In June 2015, the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor approved numerous amendments to the City’s Campaign Finance Reform Ordinance (“CFRO”), found at San Francisco Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code section 1.100 et seq.
In addition to repealing certain contribution limits, these amendments updated and streamlined CFRO’s reporting and disclaimer requirements. The amendments took effect July 25, 2015.
The Ethics Commission has produced two fact sheets summarizing these changes. The first provides a summary of the CFRO changes most relevant to non-candidates participating in City campaigns. The second addresses the changes most relevant to City candidates.
Among other changes, a legible copy of any independent expenditure concerning City candidates must now accompany any Form 496 filed with the Ethics Commission. Copies should be submitted to the Commission by email (firstname.lastname@example.org). The forwarding email should reference the report number(s) of the filed Form 496 and the name of the filer.
Also, electioneering communications and member communications referencing City candidates will now be reported on new SFEC Forms 162 and 163, respectively. Copies of the communications must be submitted to the Ethics Commission with those forms.
Additionally, the disclaimer requirements for all City campaigns (i.e, “Paid for by” rules), including ballot measure campaigns, have changed to supplement state law requirements. The Ethics Commission has produced a number of Disclaimer Charts that indicate how to comply with the new rules:
- City Ballot Measure Ads
- Independent Expenditures on City Ballot Measure Ads
- Independent Expenditure Ads Referring to City Candidates
- Electioneering Communications Referring to City Candidates
- Communications by City Candidate Committees for their own Election
If you participate in City campaigns, you are strongly encouraged to review these documents.
For more information about CFRO and the recent amendments, visit the Ethics Commission’s website: www.sfethics.org or call (415) 252-3100.
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