Ethics Commission
City and County of San Francisco

Executive Director’s Report – September 12, 2011

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT
TO THE SAN FRANCISCO ETHICS COMMISSION
For the Meeting of September 12, 2011  

1. Televised Meetings.

It would cost approximately $24,000 per year to televise Commission meetings.  There are no funds currently in the budget for this expenditure, but I will be reviewing various budget accounts to see if savings can be realized to meet this new cost.  Another hurdle is appropriate meeting space.  Room 408 in City Hall, where the Commission currently meets, is not wired for broadcast.  The hearing rooms which are wired are not available during our normal meeting time.  I will research alternatives but this may mean moving the monthly meeting to a new day of the week and a new time slot.

2. November 8, 2011 Election.

The last day for candidates to submit an application for public funds was August 30, 2011.  As of September 2, 2011, nine eligible candidates have received public funds totaling $3,571,182.        

3. Investigation and enforcement program.

As of September 1, 2011, there are 22 pending complaints alleging violations within the Ethics Commission’s jurisdiction.

Category# of Complaints
Campaign Finance7
Conflict of Interest2
Governmental Ethics0
Lobbyist Ordinance2
Campaign Consultant Ordinance2
Sunshine Ordinance9
TOTAL22

4. Campaign finance disclosure program.

a. Filing deadline.  The most recent filing deadline occurred on August 1, 2011 for the First Semi-Annual statement, which covers the reporting period ending June 30, 2011.  As of August 30, five committees remain delinquent in filing the First Semi-Annual statement; they were sent Second Non-Specific Written notices and placed on the Commission’s Non-Responsive Filers List.  Staff continues to receive and process campaign statements and will notify non-filers about their past due statements. 

The next filing deadline falls on September 29, 2011 for the First Pre-Election statement, which covers the reporting period ending September 24, 2011.  In the interim, staff continues to receive and process campaign statements for other filing deadlines.  Staff also 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 11-12, as of August 31, the Commission collected a total of $5,880 in campaign finance late fees and forfeitures.  Outstanding late fees and forfeitures total $171,692, of which waiver requests are pending for $133,479; and $25,028 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$656$356
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$25,028

5. Revenues report. 

For FY 11-12, the Commission is budgeted to generate $100,000 in revenues.  As of September 1, 2011, the Commission received and deposited $13,451, as summarized below.  The figure represents collection of approximately 13 percent of expected revenues for FY 11-12. 

Revenues received and deposited as of September 1, 2011:

SourceBudgeted Amount FY 11-12Receipts
Lobbyist Fees$27,000$3,500
Other Ethics General$1,000$26
Campaign Finance Fines$50,000$3,900
Campaign Consultant Fees$18,000$5,350
Lobbyist Fines$1,000$100
Statements of Economic Interests Fines$1,000$325
Other Ethics Fines$1,000$0
Campaign Consultant Fines$1,000$250
Total$100,000$13,451

6. Status of legislative proposals endorsed by Ethics Commission. 

Draft amendments to the Campaign Consultant Ordinance, which were approved by the Ethics Commission in December 2010 and January 2011, have been placed by the Board of Supervisors on the ballot as Proposition F in the November 8, 2011 election.  The proposed amendments

  • adopt an electronic filing system for reporting by campaign consultants;
  • require consultants to disclose information on a monthly basis;
  • change the economic threshold for qualification as a campaign consultant;
  • modify the registration fees;
  • eliminate the client fees; and
  • enable the Board of Supervisors to amend the Ordinance under certain circumstances. 

Amendments to section 1.144 of the Campaign Finance Reform Ordinance, which were approved by the Commission at its July 2011 meeting to address the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC, et al. v. Bennett, have been introduced by Supervisors Farrell and Elsbernd and are pending before the Rules Committee.

7. Lobbyist program. 

As of September 1, 2011, 79 individual lobbyists were registered with the Commission.  In FY 11-12, total revenues collected to date amount to $3,600, which consist of $3,500 in lobbyist registration fees and $100 in late fines.  The August 2011 reporting period deadline is September 15, 2011.

8. Campaign Consultant program. 

As of September 1, 2011, 45 campaign consultants are active and registered with the Commission.  $5,350 in registration fees and $250 in late fines have been collected so far during the 2011-2012 fiscal year.  The next campaign consultant quarterly report deadline is Thursday, September 15, 2011.  Staff has mailed and e-mailed reminder notices to all active campaign consultants.  Staff will send an additional e-mail reminder one week prior to the deadline.

9. Statement of Economic Interests program.

On August 19, staff sent 19 non-filer enforcement referrals to the Fair Political Practices Commission’s (FPPC) Enforcement Division.  Of the 19 referrals sent, 15 were for commissioners and four for designated employees.

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
  • Letters to DPW designated employees sent on July 8, 2011
  • Within 60 days after first non-filer notice is sent
  • Sent on July 8, 2011
  • Letters to DPW designated employees sent on July 28, 2011

Within 45 days after second non-filer notice is sent

  • Sent on August 19, 2011
After the Ethics Commission completes the enforcement referral process, the Commission staff will begin the fines notification process from November through January.

10. Outreach and Education.

On August 17, staff met with 25 representatives from the China State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, sponsored by the U.S.-China Exchange Council.  They were in the Bay Area to obtain an overview of the Commission’s mission and function and to discuss conflict of interest issues, ethics standards for employees, and efforts against corruption. 

On August 18, 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. 

On August 29, staff met with 20 officials from the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), who were interested in discussing the work of the Ethics Commission, codes of conduct, the encouragement and promotion of integrity among government employees, and the fair and effective enforcement of the City’s ethics laws.  The group was sponsored by the Triway International Group, which has sponsored several groups for presentations by Ethics staff.

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

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

Respectfully submitted,

 

_________________________
John St. Croix
Executive Director                

S:\ED Report\2011\9.12.2011.doc


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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