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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October 16, 2019 •

California FPPC Updates Campaign Disclosure Manuals

The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) has revised the Campaign Disclosure Manuals. Revisions were made to incorporate Disclose Act legislation, including updated ad disclosure charts. There were also revisions made to reflect the new contribution limits that became effective on […]

The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) has revised the Campaign Disclosure Manuals.

Revisions were made to incorporate Disclose Act legislation, including updated ad disclosure charts.

There were also revisions made to reflect the new contribution limits that became effective on January 1, 2019, along with other non-substantive changes.

FPPC staff plans to present the updated manuals for approval at the November 21, 2019 meeting.

Interested persons may submit comments and suggestions by November 12.

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October 14, 2019 •

California Governor Signs Lobbying and Campaign Finance Bills

California Gov. Gavin Newsom

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a series of bills addressing lobbying and campaign finance transparency. Assembly Bill 902 codifies current regulations into law, including regulations regarding filing deadlines, bookkeeping, and lobbyist registration. Assembly Bill 201 broadens the definition of mass mailing […]

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a series of bills addressing lobbying and campaign finance transparency.

Assembly Bill 902 codifies current regulations into law, including regulations regarding filing deadlines, bookkeeping, and lobbyist registration.

Assembly Bill 201 broadens the definition of mass mailing to include campaign-related mass texting. Mass text messages are required to include the name or image of a candidate, or refer to a ballot measure.

Additional bills passed address campaign spending by candidate committees.

Senate Bill 71 prohibits the expenditure of funds in a legal defense fund campaign account to pay or reimburse a candidate or elected officer for attorney’s fees or other legal costs.

The bill also prohibits the use of campaign funds to pay for fines, penalties, judgments, or settlements, except as specified.

The bills become effective on January 1, 2020.

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October 9, 2019 •

California Governor Signs Campaign Finance Bill

California Gov. Gavin Newsom

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a campaign finance bill imposing limits on contributions to candidates for elective county and city offices in jurisdictions that have not independently imposed contribution limits. Currently, a county or a city may, by ordinance or resolution, […]

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a campaign finance bill imposing limits on contributions to candidates for elective county and city offices in jurisdictions that have not independently imposed contribution limits.

Currently, a county or a city may, by ordinance or resolution, limit campaign contributions in local elections. However, many counties and cities have not imposed such limits.

Assembly Bill 571 establishes contribution limits of $4,700 per election to a candidate for elective office in a city or county in which the local government has not established a limit.

The bill also allows a local government to establish different limits that are more precisely tailored to the needs of the community.

Assembly Bill 571 becomes effective January 1, 2021.

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September 18, 2019 •

California Legislative Session Adjourns

California Capitol Building

The California Legislature adjourned the 2019 session on September 13. Campaign Finance Bills Passed The legislature passed several campaign finance bills during the session. Assembly Bill 220 prohibits the use of campaign funds to pay for professional services not directly […]

The California Legislature adjourned the 2019 session on September 13.

Campaign Finance Bills Passed

The legislature passed several campaign finance bills during the session.

Assembly Bill 220 prohibits the use of campaign funds to pay for professional services not directly related to a political, legislative, or governmental purpose. The bill also authorizes the use of campaign funds to pay for child care expenses resulting from a candidate or officeholder engaging in campaign activities or performing official duties.

Assembly Bill 571 makes a technical, nonsubstantive change to a provision of the Political Reform Act of 1974. The provision prohibits candidates for elective state office or committees controlled by that candidate from making a contribution to another candidate for elective state office in excess of $3,000.

Senate Bill 71 prohibits the expenditure of funds in a legal defense fund campaign account to pay or reimburse a candidate or elected officer for attorney’s fees or other legal costs.

The bill also prohibits the use of campaign funds for fines, penalties, judgments, or settlements, except as specified.

Electioneering Bill Passed

Assembly Bill 201 broadens the definition of mass mailing to include campaign-related mass texting. Mass text messages will be required to include the name or image of a candidate or refer to a ballot measure.

Lobbying Bill Passed

Assembly Bill 902 codifies current regulations into law, including regulations regarding filing deadlines, bookkeeping, and lobbyist registration.

The last day for the governor to sign or veto bills passed by the legislature during the 2019 legislative session is October 13.

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September 10, 2019 •

FPPC Providing Ethics and Campaign Finance Enforcement for Local Governments

Sacramento, CA Skyline - Basil D Soufi

The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) has unveiled a template contract for cities, counties, and districts allowing the FPPC to enforce local ethics and campaign finance laws. The FPPC voted earlier this year to pursue agreements with localities to bring […]

The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) has unveiled a template contract for cities, counties, and districts allowing the FPPC to enforce local ethics and campaign finance laws.

The FPPC voted earlier this year to pursue agreements with localities to bring enhanced transparency and cost savings to local governments.

The template contract spells out the scope of work including advising, informing, auditing, and enforcing any local campaign finance and ethics ordinances, and the amount paid to the FPPC for such services.

The FPPC will ensure candidates and campaigns are following the rules and public officials are adhering to ethical standards.

Additionally, the FPPC will provide a service already in place so local governments don’t have to create their own.

The template contract can be found on the FPPC website.

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September 10, 2019 •

California Legislature Passes Lobbying Bill

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California State Capitol Building - Jeff Turner

On September 5, Gov. Gavin Newsom was presented with a bill codifying several current lobbying regulations into law. Assembly Bill 902 codifies lobbyist regulations regarding filing deadlines, bookkeeping, and lobbyist registration. If signed by the governor, the bill takes effect […]

On September 5, Gov. Gavin Newsom was presented with a bill codifying several current lobbying regulations into law.

Assembly Bill 902 codifies lobbyist regulations regarding filing deadlines, bookkeeping, and lobbyist registration.

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

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