Ethics Commission
City and County of San Francisco

Minutes – April 3, 2018 – Draft

Ethics Commission Meeting Minutes
of the Special Joint Meeting of the
San Francisco Ethics Commission and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors
April 3, 2018
Room 250 – City Hall
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, San Francisco, CA 94102
(Approved ____ __, _____)

Note: SFGovTV provides a continuous archive of selected Commission, council and board meetings that allows viewers to watch those meetings online in full at the viewer’s convenience. Video and audio archives of Ethics Commission meetings may be accessed here.

The video and audio recording of this special joint meeting is accessible under the SFGovTV archive for the April 3, 2018 meeting of the Board of Supervisors.

COMMISSION MEMBERS PRESENT: Daina Chiu, Acting Chair; Paul A. Renne; Quentin L. Kopp; and Yvonne Lee.

MEMBERS OF THE BOARD SUPERVISORS PRESENT: Board President London Breed; Malia Cohen; Sandra Lee Fewer; Jane Kim; Aaron Peskin; Hilary Ronen; Ahsha Safai; Jeff Sheehy; Katy Tang; Norman Yee.

ETHICS COMMISSION STAFF PRESENT: LeeAnn Pelham, Ethics Commission Executive Director; Ethics Commission Senior Policy Analyst Kyle Kundert; Policy Analyst Pat Ford.

CLERK OF THE BOARD STAFF PRESENT: Angela Calvillo, Clerk of the Board.

OFFICE OF THE CITY ATTORNEY: Andrew Shen, Deputy City Attorney (DCA).

OTHERS PRESENT: Unnamed members of the public.

MATERIALS DISTRIBUTED:

  • Ethics Commission Staff Report dated March 29, 2018, including attachments, on the Anti-Corruption and Accountability Ordinance, amending the Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code to institute campaign finance and conflict of interest reforms (see Board of Supervisors File Nos. 180001 and 180280); scheduled pursuant to Board of Supervisors Motion No. M18-029 (approved on March 6, 2018).

1. Call to order and roll call.

President London Breed called the Special Joint Meeting to order at 4:29 pm with the Board of Supervisors sitting as a committee of the whole and called the roll. A quorum was present.

Supervisor Breed then turned the floor to Ethics Commission Acting Chair Daina Chiu, who called the Ethics Commission meeting to order and asked for a roll call of members present. With one vacancy on the Commission and four members in attendance, a quorum was present.

President Breed asked the Clerk of the Board to describe the structure of the Special Joint Meeting and the process for taking public comment. Ms. Calvillo explained the purpose of the joint meeting, as approved by Board motion, was to host a joint meeting and hearing with the Ethics Commission to hear Items 42 and 43 on the Board’s Agenda, amendments to the San Francisco Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code to institute campaign finance and conflict of interest reforms. She noted Item 42 had been called from the Budget and Finance Committee and Item 43 was called from the Rules Committee (Board of Supervisors File Nos. 180001 and 180280); scheduled pursuant to Board of Supervisors Motion No. M18-029 (approved on March 6, 2018) and on April 3rd.

She noted the Commission’s common practice to take public testimony after roll call for attendance, and she confirmed with President Breed that the Boards’ General Public Comment and the Ethics Commission’s public comment would be combined for purposes of the special joint meeting.

Clerk of the Board Calvillo stated that this meeting provides the opportunity for members of the public to address both the entire Board of Supervisors, and the Ethics Commission for up to two minutes, on items within the subject matter jurisdiction of the Ethics Commission, and jurisdiction of the Board to include the February 27, 2018 Board Meeting Minutes, and the Items on the Adoption Without Reference to Committee, items 46 through 53. She noted that Public Comment is also being taken to satisfy Ethics Commission’s requirements on receiving public input following their call to order, pursuant to Ethics Commission By‑Laws. The public may address either body during this comment period.

President Breed asked the Clerk to call General Public Comment for both the Board and the Ethics Commission.

2. Public comment on matters appearing or not appearing on the agenda.

The Board of Supervisors jointly with the Ethics Commission then took general public comment on matters appearing or not appearing on the Special Joint Meeting agenda. She further explained that pursuant to its By-Laws, the Ethics Commission is required to take additional public comment prior to adjournment.  She noted that after the conclusion of the special joint meeting, the Ethics Commission would reconvene in City Hall Room 263 to receive that additional public comment. Ms. Calvillo stated that pursuant to the Board’s Rules, speakers should direct their remarks to the Board or the Commission as a whole, not to individual Members or Commissioners and not to the audience.

Clerk Calvillo stated that members of the public wishing to address the entire Board of Supervisors and the Ethics Commission may do so for up to two minutes, specifically on items #42 and #43, the subject matter of the Joint meeting.  She restated that there would be one opportunity for public comment on items #42 and #43, no matter how many amendments have been offered and even if new amendments are offered after public comment. Each speaker will have two minutes for public comment.

Public comment was received on matters appearing or not appearing on the agenda. Speakers included representatives from Northern California Grantmakers, the San Francisco Foundation, Lutheran Social Services, and other individuals.

3. Consideration and possible action on the Anti-Corruption and Accountability Ordinance, amending the Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code to institute campaign finance and conflict of interest reforms (see Board of Supervisors File Nos. 180001 and 180280); scheduled pursuant to Board of Supervisors Motion No. M18-029 (approved on March 6, 2018).

Ms. Calvillo read board Agenda Items 41-32, and Director Pelham called the item for the Ethics Commission.

President Breed stated that the Ethics Commission and City Attorney have worked collaboratively on the following structure for this meeting which she asked the Clerk to outline. Ms. Calvillo stated that the procedure was conceived jointly by the parties in an effort to streamline the discussion and consideration of the items and facilitate the Campaign & Governmental Conduct Code’s requirement that the Ethics Commission approves amendments prior to Board action, within the setting of a committee of the whole.

Opening remarks will begin with brief opening remarks by the Ethics Commission Chair then moving to opening remarks from any Supervisors.  The Chair of the Ethics Commission will call on her Commissioners to provide their amendments.  Either during or after, Commissioners will describe any proposed amendments to the record, Chair Chiu will welcome Supervisors to ask questions on and discuss the amendments.  If Members of the Board wish to ask questions on an amendment, Chair Chiu will yield the floor to President Breed, who will control the floor during the discussion between both bodies.

For the Board’s opportunity to present amendments, Ms. Calvillo noted that after debate concludes for all Ethics Commission Amendments, and before the Commission begins consideration of their amendments, the Board will have its final opportunity to provide input to the Commission about any issue and to propose any Board amendments the members would like the Ethics Commission to consider.  The Commission will not begin their final consideration and vote on the Amendments until all amendments until after Public Comment concludes.  At that time the Commission requests the opportunity to deliberate as a Commission.

As the City Attorney has previously communicated to the Board and the Ethics Commission, all proposed amendments must be in writing and approved by the City Attorney’s Office prior to the Committee of the Whole. No other amendments are expected to be considered.  Ms. Calvillo explained that it is possible that a proposed amendment could trigger a continuance to a future Ethics Commission or Board of Supervisors meeting, and that the City Attorney will advise on each amendment after it is offered, whether it may require a continuance.

Ms. Calvillo stated there are two files listed on the Board agenda, Items 42 and 43. Item 43 on the Board’s agenda is identical to the ordinance noticed on the Ethics Commission agenda. For the purpose of this discussion, Item 43 will be used as a starting point – as the working document so both bodies are amending the same document.  For the sake of simplicity, the Board will not amend Item 42 and will either table Item 42 or send it to committee at the end of the hearing.

She described that for public comment, after discussion of all proposed amendments from the Commission and the Board, the President will open public comment. There will be only one opportunity for the public comment on this item, no matter how many amendments are offered and even if new amendments are offered after public comment. Each speaker will have two minutes for public comment so fashion your comments to include all possibilities for potential amendments.

After public comment, she noted, the debate is closed, and the Ethics Commission will consider ALL amendments that have been proposed first and will then vote on the ordinance as amended.  At the Commission’s discretion, questions may be posed to the Board. The Ethics Commission approves its amendments by three affirmative votes.

Once the Commission begins its final consideration on the ordinance as amended, the Commission requests that the Board refrain from any further debate with the Commission until the matter is fully in the hands of the Board.  The Commission requests the space and time to conduct its own uninterrupted discussion. The Ethics Commission approves the Item, as amended, by 4/5 of the entire membership, or by for votes.

If approved by the Ethics Commission, and the City Attorney verifies the Ordinance is able to be voted upon today, the Board will then consider the ordinance, as amended. For the Board any further amendments require six votes to be adopted, and the ordinance as whole requires eight votes.  Any further amendments made by the Board will require the Ethics Commission to approve the further amended version by a 4/5 vote. If the Commission approves the further amended version, it may return to the Board for its final approval – which will require eight votes.

President Breed confirmed without objection that the Board will proceed in that manner. She asked Acting Chair Chiu to confirm if the Commission will also proceed in that order as well. Commissioner Chiu confirmed without objection the Commission would proceed as outlined.

With that, President Breed opened the floor to Acting Chair Chiu for opening remarks.

Acting Chair Chiu stated that the Ethics Commission embarked on this legislative effort over a year ago with the goal of reducing both real and perceived pay to play politics in San Francisco. The Anti-Corruption and Accountability Ordinance prohibits the worst case of pay to play and seeks to shine the light on conduct that could create the risk of pay to play. She stated the legislation does this by following the money and financial interests, restricting money in some instances, requiring disclosure in others, so that the people of San Francisco can know where the money is coming from, who asked for it, and where it is going. The Commission held numerous discussions and received a lot of input from stakeholders. She noted that there is an additional proposal included in the ordinance, made by Supervisor Peskin. She stated the Ethics Commission has not had the opportunity to discuss the substance of that ordinance, and she hopes the Commission and Board could do that together in this meeting. She said the Commission supports the goal of limiting the impact of money and politics and believes that the thoughtful discussion and careful consideration of the scope, impact, enforceability and constitutionality of the proposed ordinance can make it more effective and enforceable. In closing, she said, the Commission appreciates the time and focus of Commissioners and the Board of Supervisors in this special joint meeting and looks forward to working together to enact a package of strong, fair and effective laws that will enhance the transparency and accountability of government for the people of San Francisco.

President Breed recognized Supervisor Peskin and other members of the Board for opening comments.

Supervisor Peskin provided opening remarks and thanked the Commission, former Commissioner Peter Keane, his Board colleagues, and particularly Supervisor Tang, and stakeholders for the preparation leading to today’s hearing. He noted the significance of the legislation as some of the most comprehensive changes to our municipal campaign finance laws since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. He encouraged action today to ensure achievement of the three pillars of effective reform, implementation, enforceability, and compliance. He encourages his colleagues to keep an eye on massive keep eyes on massive dark money donors. He added that it is imperative to pass legislatively rather than going to ballot.  He does not want the perfect to be enemy of the good and believes we can continue to make amendments and tighten the law along the way.  He noted that there are a number of amendments provided in writing as part of the public file online that the City Attorney has assisted in preparing, and stated he has seven amendments to offer today. He also is aware that Supervisors Tang, Fewer, and Kim also have amendments to offer and that it is an iterative process between the two bodies. He hopes something can be passed today.

Supervisor Kim thanked Supervisor Peskin for working to expedite an ordinance to have transparency in effect in the upcoming election cycle. She noted an ordinance she introduced in July 2017 to also achieve improved transparency around dark money in elections in an era following the Citizens United case. She understands there is difficulty in tracing dark money in elections and urges both bodies to do what can be done to tighten laws and improve disclosure. San Francisco voters can make even more educated decisions with greater transparency. For the sake of expediency today, she will make less substantive amendments to the item today, and she will continue the discussion through the normal legislative process along with Ethics Commission. She thanked the Commission for participating in the joint meeting today.

Supervisor Tang stated the believes it is very important to comprehend all legislation in an easy way. As the two bodies considering legislation today, she noted it is difficult to peel through all state and local legislation that affects local races. She believes it needs to be abundantly clear what the laws require and guidance when there is not clear guidance from state.

Following opening remarks by Members of the Board, President Breed yielded the floor to Acting Chair Chiu to call on members of the Ethics Commission to provide their amendments.

Acting Chair Chiu invited members of the Commission to provide their comments, questions, and any amendments.

Commissioner Kopp stated he had an amendment. President Breed stated the meeting would take a two-minute recess while amendments proposed by the Ethics Commission were distributed to Members of the Board of Supervisors.

The meeting resumed and Deputy City Attorney Shen listed the documents as submitted amendments or sets of amendments from Commissioners Chiu (“Chiu Amendments”), Lee (“Lee Amendments”) and Kopp (“Kopp Amendments”). From the Board of Supervisors he noted amendments offered by Supervisors Peskin (“Peskin Amendments” – with final updated documents ending with language about effective and operative dates), Tang (“Tang Amendments”- with final updated amendments starting with reference to Sec. 1.124), Kim (“Kim Amendments”), and Fewer (“Fewer Amendments.).  He noted members of both bodies have current versions of all sets of amendments.

Commissioner Kopp summarized that his amendment intends to do what started 16 months ago at the Ethics Commission. He provided a brief history on city’s and state campaign limits and disclosure provisions, including his prior work on both as Member of Board and State Senator. He described the Commission’s earlier focus on restoration of Prop J that was enacted in 2000 but then was denuded in 2003 by the Board of Supervisors and Ethics Commission at that time. During 2017 Ethics Commission process, he stated, the prohibition proposed to be restored against behested donations was subject of attack by non-profit entities, including those that don’t provide services to beneficiaries. He cited his opposition to the amendment at the Commission that removed the prohibition on behested donations and substituted a weakened disclosure provision. Thereafter, because it takes 4/5 vote of the Ethics Commission to transmit proposed legislative to the Board of Supervisors, he made a personal accommodation which is common to vote for it so it could be transmitted. He stated that he believes the public should know that non-profit entities getting taxpayer money has become a thriving enterprise in San Francisco, almost $1 billion dollars in 2017-18, including for the most part entities which don’t provide services. Not content with weakening the proposed Anti-Corruption Act, he observed, non- profits have since further argued that disclosure is now too much, this on the theory that it will deter donations to their organizations. He also cited the private right of action proposal as something non-profits have opposed, arguing the proposed approach could bankrupt small non-profits due to frivolous lawsuits. He stated his amendment (Kopp 1) would restore the original provision to ban behested donation payments, and cites comment received by the President of Friends of Ethics as further support for the need for his amendment. Commissioner Kopp stated he regretted that he voted for the amended version. He urges the bodies to adopt the replacement of the behested payments disclosure provision with the amendment he has offered.

Commissioner Lee presented her amendment to Section 3.207(1)(1) on line 17 to delete the last sentence “or for an organization with which he or she is associated” (Lee 1).  She stated she agrees with Chair Chiu about the purpose of this ordinance but believes as written this subsection would have unintended consequences for non-profit organizations. She noted that her public service has included years of working with numerous non-profits in the city serving the vulnerable and underserved populations. She believes removing this language will help support the role of non-profits in the city and help ensure non-profit community service organizations can continue. She discussed the role of non-profits and their value to city service, and she urged her colleagues to support the amendment.

Acting Chair Chiu then introduced her proposed amendments. As a preliminary matter, as to Supervisor Peskin’s major donor proposal, although it is a detailing of financial matters, it does not say where the money is going. Based on memo from the City Attorney’s office raising concerns regarding the constitutionality of the proposal and noting a high risk of it being struck down, she would invite further dialogue from the Commission and invite broader discussion with the Board of Supervisors. She stated her first amendment (Chiu 1) is to allow sufficient time for work required to implement the new ordinance by amending the operative date of the ordinance to January 1, 2019. Her second amendment (Chiu 2) is a minor amendment to clarify language; and her third amendment (Chiu 3) proposes to send the Anti-Corruption and Accountability ordinance to the Board without Supervisor Peskin’s major donor proposal.

Commissioner Kopp stated he would vote no on the change in the operative date.  He believes it could and should be in place by the November 2018 election.

Seeing no further comment by members of the Commission, Acting Chair Chiu yielded the floor to Board President Breed.

Breed asked if any Supervisors would like to make any additional amendments.

Mr. Peskin rose to address the amendments offered by members of the Ethics Commission. He believes the purpose of the joint meeting is to secure the 4/5ths vote of the Commission and the 8/11ths vote of the Board to approve something tonight. He is not interested in changes that would result in a continuance, and the amendment proposed by Commissioner Kopp would result in a continuance as it is a substantive change to the ordinance. He stated he could not support Commissioner Lee’s motion as he believes it is extremely healthy language and urged the amendment to not be adopted. Regarding Commissioner Chiu’s amendments, he wants the legislation to affect every race as soon as it can. To the extent there are provisions in the legislative file ending in 80 that do not need anything for the staff to do or implement, he urges that those become operative on date of law taking effect. Other provisions that are going to require forms to be created, etc., and those that will take time to implement, those could be operative on January 1, 2019 or earlier if staff can implement them earlier. He urged members to keep in the major donor piece. He believes it can be tightened up but passing it now to get dark money under the microscope is a hallmark of what he is hoping to accomplish at the joint meeting.

Supervisor Peskin introduced his seven proposed amendments to File No 180280.

  • Peskin 1 is to reinstate at Sec. 1.127 a ban on contributions from those with pending land use matters before City decision making bodies from contributing to committees of any candidates. He has raised the threshold to $5 million to avoid capturing home remodels but to capture a narrower category of large project sponsors. Also requires banned contributions to be forfeited to City’s General Fund and provide for notice requirements.
  • Peskin 2 and 7 relates to what constitutes a public appeal. It would reference the distribution of 200 or more identical pieces of printed material, a single email to 200 or more recipients, or a speech to a group of 20 or more. Only part of #7 is the amendment to lower the public appeals exemption from 500 to 200 and from 50 to 20.
  • Peskin 3 is the major donor provision to increase the threshold from $10,000 to $100,000 and to apply it solely to independent expenditure committees and not to ballot measure committees.
  • Peskin 4 relates to audit/video disclaimers and to provide additional clarity about those disclaimers and where and for how longs within those ads the disclaimer must appear.
  • Peskin 5 and 6 address the proposed repeated recusal provision for members of boards and commissions. Amendment 5 would remove the provision. Amendment 6 would narrow it.

Supervisor Tang commented on the Commission’s proposed amendments and introduced her amendments. She said she does not support Commissioner Kopp’s behested payments ban amendment and agrees with Peskin 7 to make changes for behested payments. She supports Commissioner Lee’s proposed amendment. She agrees with Commissioner Chiu’s concern about potential lawsuits if the major donor proposal were to pass with the additional restrictions it imposes, however she would support Peskin 3 if the proposal does go through. She asked for further clarification on operative dates from Ethics Commission Staff, then stated she is supportive of bifurcated operative dates as referenced earlier by Supervisor Peskin.

As to Supervisor Peskin’s amendments, she declines to support Peskin 1 as she believes it is too broad. She supports Peskin 2 amendment on public appeals. If Commissioner Chiu’s amendment to remove the major donor proposal does not pass, she would support Peskin 3 and appreciates the proposed tightening of the language. She supports the rationale behind Peskin 4 and encourages that an amendment on disclaimers mirror state law.  She agrees with Peskin 5 and 6, and 7. She is supportive of the proposal to bifurcate operational dates.

Supervisor Tang then produced a detailed written document explaining her proposed amendments.

Supervisor Fewer described her proposed amendments.

  • Fewer 1 to delete the disclosure of value of a contract in Sec. 1.126(f)2.
  • Fewer 2 would shift Sec. 3.620 filing reports from $1,000 to $10,000.

Supervisor Kim introduced her amendments.

  • Kim 1 to add reference in Sec. 1.104 definitions and Sec. 1.110 to include “electronic media technologies.”
  • Kim 2 to clean up the ordinance to remove a reference to the 2012 election for publicly financed candidates.
  • Kim 3 to include electioneering communications through electronic media technologies.

Public Comment.

After additional comment and discussion among members of the Board to clarify proposed amendments and seeing no further comment or question by members of the Board or the Ethics Commission, President Breed invited public comment on Agenda Item 3.

Marc Solomon stated he has a concern with behested payments and questions why there is so much opposition to an item popular with the electorate. He said non-profits have swooped in to knee-cap the proposal due to their own business interests.  The non-profit ecosystem is serving its own interests.

Paul Melbostad stated he served from 1995-2003 on the Ethics Commission. He is speaking in favor of a ban on contributions from parties with interests before other commissions. He complimented the Board and Ethic Commission seriously participating in this meeting. He supports the measure and its passage.

Anita Mayo from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw and Pitman commended on the extension of disclosure provisions to others within Section 1.126 contractor ban. She is concerned this deprives rights of individuals to donate to candidates of their choice. Regarding Sec. 1.158, she shares staff’s concern that this is likely unconstitutional.  It appears to be designed to punish donors and, as such, its intent is contrary to the Constitution. Regarding behested payments, the proposed legislation imposes unnecessary complications and reporting by the official should be sufficient.

Kathy Lowry, representing Human Services Network, supports the amendment to include a public appeals exemption and supports the Board amendment to the repeated recusals provision. She supports raising threshold from $1,000 to $10,000.

Sean Coffey, CA Assn of Non-Profits, said he sees unintentional consequences that will affect non-profit fundraising. He believes the HSN-proposed amendments will help the legislation.

Charley Marsteller, Friends of Ethics and former head of Common Cause in San Francisco, said many organizations nationwide have helped draft the legislation. He suggests greater clarity about terms used to not imply “independence” of “independent expenditure” committees, rather the terms should refer to “candidate-controlled committees” or “non-candidate controlled committees.”

Larry Bush, Friends of Ethics, said Friends of Ethics was willing to support exemption for any non-profit providing direct services. As to Supervisor Cohen’s question, he noted the 12-month timeframe was from a Harvey Rose report.

Tom Gilberti suggested simplicity.

Debbie Lerman, Human Services Network, supports the legislative efforts but said laws need to be clear, practical and enforceable. HSN is concerned about those who volunteer for public service, in particular. She supports Supervisor Peskin’s public appeal exemption and his amendments to the repeated recusal provision. She also supports the Fewer amendment to not disclose bidding amount in Sec. 1.126. She opposes the $1,000 behested payments reporting and prefers the Fewer amendment to increase it to $10,000.  She also urges creation of a safe harbor if an official forgets to tell a donor, the donor will not get penalties until the donor gets official notice and then would have another 30 days to file.

Otto Duffey urged members to look to how to impact the political system outside of political money through strengthening grassroots involvement.

Peter Cohen stated that given the significance of legislation, it has gotten to a better product. He supports the amendments by Supervisors Peskin, Tang and Fewer for getting at the concerns the non-profit community has expressed, particularly the definition of interested party. Previously the definition was too loose, but now it would have a financial trigger. He reiterated the point made by Debbie Lerman about double reporting system that requires an official who asks for a payment to report and requires a donor to report. He agrees with raising threshold. He urges passage of the ordinance.

Seeing no further members of the public wishing to address the Board or Commission, President Breed closed public comment on Agenda Item 3 at 7:48 pm.

After public comment closed, President Breed turned the floor to Acting Chair Chiu to act on the ordinance before them. In response to a question from Commissioner Chiu, DCA Shen stated that the Commission may act on amendments proposed by the Commission and the Board as it sees fit.

Commissioner Chiu invited the Commission to propose the amendments to the ordinance as they see fit. The Commission then took the following actions.

Motion 180403-01 A motion by Commissioner Kopp to reinstate Section 3.207(a)(4) into the Ordinance (Kopp 1) failed due to a lack of a second.

Motion 180403-02 A motion was made by Commissioner Lee and seconded by Commissioner Renne to adopt amendments to Sections 3.203 and 3.207 to define “use of office” and remove the definition of “associated,” respectively (Lee 1). On a roll call vote, the motion failed due to a split 2-2 vote, with Commissioners Kopp and Chiu in the dissent.

Motion 180403-03 After withdrawing her original effective date amendment (Chiu 1) Commissioner Chiu made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Renne, to adopt Supervisor Peskin’s Amendment #8 to provide staggered operational dates for various ACAO provisions. On a roll call vote, the motion was adopted with a unanimous vote of 4-0.

Motion 180403-04 A motion was made by Commissioner Chiu and seconded by Commissioner Lee to delete the Major Donor provision contained in the Ordinance (Chiu 2). On a roll call vote, the motion failed due to a split 2-2 vote, with Commissioners Kopp and Renne in the dissent.

Motion 180403-05 A motion was made by Commissioner Chiu and seconded by Commissioner Lee to clarify the contribution disclosure requirement in Section 1.114.5(b) (Chiu 3). On a roll call vote, the motion was adopted with a unanimous vote of 4-0.

Motion 180403-06 A motion was made by Commissioner Chiu and seconded by Commissioner Lee to adopt Tang 2, which would substitute Sec. 3.203 definition of “agent or employee” for “authorized representative” and modify language in Sec. 3.207(a)(3). On a roll call vote, the motion was adopted with a unanimous vote of 4-0.

Motion 180403-07 Commissioner Kopp rose to state his understanding that the two different sections would be voted on separately and asked to set aside the vote so he could vote separately on the two items.  After clarifying if there was a second to Commissioner Kopp’s motion to rescind the prior, Director Pelham stated the motion failed for a lack of a second.

Acting Chair Chiu stated this concluded the amendments she was proposing. She called for a vote on the amended ordinance.

Motion 180403-08 Commissioner Lee moved to adopt the ordinance as amended, which would then forward it on to the Board of Supervisors. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Chiu. On a roll call vote, with Commissioner Kopp in the dissent on a 3-1 vote, the motion failed because the ordinance required a 4/5th vote for adoption.

President Breed explained that as no ordinance had been approved by the Commission, there was no ordinance returned to the Board for its action. Through the presiding officers, Supervisor Peskin then urged Commissioner Kopp to reconsider his vote to not approve the amended ordinance. Commissioner Kopp responded through the Chair that he has never sustained the lack of a courtesy on a motion to rescind an erroneous vote. Supervisor Peskin responded through the Chair that the Commission reconsider its vote on Tang 2 and give Commissioner Kopp give him the courtesy of rescinding the vote to enable the Commission to reach a 4/5th vote on the overall ordinance.

Motion 180403-09 A motion was made by Commissioner Chiu and seconded by Commissioner Renne to rescind the vote on the Ordinance as amended. On a roll call vote, the motion was approved unanimously 4-0.

Motion 180403-10 A motion was made by Commissioner Chiu and seconded by Commissioner Lee to rescind the prior vote on Tang 2. As a point of information, Supervisor Tang restated the language she had proposed in the Tang 2 amendment. A brief recess was called.  Upon resumption of the meeting, the motion made by Commissioner Chiu and seconded by Commissioner Lee to rescind the prior Ethics Commission vote on Tang 2 was called.  On a roll call vote the motion was approved unanimously 4-0.

Motion 180403-11 A motion was made by Commissioner Kopp and seconded by Commissioner Lee to separate Tang 2 into two sections for separate votes on Sections 3.203 and 3.207.  On a roll call vote, the motion was approved unanimously on a 4-0 vote.

Motion 180403-12 A motion was made by Commissioner Chiu to approve Tang 2, Sec. 3.203, and was seconded by Commissioner Kopp. On a roll call vote, the motion carried 3-1 with Commissioner Kopp in the dissent.

Motion 180403-13 A motion was made by Commissioner Chiu and seconded by Commissioner Lee to adopt Section 3.207 of Tang 2. On a roll call vote, the motion was approved unanimously 4-0.

Motion 180403-14 A motion was made by Commissioner Chiu and seconded by Commissioner Lee to adopt the Ordinance as amended. On a roll call vote, the motion was approved with a unanimous vote of 4-0.

DCA Shen explained that the Ethics Commission’s ordinance, as amended by a 4/5 vote, would now be returned to the Board for its consideration. For the record, he stated that there have been three amendments approved by the Commission:  Peskin 8 (creating bifurcated operative dates); Chiu 3 (clarifying contribution disclosure requirements); and Tang 2 (both portions were approved by the Commission). With that, the Ordinance is now back in the hands of the Supervisors.

President Breed then explained that the Commission’s amended ordinance could now be adopted as amended. Should additional changes by made by the Board, additional action by the Ethics Commission would be required.

Supervisor Yee made a motion that was seconded by Supervisor Tang to adopt the ordinance as amended by the Ethics Commission as part of Item 43.

Supervisor Tang stated she also proposes the Board of Supervisors consider the additional following amendments she was offering. Supervisor Peskin seconded that amendment to Supervisor Yee’s motion.

Supervisor Peskin stated that with regard to the file ending in -80, the major donor piece is a seminal piece. However, he stated that he is willing to work with the Board of Supervisors and the Ethics Commission in a collaborative manner and so he will take the major donor proposal and take Peskin 3 off the table. He would like to continue that iterative process going forward and so will take major donor piece out of consideration at this time in this ordinance.  He stated that also would like to have Peskin 1 adopted regarding land use matters before officials, as well as Peskin 2 on the public appeals exemption. He would request deletion of the repeated recusal provision through adoption of Peskin 5. He noted Peskin 8 regarding the bifurcated operational dates has just been adopted by the Ethics Commission. Regarding Peskin 7, he said he would like to seek additional consultation with the City Attorney on the status of language in the first section of that amendment.

Supervisor Tang noted that Peskin 7 language continues to have language “actively support or oppose” language, so she believes she would like her amendment language. DCA Shen noted some of the amendments offered were directly contradictory, so additional review was needed. He then walked through how the language may require mixing and matching to come to a consensus on what approach is desired. After additional discussion, the Board moved on to action on the amendments that had been proposed.

Supervisor Breed asked for a roll call vote on the pending Yee motion, which was seconded by Supervisor Tang. Supervisor Tang stated she would withdraw her pending amendment to Supervisor Yee’s motion, and Supervisor Peskin stated he would withdraw his second of her amendment to the pending Yee motion.

Supervisor Yee’s motion to adopt same amendments as approved by Ethics to match legislation with one another was called. It passed unanimously on a roll call vote with 11 votes of the Board.

Supervisor Tang moved adoption of Tang 1 and the motion was seconded by Safai and adopted without objection. Without objection the amendment passed.

Supervisor Tang stated she wished to capture the spirit of Supervisor Peskin’s interested parties definition but wants to delete any reference to “actively supporting or opposing.” DCA Shen suggested how the two approaches could be synchronized. After additional discussion, President Breed suggested coming back to the item. DCA Shen noted that language also appears elsewhere.

Supervisor Peskin moved adoption of Peskin 1, regarding Sec. 1.127, which was seconded by Supervisor Yee. After additional discussion to clarify existing law and the proposed amendment, on a roll call vote the motion failed with a vote of 5 ayes and 6 nos, with Supervisors Breed, Cohen, Safai, Sheehy, Stefani, and Tang in the dissent.

Supervisor Peskin moved adoption of Peskin 2, seconded by Supervisor Tang regarding the public appeals exemption. On a roll call vote the motion was approved on a unanimous 11-0 vote.

Supervisor Peskin moved adoption of Peskin 3, seconded by Supervisor Safai. After brief discussion, on a roll call vote the motion was approved on a unanimous 11-0 vote.

Regarding Peskin 4, Supervisor Peskin made a motion to strike from 180280 sec 1.158 from item 43.

Supervisor Peskin moved adoption of Peskin 4, which was amended by Supervisor Tang and accepted by Supervisor Peskin with a reference to state law.  After additional discussion, the motion passed.

At 9:11 pm, President Breed announced that she understood the Commission would be losing one of its members at 9:20 pm and encouraged Board colleagues to consider what if any additional amendments they wished to consider.

Supervisor Tang made a motion based on what the Board discussed with regard to Peskin 4, which was seconded by Supervisor Peskin. The motion was adopted without objection.

Supervisor Peskin moved adoption of Peskin 5, and without objection it was unanimously approved.

Supervisor Cohen asked for clarification about language in Supervisor Kim’s proposed amendment 1. She also asked about member communications and whether it includes ‘screenshots,’ that is, would a screenshot be considered sufficient submission of the required information. Supervisor Kim stated that a question about what documentation would be sufficient is one appropriately answered by the Ethics Commission Staff. Senior Policy Analyst Kyle Kundert confirmed the Commission receives these now and considers them sufficient. Supervisor Cohen offered a friendly amendment to make that explicit.

Supervisor Fewer addressed her two proposed amendments and moved amendment of Fewer 1, seconded by Supervisor Peskin. Without objection it passed unanimously.

Supervisor Fewer moved amendment of Fewer 2, seconded by Supervisor Yee. Without objection it passed unanimously.

Supervisor Peskin stated that he was withdrawing his amendment Peskin 7 to support Tang 3.

Supervisor Tang moved approval of Tang 3, without changes, seconded by Supervisor Sheehy. The motion passed unanimously without objection.

Supervisor Kim moved approval of Kim 1, 3, and 3 as clean up language, noting she would not be moving her amendment 4. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Yee.  All were adopted without objection and pass unanimously.

Supervisor Tang then moved and Supervisor Cohen seconded a motion to approve the ordinance as presented by the Ethics Commission and then amended by the Board and forward it to the Ethics Commission for review and requested approval. The motion passed unanimously, and the ordinance was referred back to the Ethics Commission for further consideration.

Commissioner Chiu asked DCA Shen to summarize the amendments just discussed to clarify what was now pending before the Commission.

Commissioner Kopp rose to recommend that the Commission should consider the now broadly amended version at its April meeting. He said he would not vote the such a version tonight. He wanted to read a final product before being asked to vote on it. Chair Chiu clarified Commissioner Kopp’s intent to give the City Attorney time to incorporate all changes into one revised ordinance. Commissioner Lee asked DCA Shen to explain what adjustments to timeframes would result if the Commission were to not act at this meeting. He noted the Commission’s next meeting was scheduled for April 20. Commissioner Renne reminded the Commission he has previously notified the Chair that he will not be available on April 20. He said he is prepared to vote for this ordinance and would request a date in advance of that date. Acting Chair Chiu asked Director Pelham to explain what options might exist. Pelham responded that due to limited room availability give the Commission’s requirement to televise its meetings, dates the Commission had identified for the coming month were limited to April 20 and May 7.

Supervisor Peskin stated that he rose to admonish Members of the Ethics Commissioners and its Staff for allowing the ordinance to languish before the Commission. He believes the Commission has had a vision for a grand change has compromised actual change. He does not believe finding a room in City Hall is challenging. This should be in place for the June election. He said he would like for a second time to ask Commissioner Kopp to reconsider.

Commissioner Kopp responded that it appears the Supervisor has asked him to vote irrespective of his beliefs. He said that is a serious expectation, which he unfortunately which he cannot honor.

Lacking a vote of 4/5 of the Ethics Commission, no ordinance was returned to the Board of Supervisors for action.

Motion 180403-15 A motion by Commissioner Chiu and seconded by Commissioner Lee to continue the Commission’s deliberations of the Ordinance as amended by the Board to a subsequent meeting at the Call of the Chair was approved by a majority vote of 3-1, with Commissioner Lee in the dissent.

The Commission recessed its meeting at approximately 9:42 pm following action in the Special Joint Meeting on the ACAO.

The Board then approved a motion to table Item 42 by unanimous vote.

A motion by Supervisor Tang and seconded by Supervisor Kim to refer Item 43 to committee was approved without objection.

The Board of Supervisors concluded its meeting at 9:43 p.m.

The Ethics Commission then moved to City Hall Room 263, where reconvened to complete Ethics Commission business on Agenda Item 4.

Commissioner Kopp left the meeting at approximately 9:45p.m.

4. Public comment on matters appearing or not appearing on the Agenda pursuant to Ethics Commission Bylaws Article VII, Sec. 2

The Commission resumed its meeting at 9:48 pm in Room 263 with three members present (Chiu, Renne, and Lee) to take up Agenda Item 4.

The Commission received public comment by Debbie Lerman, Human Services Network. She expressed appreciation for the joint hearing and the open-mindedness to the items considered. She said HSN looks forward to continuing the conversation and she is optimistic about the passage of this significant reform legislation that is helpful, will achieve its goals, and takes into account the issues of non-profits and their donors.

Motion 180403-16 A motion by Commissioner Chiu and seconded by Commissioner Lee to adjourn passed (3-0).

The Ethics Commission meeting adjourned at 9:53 pm.

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