July 18, 2019 •

San Francisco Pay-To-Play Ballot Measure

San Francisco, California - Noahnmf

Voters will have a chance in November to increase the restrictions on political contributions in the latest campaign finance proposal aimed at pay-to-play. The Sunlight on Dark Money ballot initiative requires greater disclosure of who is behind campaign advertisements paid […]

Voters will have a chance in November to increase the restrictions on political contributions in the latest campaign finance proposal aimed at pay-to-play.

The Sunlight on Dark Money ballot initiative requires greater disclosure of who is behind campaign advertisements paid for by PACs.

The measure requires the top three largest donors of the committee paying for the advertisement to disclose the name and amount contributed to the committee.

If any of the three belong to another committee, they must disclose the top two donors of that committee as well.

The measure would also prohibit top executives in development companies from contributing to candidates or current office holders of the Board of Supervisors, mayor, and city attorney.

The prohibition will be in effect while a project they have financial interest in is pending approval, or for 12 months after the city makes a final decision on the project.

The measure will also close a loophole allowing LLCs and LLPs to contribute to candidates despite an existing ban on those donations from corporations.

The measure would take effect 10 days after the election results are certified.

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July 16, 2019 •

California Governor Signs Expenditure Bill

California Gov. Gavin Newsom

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation on July 12 to clarify language related to preelection statements and income from gifts and business entities. Assembly Bill 903 requires preelection statements to disclose contributions and independent expenditures made to a state, county, or […]

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation on July 12 to clarify language related to preelection statements and income from gifts and business entities.

Assembly Bill 903 requires preelection statements to disclose contributions and independent expenditures made to a state, county, or city general purpose committee or made to support or oppose a candidate or measure appearing on the ballot at a specified election.

The specified election will be the next election for certain state or county general purpose committees and elected state officers or candidates for elective state office.

The bill also amends the definition of expenditure to include communications paid for with public moneys by a state or local government agency.

The bill will take effect on January 1, 2020.

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July 15, 2019 •

Long Beach City Council Sets Date for Special Election

Long Beach, California

A special election will take place on November 5 for City Council District 1. The Long Beach City Council adopted a resolution at the July 9 meeting to conduct a special municipal election. Lena Gonzalez relinquished the District 1 seat […]

A special election will take place on November 5 for City Council District 1.

The Long Beach City Council adopted a resolution at the July 9 meeting to conduct a special municipal election.

Lena Gonzalez relinquished the District 1 seat after winning the state Senate District 33 seat.

The council’s adoption of the resolution included a request to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to have the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk run the special election in November.

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July 9, 2019 •

California Legislature Passes Expenditure Bill

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California State Capitol Building - Jeff Turner

On July 8, Gov. Gavin Newsom was presented with a bill clarifying language related to preelection statements and income from gifts and business entities. Assembly Bill 903 requires preelection statements to disclose contributions and independent expenditures made to a state, […]

On July 8, Gov. Gavin Newsom was presented with a bill clarifying language related to preelection statements and income from gifts and business entities.

Assembly Bill 903 requires preelection statements to disclose contributions and independent expenditures made to a state, county, or city general purpose committee or made to support or oppose a candidate or measure appearing on the ballot at a specified election.

The specified election will be the next election for certain state or county general purpose committees and elected state officers or candidates for elective state office.

The bill also amends the definition of expenditure to include communications paid for with public moneys by a state or local government agency.

If signed by the governor, the bill takes effect on January 1, 2020.

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June 20, 2019 •

Special Election Set for Vacant California Legislative Seat

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California State Capitol Building - Jeff Turner

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a special primary election for Assembly District 1 on August 27. The seat is vacant after Brian Dahle won the June 4 special election to fill Senate District 1 seat. Unless one candidate receives more than […]

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a special primary election for Assembly District 1 on August 27.

The seat is vacant after Brian Dahle won the June 4 special election to fill Senate District 1 seat.

Unless one candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, the top two candidates in the special primary election will face off in a special general election.

Assembly District one covers portions of the Northeastern part of California.

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June 4, 2019 •

San Francisco Ethics Commission Adopts Code Changes

San Francisco, California - Noahnmf

The San Francisco Ethics Commission voted to adopt amendments to the Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code. The changes include electronic filing, filing of contribution disclosures no later than 14 days following the contribution, and updating filing forms. The changes provide […]

The San Francisco Ethics Commission voted to adopt amendments to the Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code.

The changes include electronic filing, filing of contribution disclosures no later than 14 days following the contribution, and updating filing forms.

The changes provide clarity regarding code sections created by the Anti-Corruption and Accountability Ordinance and update the regulations to match other recent changes to the code.

Additionally, changes provide clarity about various provisions of the Campaign Finance Reform Ordinance.

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May 20, 2019 •

San Francisco Ethics Commission Propose Code Changes

San Francisco, California - Noahnmf

The San Francisco Ethics Commission will hold its next regular meeting on May 29. The commission will consider and possibly act on a set of proposed regulation changes to the Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code. These changes include electronic filing, […]

The San Francisco Ethics Commission will hold its next regular meeting on May 29.

The commission will consider and possibly act on a set of proposed regulation changes to the Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code.

These changes include electronic filing, filing of contribution disclosures no later than 14 days following the contribution, and updating filing forms.

The proposed changes are intended to provide clarity regarding code sections created by the Anti-Corruption and Accountability Ordinance and update the regulations to match other recent changes to the code.

Changes additionally provide clarity about various provisions of the Campaign Finance Reform Ordinance.

Opportunity for public comment will be provided at the meeting.

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May 20, 2019 •

Fresno District 2 Special Election

Fresno Arch - by John Walker, Fresno Bee File

The city of Fresno is holding a special election for the District 2 City Council seat on August 13. Steve Brandau stepped down from the District 2 City Council seat after winning the District 2 seat on the Fresno County […]

The city of Fresno is holding a special election for the District 2 City Council seat on August 13.

Steve Brandau stepped down from the District 2 City Council seat after winning the District 2 seat on the Fresno County Board of Supervisors.

If a runoff is required, the special runoff election will be held on November 5.

The elected candidate will serve the remainder of Brandau’s term, which ends in 2020.

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May 10, 2019 •

Long Beach Residents Can Apply to Serve on Newly Formed Ethics Commission

Long Beach, California

City officials are accepting applications for the ethics commission approved by voters last November. The charter amendment established a seven-member ethics commission. The ethics commission will implement campaign finance, lobbying, conflicts of interest, and governmental ethics laws. Qualified applicants may […]

City officials are accepting applications for the ethics commission approved by voters last November.

The charter amendment established a seven-member ethics commission.

The ethics commission will implement campaign finance, lobbying, conflicts of interest, and governmental ethics laws.

Qualified applicants may not concurrently hold elective office, work as an officer for a city candidate campaign, be a city employee, or employ or be employed by anyone required to register as a city lobbyist.

The mayor and city auditor will make four appointments to be confirmed by City Council.

The remaining three members will be appointed by the confirmed commissioners.

The deadline for submitting applications is June 7.

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April 17, 2019 •

Los Angeles City Council Working Towards Banning Developer Donations

The Los Angeles City Council rules committee voted to have the city attorney draft two versions of a proposed ban on donations to city officials from developers seeking approval for their building projects.

Version one would directly follow the Ethics Commission’s recommendation to restrict non-individuals and developers from making political contributions. The restriction would apply from the date the project application is filed until 12 months after the final resolution of the application.

Version two would ban donations from any person or entity pursuing or currently working on large development projects with the city.

Both proposals would ban elected officials from soliciting behested payments from restricted sources, and lower the disclosure threshold for behested payments to $1,000 per payor per year.

Additionally, the proposals would require the disclosure of behested payments to identify whether the payor is a lobbyist, lobbyist firm, bidder, contractor, or developer.

These drafts are expected to be presented to the full City Council within the next few weeks.

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February 22, 2019 •

Los Angeles City Ethics Commission Backs Developer Contribution Restrictions

The Los Angeles City Ethics Commission backed new restrictions on political contributions from real estate developers seeking city approval for their building plans. The proposed ban applies to those who are “substantially involved” in a proposed development project, such as […]

The Los Angeles City Ethics Commission backed new restrictions on political contributions from real estate developers seeking city approval for their building plans.

The proposed ban applies to those who are “substantially involved” in a proposed development project, such as real estate executives, architects, engineers, and others.

The commission also supports new restrictions on behested payments, and it endorsed the idea of banning contributions from businesses, unions, organizations, and other entities, allowing only for contributions from individuals.

The FBI is continuing its probe into corruption at City Hall.

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February 13, 2019 •

Los Angeles City Council Passes Measure Targeting Pro-NRA Contractors

The Los Angeles City Council passed an ordinance on February 12 which requires companies that have contracts with the city to disclose under affidavit any contracts or sponsorships they or their subsidiaries have with the National Rifle Association. A letter […]

The Los Angeles City Council passed an ordinance on February 12 which requires companies that have contracts with the city to disclose under affidavit any contracts or sponsorships they or their subsidiaries have with the National Rifle Association.

A letter last week sent from the NRA threatened legal action if the ordinance passed, stating the proposal violates the First Amendment and is “an unconstitutional effort to restrict and chill an individual’s right to associate and express their political beliefs.”

Ordinance 18-0896 passed on a 14-0 vote and is headed to Mayor Eric Garcetti’s desk for review.

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January 22, 2019 •

Los Angeles Ethics Commission to Review Proposed Ban on Developer Contributions

The Los Angeles Ethics Commission announced it will be taking another look at a proposal to ban certain developer contributions to elected officials and candidates after Los Angeles City Council members revived the idea. Six council-members reintroduced the new motion […]

The Los Angeles Ethics Commission announced it will be taking another look at a proposal to ban certain developer contributions to elected officials and candidates after Los Angeles City Council members revived the idea.

Six council-members reintroduced the new motion last week, with Council President Herb Wesson seconding it.

The motion prohibits developers from making political contributions to city elected officials or candidates from the date of application for the property is filed until 12 months following the final resolution of the application.

The Ethics Commission also announced it could include restrictions on nonindividual entity contributors and payments made by third parties at the behest of elected officials.

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January 18, 2019 •

Second Special Election in California Announced

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a special election to fill the vacancy in the 1st Senate District. The seat was vacated by Ted Gaines, who was sworn in as a member of the California State Board of Equalization. The special primary […]

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a special election to fill the vacancy in the 1st Senate District.

The seat was vacated by Ted Gaines, who was sworn in as a member of the California State Board of Equalization.

The special primary election will be held on March 26, and, if necessary, a special runoff election will be on June 4.

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