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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Shadowy PAC Underreported Donations Promoting Mike Garcia

Posted By on Tue, Oct 9, 2012 at 2:30 PM

What, you mean this money?
  • What, you mean this money?

We recently wrote about how District 7 supervisor candidate Mike Garcia and his campaign consultant were befuddled by the large amounts of money spent on their behalf by a shadowy independent expenditure committee.

It turns out, however, the Golden State Leadership Fund Political Action Committee was spending more on Garcia's behalf than it initially let on. By initially underreporting its donations, however, it prevented competing candidate F.X. Crowley from receiving a chunk of public funding -- temporarily, at least.

See also: Mike Garcia Shocked by $25,000 Spent on His Behalf

Mike Garcia
  • Mike Garcia

The PAC -- which earlier funneled money from PG&E, an Indian tribe, and others in a vain attempt to quash the recent measure regarding Coit Tower -- initially reported in mid-September it spent $25,000 on Garcia's behalf.

On Oct. 3, however, the PAC amended that filing, noting that it actually spent $43,605 on Garcia's behalf in September (as of Oct. 6, the PAC reported spending $62,000 to push Garcia).

The initial $18,000 discrepancy is more significant than you'd think. By first reporting the lower total, the overall Garcia expenditures halted a shade short of $280,000. But the accurate, amended total pushed expenditures over this mark -- thus triggering a public financing cap benefiting Crowley.

"Our public financing credits are definitely coming to us," said Nancy Crowley, the candidate's wife and finance maven. In the days since mid-September, that threshold has been breached -- but not as soon as it should have been. "We're getting the money," she continued. "This was more of a distraction than anything else."

F.X Crowley
  • F.X Crowley
The situation remains a mystery for Garcia's campaign. Consultant Chris Lee said he has next to no knowledge regarding the independent expenditure committee that has spent so generously on his client's behalf. "I don't know who they are. But it's great they're supporting us."

Based on filings with the California secretary of state, it would appear the PAC is a conduit for the Building Owners and Mangers of San Francisco, which sent it $35,000 last month.

The contest in District 7 figures to be a competitive one. But following the money could lead you to tie yourself in a knot.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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