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Politics & Policy

Who’s spending: Breed-backed housing measure still a money monster

Mary Jung holds a sign that reads “Affordable homes now, Yes on D” at the opening campaign event at the Yes on D Headquarters in San Francisco on Saturday, September 10, 2022. Prop. D would accelerate affordable housing projects, and has garnered support from Mayor London Breed, DA Brooke Jenkins and Supervisor Matt Dorsey. | Juliana Yamada for The Standard

With a little more than two weeks before election day, campaign spending is ramping up with donors opening up their wallets for a housing ballot measure and a host of other campaigns.

Deep-pocketed players are spending on Proposition D, the district attorney’s race, car-free JFK Drive and more as early voters begin to fill out and mail in their ballots.

Here’s a breakdown of major developments, based on new campaign finance filings.

Big Spending in District 4

Third-party expenditures are flowing freely in District 4, where incumbent Supervisor Gordon Mar and challenger Joel Engardio are competing to represent the Sunset District and neighboring areas on the Board of Supervisors.

Labor Neighbor, the political action committee for the SF Labor Council, has spent $138,000 supporting incumbent Gordon Mar and $75,000 attacking challenger Joel Engardio. In a classic San Francisco political attack, some of that spending has depicted Engardio as a secret Republican—an accusation the lifelong Democrat calls ludicrous. 

On the other side, the moderate political group GrowSF has more than doubled its spend in support of Engardio, with the total at $90,000 as of Oct. 23. 

New Group Targets Hamasaki

Golden State Communities, a statewide law-enforcement-backed organization, has targeted district attorney candidate John Hamasaki with $20,000 in web and other digital ad buys. Hamasaki is one of two candidates, the other being Joe Alioto Veronese, challenging District Attorney Brooke Jenkins. 

Regardless of how effective those ads may be, you can expect Hamasaki—known for his acerbic Twitter presence—to make a talking point out of it. 

The Chamber Weighs In

The committee supporting Proposition C, which would create a commission to oversee the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, has received almost $528,000. That includes a recent contribution of $45,000 from the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. 

The campaign in favor of Prop. C makes for strange bedfellows: Other notable contributions include $50,000 each from the Double AA Corporation, a gasoline distributor based in South San Francisco, and the socialite Dede Wilsey. 

Prop. D: Still King of the Hill

Proposition D, the affordable housing measure backed by Mayor London Breed and housing supply advocates, has received another $200,000 in contributions, bringing its total close to a whopping $2.4 million. 

Continuing a trend of major tech support, contributions include $25,000 apiece from Twilio CEO Jeffrey Lawson and wife Erica Lawson, a physician at UCSF. The Northern California Carpenters Regional Issues PAC also gave $25,000. 

Environmental Group Drops Into Car-Free JFK 

The campaign committee supporting Proposition J, which would reaffirm the closure of John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park to cars, is edging closer in total funds to its opponents. That’s thanks to a $50,000 contribution from the international environmental group The Nature Conservancy.

Yes on J’s new total raised is $685,000, just a hair behind the $693,000 raised by the committee supporting Proposition I, which would restore car access to both JFK Drive and the Great Highway.