How would Fair Elections work in San Diego?

Fair Elections would be a voluntary system of public financing of elections. Traditional type candidates could still use the traditional system of raising money from special interests and wealthy candidates could still use their own funds.

Fair Elections candidates would have to earn the right to use public funding by securing a large number of $5 contributions to a clean money fund by a large number of voters. The goal is to insure that those seeking to be Fair Elections candidates have a wide range of support.

Candidates running for City Council would have to generate 500 $5 contributions to be eligible for clean money funding. Candidates for City Attorney and Mayor would have to generate 2,000 $5 dollar contributions.

Fair Elections candidates successful at earning clean money funding can not spend any of their own money in their campaign nor can they solicit financial help from others. Council candidates would receive $150,000 for their primary campaign and $250,000 for a runoff campaign. City Attorney candidates successful at earning public funding would receive $600,000 for the primary and $1,200,000 for the general runoff. Fair Elections Mayoral candidates would $800,000 for the primary and $2,00,000 for the general runoff.

There will be strict regulations and restrictions on the use of public funding and the program will be administered by the Ethics Commission which has a nationwide history for monitoring political campaigns and ensuring their strict adherence to laws, rules and regulations.

Where does the money come from?

The cost of Fair Elections will be $4 per person per year and that funding will be taken from the general
budget each year.

But with Fair Elections, we believe that funding for Fair Elections will be recovered by the city because
with Fair Elections, the current practice of developers and big money contributors getting political payback
for their political contributions with sweetheart deals and giveaways, will be eliminated or drastically cut

Instead, we will see a new kind of campaigning with council candidates being able to go door to door in their
district, talking to voters and listening to voter concerns instead of spending their afternoons on the phone
with wealthy donors begging for donations and making promises for that money.

Who are we?

Neighborhoods for Fair Elections is a coalition working to ensure that the City of San Diego focus on the needs of all San Diegans in all neighborhoods through Fair Elections campaign finance reform.

Who supports Fair Elections for San Diego?

Check the list of endorsements on this web page to see the wide range of support behind the San Diego Fair Elections Initiative.

How will it be funded?

We propose that Fair Elections be funded through public funding.

What elections will come under this process?

The Mayor, City Council, and City Attorney of the City of San Diego. The cost of this program to the people of San Diego will be approximately $6 per resident per year.

Why are we using public funds for elections?

Elections are for the public good and a worthwhile use of public funds.

How will we get this initiative on the ballot?

Our goal is to create a Fair Elections Ballot Initiative for the City of San Diego and qualify it for the ballot through a citizen petition campaign.


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