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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Run, Ed, Run Campaign Is Being Financed by Nine Donors

Posted By on Tue, Aug 2, 2011 at 1:20 PM

click to enlarge Nine people are running Run, Ed, Run
  • Nine people are running Run, Ed, Run

Recently, Chinatown guru Rose Pak told SF Weekly reporter Caroline Chen that a lot of the money being kicked in to the Run, Ed, Run campaign was coming from many people within the Chinese community -- in small amounts.

But campaign finance records released yesterday tell a very different story. Of the nearly $50,000 the campaign has raised to date, roughly 85 percent came from just nine donors, according to finance records. Seven people donated $5,000 while two gave $3,000, including Victor Makras, a former fire commissioner who now serves on the Retirement Board.

Of course, Enrique Pearce, the consultant behind Run, Ed, Run, is spinning the numbers. He was quoted in the SF Examiner today saying that "there was a large outpouring of small

contributors whose donations under $100 aren't included in the


But what was included in the paperwork was the total number of  "small contributions" or donations less than $100 -- which totaled $768. That means smaller donations are responsible for less than 2 percent of the campaign's finances.

"That might, might have bought them 10 signs," one political insider told SF Weekly this morning.

The massive checks coming from only a handful of donors has only further pissed off mayoral candidates who have accused Pak of operating a sketchy -- and possibly illegal -- campaign on behalf of Mayor Ed Lee. Mayoral candidates are limited to taking $500 contributions from donors, but because Run, Ed, Run is operating as a "general purpose" campaign, it can happily take larger donations.

"True grassroots movements are fueled by the investmenet of many, many people and our campaign collected contributions from over 1,700 donors," says Nicole Derse, campaign manager for Supervisor David Chiu. "I think that contrast is telling."

But when we talked to Jim Ross, a local political consultant, he reminded us that most of the activity happened after the campaign finance filing deadline on June 30. So he's expecting a more diversified donor list when the next finance reports are due.

"There's been a month worth of money they've received and spent, and I bet 75 percent of that activity happened in July," Ross says. "So you are really only getting a little bit of the picture of what they've done."

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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