Financial Statistics and Status of 2011 Candidate Committees

Analysis of Mid-Year San Francisco Campaign Financing of Candidates for November 2011 Election Part 1

By Oliver Luby & Marc Salomon

Section 1 – Financial Statistics and Status of 2011 Candidate Committees

Source: San Francisco Ethics Commission.

Basic contribution statistics

As can be seen from the table below, the Run Ed Lee Run campaign clearly has the highest average amount of monetary contribution, obviously due to the fact that they are not honoring the $500 contribution limit that all the other candidate campaigns must abide by.  The year in which the committee reported qualifying to form is highlighted in Orange (2009), Yellow (2010), or Green (2011).


A committee’s solvency is measured by whether it has cash on hand to pay its unpaid accrued debts.  While debt that exceeds available cash can sometimes be brief and innocuous, such as when a candidate incurs expenses when anticipating an influx of public financing, the circumstances are often indicative of troubling problems.  Such problems can include financial mismanagement, gratuitous credit extended by vendors such as consultants, or the tactic of concealing expected contributors until a subsequent reporting deadline (often after an election).

[1] Ting’s 2010 statement reports $2,411 in accrued debt.  Ting’s 2011 statement reports $37,470 in additional accrued debt and the report’s schedule F does not report payment of the $2,411 amount from 2010.  Therefore, the amounts were totaled to reach $39,881.  In the event that the payment of the $2,411 amount during the 2011 period was not completely reported due to an oversight by the committee, we note that the amount of 2011 accrued debt ($37,470) still exceeds the 6/30/11 cash on hand.

[2] Of the $19,507 in unpaid accrued debt reported on Yee’s 2010 statement, all but $450 was reported as paid in 2011 on Yee’s 2011 statement.  In addition, Yee’s 2011 statement reports an additional $129,973 in accrued debt that was not paid as of 6/30/11.  Therefore, the total unpaid debt as of 6/30/11 was $130,423.