Consent Form (Prop T - Lobbyist Gift Ban) [1 Attachment]

Hi All. I don't know why folks do everything at the last minute, but we
may as well take a look at this one now, since Zach has brought up the
issue. Of course we did not endorse this one last Saturday since we ran
out of time and didn't even get to it. It will be one less one to take a
look at our next meeting.

This one is "Restricting Gifts & Contributions from Lobbyists." Another
one of these attempts to stop lobbyists from getting around the law. It
makes more rules regarding our favorite folks--lobbyists. It has 4 main
changes to the law:

1. Currently lobbyists do not need to identify which City agencies they
intend to influence and they need to report monthly. T will change that to
require them to identify which agencies they intend to influence, and if
they make a change, it must be reported in 5 days.

2. Currently lobbyists can't give gifts exceeding market value of $25. T
will change that to forbidding any gifts at all. Of course there's an
exception: 501c(c)(3) non-profits can give gifts of less than $25 if it's
food or beverage and all attendees of a public event also get offered the

3. Currently a person who has made a payment to a third party is treated
as the "true source." T will change that to clarify that a lobbyist cannot
use a third party to circumvent the gift restriction, and it's now the
third party that is the "true source."

4. Lastly, and this part I really don't like, it allows the SF Ethics
Commission and Board of Supervisors to change the law to further the
purpose of T with a super-majority of the Commission and if the BOS
approves the changes. I've noticed them putting this section in a lot more
ballot measures these days--get the voters to approve a new law or mandate
and then allow the politicians/bureaucrats to keep adding to it to make the
law more restrictive or severe, without the voters' approval. And they
don't move towards more individual freedom, but in the wrong direction.

This measure is similar in nature to Prop C from a year ago, which we ended
up taking a NO POSITION (we're torn). I would recommend either a NO or a
NO POSITION because Libertarians should not be in the habit of endorsing
more government rules and regulations. I do the state FPPC filings for the
LPSF and it's a hassle, and nobody knows the rules exactly, even when you
call these government folks, and it's laws like this that make everything
more complicated. The only solution in my mind for reducing all the hanky
panky is making government smaller and cutting them at the source--chopping
down their money and laying off government employees by the gross--so
lobbying for favors would become useless and not worth the chance of
getting caught. I read somewhere recently in my research that Mark Farrell
is facing some kind of legal trouble over campaign contributions because he
or his folks didn't do something right. I consider him one of the more
ethical folks on the BOS, so it just shows you how even a decent-seeming
person can get into hot water over too many complicated rules. In the end,
I think folks still find away to get around the law, if they really want to.

I'll let Zach know that we're reviewing this one, but I definitely would
not recommend signing his endorsement. Please advise your thoughts on this


P.S. Wendy emailed me that she found another SF group to sign the RR
rebuttal and everything is ready to go to file in Alameda tomorrow, so we
won't be signing that one so nothing for us to do on that one now. I read
the rebuttal though, not the proponents' argument, and it looked quite
kosher to me. Will forward all this after tomorrow.

I recommend "no position"
Richard Winger 415-922-9779 PO Box 470296, San Francisco Ca 94147

Ditto. No position.