top of page

San Francisco women fight back against latest Aaron Peskin/Mark Leno intimidation tactics to silence

It’s Our Time, Women for London Breed call out stunning hypocrisy of candidates like Mark Leno who themselves benefited from major independent expenditures in previous elections

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--It’s Our Time, a diverse group of women building a coalition in support of London Breed for Mayor, today blasted Supervisor Aaron Peskin and his anointed candidate for mayor, Mark Leno, for their latest efforts to silence women under the guise of campaign ethics legislation. The phony gimmick is but another attempt to intimidate women from exercising their constitutional right to support London Breed for Mayor. It’s Our Time also highlighted the stunning hypocrisy of Mark Leno and others, who have themselves benefitted from hundreds of thousands of dollars in so-called “Super PAC” money throughout their political careers.

“There they go again, trying to silence and bully women who have the audacity to organize and speak out in support of London Breed,” said Andrea Shorter, Chairwoman of It’s Our Time and a member of the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women. “This is just the latest phony – and possibly unconstitutional – campaign gimmick to create a climate of fear and intimidation among women for London Breed.”

“We have seen this too many times before, especially in politics, and we women simply won’t be told to ‘sit down and be quiet’ in this election,” Shorter continued. “We will especially not be silenced in the face of breathtaking hypocrisy on the part of Mark Leno and other candidates who for decades have directly benefitted from the massive independent committee spending they today profess to oppose.”

“This is the exact same crew who just three weeks ago cut an ugly backroom deal to depose London Breed as Acting Mayor because they were threatened by the real change for San Francisco that she represents,” said Jane Natoli, Richmond district resident and member of It’s Our Time. “Once again, Aaron Peskin and Mark Leno are conspiring to rig the rules and stack the deck against London Breed and women who support her and we are calling it out.”


It’s Our Time, Women for London Breed also blasted the stunning hypocrisy of Mark Leno and other candidates who have previously benefitted from significant independent expenditure efforts in previous campaigns. Last week, Leno called It’s Our Time, Women for London Breed “disgusting” and widely distributed an email telling women “they should be ashamed” of their support for Breed.

“What’s disgusting and shameful is Mark Leno’s breathtaking hypocrisy when it comes to running clean campaigns and ‘SuperPAC’ spending on his behalf,” said Shorter. “We call on him to apologize to the women supporting London Breed for his bullying and intimidation tactics against women.”

Campaign finance records and numerous media articles document that Leno has himself benefitted from hundreds of thousands of dollars in independent expenditure “Super PAC” spending in nearly every competitive race in his 20 years as a politician in San Francisco and Sacramento.

In 2000, after he was appointed Supervisor by former Mayor Willie Brown, Leno’s margin of victory in a close election against progressive candidate Eileen Hansen was secured by tens of thousands of dollars in independent expenditure committee spending which blew past spending caps at the time (see SF Chronicle, 11/7/2000, Spending Limits Canceled in District 8 Supervisor Race).

In 2008, Leno also benefitted from massive “Super PAC” independent expenditure committee efforts in his first campaign for State Senate to unseat former progressive former State Senator Carole Migden, including more than $100,000 from special interest in support of his candidacy and nearly $500,000 against his opponents funded by “Super PAC” special interests.

From the Orange County Register, November 13, 2008:

“[Carole Migden]…was no match for the war chest Assemblyman Mark Leno amassed thanks to loopholes in state campaign-finance laws. Leno cruised to victory…Virtually unregulated independent expenditures no doubt sealed Leno’s victory.”

Supervisor Jane Kim has also previously benefitted from independent expenditure efforts in her previous competitive campaigns, including her first election for Supervisor in 2010, and again in 2016 from a PG&E funded committee in her losing bid against State Senator Scott Wiener.

It’s Our Time, Women for London Breed is proudly women-led, women-organized and women-funded independent committee to elect London Breed formed in the wake of the shocking backroom deal that deposed Acting Mayor Breed on January 23rd. Last week, the group released a widely distributed video, “Time For Change,” highlighting the backroom deal that deposed Breed and urging women to rise up for Breed in the June election for Mayor. It’s Our Time, Women for London Breed is 100% in compliance with local and state campaign finance laws. FPPC#1401958

bottom of page