March 10, 2020 •

Fundraising Window to Open for Los Angeles Citywide 2022 Candidates

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Los Angeles City Hall - Michael J Fromholtz

The Los Angeles Ethics Commission announced the fundraising window for the regular 2022 primary election. The window for citywide candidates will open March 8, 2020, while primary election are scheduled for March 8, 2022. City law specifies the primary election […]

The Los Angeles Ethics Commission announced the fundraising window for the regular 2022 primary election.

The window for citywide candidates will open March 8, 2020, while primary election are scheduled for March 8, 2022.

City law specifies the primary election fundraising window for citywide races will be 24 months.

Additionally, the window for City Council and Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education (LAUSD) races will be 18 months.

The fundraising window for City Council and LAUSD candidates in the regular 2022 primary election will open September 8, 2020.

The Ethics Commission has not changed the campaign contribution limits for candidates at this time.

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February 17, 2020 •

Judge Set to Confirm Most of San Francisco Political Ad Disclosure Rules

San Francisco, California - Noahnmf

U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer will uphold the bulk of a San Francisco ordinance requiring political ads to disclose top donors and secondary funding sources. Proposition F requires print, audio, and video political ads disclose the top three donors who […]

U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer will uphold the bulk of a San Francisco ordinance requiring political ads to disclose top donors and secondary funding sources.

Proposition F requires print, audio, and video political ads disclose the top three donors who contributed at least $5,000. If one of those donors is a PAC, the committee’s top two donors must also be disclosed.

The judge rejected claims the ad disclosure law hinders political speech.

Yes on Prop B argued the law unconstitutionally burdens its right to free speech and cited an en banc Ninth Circuit panel decision in American Beverage Association v. San Francisco blocking the city from requiring health warnings taking up 20% of billboard ads for sodas and sweetened drinks.

Judge Breyer found the court decision was not really on point because Proposition F was passed by a voter referendum and regulates political speech as opposed to commercial speech.

The judge also rejected an argument donor information is easily accessible on the San Francisco Ethics Commission website stating putting the onus on voters to look up the information would not match the law’s intent.

While refusing to block most of the law, Judge Breyer agreed requiring lengthy disclaimers for small print and short length political ads is likely unconstitutional and indicated he will issue a partial injunction blocking those types of restrictions.

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February 12, 2020 •

San Francisco Judge to Hear Challenge to New Campaign Finance Disclosure Rules

San Francisco, California - Noahnmf

A federal judge in San Francisco will hear arguments on February 14 on a free speech challenge to the new donor disclosure rules enacted by city voters in November. U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer will consider the Yes on B […]

A federal judge in San Francisco will hear arguments on February 14 on a free speech challenge to the new donor disclosure rules enacted by city voters in November.

U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer will consider the Yes on B campaign committee’s request for a preliminary injunction blocking the rules approved by voters as part of Proposition F.

The federal lawsuit was filed on January 28 claiming the rules violate the First Amendment free speech rights because the required disclosures occupy so much space in audio, video, and newspaper advertisements effectively drowning out the political message.

Proposition F, also known as the Sunlight on Dark Money Initiative, requires ads list the contribution amounts as well as the names of the top three donors of $5,000 or more, plus the names and amounts of the top two donors of more than $5,000 to a secondary committee contributing to a primary committee.

The lawsuit also disputes the lowering of the donation threshold to $5,000 from the previous threshold of $10,000 and a requirement donation disclosures be made at the beginning rather than the end of an audio or video message or telephone call.

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January 30, 2020 •

Oakland Public Ethics Commission to Consider Adjusting Contribution Limits

The Public Ethics Commission will consider annual adjustments to the contribution limits at their regular meeting next week. Commission staff will present an updated list of the campaign contribution limits and expenditure ceiling amounts, as adjusted according to the increase […]

The Public Ethics Commission will consider annual adjustments to the contribution limits at their regular meeting next week.

Commission staff will present an updated list of the campaign contribution limits and expenditure ceiling amounts, as adjusted according to the increase in the Consumer Price Index as required by the Oakland Campaign Finance Reform Act.

The limitations on contributions from persons to candidates who adopt the voluntary expenditure ceiling will increase to $900 per election.

If approved, the adjusted limits will be in effect for the 2020 elections.

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January 23, 2020 •

Los Angeles Repeals Requirements for Contractors to Reveal NRA Ties

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Los Angeles City Hall - Michael J Fromholtz

The Los Angeles City Council is repealing a law requiring companies seeking city contracts to disclose any ties to the National Rifle Association (NRA). This comes weeks after a federal judge blocked the city from enforcing the ordinance. Council members […]

The Los Angeles City Council is repealing a law requiring companies seeking city contracts to disclose any ties to the National Rifle Association (NRA).

This comes weeks after a federal judge blocked the city from enforcing the ordinance.

Council members unanimously voted 12-0 without discussion to repeal the ordinance.

The law required companies vying for city contracts to disclose contracts or sponsorship’s between them or their subsidiaries and the NRA.

In December, U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson issued a preliminary injunction preventing the law from being enforced.

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January 21, 2020 •

Anaheim Updates Lobbyist Forms

The Office of the City Clerk updated their lobbyist forms and combined the Lobbyist Registration, Amendment, and Notice of Termination forms into one new form called the Lobbyist Form. The registration fee of $100 is due with submission of the […]

The Office of the City Clerk updated their lobbyist forms and combined the Lobbyist Registration, Amendment, and Notice of Termination forms into one new form called the Lobbyist Form.

The registration fee of $100 is due with submission of the new Lobbyist Form.

Also updated were the Lobbying Guide and the Lobbyist Quarterly Report of Activity Form.

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January 9, 2020 •

Representative Duncan Hunter Resigns from Congress

Rep. Duncan Hunter - Gage Skidmore

Rep. Duncan Hunter sent a letter of resignation to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Gov. Gavin Newsom after pleading guilty to conspiracy to misuse campaign funds. Hunter will officially step down from his 50th Congressional District seat on January 13. […]

Rep. Duncan Hunter sent a letter of resignation to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Gov. Gavin Newsom after pleading guilty to conspiracy to misuse campaign funds.

Hunter will officially step down from his 50th Congressional District seat on January 13.

Gov. Newsom decided not to call a special election so the seat will remain vacant until the November election.

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December 13, 2019 •

Federal Judge Blocks Los Angeles from Enforcing NRA Disclosure Law

NRA Headquarters - Joe Loong

A federal judge temporarily blocked a Los Angeles law requiring businesses seeking city contracts to disclose any links to the National Rifle Association (NRA). The Los Angeles City Council passed an ordinance in February requiring companies doing business with the […]

A federal judge temporarily blocked a Los Angeles law requiring businesses seeking city contracts to disclose any links to the National Rifle Association (NRA).

The Los Angeles City Council passed an ordinance in February requiring companies doing business with the city to disclose any financial connections to the gun-rights advocacy organization.

The NRA responded with a federal lawsuit against the city, arguing the policy silences NRA members and supporters in the city by forcing them to disclose their ties with the organization.

U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson granted a preliminary injunction prohibiting enforcement of the ordinance while the case moves forward.

However, the judge granted the city’s motion to dismiss claims the ordinance violates the NRA’s equal protection rights under the Fourteenth Amendment and the ordinance has the effect of compelling speech.

Also, the judge removed Mayor Eric Garcetti and the city clerk as defendants in the lawsuit.

The city may appeal the ruling or the NRA may request the injunction be made permanent.

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December 6, 2019 •

Los Angeles Limits Campaign Donations from Developers

The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to prevent real estate developers who have project applications pending at city hall from making campaign contributions to elected officials or candidates for municipal office. City Councilman David Ryu introduced the proposal to […]

The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to prevent real estate developers who have project applications pending at city hall from making campaign contributions to elected officials or candidates for municipal office.

City Councilman David Ryu introduced the proposal to ban developer donations to prevent interference with the ethical commitments candidates make when running for office.

Under the new ordinance, real estate developers will be barred from giving political contributions to Los Angeles city officials and candidates for council, mayor, or city attorney while the city decides on key approvals for building projects.

These restrictions will be in effect for one year after a final decision on each developer application.

The law does not prohibit developers from hosting fundraisers or raising money from other donors and does not apply to major subcontractors on a development project.

Critics contend the new rules will spur developers to donate more money to independent expenditure committees, which have no limits on how much they can receive and cannot coordinate with their chosen candidates.

The council also voted to have a committee reexamine possible restrictions on behested payments, which are donations solicited by candidates or elected officials for various charities or causes.

The ordinance becomes operative the first day a candidate for elected city office can file a Declaration of Intent to Solicit and Raise Contributions for the 2022 general election.

Mayor Eric Garcetti has until December 16 to act on the ordinance.

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November 15, 2019 •

California Governor Sets Special Election

California Gov. Gavin Newsom

Gov. Gavin Newsom set March 3, 2020, as the date for the special elections to fill the vacant 25th Congressional District seat and 28th Senate District seat. The 25th Congressional District seat became vacant when former Rep. Katie Hill resigned […]

Gov. Gavin Newsom set March 3, 2020, as the date for the special elections to fill the vacant 25th Congressional District seat and 28th Senate District seat.

The 25th Congressional District seat became vacant when former Rep. Katie Hill resigned amid allegations that she violated House ethics rules.

The 28th Senate District seat became vacant when former Sen. Jeff Stone resigned to accept an appointment to become the U.S. Department of Labor’s western regional director.

A runoff election will be held on May 12 if no candidate wins a majority.

March 3 is also the scheduled date for California’s 2020 presidential primary election.

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November 8, 2019 •

California State Senator Resigns After Accepting Department of Labor Appointment

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California State Capitol Building - Jeff Turner

Sen. Jeff Stone resigned from Senate District 28 on November 1 to accept an appointment as the U.S. Department of Labor’s western regional director. Gov. Gavin Newsom must call a special election within 14 days of the vacancy to fill […]

Sen. Jeff Stone resigned from Senate District 28 on November 1 to accept an appointment as the U.S. Department of Labor’s western regional director.

Gov. Gavin Newsom must call a special election within 14 days of the vacancy to fill the seat.

It is likely Gov. Newsom will schedule the special election to coincide with the March 3 primary election.

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November 8, 2019 •

California Fair Political Practices Commission Proposes Materiality Standard Amendments

On December 19, the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) will consider proposed amendments to the materiality standard in both Regulations 18702.4 and 18702.5. The proposed amendment to Regulation 18702.4 would set the appropriate materiality standards for economic interests in sources […]

On December 19, the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) will consider proposed amendments to the materiality standard in both Regulations 18702.4 and 18702.5.

The proposed amendment to Regulation 18702.4 would set the appropriate materiality standards for economic interests in sources of gifts.

Standards would be such that a financial effect on a nonprofit source of income would be considered material if the source is a nonprofit organization that will be financially affected under the materiality standards applied to a nonprofit source of income interest.

The FPPC would also repeal the existing Regulation 18702.5 and adopt new language.

New language would update the materiality standard applicable to a personal financial effect for improved clarity and guidance.

Language would make that standard an objective, bright-line standard, met when a decision would have a personal financial effect worth $500 or more rather than when the official or the official’s immediate family member will receive a measurable financial benefit or loss from the decision.

The FPPC is accepting written comments on the proposals until December 17, 2019.

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November 7, 2019 •

San Francisco Voters Pass the Sunlight on Dark Money Measure

San Francisco, California - Noahnmf

A San Francisco ballot measure intended to increase the restrictions on political contributions for campaign ads won easily on Tuesday. Proposition F, the Sunlight on Dark Money measure, passed by 76% of the votes. The proposition only needed a simple […]

A San Francisco ballot measure intended to increase the restrictions on political contributions for campaign ads won easily on Tuesday.

Proposition F, the Sunlight on Dark Money measure, passed by 76% of the votes.

The proposition only needed a simple majority to pass.

The measure’s passage means greater disclosure of who is behind campaign advertisements paid for by PACs.

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

Proposition F will take effect 10 days after the election results are certified.

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October 31, 2019 •

California Representative Resigns Amid Ethics Probe

Rep. Katie Hill resigned from her 25th Congressional District seat after an investigation of allegations that she violated House ethics rules. Gov. Gavin Newsom will have up to two weeks to set the date for a special election to fill […]

Rep. Katie Hill resigned from her 25th Congressional District seat after an investigation of allegations that she violated House ethics rules.

Gov. Gavin Newsom will have up to two weeks to set the date for a special election to fill the vacancy.

The special election could potentially coincide with the state’s March 3 primary election.

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