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Executive Director’s Report – May 10, 2010

For the Meeting of May 10, 2010

1. Budget. 

The Budget and Finance Committee of the Board of Supervisors has begun hearings on the budget for FY 10-11.   The hearings for general fund departments will occur in June.  For the Ethics Commission, the first hearing will be on June 16 and the second one will be on June 23.  As you know, union members are currently voting on ratification of tentative agreements that will have an impact on City employees.  I am in constant touch with the Mayor’s Budget Office and members of the Budget and Finance Committee.

2. Investigation and enforcement program.

Since its last regular meeting on April 12, 2010 the Commission has received two new complaints.  There are currently 18 complaints in the Commission’s jurisdiction.

Category# of Complaints
Campaign Finance5
Conflict of Interest6
Governmental Ethics0
Lobbyist Ordinance0
Campaign Consultant Ordinance0
Sunshine Ordinance7

3. Campaign finance disclosure program.

a. Filing deadline.  The most recent filing deadline occurred on April 30, 2010 for the Quarterly statement for Ballot Measure committees, which covers through the reporting period ending March 31, 2010.  All committees required to submit the Quarterly statement have filed on time. 

The next filing deadline is May 27, 2010 for the Second Pre-Election statement, which covers through the reporting period ending May 22, 2010. Staff continues to answer questions from and conduct outreach to candidates and other committee representatives about campaign finance filing obligations.

b. Collection of late filing fees and contribution forfeitures.  Campaign finance collections as of May 4 for FY 09-10 totaled $70,199, based on filings made during previous fiscal years and the current fiscal year.  By comparison, campaign finance collections as of May 4 in prior fiscal years were as follows:

Fiscal yearCollections by May 4Total collections in FY

The $70,199 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 $33,378 in fees that have been referred to the Bureau of Delinquent Revenues, is $172,496, down from $200,131 as last reported. 

The current outstanding balance of contribution forfeitures assessed as a result of the defective reporting of contributor information is $14,714, as last reported.  The $14,714 amount consists of forfeitures from the 2005-2006 filing periods and does not include forfeiture assessments from the 2008 or subsequent filing periods. 

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$0
2Johnnie Carter for Community College Board1226264Johnnie Carter6/16/06$9,520.00$6,595.00$6,595.00
3Micheas HermanPEN788Micheas Herman6/26/06$100.00$100.00$100.00
4San Franciscans for Fair & Honest Government1258209Erik Howell10/20/06$4,659.22$4,659.22$4,659.22
5Myrna Viray Lim for District 11 Supervisor1256697Jia Jun Chen4/27/07$3,855.00$3,855.00$3,855.00
6Committee to Elect M. Valle for Treasurer1278937Manuel B. Valle6/14/07$5,525.00$5,525.00$5,525.00
7Committee to Elect Vilma Guinto-Peoro Supervisor District #21291394Vilma Guinto-Peoro6/18/07$10.00$10.00$10.00
8Bill Barnes for District 51265969Alix Rosenthal1/3/08$3,120$3,110$2,947.85
9Care Not Cash1244505Ronald Jin2/29/08$5,331$5,331$5,331
10Omar Khalif for Board of Educ.1287030Omar Khalif7/30/09$1,800$1,800$1,800
11Myrna Lim for District 11 Sup1306882Myrna Lim7/30/09$1,180$1,180$1,180
12Gregory StephensPEN196Gregory Stephens3/31/05$420$420$420
13San Francisco Women’s Political Committee1243711Giselle Barry5/16/06$1,906$50$50
14San Francisco Women’s Political Committee1243711Giselle Barry8/24/07$905$905$905

d.  Electronic filing.  On April 30, 2009 staff provided notice to committees subject to the electronic filing requirements under section 1.112(b) that they were 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 are made available to the public on the Ethics Commission’s web site.  The 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 May
4, 2010, the Commission received $113,534 as summarized below.  The figure represents collection of approximately 227 percent of expected revenues for FY 09-10. 

Revenues Received as of May 4, 2010:

SourceBudgeted Amount FY 09-10Receipts
Lobbyist Fees$8,000$23,162
Other Ethics General$1,000$255
Campaign Finance Fines$22,000$70,322
Campaign Consultant Fees$15,000$16,350
Lobbyist Fines$1,000$400
Statements of Economic Interests Fines$1,000 $1,380
Other Ethics Fines$1,000 $1,565
Campaign Consultant Fines$1,000 $100
Total$50,000$ 113,534

5. Public financing/Campaign finance audit program.

As of May 4, the Commission disbursed a total of $142,020 in public funds to seven eligible candidates.  Staff is working on audits of candidates who received public funding for the November 2008 election.    

On May 12, staff will conduct a workshop for candidates running for office in November 2010.  Staff continues to answer questions about the public financing program and other campaign finance requirements.                      

6. Lobbyist program. 

As of May 1, 2010, 42 individual lobbyists were registered with the Commission.  In the FY 09-10, $23,162 in lobbyist fees and $400 in fines have been collected, for a total of $23,562. 

The April 2010 reporting deadline is May 15, 2010.

7. Campaign Consultant program. 

As of May 3, 2010, thirty campaign consultants are active and registered with the Commission.  $15,750 in registration fees and $850 in late fines have been collected in the 2009-2010 fiscal year.  $750 of the late fines has been deposited into the general campaign consultant fee account.  The next quarterly report is due Tuesday, June 15, 2010.  Staff will mail reminder notices to all active campaign consultants two weeks prior to the deadline.

8. Statements of Economic Interests (SEIs).

As of April 29, 1,183 of SEIs, Sunshine Ordinance Declarations, and Certificate of Ethics Training entries were filed and uploaded onto the San Francisco Electronic Disclosure System (SFEDS).  Staff spent a total of 497 hours (208 staff and 289 volunteer intern hours) to create accounts, conduct facial audit, process, record, scan, upload and redact the filings onto SFEDSs.  Staff also went through a three-step review process to verify that all the forms we received were filed accurately and entered properly into SFEDS.

Of the SEI-related entries, 68 percent were filed before April 1, 2010.  Of the 684 SEI forms that were required, 563 or 82 percent have been filed.  Approximately 111 non-filer notifications were sent out on May 4, 2010.  Staff projects that more filers will submit their forms in the coming weeks. Staff also hopes that in the future, the filing process can be simplified further for both the filer and the filing officer.

9. Outreach and Education.

On April 26, 2010, staff met with a delegation of representatives from Turkey, whose visit to the U.S. was sponsored by the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program.  The purpose of the trip was to facilitate a greater understanding of U.S. policies, rationales, and the U.S. system of government; to explore progressive and innovative techniques for campaign organization and outreach to the populace; to learn about programs involving youth participation in the political campaigning; and to promote dialogue between U.S. and future Turkish leaders. 

The Ethics Commission will continue to offer trainings on Statements of Incompatible Activities to City departments. 

The following trainings are the currently scheduled in-person trainings for 2010:
Candidates’ Training:  May 12, July 15, and August 19
GSA Medical Examiner’s Office SIA Training:  August 5
Understanding Expenditure Ceilings:  September 21

Respectfully submitted,

John St. Croix
Executive Director       

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