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Executive Director’s Report – May 28, 2014


For the Special Meeting of May 28, 2014  

1.         Budget/Staffing.

The Mayor’s general department budget should be announced on June 1, 2014.  Budget hearings at the Board of Supervisors are underway; the Ethics Commission will appear at the BOS later in June.

2.         Investigation and enforcement program.

As of May 19, 2014, there were 21 pending formal complaints alleging violations within the Ethics Commission’s jurisdiction. 

Category # of Complaints
Campaign Finance
Conflict of Interest
Governmental Ethics
Lobbyist Ordinance
Campaign Consultant Ordinance
Sunshine Ordinance

3.         Campaign finance disclosure program.

a. Filing deadline.  May 22, 2014 was the filing deadline for the Second Pre-Election statement, which covers the reporting period ending May 17, 2014.

Due to recent changes to the Campaign Finance Reform Ordinance and Ethics Commission regulations, all committees must now file electronic statements and complete electronic signature requirements.  Staff has informed treasurers and candidates about the new requirements and has provided detailed instructions.  Staff continues to inform and assist committees during this transition.

b. Collection of late filing fees and contribution forfeitures.  In fiscal year 2013-2014, as of April 30, 2014, the Commission collected a total of $13,736 in campaign finance late fees and forfeitures.  Outstanding late fees and forfeitures total $17,795, of which $13,260 is pending at the Bureau of Delinquent Revenues (BDR). 

c. Status of accounts to San Francisco Bureau of Delinquent Revenues (BDR).  The following chart provides details on active accounts referred to BDR as of April 30, 2014:

# Committee/
ID # Treasurer or Responsible Officer Date referral effective Original amount referred Last month’s balance Current balance (Changes are in bold)
Johnny K. Wang
JKW Political Consulting
Johnny K. Wang
Coalition to Elect  Chris Jackson to Community College Board
Chris Jackson
Chris Jackson For Community College Board
Chris Jackson

4.         Revenues report.

For fiscal year 2013-2014, the Commission is budgeted to generate $100,000 in revenues.  As of May 20, 2014, the Commission received $85,624 as summarized below.  The figure represents collection of approximately 85 percent of expected revenues for fiscal year 2013-2014, with about 90 percent of the fiscal year having elapsed. 

Revenues received as of May 20, 2014:

Source Budgeted Amount FY 13-14 Receipts
Lobbyist Fees
Other Ethics General
Campaign Finance Fines
Campaign Consultant Fees
Lobbyist Fines
Statements of Economic Interests Fines
Other Ethics Fines
Campaign Consultant Fines
                       $100,000 $85,624

5.         Lobbyist program.

As of May 19, 2014, 103 individual lobbyists were registered with the Commission.  Total revenues collected to date for the 2013-2014 fiscal year amount to $59,200, with $59,000 in lobbyist registration fees and $200 in fines.  The filing deadline for the next lobbyist disclosure statement is June 16, 2014.

Additionally, Supervisor David Chiu re-introduced legislation amending the City’s lobbying ordinance at a Government Audits and Oversight Committee meeting on Thursday, May 22, 2014.  Most prominently, the proposed legislation would eliminate the current monetary threshold necessary to qualify as a City lobbyist (i.e., earning $3,000 in a three-month period for lobbying services, including one lobbying contact), and impose a bright-line “contacts” test.  More specifically, under the proposed legislation, an individual would qualify as a lobbyist by making just one compensated lobbying contact on behalf of a client, or by making five or more compensated lobbying contacts within one calendar month on behalf of his or her employer.  The intent behind the proposal is to make the lobbying registration rules more easily enforceable.

6.         Campaign Consultant program.

As of May 20, 2014, 21 campaign consultants were registered with the Commission. $5,650 in registration fees and $900 in fines and have been collected so far during the 2013-2014 fiscal year.  The next campaign consultant quarterly report deadline is Monday, June 16, 2014, covering the reporting period from March 1, 2014 through May 31, 2014.  Staff will send reminders to all active campaign consultants before the deadline.

7.         Statements of Economic Interests.

On May 2, 2014, reminder letters were sent to the thirty-one (31) individuals who had not yet filed their Form 700 with the Commission.  As of May 20, 2014, the number of non-filers has been reduced to sixteen (16) individuals.  Anyone who has still not filed as of May 30, 2014 will receive a second reminder letter from the Commission in early June.  Individuals who fail to respond after the second notification will be referred to the Fair Political Practices Commission for enforcement in early July, 2014.

In addition, e-mail reminders have been sent to individuals whose Sunshine Ordinance Declaration and/or Certificate of Ethics Training are overdue.

8.         Outreach and Education.

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