Ethics Commission
City and County of San Francisco

Executive Director’s Report – January 23, 2012

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT
TO THE SAN FRANCISCO ETHICS COMMISSION
For the Meeting of January 23, 2012  

1. Televised Meetings.

The Commission’s next regular meeting will be held on January 23, 2012, the fourth Monday of the month, in Room 400 City Hall, in order to accommodate televising of the meeting. 

2. Public finance program for the November 6, 2012 election. 

Staff has not yet prepared manuals or updated forms for the November 6, 2012 election because of uncertainty over rules that govern the public finance program.   Instead, staff has informed potential candidates that they should review manuals that were prepared for the November 2010 election.  Staff stands ready to provide updated materials and training as soon as it is becomes clear what changes will be enacted in the CFRO regarding the public finance program. 

3. Investigation and enforcement program.

As of January 13, 2012, there are 16 pending complaints alleging violations within the Ethics Commission’s jurisdiction.

Category# of Complaints
Campaign Finance7
Conflict of Interest2
Governmental Ethics1
Lobbyist Ordinance1
Campaign Consultant Ordinance2
Sunshine Ordinance3
TOTAL16

4. Campaign finance disclosure program.

a. Filing deadline.  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 December 31, the Commission collected a total of $12,262 in campaign finance late fees and forfeitures.  Outstanding late fees and forfeitures total $165,399 of which waiver requests are pending for $132,335; and $25,197 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
4Omar Khalif for Board of Educ.1287030Omar Khalif7/30/09$1,800$1,775$1,775
5Myrna Lim for District 11 Sup1306882Myrna Lim7/30/09$1,180$1,180$1,180
6Myrna Lim for District 11 Sup1256697Jia Jun Chen8/20/07$3,855$2,775$2,775
7San Francisco Women’s Political Committee1243711Giselle Barry5/16/06$1,906$50$50
8Johnny K. Wang
JKW Political Consulting
100716Johnny K. Wang4/19/11$4,000$4,000$4,000
9Coalition to Elect  Chris Jackson to Community College Board1302351 Chris Jackson6/17/112,658.90$2,658.902,658.90
10Reelect Dr. Anita Grier Community College Board 20101243852Dr. Anita Grier11/4/11525.00New Referral$525.00
      TOTAL $25,197

5. Revenues report. 

For FY 11-12, the Commission is budgeted to generate $100,000 in revenues.  As of January 18, 2012, the Commission received and deposited $46,597, as summarized below.  The figure represents collection of approximately 47 percent of expected revenues for FY 11-12. 

Revenues received and deposited as of January 18, 2012:

SourceBudgeted Amount FY 11-12Receipts
Lobbyist Fees$27,000$13,150
Other Ethics General$1,000$210
Campaign Finance Fines$50,000$12,262
Campaign Consultant Fees$18,000$17,650
Lobbyist Fines$1,000$150
Statements of Economic Interests Fines$1,000$325
Other Ethics Fines$1,000$0
Campaign Consultant Fines$1,000$2,850
Total$100,000$46,597

6. Status of legislative proposals endorsed by Ethics Commission. 

On November 22, 2011, Supervisor Scott Wiener introduced proposed amendments to the CFRO that were approved by the Commission at its October and November 2012 meetings.  The legislation, File No. 111275, was assigned to the Rules Committee.  If approved by a supermajority of the Board of Supervisors, the amendments would 1) modify and streamline disclaimer and reporting requirements for candidates and third parties raising and spending funds in local elections; 2) require the Ethics Commission to provide public notice when thresholds are met; 3) eliminate the overall contribution limit on contributions to all candidates on the ballot in a single election; and 4) make various reporting and disclaimer requirements parallel to requirements in State law. 

On the same day, Supervisor Malia Cohen introduced proposed amendments to the CFRO that were approved by the Commission at its November 2012 meeting. The legislation, File No. 11277, was assigned to the Government Oversight and Audit Committee but later reassigned to the Rules Committee.  If approved by a supermajority of the Board of Supervisors, the legislation would delay the certification of 2012 supervisorial candidates seeking public financing until the Redistricting Task Force completes its revision of supervisorial district boundaries.

7. Lobbyist program. 

As of January 13, 2012, 78 individual lobbyists were registered with the Commission.  In FY 11-12, total revenues collected to date amount to $13,150, which consist of $13,000 in lobbyist registration fees and $150 in late fines.  The December 2011 reporting period deadline is January 17, 2012, and the annual registration deadline is February 1, 2012.

8. Campaign Consultant program. 

As of January 17, 2012, 24 campaign consultants are active and registered with the Commission.  Two campaign consultants failed to re-register for 2012 or terminate their status as a campaign consultant.  $17,650 in registration fees and $2,850 in late fines have been collected so far during the 2011-2012 fiscal year.  The next campaign consultant quarterly report deadline is Thursday, March 15, 2012.  Staff will mail and e-mail reminder notices to all active campaign consultants two weeks before the deadline.

9. Statement of Economic Interests program.

On January 6, 2012, staff sent a memo to City departments, boards, and commissions to notify members and designated employees of their SEI-related filing obligations. 

10. Outreach and Education.

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

The following trainings are upcoming trainings scheduled for 2012:

  • One-on-one SEI Trainings for Filing Officers:  February 27 and 28, and March 1

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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