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Executive Director’s Report – December 13, 2010

For the Meeting of December 13, 2010  

1. Budget.

The Mayor has provided a budget target to all City departments, which have been asked to submit a savings equal to 10 percent of the department’s base General Fund support and a 10 percent contingency cut.  Of the 10 percent target, departments are required to submit a current year savings proposal of at least 2.5 percent by December 21.  The 10 percent target for the Ethics Commission is $213,023, of which $53,256 is due on December 21 and the remaining $159,767 is due with the budget submission in February.  With the 10 percent contingency, the amount of cuts requested from the Commission is $426,045.

2. Public Financing of Candidates – Board of Supervisors Program 2010 

As of December 8, 2010, the Commission disbursed a total of $1,468,094 in public funds to 22 candidates eligible to receive public financing.  Candidates continued to submit requests for public funds through December 2, 2010, which was the last day to submit a claim. 

According to Third Party Disclosure Forms filed with the Commission through November 2, 2010, third party spending to support or oppose candidates on the November 2 ballot totaled almost $1.7 million.  In 2008, third party spending totaled approximately $1.3 million.    

Staff continues to conduct outreach to candidates to inform them about rules relating to termination of committees, return of unexpended funds and other relevant matters.  Audits will commence soon.

Mayoral Program 2011

Staff has created and/or updated manuals and forms for the November 2011 election, including manuals and forms relating to the Mayoral public financing program.  Staff will post these manuals and forms to the Commission’s website and inform all potential candidates.  Staff is also preparing training presentations for candidates running for office in November 2011.  Training for candidates will take place on the following four dates in 2011:  January 27, April 12, June 23 and August 9.   

3. Investigation and enforcement program.

Since its last regular meeting on November 8, 2010, the Ethics Commission has received no new complaints.  There are 31 pending complaints alleging violations within the Ethics Commission’s jurisdiction.

Category # of Complaints
Campaign Finance 12
Conflict of Interest 5
Governmental Ethics 0
Lobbyist Ordinance 0
Campaign Consultant Ordinance 3
Sunshine Ordinance 11

4. 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 17, staff sent out Second Non-Specific Written Notices to four candidates/committees for failing to have filed campaign statements.  These candidates/committees have been posted the Commission’s Non Responsive Filers List. 

The next filing deadline is January 31, 2011 for the Second Semi Annual statement, which covers the reporting period ending December 31, 2010. 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 November 30, the Commission collected a total of $28,000 in campaign finance late fees and forfeitures.  Outstanding late fees and forfeitures total $135,680 of which waiver requests are pending for $93,080, and $22,629 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 $1,547 $1,347
5 Care Not Cash 1244505 Ronald Jin 2/29/08 $5,331 $3,306 $3,031
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 $22,629

5. Revenues report. 

For FY 10-11, the Commission is budgeted to generate $78,000 in revenues.  As of December 8, 2010, the Commission received and deposited $40,671, as summarized below.  The figure represents collection of approximately 52 percent of expected revenues for FY 10-11. 

Revenues received and deposited as of December 8, 2010:

Source Budgeted Amount FY 10-11 Receipts
Lobbyist Fees $8,000 $3,000
Other Ethics General $1,000  $243
Campaign Finance Fines $50,000  $27,028
Campaign Consultant Fees $15,000  $6,950
Lobbyist Fines $1,000 $750
Statements of Economic Interests Fines $1,000  
Other Ethics Fines $1,000  $1,000
Campaign Consultant Fines $1,000  $1,700
Total                        $78,000  $40,671

6. 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.

7. Lobbyist program. 

As of December 1, 2010, 45 individual lobbyists were registered with the Commission.  In FY 10-11, $3,000 in lobbyist registration fees and $750 in fines have been collected.  The November 2010 reporting period deadline is December 15, 2010.

8. Campaign Consultant program. 

As of December 3, 2010, forty-six campaign consultants are active and registered with the Commission.  $6,950 in registration fees and $1,700 in late fines have been collected during the 2010-2011 fiscal year.  The next quarterly report is due Wednesday, December 15, 2010.  Staff has mailed and e-mailed reminder notices to all active campaign consultants.  Staff will notify all active campaign consultants regarding the annual re-registration deadline, which falls on January 3, 2011. 

Staff scheduled four and convened three interested persons’ meetings to discuss proposed changes to the Campaign Consultant Ordinance.  Because only one person responded to attend the first one, scheduled for 5 PM on Thursday, November 18, 2010 in City Hall, staff spoke by phone to the person who indicated an interest in attending, and then cancelled the meeting.  No one attended the second meeting scheduled for Monday, November 29, 2010 at 12:00 PM in Room 408 at City Hall.  However, one person subsequently called the office and met with staff to discuss the proposed changes.  Two persons attended each of the two interested persons meetings scheduled for 3 PM and 5 PM on December 1.

9. Statement of Economic Interests program.

On October 14, 2010, 10 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. 

10. Outreach and Education.

Staff attended the Political Reform Act Task Force meeting in Sacramento on November 17, 2010.  Staff provided public comment and sent the attached memo in response to the reform proposals presented at the meeting.

The Commission continues to offer trainings on Statements of Incompatible Activities to City departments.  Currently scheduled in-person trainings will be the SIA training for the Medical Examiner’s Office on January 6, 2011 and February 3, 2011.

The following are the currently scheduled trainings for 2011:

Candidates’ Training:  January 27, April 12, June 23, and August 9
Non-Candidate Recipient Committee Training:  web training available online

11. Membership Change on the Commission.

Vice-Chair Susan Harriman resigned from the Ethics Commission on November 18, 2010.  Ms. Harriman, an appointee of the Mayor who served as Chair of the Commission during 2007-2008 and as Vice-chair since 2009, recently changed her residence to Marin County.  Staff is deeply appreciative of her work, guidance, and strong support for the mission of the Commission.

Respectfully submitted,

John St. Croix
Executive Director

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