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Courtesy Notice – May 26, 2016 Second Pre-Election Filing Deadline and New Disclosure Requirement Reminders

Date:  May 25, 2016


  • Candidates,
  • Primarily Formed Candidate Committees,
  • Primarily Formed Ballot Measure Committees, and
  • General Purpose Committees (Including Major Donor and Independent Expenditure Committees)

From:   Jarrod Flores, Campaign Finance Officer

Re: May 26, 2016 Second Pre-Election Filing Deadline and New Disclosure Requirement Reminders

The San Francisco Ethics Commission wants to take this opportunity to provide you with the following reminders about the May 26, 2016 Second Pre-Election filing deadline that applies to San Francisco candidates, primarily formed ballot measure committees, primarily formed candidate committees, and general purpose committees (including Major Donors and Independent Expenditure Committees).

Filings Required

The attached table summarizes how the May Pre-Election filing applies to each type of committee, and the period it covers. It also provides reminders about additional Late Reports for contributions and independent expenditures of $1,000 or more that may be required in connection with the June 7, 2016 election for the period March 9, 2016 through June 7, 2016. Please refer to the summary table for more information and contact us if you have any questions about how these requirements may apply to your committee.

Period Covered

Please remember that the May Pre-Election statement covers the period between:
(a) the day after the closing date of the previous statement filed, through May 21, 2016; or
(b) if no statement was filed in 2016, the period covered is January 1, 2016 through May 21, 2016.

NEW: SmartPDF will no longer be used to electronically file SFEC 161 Mass Mailing Form

Effective immediately, the Ethics Commission will cease using SmartPDF for the electronic filing of SFEC 161 Mass Mailing Form.  SFEC Form 161 is required to be filed by candidates for City Elective office who pay for mass mailings. You may comply with this requirement by submitting a completed SFEC 161 Form and a legible PDF copy of the mailer via email to PDF proofs of the mass mailing piece is preferred. An interactive PDF of the form is available on the Commission’s website at You may also submit hardcopies of the form and mass mailing pieces in person or by mail to:

San Francisco Ethics Commission
25 Van Ness Ave., Suite 220
San Francisco, CA 94102

NEW: Change in Independent Expenditure Reporting Requirement.

Effective January 1, 2016, FPPC Form 465 is required to be filed by a general purpose recipient or independent expenditure committee only if it has made independent expenditures of $1,000 or more supporting or opposing a measure during a signature gathering period.

NEW: Certain Administrative Payments No Longer Trigger Reporting Requirement.

Effective July 25, 2015, all San Francisco general purpose committees, including Independent Expenditure and Major Donor Committees, must file pre-election statements before any election held in the City and County of San Francisco at which a candidate for City elective office or City measure is on the ballot, if the committee makes contributions or expenditures totaling $500 or more in the applicable pre-election period. This filing does NOT apply if the committee’s only payments are for costs related to the establishment and administration of that committee.  The excluded costs include those for legal and accounting fees and other expenses incurred in setting up and running a sponsored committee.

NEW:  Updated Disclaimer Charts

Disclaimer requirements (i.e., “Paid for by” rules) for all City campaigns, including ballot measure campaigns, have changed to supplement state law requirements. The Ethics Commission has produced a number of Disclaimer Charts that explain how to comply with the new rules. To view these charts please use the following link:

Avoid Late Filing Penalties.

Please remember that late filings are subject to a $10-per day late fee for paper reports, and a $25-per day late fee for electronic reports. Filing all statements by the required deadline ensures timely transparency to the public about your committee’s activities, and avoids late filing penalties that cost your committee both time and money.

We appreciate your attention to these important public disclosure requirements. If you have any questions or require further assistance with your filing obligations, please feel free to contact our office for further assistance. We can be reached from 8am to 5pm at (415) 252-3100.

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