Supervisor Farrell Seeks to Expose ‘DARK MONEY’ Groups that Influence Local Elections

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, Supervisor Mark Farrell said he will introduce a law to close a loophole that allows “dark money” groups to hide the true source of their contributions to political campaigns.

WITH NEW LAW, SUPERVISOR FARRELL SEEKS TO EXPOSE ‘DARK MONEY’ GROUPS THAT INFLUENCE LOCAL ELECTIONS

 

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, Supervisor Mark Farrell said he will introduce a law to close a loophole that allows “dark money” groups to hide the true source of their contributions to political campaigns.

 

“The public deserves to know the true sources of dark money pouring into political campaigns,” said Supervisor Mark Farrell. “This reform will expose these dark money sources and shed light on the influence they are attempting to peddle.”

 

Farrell was spurred to act by the exposure of recent dark money political donations made by the Yerba Buena Neighborhood Consortium LLC (YBNC), which is owned and operated by John Elberling.

 

Elberling is a real estate developer who siphoned millions from taxpayer-funded projects and then used the money to fund political campaigns backed by Supervisors Aaron Peskin, Jane Kim, and their allies. In this election cycle alone, Elberling’s group has contributed at least $385,000 to campaigns backed by Peskin and Kim.

 

Farrell’s policy aims to close a loophole that has allowed donors like YBNC to escape scrutiny. The policy would add new disclosure requirements any time an LLC, S corporation, or partnership contributes to political committees. Under current San Francisco law, these committees are not required to disclose the source of their donations.

 

“When loopholes are being taken advantage of for political gain, policymakers have a duty to act,” said Supervisor Farrell. “This policy will send a strong message to people who are hiding the true source of their campaign donations from the public.”

 

Under Farrell’s policy, these organizations will have to disclose the purpose of their business, the principal officers of their business, whether or not they currently receive or have received public funds, and the source of their contributions. Individual campaign committees would be required to compile all the new disclosure requirements and submit them to the Ethics Commission for the public record.

 

Farrell’s policy will be formally introduced at the November 1, 2016 meeting of the Board of Supervisors. Farrell’s policy will be referred to the Ethics Commission once introduced, and will require approval from four out of five Ethics Commissioners and eight supervisors.

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