San Francisco No Campaign Contributions from City Vendors, Proposition H (June 2008)

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San Francisco No Campaign Contributions from City Vendors Measure H appeared on the June 3, 2008 ballot in San Francisco, California, where it passed by an overwhelming majority. It prohibits local politicians from accepting campaign contributions from vendors who do business with the city and county of San Francisco.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Proposition H was "a thinly veiled swipe" from Mayor Gavin Newsom at Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin. The measure puts more teeth into an existing campaign law by making it illegal for city officials and the political committees they control to take or solicit campaign contributions from someone that has a city contract the official will vote on.

Under the previous law in the city, these contributions were already illegal--but it was the errant contractor who was liable for fines and punishment if the law is violated. Measure H now makes the city official liable as well.

The measure was placed on the ballot several months after San Francisco Board of Supervisors Aaron Peskin was criticized because a fundraising committee he controlled received a campaign contribution from Clear Channel Outdoor Inc. just two days before the board awarded the same company a lucrative advertising contract. Peskin has said he didn't know about the contribution, and also accused the mayor of using similar fundraising practices. Peskin says that he supports Proposition H.

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