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Executive Director’s Report – November 8, 2010

For the Meeting of November 8, 2010  

1. Public Financing of Candidates for the Board of Supervisors. 

As of November 2, 2010, the Commission disbursed a total of $1,387,449 in public funds to 22 candidates eligible to receive public financing.  Staff will continue to process requests for public funds as the last day for candidates to submit claims is December 2, 2010. 

According to Third Party Disclosure Forms filed with the Commission through November 1, 2010, third party spending to support or oppose candidates on the November 2 ballot totaled $1,612,930.  In 2008, third party spending totaled approximately $1.3 million.    

On the Commission’s web site, the Public Finance Disbursements page and the Third-Party Disclosure Forms page received significant traffic during the election, with 4,247 and 1,422 page views, respectively.   Compared to other pages on the site, these pages were the most frequently accessed content behind the Homepage and the Netfile filing software and disclosure databases.  In October, the Commission received its highest monthly traffic since it launched a new web site, which has received almost 200,000 page views and over 77,000 visits since its launch in June 2009.

2. Investigation and enforcement program.

Since its last regular meeting on October 18, 2010, the Ethics Commission has received four complaints and staff has initiated one complaint.  There are 32 pending complaints alleging violations within the Ethics Commission’s jurisdiction.

Category # of Complaints
Campaign Finance 13
Conflict of Interest 5
Governmental Ethics 0
Lobbyist Ordinance 0
Campaign Consultant Ordinance 3
Sunshine Ordinance 11

3. Campaign finance disclosure program.

a. Filing deadline.  The most recent filing deadline occurred on October 21, 2010 for the Second Pre-Election statement, which covers through the reporting period ending October 16, 2010.  On November 3, staff sent out Non-Specific Written Notices to five candidates/committees for failing to have filed campaign statements. 

Staff continues entering campaign statements and answering questions from and conducting outreach to candidates and other committee representatives about campaign finance filing obligations.

b. Collection of late filing fees and contribution forfeitures.  In the FY 10-11, as of October 31, the Commission collected a total of $26,874 in campaign finance late fees and forfeitures.  Outstanding late fees and forfeitures total $140,636, of which waiver requests are pending for $93,080, and $23,103 is pending at the Bureau of Delinquent Revenues.   

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

# Committee/
ID # Treasurer or Responsible Officer Date referral effective Original amount referred Last month’s balance Current balance (Changes are in bold)
1 Johnnie Carter for Community College Board 1226264 Johnnie Carter 6/16/06 $9,520 $6,595 $6,595
2 Barbara Lopez for School Board 1312265 Mika Cade 10/12/10 $350 N/A $350
3 Committee to Elect M. Valle for Treasurer 1278937 Manuel B. Valle 6/14/07 $5,525 $5,525 $5,525
4 Bill Barnes for District 5 1265969 Alix Rosenthal 1/3/08 $3,120 $1,847 $1,547
5 Care Not Cash 1244505 Ronald Jin 2/29/08 $5,331 $3,606 $3,306
6 Omar Khalif for Board of Educ. 1287030 Omar Khalif 7/30/09 $1,800 $1,775 $1,775
7 Myrna Lim for District 11 Sup 1306882 Myrna Lim 7/30/09 $1,180 $1,180 $1,180
8 Myrna Lim for District 11 Sup 1256697 Jia Jun Chen 8/20/07 $3,855 $2,775 $2,775
9 San Francisco Women’s Political Committee 1243711 Giselle Barry 5/16/06 $1,906 $50 $50
            TOTAL $23,103

4. Revenues report. 

For FY 10-11, the Commission is budgeted to generate $78,000 in revenues.  As of November 3, 2010, the Commission received and deposited $38,649, as summarized below.  The figure represents collection of approximately 49 percent of expected revenues for FY 10-11. 

Revenues received and deposited as of November 3, 2010:

Source Budgeted Amount FY 10-11 Receipts
Lobbyist Fees $8,000 $2,500
Other Ethics General $1,000  $231
Campaign Finance Fines $50,000  $26,418
Campaign Consultant Fees $15,000  $6,800
Lobbyist Fines $1,000  
Statements of Economic Interests Fines $1,000  
Other Ethics Fines $1,000  $1,000
Campaign Consultant Fines $1,000  $1,700
Total                        $78,000  $38,649

5. Draft regulations related to complaints regarding Sunshine Ordinance and referrals from the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force.

Staff has forwarded draft regulations related to the handling of complaints regarding alleged violations of the Sunshine Ordinance and referrals from the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force.  The Commission has received notice from the SOTF indicating that it has made significant progress in the review of the proposed regulations; however, the SOTF has requested that the Commission defer any action on the proposals until 2011.  The SOTF also asked that the Commission consider conducting at least one joint, open meeting to discuss the proposals.

6. Lobbyist program. 

As of November 1, 2010, 45 individual lobbyists were registered with the Commission.  In FY 10-11, $2,500 in lobbyist registration fees has been collected.  The October 2010 reporting period deadline is November 15, 2010.

7. Campaign Consultant program. 

As of November 2, 2010, 46 campaign consultants are active and registered with the Commission.  $6,800 in registration fees and $1,700 in late fines have been collected in the 2010-2011 fiscal year.  The next quarterly report is due Wednesday, December 15, 2010.  Staff will mail reminder notices to all active campaign consultants two weeks before the deadline and will send an e-mail reminder one week prior to the deadline.

Staff has scheduled two interested persons’ meetings to discuss proposed changes to the Campaign Consultant Ordinance.  The first meeting is scheduled for Thursday, November 18, 2010 at 5:00 PM in Room 408 at City Hall.  The second meeting is scheduled for Monday, November 29, 2010 at 12:00 PM in Room 408 at City Hall.

8. Statement of Economic Interests program.

On October 14, 2010, 10 of non-filers were referred to the Fair Political Practices Commission’s Enforcement Team.

Staff updated SFEDS with the new leaving office information that was provided by the secretaries of boards and commissions to prepare for Netfile adding the 2011 SEI-related deadlines. 

9. Outreach and Education.

On October 27, staff met with a 12-member delegation is from Tianjin Municipal Administration of Civil Service, People’s Republic of China.  Sponsored by Triway International Group, the delegation discussed the establishment and enforcement of ethical rules governing the conduct of officers and employees and the significance of public monitoring systems of government operations.

The Commission continues to offer trainings on Statements of Incompatible Activities to City departments.  One currently scheduled in-person training will be the SIA training for the Medical Examiner’s Office on January 6, 2011.

Respectfully submitted,

John St. Croix
Executive Director    

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