Date: September 1, 2023
To: Members of the Ethics Commission
From: Zach D’Amico, Senior Investigator; Patrick Ford, Director of Enforcement
Re: AGENDA ITEM 7 – Information Session on Campaign Finance Laws
Summary and Action Requested
This agenda item contains a brief presentation on select campaign finance laws, including an overview of the law and its importance to healthy elections. This item is for informational and discussion purposes.
No formal action is required by the Commission.
Over the past several years, the Enforcement Division has taken on more wide-ranging campaign finance cases in an attempt to better ensure that the important policy purposes served by campaign finance law, such as public information and the avoidance of undue influence, are supported by effective enforcement. Moving into Fiscal Year 2023-24 and beyond, the Division has also prioritized proactive investigations to identify violations without receipt of a complaint from a member of the public.
In 2024, the City will hold contests for many elective offices and likely several ballot measures. The November 2024 election will be the first time the offices of Mayor, Sheriff, District Attorney, City Attorney, and Treasurer will appear on a presidential election ballot alongside members of the Board of Supervisors, School Board, and Community College Board since the passage of Proposition H in 2022. In total, there will be 19 City elective positions on the ballot. This election year will thus see a large volume of campaign finance activity and thus a likely increase in campaign finance-related enforcement matters. To help prepare the Commission and the public for the upcoming election, the Enforcement Division will present this 10-15 minute presentation highlighting a few of the major areas of campaign finance law enforced by the Ethics Commission.