Pay-to-play politics used to oppose the Yosemite Restoration Campaign
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- San Francisco city contractors and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) have ganged up to defeat Proposition F, the Water Conservation & Yosemite Restoration Initiative, the most recently released campaign finance reports disclosed. According to the reports1, 47% of funding for the 'No on F' campaign has come from companies currently doing business with San Francisco; companies with past contracts with the City, and labor unions representing contracted workers with the City. In addition, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has spent an undisclosed amount of money entertaining San Francisco community leaders at the Hetch Hetchy reservoir, as well as more than $197,000 in federal funds promoting the "Hetch Hetchy Brand" to San Francisco voters.
"These public records demonstrate that San Francisco City Hall and its employees have arm-twisted city contractors to extract hundreds of thousands of dollars to oppose reform. It's typical 'pay-to-play' politics to defend the status quo and fight water conservation," said Mike Marshall, Campaign Director for the Yosemite Restoration Campaign. "It's made that much worse by the improper use of rate-payer and federal funds by the staff of the SFPUC in the run-up to, and during, the campaign."
Proposition F is the "Water Conservation & Yosemite Restoration Initiative." It requires the City to develop a two-part plan to build San Francisco's local water resources and reverse the damage done to the environment by the current water system over the last 100 years. The plan would need to be approved by voters in 2016 in order to be implemented.
ABOUT THE YOSEMITE RESTORATION CAMPAIGN: The mission of the Yosemite Restoration Campaign is to reform San Francisco's 19th century water system to allow for the restoration of Hetch Hetchy Valley and the Tuolumne River in Yosemite National Park. It is a non-profit, 501(c)(4) organization. www.YosemiteRestoration.org
'No on F' Campaign Finance Fact Sheet
According to campaign finance reports filed on Friday, October 5 the 'No on F' campaign received:
- $131,122 from companies currently doing business with the City and County of San Francisco.
- $69,729 from companies with past contracts with the City and County of San Francisco.
- $43,500 from labor unions representing individuals working on projects for the City and County of San Francisco.
According to public record requests the SFPUC staff has spent:
- $197,000 in federal EPA funds promoting the Hetch Hetchy water brand. The funds were intended to encourage San Francisco residents to call 311 to report water quality problems.2
- An undisclosed amount of money organizing eight junkets to Yosemite National Park for local Democratic Club leaders, 'No on F' funders, neighborhood association leaders and gay rights activists. Despite multiple Sunshine Ordinance requests, SFPUC staff have ignored requests asking for a detailed financial accounting of staff time spent organizing these political junkets.
- An undisclosed amount of staff costs collaborating with 'No on F' attorneys to lobby the Ballot Simplification Committee.
SOURCE Yosemite Restoration Campaign