Ethics Commission
City and County of San Francisco

Executive Director’s Report – September 24, 2012

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT
TO THE SAN FRANCISCO ETHICS COMMISSION
For the Meeting of September 24, 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 Board will be voted on in the November 6, 2012 election.  Twenty-six candidates for the Board of Supervisors, eleven candidates for the Board of Education and ten candidates for the Community College Board have qualified for the ballot.

Twelve candidates for the Board of Supervisors have been certified as eligible to receive public funds.  As of September 18, the Commission disbursed a total of $585,061 to the 12 qualified candidates.  Information regarding the amounts disbursed to each candidate and the amounts privately raised and spent by each candidate is posted to data dashboards on the Commission’s website.

2. Investigation and enforcement program.

As of September 14, 2012, there are 20 pending formal complaints alleging violations within the Ethics Commission’s jurisdiction.  Out of the nine complaints alleging Sunshine Ordinance violations, the resolution of seven is pending the approval of the Commission’s Sunshine Ordinance regulations. 

Category# of Complaints
Campaign Finance5
Conflict of Interest3
Governmental Ethics0
Lobbyist Ordinance1
Campaign Consultant Ordinance2
Sunshine Ordinance9
TOTAL20

3. Campaign finance disclosure program.

a. Filing deadline.  The most recent filing deadline was on July 31, 2012 for the First Semi-Annual statement, which covers the reporting period ending June 30, 2012.  Seven committees still have not filed their required statements. They have been sent a Second Non-Specific Written Notice and placed on the Non-Responsible Filers List.  In the interim, staff continues to receive and process campaign statements for other filing deadlines.  Staff continues to answer questions from and conduct outreach to candidates and other committee representatives about campaign finance filing obligations.  The next filing deadline is October 5, 2012 for the First Pre-Election Statement, which covers the reporting period ending September 30, 2012.

b. Collection of late filing fees and contribution forfeitures.  In the FY12-13, as of September 14, the Commission collected a total of $4,407 in campaign finance late fees and forfeitures.  Outstanding late fees and forfeitures total $70,635, of which waiver requests are pending for $18,622; 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
3Omar Khalif for Board of Educ.1287030Omar Khalif7/30/09$1,800$1,775$1,775
4Myrna Lim for District 11 Sup1306882Myrna Lim7/30/09$1,180$1,180$1,180
5Myrna Lim for District 11 Sup1256697Jia Jun Chen8/20/07$3,855$2,775$2,775
6San Francisco Women’s Political Committee1243711Giselle Barry5/16/06$1,906$50$50
7Johnny K. Wang
JKW Political Consulting
100716Johnny K. Wang4/19/11$4,000$4,000$4,000 
8Coalition to Elect  Chris Jackson to Community College Board1302351Chris Jackson6/17/112,658.90$2,658.902,658.90
      TOTAL$24,559

4. Revenues report. 

For FY 12-13, the Commission was budgeted to generate $100,000 in revenues.  As of September 17, 2012, the Commission received $ 7,747 as summarized below.  The figure represents collection of approximately seven percent of expected revenues for FY 12-13. 

Revenues received as of September 17, 2012:

SourceBudgeted Amount FY 12-13Receipts
Lobbyist Fees$27,000$1500
Other Ethics General$1,000$40
Campaign Finance Fines$50,000$4,407
Campaign Consultant Fees$18,000$800
Lobbyist Fines$1,000$400
Statements of Economic Interests Fines$1,000$0
Other Ethics Fines$1,000$600
Campaign Consultant Fines$1,000$0
Unallocated$0$0
Total                       $100,000$7,747

5. Status of legislative proposals endorsed by Ethics Commission. 

Regulations approved by the Commission at its meeting on July 23, 2012 relating to section 1.126 of the Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code took effect September 21, 2012.  Among other things, the regulations clarify that “an individual holding City elective office” in CFRO section 1.126(b)(1)(A) includes any committee controlled by that individual formed to support that individual’s election to a local or state elective office; and that “a committee controlled by such individual or candidate” in CFRO section 1.126(b)(1)(C) includes any committee controlled by the individual or candidate formed either to support or oppose a candidate for local or state elective office or to support or oppose a local or state ballot measure.

6. Lobbyist program. 

As of September 18, 2012, 87 individual lobbyists were registered with the Commission.  For   FY 12–13, as of September 18, 2012, total revenues collected were $1,900, including $1,500 in lobbyist registration fees and $400 in late fines. The filing deadline for the next lobbyist disclosure statement is October 15, 2012.

On September 18, 2012, staff posted a new lobbyist self-registration system on the Commission’s web site.  Lobbyists can use the system to enter required registration information, establish an on-line filing account, upload a photograph for the Commission’s on-line lobbyist directory, authorize representatives to submit statements on their behalf, and pay registration fees.  This project was completed as part of the Commission’s contract with Netfile. 

7. Campaign Consultant program. 

As of September 17, 2012, thirty-seven campaign consultants were registered with the Commission.   $800 in registration fees have been collected so far during the 2012-2013 fiscal year.  The next campaign consultant quarterly report deadline is Monday, December 17, 2012.  Staff will send reminders to all active campaign consultants two weeks before the deadline.

8. Outreach and Education.

On August 16, staff conducted a Candidates’ Training, which covered filing requirements for potential candidates for the City elective offices of the Board of Supervisors, Board of Education, and Community College Board.  This training focused on campaign finance requirements that apply to candidates for all City elective offices and provided an overview of the Board of Supervisors’ public financing program.  A new web video of the Candidates’ Training was posted on September 4.

On September 12, 2012, staff met with 25 members of the China Professional Eligibility of Personnel Delegation.  The group was sponsored by the U.S. – China Exchange Council (USCEC), which is a California registered 501 (C) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to professional exchange programs between the U.S. and China.  Staff enjoyed a very animated discussion with the members regarding the ethical rules and regulations governing City officers and employees.   
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 (new version posted on September 4)
  • 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

9. San Francisco Campaign Finance Dashboard Web Site

Earlier this year, staff worked with the Department of Technology to publish the Commission’s campaign finance data to the City’s new data web site at data.sfgov.org.  Campaign finance data can be sorted, filtered, graphed, or plotted on maps using the tools available from the web site. 

Staff used this new resource to build a series of dashboards on the Commission’s web site to track campaign finance activity in the Board of Supervisors, Board of Education, and Community College Board races, and ballot measures leading up to the November 6, 2012 election.  The graphs and maps summarize:

  • Total contributions and expenditures for each candidate controlled and ballot measure committee;
  • Historical cash balances for each candidate controlled committee;
  • Contributors grouped by zip code and plotted on an interactive map;
  • Third-party expenditures;
  • Public financing disbursements; and
  • Expenditure ceilings.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

_________________________
John St. Croix
Executive Director

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