July 7, 2016
**For Immediate Release**
Scott Wiener urges Jane Kim to Sign a Pledge To Stop Demanding Gimmicky, Self-Serving Pledges
San Francisco, CA - San Francisco Supervisor and State Senate candidate Scott Wiener today urged his opponent Jane Kim to sign a “Pledge To Stop Demanding Gimmicky Self-Serving Pledges."
In a letter to Kim, Wiener noted Kim’s repeated requests to sign her self-serving pledges as anti-democratic and ill-advised attempts to censor the full and informed debate that voters deserve. These pledges include:
- Kim's insistence that Wiener agree not to refer to her record or even say her name during the campaign - also known as the "don't say my name" pledge.
- Kim's newest demand that Wiener effectively renounce his endorsement by the Democratic Party and by LGBT civil rights groups, by agreeing to pay a penalty if the Democratic Party or LGBT groups send out any voter communication listing their endorsement.
By signing Supervisor Wiener’s proposed “Pledge To Stop Demanding Gimmicky Self-Serving Pledges," the candidates can engage in a democratic, open and substantive debate of the issues and candidate records.
(Full text of letter to Jane Kim is below.)
July 7, 2016
Supervisor Jane Kim
Jane Kim for State Senate
91 McAllister Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
Dear Supervisor Kim,
I read with interest your campaign consultant’s email to me urging that I sign yet another of your proposed pledges—your second in as many weeks—to restrict our campaign activities as we seek voters’ support in the November 8th election for State Senate.
Rather than reject outright yet another of your self-serving pledge gimmicks, I am proposing a more reasonable alternative to which we could both agree—a "Pledge To Stop Demanding Gimmicky Self-Serving Pledges." This pledge would well serve the voters of California’s 11th Senate District. It is attached below.
Under your newest pledge demand, you ask that I agree to several provisions that would purportedly have the effect of limiting outside spending in our race. As I understand your proposal, the beneficiary of outside political spending would be penalized by having to contribute an amount equal to 50 percent of the outside expenditure to a charity of the opposing candidate’s choice.
And, you will recall that the proposed pledge you sent me last week demanded that I refrain from mentioning your name or discussing your record, and instead strictly limit the information voters receive about us to our own descriptions of our respective records.
You’ll also recall that I rejected your "don't say my name" pledge as plainly self-serving, in that it would allow you to escape scrutiny of your record - a record that is highly inconsistent with how you portray it and out of step with the needs of the residents of San Francisco and San Mateo County residents. Your "don't say my name" pledge is, in fact, an anti-democratic and ill-advised attempt to censor the full and informed debate that voters deserve.
Your newest proposed pledge to penalize the candidate for any outside spending is similarly self-serving.
As an initial matter, your new pledge, as crafted, will penalize me, for example, if the Democratic Party mails its official voter guide to Democratic Party voters, since I am the officially endorsed candidate of the Democratic Party and thus listed as an endorsed candidate. Your proposal will also penalize me, as an LGBT candidate, if the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club, Equality California, or the Victory Fund - three significant LGBT organization's dedicated to advancing the needs of the LGBT community - encourage LGBT voters to support me as an LGBT candidate. Your proposed pledge will require me, effectively, to renounce my endorsement by the Democratic Party, remove myself from the Democratic Party endorsement list, and reject support from well-established, respected LGBT civil rights organizations, by penalizing me if they dare to inform voters that I'm their choice.
Moreover, your supporters are likely to violate any agreement. As PG&E’s favored candidate in the State Senate race--indeed, your political consultant is also PG&E's consultant--you are the beneficiary of a utility that is notorious for last-minute, lavish, and largely unaccountable expenditures to influence election outcomes. Indeed, your June campaign benefited from one such $40,000 PG&E expenditure, which the San Francisco Chronicle called “last-minute” and at least partly responsible for your “come-from-behind surge.” See: http://www.sfchronicle.com/ bayarea/article/How-PG-E-s-money-helped-push-Jane-Kim-into-8316322.php
You may also be aware that PG&E’s record of unaccountable campaign spending goes beyond just late expenditures—it includes illegal, wholly unreported expenditures! As your and PG&E's shared campaign consultant is certainly aware, PG&E once donated $800,000 to defeat a local public power measure, and then neglected to report that donation until after the election. See: http://www.sfgate.com/politics/article/Big-fines-over-PG-E-donations-in-02-vote-Money-2642165.php
Because you are PG&E’s political beneficiary, you would clearly enjoy a prohibitive advantage in any pledge agreement that sought to deter outside expenditures after-the-fact, given that your major corporate benefactor’s largess will likely be timed too late to be reported before the election, assuming it is even reported at all.
Rather than continue with more of your gimmicky, self-serving pledges - pledges your supporters aren't even likely to comply with - let's end the gimmicks. Attached is our proposed pledge to stop the gimmicks.
Pledge To Stop Demanding Gimmicky, Self-Serving Pledges
As a candidate for State Senate, District 11, I pledge to refrain from proposing gimmicky, self-serving pledges and to refrain from demanding that my opponent sign them. I further pledge that I will refrain from feigned pretensions of shock, disappointment, offense, and other expressions of mock moral superiority because such pledge ideas are, in fact, political stunts and gimmicks unworthy of the voters.