Ethics Commission
City and County of San Francisco

Executive Director’s Report – October 26, 2015

ACTING EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT
TO THE SAN FRANCISCO ETHICS COMMISSION
For the Meeting of October 26, 2015.

1. Public Financing in the November 3, 2015 Election

As of October 19, 2015, the Commission has disbursed a total of $307,500 in public funds to two candidates seeking election to the District 3 seat on the Board of Supervisors. Each of the two candidates qualified for the maximum amount of public funds allowable: $155,000 for a non-incumbent candidate and $152,500 for an incumbent candidate.  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.  As of October 19, 2015, the Individual Expenditure Ceiling for one candidate was at $750,000 and the other candidate’s ceiling was at $680,000.  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 October 15, 2015, there were 25 pending formal complaints alleging violations within the Ethics Commission’s jurisdiction. 

Category # of Complaints
Campaign Finance 8
Conflict of Interest 11
Governmental Ethics 2
Lobbyist Ordinance 3
Campaign Consultant Ordinance 1
Sunshine Ordinance 0
TOTAL 25

Enforcement Summaries

  • On September 28, 2015, the Ethics Commission entered into a stipulated agreement with Kim-Shree Maufas and Coalition to Elect Kim-Shree 4 School Board.  Ms. Maufas admitted to committing one violation of California Government Code, section 84104; and one violation of California Government Code, section 84211, and agreed to pay a penalty of $2,000.  A copy of the agreement is available on the Commission’s website.
  • On September 28, 2015, the Ethics Commission entered into a separate stipulated agreement with Kim-Shree Maufas and Re-Elect Kim-Shree Maufas to Board of Education 2010.  Ms. Maufas admitted to committing one violation of California Government Code, section 84104; one violation of California Government Code, section 84211; one violation of San Francisco Campaign & Governmental Conduct Code, section 1.114(a); and one violation of San Francisco Campaign & Governmental Conduct Code, section 1.118, and agreed to pay a penalty of $2,575.  A copy of the agreement is available on the Commission’s website.

3. Campaign Finance Disclosure Program

a. Filing deadline.   October 22, 2015 is the deadline 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.

b. Collection of late filing fees and contribution forfeitures.  As of October 15, 2015, the Commission collected $13,208 in late fees and forfeitures for the fiscal year 2015-2016.  The Commission’s outstanding late fees and forfeitures were $14,502; waiver requests for $2,897 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 October 15, 2015, 160 individual lobbyists were registered with the Commission.  Total revenues collected to date for the 2015-2016 fiscal year amount to $13,000 in lobbyist registration fees.  The next filing deadline for lobbyist disclosures is November 16, 2015.

5. Campaign Consultant Program 

As of October 15, 2015, 29 campaign consultants were registered with the Commission.  The Commission has collected $4,150 in registration fees and $1,500 in late fines 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 

Staff is processing the permit consultant quarterly reports that were due Thursday, October 15, 2015, covering the reporting period from July 1, 2015 through September 30, 2015. Approximately 46 permit consultants filed their reports.

7. Major Developer Program 

As of October 19, 2015, four major developers had registered with the Commission with respect to seven major projects since the ordinance’s effective date.  Staff is investigating potential under-reporting.

8. Statements of Economic Interests

Staff continues to work with filing officers and non-filers who have overdue Assuming Office and Leaving Office Form 700s.  Staff issued 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 October 21, 2015, the Commission received $39,768 or about 57% of anticipated revenues for the year. 

Source Budgeted Amount FY 15-16 Receipts
Lobbyist Fees $37,000 $13,000
Other Ethics General $1,000  
Campaign Finance Fines $23,000 $13,208
Campaign Consultant Fees $5,000 $4,150
Lobbyist Fines $1,000  
Statements of Economic Interests Fines $1,000 $110
Other Ethics Fines $1,000 $7,800
Campaign Consultant Fines $1,000 $1,500
Unallocated $0  
Total $70,000      $39,768

10. Budget and Staffing

The Mayor’s Office has indicated that selected General Fund departments, including the Ethics Commission, will transition to a fixed two-year budget cycle with the FY 2016-17 and FY 2017-18 budgets.  In total, 37 departments across the City will have a fixed two-year budget for the upcoming two years (up from 7 currently).  The goal is evidently to have all city departments as fixed two year departments once the City is budgeting for the FY 2018-19 and FY 2019-20 cycle.  Departments on a fixed two-year budget will evidently have certain options available to make adjustments within existing budgetary provisions as needed.  The Commission will consider its budget proposal in early 2016.

11. Outreach and Education

Chair Paul Renne continued 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 approximately 50 union representatives, inviting them to sign up for the Commission’s interested persons list or to follow the Commission’s Twitter feed.

On October 10, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 990 which, because of its urgency clause, took effect immediately.  In brief, shortly before the November 3, 2015 election, AB 990 changed the state’s rules for disclaimer requirements on campaign advertisements.  Working with FPPC, Commission staff was able to revise and disseminate its disclaimer charts to provide timely guidance to the public and the regulated community regarding these changes.

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

Staff submitted a written update to the Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs regarding the Commission’s plans to ensure future compliance with the San Francisco Language Access Ordinance requirements by the October 1, 2015 deadline.

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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