If money was the only thing that mattered in winning elections, deputy city attorney Scott Wiener would be headed straight to the District 8 supervisor seat this November.
The candidate raised $55,638 in the period from July through September, just short of the combined total of his three opponents.
Rafael Mandelman, public law and affordable housing attorney, stepped up his fundraising efforts, taking in $35,112 since July. Assistant District Attorney Rebecca Prozan raised $14,540, but her total contributions for the year are more than Mandelman’s. Bill Hemenger, who works for Oracle, trails the four in raising money, with just $6,875 last quarter.
More money doesn’t automatically win elections, as evidenced by California’s governor’s race, where Meg Whitman has outspent Jerry Brown more than 10 to 1, yet the latest poll shows them locked in a tie.
But the campaign finance disclosures released October 5 reveal much about the candidates’ campaigns and who is supporting them.
Top fundraiser Wiener is financed heavily by realtors, property managers and real estate developers. Those real estate interests gave him $14,125 this quarter. That doesn’t include the many architects and builders who also threw money at his campaign.
He also has the financial backing of Senator Dianne Feinstein, who contributed $500.
Mandelman, who picked up the endorsement of the San Francisco Democratic Party, has labor help, with $1,850 in his campaign disclosure coming from unions and organizers. District 11 supervisor John Avalos has given him $150 and former supervisor and current chair of the Democratic County Central Committee Aaron Peskin added $500 to his campaign.
Prozan has a long list of endorsements from local elected officials and city employees, and received $500 from state assemblywoman Fiona Ma and $500 more from Barbara Kaufman, director of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Bay Area regional office.
Even local races have campaign managers and consultants, though the staff of these campaigns are making between $1,000 and $3,000 per month — far short of Jerry Brown’s manager, who earns $15,000 a month, and Meg Whitman’s, who makes $90,000.
Mandelman paid $33,692 during this reporting period to Lester Connect, a San Francisco-based voter communications firm that does direct mailing.
Prozan’s campaign hired Hope Road Consulting, and so far has paid over $11,319 for its campaign strategy services.
Wiener’s campaign went with Erwin & Muir, paying $13,360 for consulting services, and $5,000 more to Fall Line Analytics, which specializes in voter demographics and targeting.