Ethics Commission
City and County of San Francisco

Executive Director’s Report – July 11, 2011

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT
TO THE SAN FRANCISCO ETHICS COMMISSION
For the Meeting of July 11, 2011

1. Budget.

The Mayor proposed his FY 11-12 budget to the Board of Supervisors on June 1.  The budget generally provides the Commission its requested budget, which includes $2,259,979 for the operating budget and $2,009,451 for the Election Campaign Fund (ECF), plus a repayment of $4,079,107 to the ECF.  No changes were made by the Budget Committee when it considered the Commission’s budget on June 20 and 27.  The budget will be introduced to the Board at its meeting on July 12; the Board is scheduled to complete its consideration of the budget by July 26.      

2. November 8, 2011 Election. 

Eight candidates for Mayor have been certified as eligible to receive public funds.  The Commission has disbursed a total of $2,705,651 to these eight 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 June 13, 2011, the Ethics Commission has received no new complaints.  There are 22 pending complaints alleging violations within the Ethics Commission’s jurisdiction.

Category# of Complaints
Campaign Finance6
Conflict of Interest4
Governmental Ethics0
Lobbyist Ordinance1
Campaign Consultant Ordinance3
Sunshine Ordinance8
TOTAL22

4. Campaign finance disclosure program.

a. Filing deadline.  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, the Commission collected a total of $48,309 in campaign finance late fees and forfeitures.  Outstanding late fees and forfeitures total $177,220 of which waiver requests are pending for $130,161; and $25,628 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/
Filer
ID #Treasurer or Responsible OfficerDate referral effectiveOriginal amount referredLast month’s balanceCurrent balance (Changes are in bold)
1Johnnie Carter for Community College Board1226264Johnnie Carter6/16/06$9,520$6,595$6,595
2Committee to Elect M. Valle for Treasurer1278937Manuel B. Valle6/14/07$5,525$5,525$5,525
3Bill Barnes for District 51265969Alix Rosenthal1/3/08$3,120$113$113
4Care Not Cash1244505Ronald Jin2/29/08$5,331$1,256$956
5Omar Khalif for Board of Educ.1287030Omar Khalif7/30/09$1,800$1,775$1,775
6Myrna Lim for District 11 Sup1306882Myrna Lim7/30/09$1,180$1,180$1,180
7Myrna Lim for District 11 Sup1256697Jia Jun Chen8/20/07$3,855$2,775$2,775
8San Francisco Women’s Political Committee1243711Giselle Barry5/16/06$1,906$50$50
9Johnny K. Wang
JKW Political Consulting
100716Johnny K. Wang4/19/11$2,000$2,000$4,0001
10Coalition to Elect Hon. Chris Jackson to Community College Board1302351Hon. Chris Jackson6/17/112,658.90New Referral2,658.90
      TOTAL$25,628

5. Revenues report. 

For FY 10-11, the Commission is budgeted to generate $78,000 in revenues.  As of June 29, 2011, the Commission received and deposited $116,616 as summarized below.  The figure represents collection of approximately 149 percent of expected revenues for FY 10-11. 

Revenues received and deposited as of June 29, 2011:

SourceBudgeted Amount FY 10-11Receipts
Lobbyist Fees$8,000$40,500
Other Ethics General$1,000 $395
Campaign Finance Fines$50,000 $45,500
Campaign Consultant Fees$15,000 $17,500
Lobbyist Fines$1,000$2,050
Statements of Economic Interests Fines$1,000$295
Other Ethics Fines$1,000 $7,576
Campaign Consultant Fines$1,000 $2,800
   
Total                       $78,000 $116,616

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 summer.

7. Lobbyist program. 

As of June 30, 2011, 73 individual lobbyists were registered with the Commission.  In FY 10-11, total revenues collected to date amount to $42,550, which consist of $40,500 in lobbyist registration fees and $2,050 in late fines.  The June 2011 reporting period deadline is July 15, 2011.

8. Campaign Consultant program. 

As of July 5, 2011, 31 campaign consultants are active and registered with the Commission.  $17,500 in registration fees and $2,800 in late fines were collected during the 2010-2011 fiscal year.  The next campaign consultant quarterly report deadline is Thursday, September 15, 2011.  Staff will mail and e-mail reminder notices to all active campaign consultants two weeks before the deadline. 

On July 7, 2011, the Rules Committee will consider for placement on the November 2011 ballot the draft amendments to the Campaign Consultant Ordinance that were approved by the Ethics Commission at its meetings on December 13, 2010 and January 10, 2011. 

9. Statement of Economic Interests program.

Between May 3 and June 1, staff entered 310 SEI-related filings into SFEDS.  On June 14, 2011, staff sent 135 first non-filer notifications to 81 commissioners and 54 designated employees.  As of July 1, there were 44 remaining non-filers:  30 commissioners and 11 designated employees. 

The Ethics Commission must send out two non-filer notifications before sending an enforcement referral to the state Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC).  The Ethics Commission is currently two months ahead of the FPPC’s recommended notification and enforcement referral schedule.  After the second non-filer notification is sent, filers will have 14 days to file their SEIs.  If they do not file within the required time period, the Ethics Commission will begin compiling supporting documents for an enforcement referral to the FPPC.  After the Commission completes the enforcement referral process, the Commission will notify the FPPC if the Commission receives a SEI filing from a referred filer.  The FPPC may impose fines up to $5,000 for each SEI not filed.

Fines may be assessed up to four years after the late filing.  The Ethics Commission staff will be sending late fee notifications sometime from November through January in order to capture the majority of late filings for 2011.  The Commission may impose late fees of up to $100 for each SEI not filed on time.

FPPC’s Recommendations for Notification and Referral for Agencies with More than 50 Filers

 First Non-Filer NoticeSecond Non-Filer NoticeEnforcement ReferralFines Notices
FPPC’s RecommendationsWithin 120 days after annual deadline (August 1 or earlier)Within 60 days after first non-filer notice is sent (October 1 or earlier)Within 45 days after second non-filer notice is sent (November 15 or earlier)Within 4 years of the violation
Ethics Commission’s Notification Schedule for 2011•  Sent on June 14, 2011
•  Letters with revised addresses sent on June 23, 2011
Within 60 days after first non-filer notice is sentWithin 45 days after second non-filer notice is sentAfter the Ethics Commission completes the enforcement referral process, the Commission staff will begin the fines notification process from November through January.
ReferenceFair Political Practices Commission Notification Guidelines for Filing Officers Statement of Economic Interests (Form 700)
http://www.fppc.ca.gov/forms/guidelines06-09.pdf
Statement of Economic Interests Form 700 Non-Filer Enforcement Referral
http://www.fppc.ca.gov/forms/SeiNon-FilerReferral.pdf
Political Reform Act Statute of Limitations (PRA § 91011)
http://www.fppc.ca.gov/Act/2011Act.pdf Fair Political Practices Commission Guidelines for Waiving Late Fines
http://www.fppc.ca.gov/forms/Late_Fine_Guidelines_07-10.pdf

10. Outreach and Education.

On June 14, staff conducted two Governmental Ethics and Statement of Incompatible Activities Trainings for the Planning Department.

On June 17, staff led a discussion session with new members of the Civil Grand Jury on the filing of the Statement of Economic Interests (SEI). 

On June 23, staff conducted a Candidates’ Training which covered filing requirements for potential candidates for the City elective offices of Mayor, District Attorney, and Sheriff.  This training focused on campaign finance requirements that apply to candidates for all City elective offices and provided an overview of the Mayoral public financing program. 

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

The following are the currently scheduled live trainings for 2011:

Candidates’ Training:  August 9

The following are web video trainings available on the Commission website:

Department of Building Inspection SIA Training
Candidates’ Training
Controller’s Office SIA Training
Department on the Environment SIA Training
Governmental Ethics Ordinance Training for City Employees
Lobbyist Ordinance Training
Medical Examiner’s Office SIA Training
Non-Candidate Recipient Committee Training
Public Utilities Commission SIA Training
SIA Template Language Training

11. Interns.

This past fiscal year we have been fortunate to have had the services of the following interns, some of whom are continuing on with their services to the Commission:  Rose Chan, a graduate of the USF School of Law; Johnny Hosey, a graduate of San Francisco State University; Dakotta Alex, a student at the Graduate Theological Union/UC Berkeley; and Perry Wong, an undergraduate at New York University.

Respectfully submitted,

 

_________________________
John St. Croix
Executive Director                

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1Under a signed settlement agreement, this filer had agreed to make two payments as follows: 1) $2,000 due by 1/3/2010 and 2) $2,000 due by 3/16/11.  Because this filer did not make these payments, the Commission referred the filer to BDR.

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