Candidate elections and policy questions determined through ballot measures by San Francisco voters often involve campaigns financed by large sums of money. Inherent to the high cost of election campaigning is the potential for improper influence by campaign contributors over candidates and officials. To support the integrity of campaigns and the accountability of governmental processes, both California and City laws robustly regulate the financing of campaigns through both restrictions on certain activities and public disclosure of campaign fundraising and expenditures. These laws apply to a number of actors in City campaigns, including:
- Candidates for City office, including officeholders
- Committees, including ballot measure committees, persons spending independently to influence City campaigns, and “PACs”
- Contributors and Third-Parties who may send communications mentioning candidates
The Commission is authorized by the City Charter to conduct audits of City candidates and committees. Filers who fail to file timely campaign statements are subject to late fees. Non-responsive filers that fail to respond to two or more written notices and one or more verbal notices regarding past-due reporting are listed on the Filers with Delinquent Campaign Filings List.
All campaign committees in San Francisco are required to file disclosure statements in electronic format. Committees must complete a registration process to establish an electronic filing account and committee officers must complete a signature verification process to e-sign statements. Please note that campaign consultants are not able to file electronic statements at this time.