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San Francisco Moves To Increase Public Financing For Mayoral Candidates

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San Francisco City Hall (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

San Francisco City Hall (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Two candidates for mayor have applied for tax payer money to finance their campaigns as the city moves to beef up its public financing fund.

The Board of Supervisors finance committee voted Wednesday to add another $1.3 million to the public financing fund, despite objections that the city did not have the money and that the candidates simply didn’t need it.

“All the folks that we do have who are running are people who have raised tons of money before, or are able to raise money without the benefit of public financing,” said Supervisor Carmen Chu.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera and former Supervisor Bevan Dufty were the first to ask for public money in the mayor’s race.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

Candidates are eligible for as much as $900,000 if they promise to limit spending and contributions. The city could spend around $7 million if all the candidates seek public financing.

Supervisor John Avalos said it was time to put money back into a fund that former Mayor Gavin Newsom regularly raided to balance the budget.

The timing was not right given the scarcity of money for other city services such as parks, said Supervisor Scott Wiener.

“This money has to come from somewhere. We’ve been borrowing to pave our roads,” Wiener said.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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