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Executive Director’s Report – September 14, 2009

For the Meeting of September 14, 2009

1.   FY 09-10 Budget. 

The final budget for the Ethics Commission in the current fiscal year is $5,453,874.  This includes a $2,241,818 operating budget, $1,283,858 for the Election Campaign Fund (a partial restoration of the funds deappropriated last May) and another $1,928,198 for the Election Campaign Fund (the annual deposit required by law of $2.75 per resident). 

2.  Investigation and enforcement program.

Since its last regular meeting on August 10, 2009, the Commission has received two new complaints.  There are currently 15 complaints pending in the Commission’s jurisdiction.

Category# of Complaints
Campaign Finance5
Conflict of Interest5
Governmental Ethics1
Lobbyist Ordinance2
Campaign Consultant Ordinance0
Sunshine Ordinance2

3.   Campaign finance disclosure program.

a. Filing deadline.  The most recent filing deadline was July 31, 2009 for the First Semi-Annual statements, which covers the reporting period beginning the day after the closing date of the last statement filed, or January 1, 2009 through June 30, 2009.  On August 11, staff sent eleven “Non-Specific Written Notices” to filers who did not file.  Then, on August 25, staff sent five “Second Non-Specific Written Notices” to filers who were still delinquent in filing campaign statements.  These filers were then posted to the Commission’s Non-Responsive Filers (NR) List.  As of September 8, two filers have not submitted their required campaign statements and remain on the NR List.

Staff has conducted an initial analysis of campaign finance filings received for this deadline.  The analysis showed that as of September 8, the Commission received 326 campaign finance filings (130 electronic filings and 196 paper filings). Staff entered, scanned and posted these campaign statements to the Commission’s online database.  The next filing deadline is September 24, 2009 for the First Pre-Election statement.
Several candidates have already expressed an interest in running for office in November 2010.  Staff has been conducting outreach for such potential candidates.  Outreach to potential candidates includes contacting and setting up a one-on-one appointment with staff to discuss campaign finance processes and requirements.  The purpose of this outreach is to inform first-time candidates and treasurers of their filing obligations prior to them engaging in campaign finance activity.

b. Collection of late filing fees and contribution forfeitures.  Campaign finance collections as of September 9th for FY 09-10 totaled $3,519, based on filings made during previous fiscal years.  By comparison, campaign finance collections as of September 9th in prior fiscal years were as follows:

Fiscal yearCollections by Sept. 9Total collections in FY

The $3,519 amount is based on prior assessments as follows:

FY when assessedAmount collected in 09-10

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

FY when assessedAmount assessedAmount waived during FY

To date, the outstanding balance of late fees assessed from the current and previous years, including $75,251 in fees that have been referred to the Bureau of Delinquent Revenues, is $219,739, up from $214,097 as last reported. 

The current outstanding balance of contribution forfeitures assessed as a result of the defective reporting of contributor information and contribution limit violations is $70,918, up from $71,218 as last reported.  The $70,918 amount consists of forfeitures from the 2005-2006 filing periods and does not include forfeiture assessments from the 2008 filing period.  Staff continues to process requests for waiver of late fees and forfeitures.

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

ID #Treasurer or Responsible OfficerDate referral effectiveOriginal amount referredLast month’s balanceCurrent balance (Changes are in bold)
1Committee to Elect Rebecca Silverberg1220430Lucia Paulazzo5/6/05$21,086.00$21,086.00$21,086.00
2Yick Tsun Society, Inc.PEN1078Florence Fang8/16/05$7,550.00$7,550.00$7,550.00
3SEIU Local 87PEN951Mike Garcia & Michael Baratz8/25/05$14,350.00$14,350.00$14,350.00
5Johnnie Carter for Community College Board1226264Johnnie Carter6/16/06$9,520.00$7,095.00$6,595.00
7Micheas HermanPEN788Micheas Herman6/26/06$100.00$100.00$100.00
8San Franciscans for Fair & Honest Government1258209Erik Howell10/20/06$4,659.22$4,659.22$4,659.22
9Myrna Viray Lim for District 11 Supervisor1256697Jia Jun Chen4/27/07$3,855.00$3,855.00$3,855.00
10Committee to Elect M. Valle for Treasurer1278937Manuel B. Valle6/14/07$5,525.00$5,525.00$5,525.00
11Shawn WestcottPEN1102Shawn Westcott6/18/07$100.00$100.00$100.00
12Committee to Elect Vilma Guinto-Peoro Supervisor District #21291394Vilma Guinto-Peoro6/18/07$10.00$10.00$10.00
13Bill Barnes for District 51265969Alix Rosenthal1/3/08$3,120$3,120$3,110
14Care Not Cash1244505Ronald Jin2/29/08$5,331$5,331$5,331
15Omar Khalif for Board of Educ.1287030Omar Khalif7/30/09$1,800$0 (NEW)$1,800
16Myrna Lim for District 11 Sup1306882Myrna Lim7/30/09$1,180$0 (NEW)$1,180

d.  Electronic filing.  On April 30, 2009 staff provided 60 days’ notice that committees subject to the electronic filing requirements under section 1.112(b) will be required to file FPPC Forms 461 (Independent Expenditure Committee and Major Donor Committee Campaign Statement) and 465 (Supplemental Independent Expenditure Report) in electronic format starting July 1, 2009.  Electronically filed forms and data will be made available to the public on the Ethics Commission’s web site.  This new electronic filing requirement is in addition to the paper filing requirement.  Forms 461 and 465 were added to the San Francisco Electronic Disclosure System (SFEDS) through the Commission’s contract with Netfile. 

4.  Revenues report. 

For FY 09-10, the Commission is budgeted to generate $50,000 in revenues.  As of September 8, 2009, the Commission received $10,420 as summarized below.  The figure represents collection of approximately 20 percent of expected revenues for FY 09-10. 

Revenues Received as of September 8, 2009

SourceBudgeted Amount FY 09-10Receipts
Lobbyist Fees$8,000$1,388
Other Ethics General$1,000$18
Campaign Finance Fines$22,000$2,136
Campaign Consultant Fees$15,000$1,950
Lobbyist Fines$1,000 
Statements of Economic Interests Fines$1,000$1,180
Other Ethics Fines$1,000$750
Campaign Consultant Fines$1,000 

5.  Public financing/Campaign finance audit program.

Staff is working on audits of candidates who received public financing in 2008.  Staff has identified treasurers of candidate and non-candidate committees who need training for the 2009 election season and is in the process of providing the trainings.

6.  Lobbyist program. 

As of September 1, 2009, there are 39 lobbyists registered with the Commission.  In the 2009-2010 fiscal year, $1,237.50 in lobbyist fees and $150 in fines were collected, for a total of $1,387.50.  The next filing deadline is October 15, 2009, for the third quarter of 2009.

Staff worked with the Mayor’s Office, the Public Utilities Commission, and the San Francisco Airport, which are the only City departments that hire lobbyists to lobby on behalf of the City.  As a result of that cooperation, all lobbyists on behalf of the City have filed the required reports from 1st quarter 2005 through the most recent reporting period.  The next filing deadline for lobbyists on behalf of the City is November 15, 2009, for the third quarter 2009 reporting period. 

7.  Campaign Consultant program. 

As of September 8, 2009, twenty-four campaign consultants are active and registered with the Commission.  $2,550 in registration fees have been collected in the 2009-2010 fiscal year.  The next quarterly report is due Tuesday, September 15, 2009.  Staff mailed reminder notices to all active campaign consultants two weeks prior to the deadline.

8.  Statements of Economic Interests.

April 1 was the deadline for designated officers and employees to file their annual Statement of Economic Interests (“SEIs”).  Staff continues to process incoming SEIs and Sunshine Ordinance Declarations, by logging them into a database and scanning them for upload to the Commission’s website.  A list of filers is viewable on the Commission’s website.

The following table reflects annual statements filed as of September 8, 2009.

Statement of Economic Interests (SEI)600621

On May 6, 2009, staff issued 136 non-filer notices.  On June 8, 2009, staff issued 48 second non-filer notices to those who were unresponsive to the first notice.  On July 8, 2009 staff issued third non-filer notices to 33 non-filers who were unresponsive to the past two notices.  As of September 8, 2009, 90 non-filers informed the Commission that they left office, 26 non-filers filed their annual SEIs, five stated that they hold a position that is not required to file with the Commission, one stated that the Annual SEI requirement does not apply to because the filer recently assumed office, and 14 non-filers remain nonresponsive.  

Enforcement staff continues to audit departments for SEI filing compliance for both 2007 and 2008 calendar years.  Staff is also reviewing all SEIs filed with the Commission.

9.  Outreach and Education.

On August 24, 2009, staff met with a delegation of representatives from Shaanxi Province, People’s Republic of China.  The delegation sought to learn about promoting the highest standards of ethical behavior in government; new laws, rules and programs that will lead to ethics compliance; and ethics education and training.

On September 8, 2009, staff conducted a Candidates’ Training which covered filing requirements for potential candidates for the City elective offices of City Attorney and TreasurerThis training focused on campaign finance requirements that apply to candidates for all City elective offices, focused on required forms for candidates. 

Ethics staff continues to provide trainings on conflict of interest laws and the Statements of Incompatible Activities (SIA) to City departments.  The following trainings are currently scheduled for 2009:

  • Training for Treasurers of Non-Candidate Recipient Committees:  September 22
  • Lobbyist Ordinance Training:  September 28
  • Building Inspection Commission, Access Appeals Commission, Board of Examiners and Unreinforced Masonry Building Appeals Board SIA Training(web training):  September 30

Respectfully submitted,

John St. Croix
Executive Director       

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