Supervisor Candidate Spent $400K on Failed Ballot

Nick Josefowitz could still owe another $20,000 for an attempt to prevent another candidate from running.

With another $20,000 potentially owed for a failed ballot measure he funded, Nick Josefowitz’s attempt to become District 2 Supervisor is the ethical morass that keeps on giving.

In December, the solar energy entrepreneur who sits on the BART Board of Directors threw in $82,000 of his own money to back a failed ballot measure —titled ”Term Limits for the Mayor and Members of the Board of Supervisors” — that would have closed a term limit loophole, to stop a supervisor or mayor from serving more than two four-year terms. By no coincidence, it would also have prevented former Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier from running against Josefowitz for Mayor Mark Farrell’s seat.

Josefowitz ended up putting in nearly $400,000 in the ballot measure, but fell short of the 15,340 signatures needed to qualify for June. He declined to keep it going for the November ballot, the Examiner reports. The signature collection officially ended on March 17.

Now, the firm that collected signatures, Democracy Resources, say that his short and missed payments prevented the measure from proper funding but that he still owes money. The remaining $20,000 owed means that canvassers who did the work for Josefowitz are short on rent and their bill, according to firm consultant Judson Parker.

“We will not allow some rich, entitled man to steal bread from their dinner tables without a fight,” Parker told the Examiner in an email.

Jesse Mainardi , an attorney for the Josefowitz’ campaign, said they did not owe more money to the firm since it exceeded the contract’s budget. Ethics Commission findings show that the ballot measure campaign spent a total of $445,175.57.

As Democracy Resources collected signatures, bigger obstacles emerged for Josefowitz. After Farrell was sworn in, his appointed successor and now-District 2 Supervisor Catherine Stefani announced she would run as an incumbent in November.

All of a sudden, Josefowitz had an even more formidable challenger than Alioto-Pier, and pulled out a backup tactic days later: suing San Francisco days to move the November election to June. San Francisco Superior Court dismissed the case in February.

Though the lack of a ballot measure may not matter as Alioto-Pier has not filed election papers to run, Stefani has months to prove herself in office. But given the steps Josefowitz’s already taken, it’s possible he may have more contentious options up his sleeve. Just think of what he could do with entire district’s budget.

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