Ethics Commission
City and County of San Francisco

Executive Director’s Report – January 26, 2015

For the Meeting of January 26, 2015.  

1. Budget/Staffing.

The Mayor’s December budget briefing indicated that departments will not be asked to make cuts in their existing budgets in next year’s budget submissions.  The Commission will consider its budget proposal at this meeting.

During the spring 2015 school semester, the Ethics Commission is hosting a total of seven interns, externs, and fellows.

  • Mara Liwag is a YouthWorks intern and a senior at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory; she is assisting staff with administrative tasks.
  • Aidan Lukomnik, a Coro Fellow, is cataloging the Commission’s formal and informal mandates.
  • Kristen Wolslegel and Jeffrey Thorsby are candidates in the Master of Public Administration program at San Francisco State University; they are analyzing the Commission’s open data.
  • Sally Hong, who enjoyed translating the City’s recently-amended lobbying ordinance into plain English fact sheets this past fall, has returned as an extern in her final semester of law school; she will be working with Enforcement staff on lobbyist, ethics and campaign issues.
  • Lastly, we expect that` two students from within the U.C. Hastings’ Center for State and Local Government law will be reviewing and analyzing the Commission’s enforcement procedures.

2. Investigation and enforcement program.

As of January 20, 2015, there were 19 pending formal complaints alleging violations within the Ethics Commission’s jurisdiction. 

Category # of Complaints
Campaign Finance 13
Conflict of Interest 5
Governmental Ethics 0
Lobbyist Ordinance 0
Campaign Consultant Ordinance 0
Sunshine Ordinance 1

3. Campaign finance disclosure program.

a. Filing deadline.   The next filing is February 2, 2015 for the Second Semi-annual statement, which covers the reporting period ending December 31, 2014.  In the interim, staff receives and processes campaign statements for this and other filing deadlines.  Staff continues to answer questions from and conduct outreach to candidates and other committee representatives about campaign finance filing obligations.

b. Collection of late filing fees and contribution forfeitures.  In calendar year 2014, the Commission collected a total of $16,975 in campaign finance late fees and forfeitures.  In the fiscal year 2014 -2015, as of December 31, 2014, the Commission collected $6,469 in outstanding late fees and forfeitures.  As of December 31, 2014, the Commission’s outstanding late fees and forfeitures were $33,283, 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 June 30, 2014:

# Committee/
ID # Treasurer or Responsible Officer Date referral effective Original amount referred Last month’s balance Current balance (Changes are in bold)
1 Johnny K. Wang
JKW Political Consulting
100716 Johnny K. Wang 4/19/11 $4,000 $4,000 $4,000
2 Coalition to Elect  Chris Jackson to Community College Board 1302351 Chris Jackson 6/17/11 $2,658.90 $2,658.90 2,658.90
3 Chris Jackson For Community College Board 1347066 Chris Jackson 7/12/13 $6,600.94 $6,600.94 $6,600.94
            TOTAL $13,260

4. Revenues report. 

For fiscal year 2014-2015, the Commission was budgeted to generate $70,000 in revenues.  As of January 20, 2015, the Commission received $85,455 or 122% of anticipated revenues for the year. 

Source Budgeted Amount FY 14-15 Receipts
Lobbyist Fees $37,000          $55,000
Other Ethics General $1,000                 $6
Campaign Finance Fines $23,000          $6,469
Campaign Consultant Fees $5,000          $11,550
Lobbyist Fines $1,000 $0
Statements of Economic Interests Fines $1,000          $1,320
Other Ethics Fines $1,000            $9,500
Campaign Consultant Fines $1,000            $1,610
Unallocated $0                 $0
Total                        $70,000 $85,455

5. Lobbyist program. 

As of January 20, 2015, 135 individual lobbyists were registered with the Commission.  Total revenues collected to date for the 2014-2015 fiscal year amount to $55,000 in lobbyist registration fees.  The re-registration deadline for lobbyists to continue their registration into 2015 is February 2, 2015; and the filing deadline for the next lobbyist disclosure statement is February 17, 2015.

6. Campaign Consultant program. 

As of January 9, 2015, 16 campaign consultants were registered with the Commission.  $11,550 in registration fees and $1,610 in fines have been collected so far during the 2014-2015 fiscal year. 

The next campaign consultant quarterly report deadline is Monday, March 16, 2014, covering the reporting period from December 1, 2014 through February 28, 2015.  Staff will send reminders to all active campaign consultants prior to the deadline.

7. Statements of Economic Interests.

In preparation for the 2015 Form 700 filing requirements, instructions will be sent to Department Heads by January 31, 2015.  Department Heads and Filing Officers have been notified that the instructions are forthcoming, and that trainings are scheduled for February 4 and March 4, 2015.

8. Outreach and Education.

For the calendar year 2015, staff has scheduled 14 workshops to provide training to campaign committees of their obligations under state and local campaign finance laws.  Of the 14 workshops, five will cover requirements pertaining to candidates seeking office in November 2015, five will cover requirements pertaining to ballot measure committees and four will cover requirements pertaining to general purpose committees (also referred to as political action committees).  In addition, to the 14 scheduled training workshops, staff will schedule additional training and/or conduct one-on-one training as needed.  Separately, on an on-going basis staff provides training to candidates and campaign treasurers on using the Commission’s online electronic filing system, SFEDS.

Additionally, 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
  • Controller’s Office SIA Training
  • Department on the Environment SIA Training
  • Governmental Ethics Ordinance Training for City Employees
  • 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\2015\1.16.2015.docx

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