized contributions and contributors, we have provided the following table.


Committee # of itemized monetary contributions[i] Actual # of contributors disclosed by itemized monetary contributions
DA’s race
Onek for District Attorney 2011 1156 1046
Sharmin Bock for District Attorney 2011 712 676
Gascon For DA 2011 625 608
Mayor’s race
Bevan Dufty for Mayor 2011 2868 1944
Dennis Herrera for Mayor 2011 1726 1600
David Chiu for Mayor 2011 1438 1295
Leland Yee For Mayor 2011 1381 1194
Join Joanna Rees for Mayor 2011 968 930
Michela Alioto-Pier for Mayor 2011 688 631
Phil Ting for Mayor 2011 391 385
Avalos for Mayor 2011 427 373
Tony Hall for Mayor 2011 382 358
Progress for All [Run Ed Lee Run] 26 26
Sheriff’s race
Ross Mirkarimi for Sheriff 358 346
Miyamoto for Sheriff 2011 236 205


This article contains five sections of campaign finance analysis:

Link: Section 1 – Percentage of Candidates’ Contributions Received from within San Francisco

Summary: Which candidates get most of their itemized monetary contributions from donors located in San Francisco?, and which are mostly backed by interests outside San Francisco?  This section provides the answers.

Link: Section 2 – Percentage of Candidates’ Contributions from Non-Individuals

Summary: Which candidates have the highest percentages of contributors who are not individual human beings?  See this section to find out.

Link: Section 3 – Occupation/Industry Breakdown of Individual Contributors to Candidates

Summary: Wondering where campaign contributors get their money?  This section simplifies and consolidates the byzantine reporting of Occupation (and Employer) information for individual contributors in order to show which industries and professions are backing which candidates.

Link:  Section 4 – Candidate Fundraising Rates Over Time

Summary: This section provides graphs for each of the three races, showing candidate fundraising rates over time.

Link:  Section 5 – Analyses of Candidate Expenditures

Summary: Which candidates’ campaigns are stimulating the local economy with their expenditures?  Which candidates’ campaigns are volunteer-based grassroots efforts and which others rely heavily on paid staff?  This section examines the clues.




Disclosure: Oliver Luby has contributed $25 to the John Avalos mayoral campaign and Marc Salomon has contributed $500 to the John Avalos mayoral campaign and $50 to the Ross Mirkarimi for Sheriff campaign.  Mr. Luby has also done some volunteer work for the Avalos campaign.  The authors have previously endorsed Ross Mirkarimi for Sheriff and John Avalos for Mayor, with a second place IRV endorsement of Leland Yee for Mayor.  Mr. Luby has endorsed David Onek for District Attorney. This article was written in the authors’ capacities as longtime advocates for campaign finance disclosure, and the work was independent of any election campaign.


[i] The numbers for itemized monetary contributions in the table above were first reported in Part 1 (Section 1) of the preceding article.  Candidates must itemize contributions that are $100 or more.  The identified number of itemized monetary contributions equates with the total number of itemized rows reported in the electronic Form 460 (Schedule A) data of each candidate.  While each row usually represents a distinct campaign contribution, some rows also report the return of such contributions, pursuant to the reporting requirements for return of contributions.  Thus, the actual number of distinct itemized monetary contributions may be slightly lower in some cases than the numbers reported in the table above.

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