Around the same time city attorney and mayoral candidate Dennis Herrera stood on the steps of City Hall to oppose Mayor Ed Lee’s vetoing of a health care amendment, he slammed Lee for failing to disclose with the Ethics Commission city contracts Lee approved, which must be done within five days. Herrera said at least 67 times the disclosures were late.
"Ed Lee's shocking disregard for public transparency should be deeply troubling to San Franciscans who care about good government," Herrera said in a statement. "Anyone could understand a few honest mistakes. But 67 reporting violations in fewer than nine months suggest a pattern that's neither honest nor a mistake.”
Mayor Ed Lee’s campaign fired back. “Dennis Herrera attacking Mayor Ed Lee on ethics is like a skunk telling someone else they stink,” said Lee’s campaign spokesman Tony Winnicker, a reference to previous issues that had plagued Herrera’s campaign.
Winnicker said that the “the Mayor's Office makes every effort to ensure the forms are signed and submitted within days, but Mayor Lee finds the process bureaucratic and cumbersome too.” He said that Lee has already been in talks with the City Purchaser to create a centralized database for the disclosure forms “so we’re not chasing pieces of paper around City Government.”
The filings are required under San Francisco's Campaign Finance Reform Ordinance that requires elected city officials who approve contracts valued at $50,000 or more to file a form with the Ethics Commission within five business days of approval. One reason the disclosures are important is because those with city contracts cannot contribute to local candidates and officeholders in a six month period after the contract is approved and while the contract is being negotiated.