Ethics Commission
City and County of San Francisco

Executive Director’s Report – February 27, 2012

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT
TO THE SAN FRANCISCO ETHICS COMMISSION
For the Meeting of February 27, 2012  

1. June 5 and November 6, 2012 elections. 

Among other offices (State and Federal), seats for various county central committees will be voted upon in the upcoming June 5 election.  A total of 52 candidates for the Democratic, Republican, Green, and Peace and Freedom County Central Committees have declared an intent to run for office in June. 

The odd-numbered districts for the Board of Supervisors and four seats each for the Board of Education and Community College District will be voted on in the November 6, 2012 election.  A total of 18 candidates have filed an intention statement to run for office in November. 

2. Investigation and enforcement program.

As of February 13, 2012, there are 17 pending complaints alleging violations within the Ethics Commission’s jurisdiction.

Category# of Complaints
Campaign Finance7
Conflict of Interest3
Governmental Ethics1
Lobbyist Ordinance1
Campaign Consultant Ordinance2
Sunshine Ordinance3
TOTAL17

3. Campaign finance disclosure program.

a. Filing deadline.  Staff continues to answer questions from and conduct outreach to candidates and other committee representatives about campaign finance filing obligations, especially as they relate to the June 5, 2012 and November 6, 2012 elections.  The next filing deadline falls on March 27 and it covers the period through March 17. 

b. Collection of late filing fees and contribution forfeitures.  In the FY 11-12, as of January 31, the Commission collected a total of $13,769 in campaign finance late fees and forfeitures.  Outstanding late fees and forfeitures total $165,256 of which waiver requests are pending for $132,335; and $24,559 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$0
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 Viray 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 Grier11/4/11525.00$525$0
      TOTAL$24,559

4. Revenues report. 

For FY 11-12, the Commission is budgeted to generate $100,000 in revenues.  As of February 22, 2012, the Commission received $80,654, as summarized below.  The figure represents collection of approximately 81 percent of expected revenues for FY 11-12. 

Revenues received as of February 22, 2012:

SourceBudgeted Amount FY 11-12Receipts
Lobbyist Fees$27,000$43,500
Other Ethics General$1,000$210
Campaign Finance Fines$50,000$13,769
Campaign Consultant Fees$18,000$19,450
Lobbyist Fines$1,000$150
Statements of Economic Interests Fines$1,000$325
Other Ethics Fines$1,000$0
Campaign Consultant Fines$1,000$3,250
TOTAL$100,000$80,654

5. 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, passed out of the Rules Committee on February 16, 2012.  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.

On January 24, 2012, Supervisors Kim, Campos, Mar and Avalos introduced File No. 111082, legislation that was approved 4-0 by the Commission at its January 23, 2012 meeting.  The legislation would amend the CFRO to establish new qualification requirements for candidates seeking public funds, set the amount of public funds that may be disbursed, delay the disbursement date of public funds, change the matching funds formula, and continue with adjustable individual expenditure ceilings that start at $250,000 for a candidate for the Board of Supervisors and $1,750,000 for a candidate for Mayor.  File No. 111082 is expected to be heard at the Rules Committee on February 23, 2012.

6. Lobbyist program. 

As of February 13, 2012, 76 individual lobbyists were registered with the Commission.  The re-registration deadline for calendar year 2012 was February 1, 2012.  In FY 11-12, total revenues collected to date amount to $43,650, which consist of $43,500 in lobbyist registration fees and $150 in late fines.  The January 2012 reporting period deadline is February 15, 2012.

Since January 2010, electronic lobbyist filings have been available to browse and search on the Commission's web site.  In January 2012, staff worked with Netfile to make the lobbyist filings available through an Application Programming Interface (API).  The API allows the public to download the contents of the Commission's lobbyist filings database and use the data to build their own software applications and web sites.  Commission staff has received positive feedback about the API, which has been mentioned in articles on TechCrunch and techPresident.  Information about the API is available on the Commission’s web site.

7. Campaign Consultant program. 

As of February 21, 2012, 28 campaign consultants are active and registered with the Commission.  $19,450 in registration fees and $3,250 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.

8. Outreach and Education.

On February 28, 2012, from 6 PM to 8 PM, the Commission will work with the City Attorney’s Office to provide the 2012 Sunshine and Ethics Training for City officers.  All City department heads, commissioners and elected officials must receive periodic training on Sunshine and Ethics issues.  Each official must complete a Sunshine training once every calendar year, by December 31.  Under State law, each official must complete ethics training within one year of taking office and once every two years thereafter, by no later than two years from the date the official last completed the training.  Officials who attended the last live training on March 2, 2010 must complete the training again no later than March 1, 2012.  The training will take place in the Green Room, Veterans Building, 2nd Floor, on 401 Van Ness Avenue (at McAlllister Street).  Sign-in begins at 5:30 PM.

On February 18, 2012, staff met with a delegation of 18 representatives from municipal commissions for discipline inspection in China.  The delegation is taking training sessions at San Francisco State University on the subject of preventing corruption in China.

On February 24, 2012, staff will meet with representatives of the Nanjing Women’s Federation, who are in the United States to obtain a greater understanding of the U.S. system of government, explore progressive and innovative techniques for campaign organization, and learn about programs involving women participation in political campaigns.

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                

            S:\ED Report\2012\2.27.12.doc

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