State and local law impose certain restrictions and reporting requirements on political committees involved in City elections. These committees generally both raise and spend funds to influence City elections, and include general purpose committees, “primarily formed” candidate committees, and ballot measure committees.
These committees are required to file reports disclosing the money that they raise and spend pursuant to both state and local law. The rules applicable to political committees are broadly outlined in the links below.
More details are available in publications from both the Ethics Commission and the Fair Political Practices Commission, which are included in the “Resources” below. Remember that both state and local laws apply to political committees in San Francisco. For questions about how these laws might apply to political committees operating in San Francisco, please feel free to contact the Ethics Commission’s Education & Compliance staff for assistance.
Committee Disclosure Process
- Establishing a committee
- Training for committee treasurers
- Reporting requirements
- Disclaimer requirements
The City’s Campaign Finance Reform Ordinance (CFRO) is found at Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code section 1.100 et seq.
The Ethics Commission has also promulgated regulations implementing CFRO.
CFRO also incorporates the provisions of the Political Reform Act related in local elections, as well as the implementing regulations promulgated by the Fair Political Practices Commission.
- FPPC Campaign Manual 2 for “Primarily Formed” Candidate Committees
- FPPC Campaign Manual 3 for Ballot Measure Committees
- FPPC Campaign Manual 4 for General Purpose Committees
- SFEC Supplement Campaign Guide for General Purpose Committees
- SFEC Supplement Campaign Guide for Ballot Measure Committees
- SFEC Guide for Contributors
- SFEC Fact Sheet on Third-party Reporting Rules
- Disclaimer Chart for Electioneering Communications Referring to City Candidates
- Disclaimer Chart for Independent Expenditure Ads Referring to City Candidates
- Disclaimer Chart for City Ballot Measure Ads
- Disclaimer Chart for Independent Expenditures on City Ballot Measure