Ethics Commission
City and County of San Francisco

Executive Director’s Report – March 9, 2009

March 09, 2009

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT
TO THE SAN FRANCISCO ETHICS COMMISSION
For the Meeting of March 9, 2009

1.   FY 09-10 Budget. 
At this point, all City departments have been instructed to submit a budget with a 25% cut from current year levels.  If a 25 percent cut is mandated, the Commission will be looking at a cut of $401, 400.  Based on the Commission’s instructions, staff has instead submitted a budget based on FY 08-09 figures.

2.  Investigation and enforcement program.
Since its last regular meeting on February 9, 2009, the Commission has received no new complaints.  There are currently 17 complaints pending in the Commission’s jurisdiction.

Category# of Complaints

Campaign Finance

9

Conflict of Interest

4

Governmental Ethics

1

Lobbyist Ordinance

0

Campaign Consultant Ordinance

2

Sunshine Ordinance

1

TOTAL

17

3.   Campaign finance disclosure program.
a. Filing deadline.  The last filing deadline occurred on February 2, 2009 for the second semi-annual statement, which covers the reporting period beginning the day after the closing date of the last statement filed, or January 1, 2008 through December 31, 2008.  Staff sent Non-Specific Written Notices to candidates/committees on February 17, 2009.  As of March 2, 2008, because fifteen candidates/committees still had not filed their required statement, staff sent a Second Non-Specific Written Notice and posted these filers to the Commission’s website as non-responsive.

Staff conducted an initial analysis of campaign finance filings received for this deadline.  The analysis showed that by February 28, the Commission received 732 campaign finance filings (216 electronic filings and 516 paper filings).  The table below details the forms processed by staff.  For the most part, three staff members processed these campaign finance filings.

Electronic and Paper Filings Received from 1.1.09 through 2.28.09
Form NameNumber of Filings

FPPC 410 (Statement of Organization)

111

FPPC 460 (Consolidated Campaign Disclosure Report)

495

FPPC 461 (Independent Expenditure Committee and Major Donor Committee Campaign Statement)

11

FPPC 465 (Supplemental Independent Expenditure Report)

76

Miscellaneous Forms
(SFEC and FPPC)

39

Total =

732

b. Collection of late filing fees and contribution forfeitures.  Campaign finance collections as of March 3rd for FY 08-09 totaled $21,283, based on filings made during current and previous fiscal years.  This amount does not include payments received for 2008 period contribution forfeitures, which are included in the Other Ethics Fines revenue category.  By comparison, campaign finance collections as of February 3rd in prior fiscal years were as follows:

Fiscal yearCollections by March 3Total collections in FY

02-03

$21,603

$49,322

03-04

$34,312

$51,607

04-05

$57,873

$199,524

05-06

$54,027

$85,390

06-07

$78,507

$119,814

07-08

$58,725

$65,035

The $21,283 amount is based on prior assessments as follows:

FY when assessedAmount collected in 08-09

05-06

$1,347.38

06-07

$50.03

07-08

$7,946.95

08-09

$11,938.50

Total:

$21,282.86

FY 08-09 waivers, as well as waivers from past years provided for comparison, are as follows:

FY when assessedAmount assessedAmount waived in FY

04-05

$907,069

$683,086

05-06

$546,859

$342,901

06-07

$181,831

$50,347

07-08

$217,444

$159,880

08-09

$235,969

$69,023

To date, the outstanding balance of late fees assessed from the current and previous years, including $73,786 in fees that have been referred to the Bureau of Delinquent Revenues, is $223,836, up from $109,598 as last reported.  Staff continues to receive and process requests for waiver of late fees. 

The current outstanding balance of contribution forfeitures assessed as a result of the defective reporting of contributor information and contribution limit violations is $42,617, down from $60,509 as last reported.  The drop in forfeitures was due to all outstanding 2004 election forfeitures being waived.  The $42,617 amount does not include forfeiture assessments from the 2008 filing period.  Staff continues to process requests for reversal and waiver for most of the $42,617 amount of forfeitures. 

c. Status of accounts to San Francisco Bureau of Delinquent Revenues (BDR).  The following chart provides details on pending accounts referred to BDR:

NumberCommittee/
Filer
ID #Treasurer or Responsible OfficerDate referral effectiveOriginal amount referredLast month’s balanceCurrent balance (Changes are in bold

1

Committee to Elect Rebecca Silverberg

1220430

Lucia Paulazzo

5/6/05

$21,086.00

$21,086.00

$21,086.00

2

Yick Tsun Society, Inc.

PEN1078

Florence Fang

8/16/05

$7,550.00

$7,550.00

$7,550.00

3

SEIU Local 87

PEN951

Mike Garcia & Michael Baratz

8/25/05

$14,350.00

$14,350.00

$14,350.00

4

San Francisco Women’s Political Committee

1243711

Giselle Barry

5/25/06 & 9/18/06

$1,906.50

$2,101.50

$905

5

Johnnie Carter for Community College Board

1226264

Johnnie Carter

6/16/06

$9,520.00

$7,595.00

$7,095.00

6

John Kosinski 2004

1262487

John Kosinski

6/26/06

$200.00

$200.00

$100.00

7

Micheas Herman

PEN788

Micheas Herman

6/26/06

$100.00

$100.00

$100.00

8

San Franciscans for Fair & Honest Government

1258209

Erik Howell

10/20/06

$4,659.22

$4,659.22

$4,659.22

9

Myrna Viray Lim for District 11 Supervisor

1256697

Jia Jun Chen

4/27/07

$3,855.00

$3,855.00

$3,855.00

10

Committee to Elect M. Valle for Treasurer

1278937

Manuel B. Valle

6/14/07

$5,525.00

$5,525.00

$5,525.00

11

Shawn Westcott

PEN1102

Shawn Westcott

6/18/07

$100.00

$100.00

$100.00

12

Committee to Elect Vilma Guinto-Peoro Supervisor District #2

1291394

Vilma Guinto-Peoro

6/18/07

$10.00

$10.00

$10.00

13

Bill Barnes for District 5

1265969

Alix Rosenthal

1/3/08

$3,120

$3,120

$3,120

14

Care Not Cash

1244505

Ronald Jin

2/29/08

$5,331

$5,331

$5,331

4.  Revenues report. 
For FY 08-09, the Commission is budgeted to generate $175,000 in revenues.  As of March 3, 2009, the Commission received $72,850.60 as summarized below.  The figure represents collection of 41 percent of expected revenues for FY 08-09. 

Revenues Received as of March 3, 2009

SourceBudgeted Amount FY 08-09Receipts

Campaign Finance Fines

$105,000

$19,724.20

Lobbyist Fees

$40,000

$26,083.00

Lobbyist Fines

$1,000

$1,700.00

Campaign Consultant Fees

$5,000

$18,171.50

Campaign Consultant Fines

$2,000

$50.00

Statements of Economic Interests Fines

$1,000

$1,330.00

Other Ethics General

$1,000

$359.70

Other Ethics Fines

$20,000

$5,432.20

Total

$175,00

$72,850.60

5.  Public financing/Campaign finance audit program.
Staff is working to finalize the remaining 2006 and 2007 audits.  Most publicly financed candidates have submitted their audit records as required and audits are expected to begin in April.

Staff has begun work on the Report on Public Financing in the 2008 Election and expects to complete the report in late March or early April. 

An updated Candidates’ Guide to City Elective Office has been posted to the SFEC website and the first candidates’ training for the 2009 election is likely to occur in May.

6.  Lobbyist program. 
There are currently 39 lobbyists registered with the Commission.  The next quarterly lobbyist filing is due April 15, 2009.  

7.  Campaign Consultant program. 
As of March 4, 2009, sixteen campaign consultants are registered with the Commission.  Fifteen campaign consultants who were active last year have not re-registered.  Staff has contacted them to determine whether they will re-register or terminate their status for 2009.  In the 2008-2009 fiscal year, $15,200 in registration fees and $50 in fines have been collected, for a total of $15,250. 

The deadline for the First Quarter 2009 report is Monday, March 16, 2009.  Staff sent reminder notices to all active campaign consultants two weeks prior to the deadline.

8. Statements of Economic Interests.
Enforcement staff has continued auditing departments for Statement of Economic Interests (“SEI”) filing compliance.  Since the Commission’s last meeting, staff has audited the following departments, each of which had a 100% compliance rate:  1) Taxi Commission; and 2) Board of Permit Appeals.

Staff is preparing for the 2009 annual filings of the SEI and the Sunshine Ordinance, which are due on April 1, 2009.  Staff has begun and will continue to provide several trainings, one set geared towards commission secretaries and department heads who must distribute the forms and another set geared towards persons who must file the forms.  The training dates are listed below in this report. 

Last month, staff provided blank forms for the SEI, Sunshine Declaration and AB1234 Ethics training in the Commissioners’ packets.  The SEI and Sunshine Declaration forms are due no later than April 1, 2009.  Most of the members of the Commission fulfilled their ethics training requirements last year and thus do not need to file the ethics training form this year. 

This year the City Attorney will not be providing a live training on the Sunshine Ordinance and ethics laws.  To satisfy the training requirements, please watch last year’s video, which is available at www.sfgov.org/cityattorney.

9.  Outreach and Education.
On March 3, 2009, ethics staff conducted a Statement of Economic Interests (SEI) Training for Filing Officers and Commission secretaries covering roles and responsibilities, how to conduct a facial audit if the SEI, how to manage the filings of designated employees, department heads, and members of boards and commissions.

Ethics staff continues to provide trainings on conflict of interest laws and the Statements of Incompatible Activities (SIA) to City departments.  Recent trainings have included the Treasurer and Tax Collector and the Adult Probation Department. 

The following trainings are the currently scheduled for 2009:

SEI Training:  March 10, 18, and 26
Lobbyist Ordinance Training:  March 16
Department of Building Inspection SIA Training:  March 23, 24, and 25
Port of San Francisco SIA Training:  April 2, 16 and 21
Department of Public Health SIA Training:  June 23
Public Utilities Commission SIA Training:  June 24, July 16, and July 27
Department of Children Youth and their Families SIA Training:  July 28

Respectfully submitted,

_________________________
John St. Croix
Executive Director       

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