Ethics Commission
City and County of San Francisco

San Francisco Ethics Commission Audit Report: San Francisco Taxpayers Union Political Action Committee, FPPC ID #1280589

I. Introduction

This Audit Report summarizes the audit results of the committee, San Francisco Taxpayers Union Political Action Committee, Identification Number 1280589 (“the Committee”), for the period from January 1, 2005 through December 31, 2006.  The audit was conducted to determine whether the Committee materially complied with the requirements of the Political Reform Act (“the Act”) (California Government Code section 81000, et seq.) and San Francisco’s Campaign Finance Reform Ordinance (“CFRO”) (San Francisco Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code section 1.100, et seq).

II. Audit Authority

San Francisco Charter section C3.699-11 authorizes the Ethics Commission (“the Commission”) to audit campaign statements that are filed with the Commission along with other relevant documents to determine whether the committee complied with applicable requirements of State and local laws. 

III. Audit Scope and Procedures

This audit was performed in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards.  The audit involved a review of the Committee’s records for the period covered by the audit.  This review was conducted to determine:

  1. Compliance with all disclosure requirements pertaining to contributions, expenditures, accrued expenditures, and loans, including itemization when required;
  2. Compliance with applicable filing deadlines;
  3. Compliance with restrictions on contributions, loans, and expenditures;
  4. Accuracy of total reported receipts, disbursements, and cash balances as compared to bank records; and
  5. Compliance with all record-keeping requirements.

The Commission posts audit reports to its web site and, in cases of apparent violations of law, forwards them to the appropriate enforcement agency.

IV. Committee Information

The Committee is a general purpose committee that was formed in September 2005 to support or oppose City measures related to government spending and taxes.  The Committee has not terminated as of the date of this report.  During the period covered by the audit, Barbara Meskunas served as the Committee’s treasurer.

V. Audit Findings

For the period covered by the audit, the Committee received $40,600 in contributions and incurred $31,497 in expenditures. 

The Commission determined that there was one material finding with respect to the audit of the Committee.  The Committee did not send major donor notice letters to four contributors who contributed $5,000 or more, in violation of Government Code section 84105.

Government Code Section 84105:  Requirement to Send Major Donor Notification

Individuals and entities that contribute more than $10,000 to any committee in a calendar year must file “major donor” statements. (Government Code Sections 82013(c) and 84211(v)).  The Act requires committee treasurers to notify donors who contributed $5,000 or more in a calendar year that the contributor is required to file a “major donor” statement if the $10,000 threshold is met. (Government Code Section 84105).  Treasurers must send the major donor notification within two weeks of receipt of the contributions. (Government Code Section 84105).

The Committee was required to send notice regarding major donor filing obligations to four contributors.  These contributors donated $5,000 each, as follows:

Contributor

Contribution Amount

Date of Contribution

Notification Due Date

Status of Notification Letter

Reuben & Junius, LLP

$5,000

8/18/2005

9/1/2005

Not Sent

Meridian Management Group

$5,000

10/17/2005

10/31/2005

Not Sent

Trinity Management Services

$5,000

10/20/2005

11/3/2005

Not Sent

GSFAR Legal Action Fund – San Francisco Assn. of Realtors

$5,000

10/21/2005

11/4/205

Not Sent

VI. Committee’s Response to Finding

Barbara Meskunas, the treasurer, states that the Committee attempted to comply fully with all applicable campaign finance laws and rules in good faith and with best efforts.  Ms. Meskunas states that any violation of law was completely inadvertent and unintentional, as the Committee accurately and timely reported all contributions received and all expenditures made.

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