Ethics Commission
City and County of San Francisco

Executive Director’s Report – November 14, 2011

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT
TO THE SAN FRANCISCO ETHICS COMMISSION
For the Meeting of November 14, 2011  

1. Televised Meetings.

Staff continues to work SFGTV so that when the Commission’s meetings are televised, users will be able to obtain the video, agenda, minutes, caption notes, and audio recording from one place.  In order to accommodate televising its meeting, starting in January 2012, the Commission will meet on the fourth Monday of each month in Room 400.

2. November 8, 2011 Election. 

On a daily basis, staff provides guidance to filers and monitors filings by candidates and third-party filers.  As of November 8, the Commission disbursed a total of $4,592,266 in public funds to nine eligible candidates. 

Thus far, the Commission has received 125 third-party disclosure filings that report a cumulative total of $2,823,108 in third-party spending ($2,238,352 in the form of supportive spending and $584,756 in the form of opposition spending).  The highest level of Total Supportive Funds (a candidate’s total receipts plus third-party spending in support of such candidate) in the Mayor’s race is currently at $2,665,778.  The Individual Expenditure Ceiling (IEC) for seven of the nine publicly funded Mayoral candidates is currently at $2,575,000 and for two candidates at $2,675,000.  The IECs may be raised if the sum of the Total Supportive Funds of a publicly funded candidate’s opponent and Total Opposition Spending against that candidate exceeds the candidate’s IEC by at least $100,000. 

On its website, the Commission posts the following information about the upcoming election and makes updates to this information as it is received:  1) list of amounts of public funds disbursed; 2) candidates’ IEC levels; and 3) list of Third-Party Disclosure forms that show the names of candidates supported or opposed and the amounts spent to support or oppose the candidates.  This information is in addition to the Commission’s database of campaign finance filings.         

Electronically filed campaign finance statements from committees are accessible in the Commission’s database within seconds of submission.  Paper statements are also scanned and made available on-line.  In addition, the Commission offers a searchable transaction database.  Pre-packaged downloads of the campaign finance data are available in Excel format by specific committee or by year for all committees.  News organizations have been using the Commission's campaign finance data downloads during this election season for web sites and news stories.  However, any person may easily download the data on the Commission’s web site free of charge.

3. Investigation and enforcement program.

As of November 1, 2011, there are 17 pending complaints alleging violations within the Ethics Commission’s jurisdiction.

Category# of Complaints
Campaign Finance8
Conflict of Interest3
Governmental Ethics1
Lobbyist Ordinance1
Campaign Consultant Ordinance2
Sunshine Ordinance2
TOTAL17

4. Campaign finance disclosure program.

a. Filing deadline.  The most recent filing deadline occurred on October 27, 2011 for the Second Pre-Election statement, which covers the reporting period ending October 22, 2011.  As of November 7, 2011, two candidates/committees remain delinquent in filing the Second Pre-Election statement; they were sent a Non-Specific Written notice.  Staff continues to receive and process campaign statements and will notify non-filers about their past due statements. 

The next filing deadline falls on January 31, 2012 for the Second Semi Annual statement, which covers the reporting period ending December 31, 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 October 31, the Commission collected a total of $9,650 in campaign finance late fees and forfeitures.  Outstanding late fees and forfeitures total $169,570 of which waiver requests are pending for $133,569; and $24,672 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$356$0
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$4,000$4,000$4,000
10Coalition to Elect  Chris Jackson to Community College Board1302351 Chris Jackson6/17/112,658.90New Referral2,658.90
      TOTAL$24,672

5. Revenues report. 

For FY 11-12, the Commission is budgeted to generate $100,000 in revenues.  As of October 1, 2011, the Commission received and deposited $22,439, as summarized below.  The figure represents collection of approximately 22 percent of expected revenues for FY 11-12. 

Revenues received and deposited as of October 1, 2011:

SourceBudgeted Amount FY 11-12Receipts
Lobbyist Fees$27,000$3,500
Other Ethics General$1,000$144
Campaign Finance Fines$50,000$6,970
Campaign Consultant Fees$18,000$10,100
Lobbyist Fines$1,000$100
Statements of Economic Interests Fines$1,000$325
Other Ethics Fines$1,000$0
Campaign Consultant Fines$1,000$1,300
Total                       $100,000$22,439

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, were 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. 

Unofficial election results show Proposition F failing.

At its September 12 meeting, the Commission approved amendments to Ethics Commission Enforcement Regulations VI.A and XIV.C to permit the Commission to calendar proposed dismissals or settlements of enforcement matters based on the request of one, rather than two, Commissioners.  These amendments were forwarded to the Board of Supervisors and will take effect on November 11, 2011. 

On October 4, 2011, Supervisor Campos introduced legislation to require the Ethics Commission to televise its regular and special meetings on San Francisco Government Television, to be effective 30 days from the date of passage.  The legislation is scheduled to be heard on November 10 before the Board of Supervisors Government Audit and Oversight Committee.

7. Lobbyist program. 

As of November 1, 2011, 78 individual lobbyists were registered with the Commission.  In FY 11-12, total revenues collected to date amount to $5,100, which consist of $5,000 in lobbyist registration fees and $100 in late fines.  The October 2011 reporting period deadline is November 15, 2011.

8. Campaign Consultant program. 

As of November 7, 2011, 62 campaign consultants are active and registered with the Commission.  $12,550 in registration fees and $1,800 in late fines have been collected so far during the 2011-2012 fiscal year.  The next campaign consultant quarterly report deadline is Thursday, December 15, 2011.  Staff will mail and e-mail reminder notices to all active campaign consultants two weeks prior to the deadline.

9. Outreach and Education.

On October 24, staff met with a delegation of 19 representatives from the Ningxia Minority Autonomous Region of the northwest part of China.  For most of the delegates, it was their first visit to the United States. They were here to learn the mechanisms of anti-corruption in the US and to hear about the experience of the Commission in combating corruption and the abuse of power. 

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                

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