Ethics Commission
City and County of San Francisco

Filing Guidelines for County Central Committee

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.

  1. If you expect to raise and spend less than $1,000 on your campaign (or if you expect to raise and spend nothing), the following rules apply: 
    1. You must file a Form 501 (Candidate Intention Statement) with the Ethics Commission.  You must file Form 501 before you raise or spend any money, including personal funds.
      Exception:  This form is not required if you will not solicit or receive contributions and if you do not spend any money.
    2. You must open a campaign bank account.
      Exception:  If you do not raise any money from others, you do not need to open a bank account as long as you spend less than $1,000 of your personal funds.
    3. Form 470:
      • Do I qualify to file Form 470?
        You may file Form 470 if you do not have a controlled committee, and do not anticipate receiving contributions or spending $1,000 or more during the calendar year.  Candidates who have a controlled committee or who have raised or spent $1,000 or more must file Form 460 (see section B below).
      • What reporting period does a Form 470 cover?
        The period covered by Form 470 is the calendar year (January 1 through December 31).
      • When do I file Form 470?
        In an Election Year:  In a year when your candidacy is being voted upon, you must file Form 470 no later than the first pre-election filing deadline for the election (see FPPC filing schedule).
        In Non-Election Years:  Form 470 is also required to be filed in non-election years by candidates who receive contributions, make expenditures or have filed a Form 501.  In non-election years, the Form 470 is due by the relevant semi-annual filing deadline.  For example, if you qualify during the first half of a non-election year to file Form 470, you must file it no later than July 31.  If you meet the requirement to file the Form 470 during the second half of the year, you must file Form 470 no later than the following January 31.  In non-election years, officeholders must file Form 470 no later than July 31.
      • Where do I file the Form 470?
        You must file an original and one copy of Form 470 with the Ethics Commission.
    4. Form 470 Supplement:
      If you file a Form 470 covering a calendar year in which you later spend or receive $1,000 or more, you must file a Form 470 Supplement within 48 hours of receiving or spending $1,000 or more.  It must be filed with the Secretary of State, each candidate seeking the same office, and the Ethics Commission.  The Form 470 Supplement may not be sent using regular mail; you must deliver it in person or use a telegram, fax, or guaranteed overnight delivery service.  You must also open a campaign bank account and file the Form 410 (Statement of Organization) and the Form 460 (Recipient Committee Campaign Statement).  See discussion in Section B below.
  2. If you receive or spend, or plan to receive or spend, $1,000 or more, you must form a committee and the following rules would apply to you:
    1. You must file a Form 501 with the Ethics Commission.  You must file this form before you raise or spend any money, including your personal funds.
    2. 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)).
    3. You must file a Form 410 (Statement of Organization) within 10 days of raising or spending $1,000 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 Form 410 must include the committee’s name and the bank account information or it will not be accepted.  The name of your committee must include your last name, the office that you are seeking and the year of the election.
    4. 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 [1]:
      • 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.
    1. 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 nonmonetary 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 nonmonetary 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.
    1. 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:
      1. 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
      2. 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.

S:\CAMPAIGN\2010\County Central Committee filing guidelines.doc

[1] Deadlines that fall on a Saturday, Sunday, or official state holiday are extended to the next business day.

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