The following general rules apply to candidates who seek election to county central committees in San Francisco. Please consult the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), the San Francisco Department of Elections, and the San Francisco Ethics Commission for further guidance. To the extent that the information provided in this memorandum conflicts with local or state law, the law controls. The forms referenced below are available at the FPPC’s website at www.fppc.ca.gov.
- An elected member of, or a candidate for election to, a county central committee of a qualified political party who receives contributions of less than two thousand dollars ($2,000) and who makes expenditures of less than two thousand dollars ($2,000) in a calendar year are not required to file any statements with the San Francisco Ethics Commission.
Note: A bank account is not required to be opened, however candidates must collect all contribution and expenditure information required by law and retain this information for a period of 4 years after the campaign.
- If you receive or spend, or plan to receive or spend, $2,000 or more, you must form a committee and the following rules would apply to you:
- You must file a Form 501 with the Ethics Commission.
- You must open a campaign bank account. You must deposit your personal funds into this account before you spend it. Expenditures made from your campaign account may not be for personal use.
Exception: Candidates may use their personal funds to pay a filing fee (See A(1)).
- You must file a Form 410 (Statement of Organization) within 10 days of raising or spending $2,000 or more. (However, if you meet these thresholds during the last 16 days before the election, you must file the Form 410 within 24 hours of qualifying.) The original and a copy of the Form 410 must be filed with the Secretary of State. Upon receipt of the Form 410, the Secretary of State will assign your committee an ID number, which you will use on all reporting forms. You must also file two copies of the Form 410 with the Ethics Commission.
- The name of your committee must include your last name, the office that you are seeking and the year of the election. When naming your committee, the committee name must include the full spelling of the office sought i.e. Doe for Happy Party County Central Committee 2020, abbreviating County Central Committee may result in your Form 410 being rejected by the Secretary of State.
- You must file a Form 460 (Recipient Committee Campaign Statement) with the Ethics Commission for various filing deadlines (see FPPC filing schedule for the election you are involved in). Candidates to be voted upon are required to file for the following deadlines :
- First Pre-Election Deadline: On this Form 460, you will report your activities during the first pre-election period.
- Second Pre-Election Deadline: On this Form 460, you will report your activities during the second pre-election period.
- First Semi-Annual Deadline (July 31): On this Form 460, you will disclose your activities for the period covering from the day after the closing date of the second pre-election period through June 30.
- Second Semi-Annual Deadline (January 31): In addition, candidates must file for the following period if their committee stays open. On this Form 460, you will disclose your activities covering through December 31.
- Special 24-Hour and 48-Hour Reports Due During the Late Reporting Period:
- During the Late Reporting Period (i.e., the 16-day period immediately preceding the election), you must file the Form 497 (Late Contribution Report) within 24 hours of (a) receiving a monetary contribution of $1,000 or more from a single source or affiliated entities, or (b) making a monetary or non-monetary contribution or contributions of $1,000 or more to a candidate, primarily formed committee or a ballot measure committee involved in the election.
- If you receive a non-monetary contribution of $1,000 or more from a single source or affiliated entities during this period, you must file the Form 497 within 48 hours of receiving it.
- Terminating your committee: If you filed a Form 410, you are a committee, and disclosure obligations would continue until your committee is terminated. You may terminate your committee after (a) the committee’s bank account is closed and all cash is disposed, (b) you have no more activity to report, and (c) the committee has no debt or has declared that it has no ability to pay its debts. To terminate, you must do the following:
- File a Form 410. Check the “termination” box. File an original and copy with the Secretary of State and two copies with the Ethics Commission; and
- File a Form 460. Check the “termination” box. File an original and one copy with the Ethics Commission.
The date of termination on both these forms should be the date the committee’s bank account was closed. To determine the reporting period on the Form 460, the beginning date must be the date after the previous Form 460’s end date, and the end date should be the final date of the reporting period during which you terminate.
For more information, please consult the FPPC’s sheet on filing deadlines for local candidates for the election, available at www.fppc.ca.gov and at the Ethics Commission. If you have questions, please call the Ethics Commission at (415) 252-3100, or visit www.sfethics.org.