Update, Jan. 17: Berkeley’s Fair Campaign Practices Commission voted Thursday night to increase the fine for “Yes on S” campaign violations to $3,750, according to the East Bay Express. The campaign had failed to list the individual names of canvassers hired on election day 2012, made cash payments to them that should have been paid by check or card, and did not properly categorize or disclose two of its non-monetary contributions. After two votes failed, one to increase the fine amount and one to leave it at $2,750 — which had previously been set through an agreement between the city and “Yes on S” — the “Yes on S” campaign attorney agreed to raise the fine to $3,750.
The Fair Campaign Practices Commission has decided to investigate whether any campaign laws were broken when the Yes on Measure S campaign paid people from $50 to $100 in cash to pass out campaign material on election day.
“Helps People. Saves Jobs.” This is the campaign slogan in favor of Measure S, the “Civil Sidewalks” ordinance on Berkeley’s ballot next Tuesday. Proponents argue that by banning sitting in commercial areas during business hours, Measure S will increase economic activity and help homeless people access social services. Like anyone who lives in Berkeley, we have grappled with issues related to homeless people on the sidewalks. A law that would help people get the services they need and help the economy sounded good to us.
Under bright blue skies, an arc of orange balloons, and the sound of the Brass Liberation Band, the “No on S” campaign held its campaign kick-off rally in Constitution Square near the Berkeley BART station on Sunday.