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Executive Director’s Report – March 14, 2011


For the Meeting of March 14, 2011  

1. Budget.

The Commission has submitted its budget for FY 2011/12.  As discussed and approved by the Commission at the last meeting, the request is for an operating budget of $2,250,000 and $2,000,000 for the Election Campaign Fund.  The Mayor is expected to submit its budget to the Board of Supervisors on June 1.   At this time, the Board of Supervisors is expected to consider the Commission’s budget on June 20 and 27.  I will be working closely with both the Mayor and the Board regarding the Commission’s budget.  On March 9, I testified before the Budget and Finance Committee regarding legislation to appropriate $1.3 million from the City’s General Fund to the Election Campaign Fund.

2. November 8, 2011 Election. 

Two candidates have been certified as eligible to receive public funds.  The Commission has disbursed $50,000 to each of these two candidates.   

Candidates for Mayor who are interested in seeking public funding may submit an application for public funds beginning February 8.  In order to receive public funds, an interested candidate must demonstrate, among other things, that he/she has received at least $25,000 in qualifying contributions from at least 250 individuals who reside in the City. 

3. Investigation and enforcement program.

Since its last regular meeting on February 14, 2011, the Ethics Commission has received no new complaints.  There are 29 pending complaints alleging violations within the Ethics Commission’s jurisdiction.

Category # of Complaints
Campaign Finance 10
Conflict of Interest 5
Governmental Ethics 0
Lobbyist Ordinance 0
Campaign Consultant Ordinance 2
Sunshine Ordinance 12

4. Campaign finance disclosure program.

a. Filing deadline.  The most recent filing deadline occurred on January 31, 2011 for the Second Semi-Annual statement, which covers through the reporting period ending December 31, 2010.  On February 24, 12 committees were sent a Second Non-Specific Written Notice and posted to the Commission’s Non-Responsive Filers List.  As of March 7, only four of these committees remain non-responsive.

The next filing deadline that applies to all committees falls on August 1, 2011 for the First Semi-Annual statement, which covers the reporting period ending June 30, 2011.  In the interim, staff continues to receive and process campaign statements for other filing deadlines.  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.  In the FY 10-11, as of February 28, the Commission collected a total of $34,745 in campaign finance late fees and forfeitures.  Outstanding late fees and forfeitures total $130,344, of which waiver requests are pending for $93,080; and $21,097 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 $350 $0
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 $1,041 $1,041
5 Care Not Cash 1244505 Ronald Jin 2/29/08 $5,331 $2,731 $2,156
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 $21,097

5. Revenues report. 

For FY 10-11, the Commission is budgeted to generate $78,000 in revenues.  As of March 8, 2011, the Commission received and deposited $90,335 as summarized below.  The figure represents collection of approximately 116 percent of expected revenues for FY 10-11. 
Revenues received and deposited as of March 8, 2011:

Source Budgeted Amount FY 10-11 Receipts
Lobbyist Fees $8,000 $35,500
Other Ethics General $1,000  $307
Campaign Finance Fines $50,000  $34,582
Campaign Consultant Fees $15,000  $14,450
Lobbyist Fines $1,000 $2,050
Statements of Economic Interests Fines $1,000 $70
Other Ethics Fines $1,000  $1,076
Campaign Consultant Fines $1,000  $2,300
Total                        $78,000  $90,335

On February 22, 2011, staff launched an on-line payment system.  Registration fees, late fees, penalties, and settlements can now be paid by credit card, debit card, or e-check on the Commission’s web site.

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

The Sunshine Ordinance Task Force (SOTF) has informed the Commission that its review of draft regulations related to the handling of complaints regarding alleged violations of the Sunshine Ordinance and referrals from the SOTF continues.  The SOTF anticipates that it will complete its work sometime this spring. 

7. Lobbyist program. 

As of March 7, 2011, 66 individual lobbyists were registered with the Commission.  In FY 10-11, total revenues collected to date amount to $37,550, which consist of $35,500 in lobbyist registration fees and $2,050 in fines.  The February 2011 reporting period deadline is March 15, 2011.

8. Campaign Consultant program. 

As of March 8, 2011, 27 campaign consultants are active and registered with the Commission.  $14,450 in registration fees and $2,300 in late fines have been collected during the 2010-2011 fiscal year.  The next campaign consultant quarterly report deadline is Tuesday, March 15, 2011.  Staff has mailed reminder notices to all active campaign consultants.  Staff has also sent an additional e-mail reminder one week prior to the deadline.

9. Statement of Economic Interests program.

On February 1, 3, 9, 10, 14, 18, 28, and March 7, staff facilitated 15 Filing Officer SEI Trainings.

10. Outreach and Education.

On February 25, staff posted the following web trainings videos:
Governmental Ethics Ordinance Training for City Employees (revised version)
Public Utilities Commission SIA Training
Department on the Environment SIA Training
Medical Examiner’s Office SIA Training

On February 28, staff met with a delegation of 20 inspectors and officials from Zhengzhou City, China.  The group, which oversees anti-corruption programs, was in the City to discuss the Commission’s anti-bribery and ethics rules and investigations.

On March 4, staff met with a delegation of nine officials from Fujian Province, China, who were in the U.S. to participate in a three-week training program to learn about open government, transparency, and ways to prevent corruption. 

On February 23, staff provided training to the Commission on the Status of Women on government ethics and the Statement of Incompatible Activities Training for the Commission on the Status of Women.

The Commission continues to offer trainings on Statements of Incompatible Activities to City departments. 

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
SIA Training for the Department of Building Inspection:  web training available online
SIA Training for the Department on the Environment:  March 9
SIA Training for the Planning Department:  May 17 and June 14

Respectfully submitted,

John St. Croix
Executive Director    
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