Ethics Commission
City and County of San Francisco

Executive Director’s Report – September 28, 2015

ACTING EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT
TO THE SAN FRANCISCO ETHICS COMMISSION
For the Meeting of September 28, 2015.  

1. Public Financing in the November 3, 2015 Election

As of September 22, 2015, the Commission has disbursed a total of $207,956 in public funds to two candidates seeking election to the District 3 seat on the Board of Supervisors.  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.

Each of the two publicly funded candidates may spend no more than his or her Individual Expenditure Ceiling, which began at $250,000 and has been adjusted by the Commission staff based on the sum of opposition spending against each candidate and the total supportive funds for his or her opponent.  Staff monitors and processes filings by the candidates and third parties daily to determine whether the Commission needs to adjust the Individual Expenditure Ceilings. 

In addition to processing requests for public funds and analyzing whether Individual Expenditure Ceilings should be adjusted, staff also continues to conduct outreach and respond to numerous questions from candidates and third party filers on a daily basis. 

2. Investigation and Enforcement Program

As of September 15, 2015, there were 23 pending formal complaints alleging violations within the Ethics Commission’s jurisdiction. 

Category # of Complaints
Campaign Finance 11
Conflict of Interest 7
Governmental Ethics 2
Lobbyist Ordinance 3
Campaign Consultant Ordinance 0
Sunshine Ordinance 0
TOTAL 23

3.  Campaign Finance Disclosure Program

a. Filing deadline.   As of September 22, 2015, eight candidates and committees did not file their required campaign statement for the period ending June 30, 2015, due on July 31, 2015.  They were sent a Second Non-Specific Written Notice informing them of their delinquent filing.  Three of these committees were added to the Non-Responsive Filers List webpage.  September 24, 2015 was the deadline for the First Pre-Election statement, which covers the reporting period ending September 19, 2015.  The next deadline is October 22, 2015 for the Second Pre-Election statement, which covers the reporting period covering through October 17, 2015.  In the interim, staff receives and processes campaign statements on an ongoing basis.  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.  As of September 15, 2015, the Commission collected $9,978 in late fees and forfeitures for the fiscal year 2015-2016.  And as of September 15, 2015, the Commission’s outstanding late fees and forfeitures were $25,178; waiver requests for $7,457 of this amount have been submitted.  Separately, $208,504 is pending at the Bureau of Delinquent Revenues (BDR), as shown below.


#
Committee/
Filer
ID # Treasurer or Responsible Officer Date referral effective Original amount referred Last month’s balance Current balance (Changes are in bold) Status
1 Chris Jackson For Community College Board 1347066 Chris Jackson 7/12/13 $6,601 $6,601 $6,601 Pending at Small Claims Court
2 Committee to Elect Norman For Supervisor 1327771 Jacqueline Norman 5/01/15 $9,000 $9,000 $9,000  
3 Bob Squeri For District 7 Supervisor 2012 1346150 Bob Squeri 5/01/15 $2,000 $2,000 $2,000  
4 Mark Farrell  For Supervisor 2010 1320480 Mark Farrell 7/08/15 $190,903 $190,903 $190,903  
            TOTAL $208,504  

4. Lobbyist Program

As of September 15, 2015, 155 individual lobbyists were registered with the Commission.  Total revenues collected to date for the 2015-2016 fiscal year amount to $10,500 in lobbyist registration fees.  The next filing deadline for the next lobbyist disclosures is October 15, 2015.

5. Campaign Consultant Program 

As of September 17, 2015, 28 campaign consultants were registered with the Commission.  The Commission has collected $3,700 in registration fees so far during the 2015-2016 fiscal year. 

The next campaign consultant quarterly report deadline is Tuesday, December 15, 2015, covering the reporting period from September 1, 2015 through November 30, 2015.  Staff will send reminders to all active campaign consultants prior to the deadline.

6. Permit Consultant Program 

As of September 23, 2015, 29 permit consultants were registered with the Commission.  

The next permit consultant quarterly report deadline is Thursday, October 15, 2015, covering the reporting period from July 1, 2015 through September 30, 2015.

7. Major Developer Program 

As of September 17, 2015, two developers of major City projects had filed reports with the Commission in 2015.  The next quarterly report deadline for such major developers is Thursday, October 15, 2015, covering the reporting period from July 1, 2015 through September 30, 2015.

8. Statements of Economic Interests

Staff has issued letters imposing late fines, and is continuing to follow up with filing officers and non-filers who have overdue Assuming Office and Leaving Office Form 700s.  Staff is issuing a quarterly reminder of due dates for Certificates of Ethics Training and Sunshine Ordinance Declarations.

9. Revenues Report 

For fiscal year 2015-2016, the Commission was budgeted to generate $70,000 in revenues.  As of September 22, 2015, the Commission received $31,978 or about 45% of anticipated revenues for the year. 

Source Budgeted Amount FY 15-16 Receipts
Lobbyist Fees $37,000 $10,500
Other Ethics General $1,000  
Campaign Finance Fines $23,000 $9,978
Campaign Consultant Fees $5,000 $3,700
Lobbyist Fines $1,000  
Statements of Economic Interests Fines $1,000  
Other Ethics Fines $1,000 $7,800
Campaign Consultant Fines $1,000  
Unallocated $0  
Total                        $70,000      $31,978

10. Budget and Staffing

A valued member of the Commission staff, Campaign Finance Assistant Malika Alim, has left to take another position with the City.  We wish Malika the best and thank her for her good work for the Commission.  Staff is working to fill Malika’s position.

11. Outreach and Education

Chair Paul Renne and Acting Executive Director Jesse Mainardi continue to attend various political club endorsement meetings in order to provide fair and impartial information regarding Proposition C.

Acting Executive Director Jesse Mainardi sent an email invitation to over 60 political clubs, inviting them to sign up for the Commission’s interested persons list or to follow the Commission’s Twitter feed.

On September 10, staff conducted training for ballot measure committees.  In addition to conducting live training sessions, the Commission has posted the training presentations on its website.  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

12. Language Access Ordinance Compliance

In compliance with the San Francisco Language Access Ordinance requirements, staff is preparing a written update to the Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs regarding the Ethics Commission’s plans to ensure future compliance with the ordinance.  The update is due October 1, 2015.

13. Staff Project Calendar

The staff project calendar for 2015 approved by the Commission in March is set forth below.  Per the direction of the Chair, the Commission’s consideration of the topics below has been placed on hold pending the resolution of its search for a new Executive Director.  This will necessitate a revision of the work plan.

Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
1. Limits for candidate-controlled committees Sched.
Actual
Sched.
2. Reporting of bundling Sched.
3. “Public benefit” contribution bans
4. Slate mailer filings
5. Enforcement regulations/policies Sched.
6. Forfeiture/late fine penalties
7. Expenditure lobbyists Actual
8. Additional gift of travel reporting
9. Permit Consultant regulations
10. Form 700 electronic filing Sched. Actual

Notes:

  • Shaded squares indicate planned staff work on the issue.  Issues with no shaded squares were not intended to be addressed by staff in 2015.
  • “Sched.” indicates the Commission’s planned consideration of the issue at a public meeting during that month.
  • “Actual” indicates the Commission’s actual consideration of the issue at a public meeting during that month.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

_________________________
Jesse Mainardi
Acting Executive Director

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