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Reminder of Interested Persons Meetings to Discuss Possible Amendments to San Francisco Campaign Finance Reform Ordinance

First Meeting

Monday, November 10, 2014
2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Second Meeting

Thursday, November 13, 2014
6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

Third Meeting

Tuesday, November 18, 2014 (Newly Added Meeting)
11:00 AM – 12:30 PM

All three meetings will take place in Room 421 of City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, San Francisco, CA.

This notice serves as a reminder that the staff of the San Francisco Ethics Commission will hold the above-referenced interested persons meetings to discuss possible changes to the City’s Campaign Finance Reform Ordinance (“CFRO”), found at San Francisco Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code section 1.100 et seq.

Draft amendments to CFRO’s disclaimer and third-party reporting provisions are attached, as are two documents illustrating the anticipated impacts of certain of the proposed changes. (The amendments also provide for the repeal of two provisions not currently enforced by the Ethics Commission.) The amendments generally provide as follows:


Staff proposes improving and standardizing CFRO’s disclaimer provisions to require general purpose committees, primarily formed candidate committees and ballot measure committees to comply with the state’s disclaimer law, but also:

  1. Use 12 point font for all mass mailers and smaller printed communications, as under City of Los Angeles and federal law.
  2. Comply with a lower $25,000 threshold for disclosing top donors, and
  3. Include a reference to the Ethics Commission’s website.

Candidates would also continue to be required to place disclaimers on communications not otherwise covered by state law.

Third-Party Disclosures

In light of the state’s 24-hour reporting requirements during the 90 days prior to an election, staff proposes improving and streamlining CFRO’s third-party disclosure provisions to:

  1. Rely on the state Form 496 for reporting independent expenditures (including mass mailers) for or against candidates.
  2. Alter the mass mailing, persuasion poll and $5,000 reports disclosure requirements.
  3. Impose a new member communications reporting requirement.
  4. Standardize the reporting threshold for independent expenditures, electioneering communications, and member communications at $1,000 per candidate.
  5. Require the filing of copies of all reported independent expenditures, electioneering communications, and member communications.
  6. Require pre-election statements only when a committee participates in a City election.

Pre-election statements

Staff proposes requiring San Francisco committees to file pre-election reports only if they make contributions or independent expenditures of $500 or more during the applicable period.

Staff also welcomes written comments regarding CFRO’s disclaimer and third-party reporting provisions, which can be sent via email to, or via regular mail to San Francisco Ethics Commission, attn: Jesse Mainardi, 25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 220, San Francisco, CA 94102.

For questions about the above meetings, please contact Jesse Mainardi at the number below.

We hope to see you at a meeting.

Please R.S.V.P by contacting:
San Francisco Ethics Commission
25 Van Ness Ave., Suite 220
(415) 252-3100

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