Measure DD campaign finances significantly higher than opposition

Priyanka Karthikeyan/Staff

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With the general election less than two weeks away, Measure DD’s campaign has now acquired more than $577,000 in total monetary contributions for the calendar year, while the opposing Measure U1’s campaign has raised about $71,000.

Both ballot measures will increase tax rates on landlords. If passed, DD would raise the rate to 1.5 percent on landlords owning more than two units, while U1 would raise it to 2.88 percent and apply to owners of more than four units.

From Sept. 25 to Oct. 22, according to campaign filings, Measure DD received approximately $160,000 in donations, while Measure U1 received $28,000.

“I’m sure (money) makes a significant difference,” said Stephen Barton, a co-chair on the Yes on Measure U1 campaign. “On the other hand, I think that if we’re successful in getting our message out, then we can still win even when we’re outspent.”

The Measure DD campaign could not be reached for comment.

Measure U1’s single largest contribution throughout the calendar year was $15,000 from BRIDGE Housing, the Bay Area’s largest nonprofit housing developer, according to Barton. Barton said he himself was the campaign’s fourth largest donor at $5,100.

Barton said people who work with nonprofit housing developers, such as architects and builders, also gave monetary contributions. He added that typically these donations to Measure U1 range from $25 to $250 or $1,000 to $5,000.

In comparison, Measure DD received larger-scale monetary contributions throughout its campaign, such as a total of about $62,000 from Vero Properties and approximately $35,800 from Durant Berkeley Partners.

Campaign literature and mailing were the most significant costs for both campaigns during this period in September and October. The Yes on DD campaign paid approximately $57,600 for mailing, while the Yes on U1 campaign allocated about $66,200.

In a recent newsletter from the sponsor of Measure DD — the Berkeley Property Owners Association, or BPOA  its president Sid Lakireddy discussed Measure DD’s educational campaign, which used methods such as advertisements and mailers in addition to canvassing.

“The purpose of (the educational campaign) is to communicate our message, which in this case is that Measure DD is fair and Measure U1 is essentially a gift to big developers,” Lakireddy said in the newsletter. “The purpose of the ground campaign is to answer any unanswered questions that potential voters may have.”

During this same time frame, the Measure DD campaign paid approximately $174,000 in direct monetary expenses. Campaign consultants and information technology costs were the next highest expenditure at about $48,000 and $36,000, respectively.

Meanwhile, the Yes on U1 campaign spent about $66,800 in total during this period, pooling about $580 into its only other expenditure: office expenses.

“Berkeley voters are pretty smart,” said City Councilmember Kriss Worthington, who supports Measure U1. They will not be overwhelmed by all the money, and they’ll make up their minds based on the policy.”

Contact Fionce Siow at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @fioncesiow.