Ethics Commission
City and County of San Francisco

Executive Director’s Report – March 26, 2012

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT
TO THE SAN FRANCISCO ETHICS COMMISSION
For the Meeting of March 26, 2012  

1. November 6, 2012 election. 

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.  The Commission will conduct a live training for candidates for these offices and their treasurers on the following dates:  April 24, June 26 and August 16, 2012.  The training will be posted to the Commission’s website in audio and script form.  Also, staff continues to answer questions from and provide one-on-one information sessions to candidates and treasurers involved in the upcoming elections.  

2. Investigation and enforcement program.

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

Category # of Complaints
Campaign Finance 7
Conflict of Interest 3
Governmental Ethics 1
Lobbyist Ordinance 1
Campaign Consultant Ordinance 2
Sunshine Ordinance 3
TOTAL 17

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 22 and it covers through March 17. 

b. Collection of late filing fees and contribution forfeitures.  In the FY 11-12, as of February 29, 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 Officer Date referral effective Original amount referred Last month’s balance Current balance (Changes are in bold)
1 Johnnie Carter for Community College Board 1226264 Johnnie Carter 6/16/06 $9,520 $6,595 $6,595
2 Committee to Elect M. Valle for Treasurer 1278937 Manuel B. Valle 6/14/07 $5,525 $5,525 $5,525
3 Omar Khalif for Board of Educ. 1287030 Omar Khalif 7/30/09 $1,800 $1,775 $1,775
4 Myrna Lim for District 11 Sup 1306882 Myrna Lim 7/30/09 $1,180 $1,180 $1,180
5 Myrna Lim for District 11 Sup 1256697 Jia Jun Chen 8/20/07 $3,855 $2,775 $2,775
6 San Francisco Women’s Political Committee 1243711 Giselle Barry 5/16/06 $1,906 $50 $50
7 Johnny K. Wang
JKW Political Consulting
100716 Johnny K. Wang 4/19/11 $4,000 $4,000 $4,000
8 Coalition to Elect  Chris Jackson to Community College Board 1302351 Chris Jackson 6/17/11 2,658.90 $2,658.90 2,658.90
            TOTAL $24,559

4. Revenues report. 

For FY 11-12, the Commission is budgeted to generate $100,000 in revenues.  As of March 15, 2012, the Commission received $84,079, as summarized below.  The figure represents collection of approximately 84 percent of expected revenues for FY 11-12. 

Revenues received as of March 15, 2012:

Source Budgeted Amount FY 11-12 Receipts
Lobbyist Fees $27,000 $43,500
Other Ethics General $1,000 $260
Campaign Finance Fines $50,000 $13,769
Campaign Consultant Fees $18,000 $20,800
Lobbyist Fines $1,000 $250
Statements of Economic Interests Fines $1,000 $650
Other Ethics Fines $1,000 $1500
Campaign Consultant Fines $1,000 $3,350
Total                        $100,000 $84,079

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. 

At its meeting on March 6, 2012, by an 11-0 vote, the Board of Supervisors passed legislation, File No. 11277, introduced by Supervisor Malia Cohen to delay the certification of 2012 supervisorial candidates seeking public financing until the Redistricting Task Force completes its revision of supervisorial district boundaries.  The legislation was approved by the Commission at its November 2012 meeting.

At its special meeting on March 9, 2012, the Ethics Commission approved amendments to File No. 111082, legislation to amend the Campaign Finance Reform Ordinance 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, continue with adjustable individual expenditure ceilings that start at $250,000 for a candidate for the Board of Supervisors and $1,475,000 for a candidate for Mayor, and cap the Election Campaign Fund at $7 million.  The legislation has been referred back to the Board of Supervisors.

6. Lobbyist program. 

As of March 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 $43,750, which consist of $43,500 in lobbyist registration fees and $250 in late fines.  The March 2012 reporting period deadline is April 16, 2012.

7. Campaign Consultant program. 

As of March 16, 2012, 30 campaign consultants were registered with the Commission.  $20,800 in registration fees and $3,300 in late fines have been collected so far during the 2011-2012 fiscal year.  The next campaign consultant quarterly report deadline is Friday, June 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, staff collaborated with the City Attorney’s Office to offer the Rules of Conduct for Public Officials in the Green Room at the War Memorial Building.  In attendance were 123 participants.

On March 1, 5, and 7, staff facilitated five Statement of Economic Interests Filing Officer Trainings for the Treasurer and Tax Collector’s Office, Fine Arts Museums, Child Support Services, Retiree Health Care Trust Fund Board, and the Housing Authority.

On March 2, 2012, staff met with a delegation of 19 representatives from various human resources agencies in China.  The group, sponsored by the U.S. – China Exchange Council, visited the United States to learn about government integrity and public administrative efficiency. 

On March 8, staff met with a delegation of 25 representatives from the Lioning School of Administration in Lioning Province, located in northeast China.  The School is a special academy run by the government to train civil servants.  The group, sponsored by Triway International, was in the U.S. for a training program at American University to learn about issues related to the civil service program, government transparency and government efficiency. 

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

The following trainings are upcoming trainings scheduled for 2012:

  • Candidates’ Training:  April 24, June 26, and August 16

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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