May 20, 2019 •

San Francisco Ethics Commission Propose Code Changes

San Francisco, California - Noahnmf [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

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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January 17, 2019 •

California Governor Announces Special Election

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a special election to replace Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara in Senate District 33. The special primary election will be held on March 26, and, if necessary, a special runoff election will be held on June 4. […]

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a special election to replace Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara in Senate District 33.

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

Candidates that have announced their campaigns are Long Beach Councilmembers Lena Gonzalez and Al Austin, former Lynwood Mayor Leticia Vasquez-Wilson, and South Gate Councilwoman Denise Diaz.

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January 14, 2019 •

Special Election Announced in Orange County, California

There will be a special election on March 12 to fill the vacancy in the Third Supervisorial District. The vacancy was created when Todd Spitzer won last November’s general election to become Orange County District Attorney. The district includes Orange, […]

There will be a special election on March 12 to fill the vacancy in the Third Supervisorial District.

The vacancy was created when Todd Spitzer won last November’s general election to become Orange County District Attorney.

The district includes Orange, Yorba Linda, Villa Park, Tustin, and parts of Irvine and Anaheim.

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January 10, 2019 •

Irvine Strengthens Restrictions on Lobbyists

Irvine City Council unanimously approved legislation to strengthen its conflict of interest policy this week. The bill adds a provision to contracts with the city that allows the city to cancel a contract and get reimbursed if a member of […]

Irvine City Council unanimously approved legislation to strengthen its conflict of interest policy this week.

The bill adds a provision to contracts with the city that allows the city to cancel a contract and get reimbursed if a member of council or an employee of the city lobbied on behalf of a contractor, paid or unpaid.

Councilwoman Christina Shea said she brought the item forward after she learned former Councilman Jeff Lalloway helped a Los Angeles-based firm with an Irvine office try to get a contract for the Anaheim streetcar project.

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November 19, 2018 •

FPPC Approves Cost of Living Adjustments for Gift Limits

On November 15, the California Fair Political Practices Commission approved proposed regulations to make biennial cost of living adjustments to campaign contribution and gift limits that will apply from January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2020. The proposed regulations would […]

On November 15, the California Fair Political Practices Commission approved proposed regulations to make biennial cost of living adjustments to campaign contribution and gift limits that will apply from January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2020.

The proposed regulations would change the gift limit from $470 to $500 and make increases to campaign contribution limits for candidates.

Adjusted contribution limits for gubernatorial candidates would increase from $29,200 to $31,000.

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November 16, 2018 •

San Diego Council to Close Confidential Document Loophole

The city council of San Diego voted unanimously to introduce an ordinance providing tighter restrictions on the handling of confidential documents by council members. Following a breach and subsequent criminal probe for information provided to investors by a council member […]

The city council of San Diego voted unanimously to introduce an ordinance providing tighter restrictions on the handling of confidential documents by council members.

Following a breach and subsequent criminal probe for information provided to investors by a council member last year, the council voted to close the loophole allowing disclosure if done as a necessary function of official duties.

In addition, new language in the code now makes it illegal for lobbyists who may receive confidential documents from using or disclosing them in any way.

Lobbyists are also prohibited from disseminating a confidential document through intermediaries, such as a spouse or a cousin.

Penalties for lobbyists who illegally review or disseminate confidential documents include potential misdemeanor charges and the possibility of being sued by the city for damages.

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November 7, 2018 •

San Diego Passes Restrictions on City Officials

City of San Diego voters approved Measure L to limit lobbying and campaign activities of elected city officers. The measure increases the restriction on lobbying by former city officials from one to two years. The measure also eliminates the city […]

City of San Diego voters approved Measure L to limit lobbying and campaign activities of elected city officers.

The measure increases the restriction on lobbying by former city officials from one to two years.

The measure also eliminates the city elective officer exception to receiving honoraria prohibited by state law.

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