August 10, 2018 •

California FPPC to Consider Use of Cryptocurrency for Campaign Purposes

The Fair Political Practices Commission is considering changes to state campaign finance regulations. The commission was asked to consider the permissible use of cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, for campaign contributions and expenditures. Though similar to cash, such currency is not […]

The Fair Political Practices Commission is considering changes to state campaign finance regulations.

The commission was asked to consider the permissible use of cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, for campaign contributions and expenditures. Though similar to cash, such currency is not issued by a governmental entity.

Issues expected to be discussed at a public hearing include banning the use of cryptocurrency for campaign purposes, limiting cryptocurrency contributions to the amount of contributions received in cash, requiring cryptocurrency contributions to be converted to cash, permitting committees to establish separate cryptocurrency accounts, or permitting cryptocurrency contributions as in-kind contributions without regard to cash limits.

A public hearing will be held September 20, 2018; written comments should be received by September 18.

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July 24, 2018 •

Gov. Jerry Brown Appoints New FPPC Chair

Alice Germond was appointed chairwoman of the California Fair Political Practices Commission last month. Germond and the commissioners are working to boost voter trust in the commission “so that they have faith when they go to the election booth that […]

Alice Germond was appointed chairwoman of the California Fair Political Practices Commission last month.

Germond and the commissioners are working to boost voter trust in the commission “so that they have faith when they go to the election booth that their vote is not bought and that the playing field is level and that the basic part of democracy is working for them.”

Germond will be the chair until January, when the newly-elected governor will have the option to appoint a new chairperson.

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July 16, 2018 •

Berkeley, California City Council Looks to Adopt Lobbying Ordinance

On July 24, the Berkeley City Council will meet in order to adopt the first reading of a new lobbying ordinance. The ordinance requires the registration and reporting of lobbyists in the city. Information in the ordinance includes requirements for […]

On July 24, the Berkeley City Council will meet in order to adopt the first reading of a new lobbying ordinance.

The ordinance requires the registration and reporting of lobbyists in the city.

Information in the ordinance includes requirements for lobbyist training, reporting periods, audits, gift restrictions, and penalties.

The City Council will also discuss an amendment to the revolving door provision, increasing it from one to two years.

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June 25, 2018 •

San Francisco Amends Campaign Finance and Conflict of Interest Provisions

Legislation amending San Francisco’s Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code takes effect next week. Ordinance No. 129-18 is effective June 30, though most of its provisions are not operative until January 1, 2019. The ordinance extends the restriction period for contractor […]

Legislation amending San Francisco’s Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code takes effect next week. Ordinance No. 129-18 is effective June 30, though most of its provisions are not operative until January 1, 2019.

The ordinance extends the restriction period for contractor contributions from six to 12 months following contract approval. It also requires interested parties making a behested payment or payments of $10,000 or more to file a disclosure within 30 days.

Other changes include, but are not limited to, additional disclosure requirements for contributions from business entities and for bundled campaign contributions, as well as an additional pre-election statement for committees.

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June 7, 2018 •

Ask the Experts – Required California Political Contribution Reports

My employer makes corporate contributions in California.  We have not yet exceeded $10,000 in calendar year 2018.  The primary election and special elections are taking place, along with the general election in the fall.  If we decide to make contributions, […]

My employer makes corporate contributions in California.  We have not yet exceeded $10,000 in calendar year 2018.  The primary election and special elections are taking place, along with the general election in the fall.  If we decide to make contributions, when do we have a late contribution report due?

The California “Late Contribution Report” [Form 497], sometimes referred to as the “24-hour report” is due during the 90-day period preceding any election if all of the following criteria are met:

  • The contribution is $1,000 or more, or multiple contributions aggregating $1,000 or more, to a single candidate, ballot measure committee, or political party.  This includes non-monetary and in-kind contributions…Read the full article

For more information, be sure to check out the “Registration and Reports Required” section of the U.S. Political Contributions Compliance Laws online publication for California. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Click here to read ALL Ask the Experts articles in full

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May 17, 2018 •

San Francisco Campaign Finance Reform Legislation Passes First Reading

The San Francisco, California Board of Supervisors unanimously passed, on first reading, campaign finance reform legislation aimed at providing more transparency in political contributions. Among other provisions, the legislation will include pay-to-play provisions, local behested payment reporting requirements for both […]

The San Francisco, California Board of Supervisors unanimously passed, on first reading, campaign finance reform legislation aimed at providing more transparency in political contributions.

Among other provisions, the legislation will include pay-to-play provisions, local behested payment reporting requirements for both donors and City officers, and additional disclosure requirements for contributions made by business entities.

The legislation must pass a second reading at the Board of Supervisors and be signed by the mayor prior to becoming law.

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April 4, 2018 •

California Special Elections Held in Assembly Districts 39, 45, and 54

Special primary elections were held in California on April 4 to fill the vacant seats of Assembly Districts 39, 45, and 54. Under California law, candidates receiving more than half the vote win outright. Otherwise the top-two finishers in each […]

Special primary elections were held in California on April 4 to fill the vacant seats of Assembly Districts 39, 45, and 54.

Under California law, candidates receiving more than half the vote win outright. Otherwise the top-two finishers in each race advance to a June 5 runoff.

If unofficial returns remain unchanged, there will be a June 5 runoff in the Assembly Districts 39 and 45 races.

In the Assembly District 54 race, unofficial returns have Sydney Kamlager receiving nearly 69 percent of the vote, more than enough to win outright without a runoff election.

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March 19, 2018 •

Monterey County, California to Hold Meetings on Campaign Finance Reform

An ad-hoc committee led by members of the Monterey County Board of Supervisors is starting a series of invitation-only meetings to discuss campaign finance reforms aimed at establishing contribution limits or a spending cap for all county elected officials. The […]

An ad-hoc committee led by members of the Monterey County Board of Supervisors is starting a series of invitation-only meetings to discuss campaign finance reforms aimed at establishing contribution limits or a spending cap for all county elected officials.

The goal of the meetings is to produce a recommendation for the full Board of Supervisors by the end of June and adopt limits in time for them to take effect January 1, 2019.

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March 9, 2018 •

California Gov. Jerry Brown Announces Senate District 32 Special Election Date

California Gov. Jerry Brown called a special election to fill the Senate District 32 seat. The special primary election will be June 5, the same day as the statewide primary, with a potential runoff to follow on August 7. The […]

California Gov. Jerry Brown called a special election to fill the Senate District 32 seat.

The special primary election will be June 5, the same day as the statewide primary, with a potential runoff to follow on August 7.

The seat opened after Tony Mendoza resigned amid sexual harassment allegations.

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March 7, 2018 •

San Jose, California Transitioning to Electronic Filing for Lobbyist Reports

The city of San Jose is transitioning to an electronic system for filing weekly lobbyist reports. To file weekly reports, a lobbyist must register to create an account on the Weekly Lobbyist Reporting Form portal at the city clerk’s website. […]

The city of San Jose is transitioning to an electronic system for filing weekly lobbyist reports.

To file weekly reports, a lobbyist must register to create an account on the Weekly Lobbyist Reporting Form portal at the city clerk’s website.

The prior weekly reporting form will be available on the clerk’s website until March 12.

Fines for failure to file a weekly report or filing a weekly report late will not be assessed until July 1, 2018.

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March 2, 2018 •

Los Angeles, California Increases Contribution Limits

The Los Angeles, California City Ethics Commission announced the annual adjustments to campaign contribution limits. The contribution amount allowable per-person increased for mayoral, city attorney and controller elections, but not for Los Angeles City Council elections. The amounts apply to […]

The Los Angeles, California City Ethics Commission announced the annual adjustments to campaign contribution limits.

The contribution amount allowable per-person increased for mayoral, city attorney and controller elections, but not for Los Angeles City Council elections.

The amounts apply to city elections in which the primary election fundraising window opens after March 1, 2018.

The limits do not apply to Los Angeles Unified School District elections.

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March 1, 2018 •

San Francisco Board Member Moves to Hold a Joint Meeting

The San Francisco, California Board of Supervisors and Ethics Commission may hold a joint meeting and possibly vote on a campaign finance reform measure on April 3. The Ethics Commission has spent two years drafting reforms regulating areas including behested […]

The San Francisco, California Board of Supervisors and Ethics Commission may hold a joint meeting and possibly vote on a campaign finance reform measure on April 3.

The Ethics Commission has spent two years drafting reforms regulating areas including behested payments, bundling contributions, independent expenditure committees, and conflicts of interest related to developers and city contractors.

Supervisor Aaron Peskin introduced a motion on February 27 to hold the joint meeting, and the full board is expected to vote on that motion as early as March 6.

Both the commission and the board need to approve the same version of the reform legislation for it to become law.

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February 7, 2018 •

California Bill Would Suspend Lobbyist up to Four Years for Sexual Harassment

Under a California bill introduced on February 6, registered lobbyists could face suspension up to four years if found to have committed an act of sexual harassment. Assembly Bill 2055 requires the Fair Political Practices Commission to investigate sexual harassment […]

Under a California bill introduced on February 6, registered lobbyists could face suspension up to four years if found to have committed an act of sexual harassment.

Assembly Bill 2055 requires the Fair Political Practices Commission to investigate sexual harassment complaints made against registered lobbyists.

Sexual harassment would be defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature that arises out of or in the course of employment.

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January 24, 2018 •

San Francisco, California Has New Mayor

The San Francisco, California Board of Supervisors voted 6-3 on January 23 to appoint District 2 Supervisor Mark Farrell as acting mayor and to remove Board President London Breed. Breed became acting mayor in December when Mayor Ed Lee suddenly died of […]

The San Francisco, California Board of Supervisors voted 6-3 on January 23 to appoint District 2 Supervisor Mark Farrell as acting mayor and to remove Board President London Breed.

Breed became acting mayor in December when Mayor Ed Lee suddenly died of a heart attack.

By accepting the appointment, Farrell is giving up his District 2 seat and will have a chance to appoint his successor.

Under the city charter, the board may appoint a successor to serve until the June 5 election.

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