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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January 24, 2018 •

Push to Recall Santa Clara County, California Judge Qualifies for Ballot

A campaign to recall Santa Clara County, California Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky has submitted enough valid signatures to the Registrar of Voters to qualify for the June 5 ballot. Judge Persky made national headlines in 2016 after sentencing a […]

A campaign to recall Santa Clara County, California Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky has submitted enough valid signatures to the Registrar of Voters to qualify for the June 5 ballot.

Judge Persky made national headlines in 2016 after sentencing a former Stanford University swimmer to six months in jail for sexually assaulting an intoxicated, unconscious woman outside a campus fraternity party.

The Santa Clara Board of Supervisors will have 14 days to put the recall on the June 5 ballot.  If they abstain, the recall will automatically be placed on the ballot.

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January 9, 2018 •

California Sen. Josh Newman to Face Recall Election on June 5

California Gov. Jerry Brown set June 5 as the date for a recall election on state Sen. Josh Newman. Voters in Senate District 29 will vote on the recall and pick a candidate to replace Newman if he is removed from office. […]

California Gov. Jerry Brown set June 5 as the date for a recall election on state Sen. Josh Newman.

Voters in Senate District 29 will vote on the recall and pick a candidate to replace Newman if he is removed from office.

Sen. Newman became the target of a recall effort over his support for increasing the gas tax.

If he loses, Democrats will lose their Senate supermajority.

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January 9, 2018 •

California Gov. Jerry Brown Announces Special Election Date

Special election primaries have been scheduled to fill the California Assembly District 45 and Assembly District 54 seats. The special election primaries will be held on April 3. Under special-election rules, if no candidate gets an outright majority of votes […]

Special election primaries have been scheduled to fill the California Assembly District 45 and Assembly District 54 seats. The special election primaries will be held on April 3.

Under special-election rules, if no candidate gets an outright majority of votes on April 3, a runoff between the top two vote-getters will be held June 5.

Matt Dababneh, who represented District 45, resigned his seat after being accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women.

Sebastian Ridley-Thomas, who represented District 54, resigned because of health problems.

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January 2, 2018 •

California Assemblyman Sebastian Ridley-Thomas Resigns

California Assemblyman Sebastian Ridley-Thomas resigned the California’s 54th State Assembly District seat, effective December 31, due to health issues. A special election will be held to fill the seat. No date has been set. Ridley-Thomas is the third assemblyman to […]

California Assemblyman Sebastian Ridley-Thomas resigned the California’s 54th State Assembly District seat, effective December 31, due to health issues.

A special election will be held to fill the seat. No date has been set.

Ridley-Thomas is the third assemblyman to resign in the last month. His resignation leaves Democrats with 52 of the Assembly’s 80 members, which is two votes short of what once had been a two-thirds supermajority.

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December 20, 2017 •

Los Angeles, California Ethics Commission Adopts Recommendations to Amend Lobbying Ordinance

On December 19, the Los Angeles, California Ethics Commission approved a set of recommendations requiring more disclosure from lobbyists, which will go to City Council for approval. The recommendations require lobbyists to disclose direct communications with city employees by specifying […]

On December 19, the Los Angeles, California Ethics Commission approved a set of recommendations requiring more disclosure from lobbyists, which will go to City Council for approval.

The recommendations require lobbyists to disclose direct communications with city employees by specifying the date of the communication, the employees title, division, and agency.

Additionally, the recommendations expand the current registration exemption for 501(c)(3) organizations.

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December 12, 2017 •

San Francisco, California Mayor Ed Lee Dies Suddenly

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee died in the early hours of December 12 after suffering an apparent heart attack. The President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, London Breed, is now the acting mayor of San Francisco. The Board […]

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee died in the early hours of December 12 after suffering an apparent heart attack.

The President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, London Breed, is now the acting mayor of San Francisco.

The Board of Supervisors may now vote to make Breed the temporary mayor or choose another candidate.

If a majority of the remaining 10 supervisors cannot agree on a candidate, Breed would remain in the office until the June 2018 election.

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December 11, 2017 •

California Gov. Brown Calls Special Election to Fill Assembly District 39 Seat

Gov. Jerry Brown called a special election to fill California’s Assembly District 39 seat. A primary election will be held April 3 with a potential runoff to follow on June 5. The seat opened after Raul Bocanegra resigned amid sexual […]

Gov. Jerry Brown called a special election to fill California’s Assembly District 39 seat.

A primary election will be held April 3 with a potential runoff to follow on June 5.

The seat opened after Raul Bocanegra resigned amid sexual misconduct allegations.

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December 6, 2017 •

Voters in California Elect Wendy Carrillo to the Assembly District 51 Seat

Democrat Wendy Carrillo defeated Democrat Luis Lopez in a special election to fill the California Assembly District 51 seat. Carrillo is a former union organizer and radio host who has the endorsement of the state Democratic party. The seat was […]

Democrat Wendy Carrillo defeated Democrat Luis Lopez in a special election to fill the California Assembly District 51 seat. Carrillo is a former union organizer and radio host who has the endorsement of the state Democratic party.

The seat was left open after Democrat Jimmy Gomez was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in July.

Carrillo and Lopez advanced to Tuesday’s election by finishing first and second among 13 candidates in an October 3 primary.

Lopez conceded late Tuesday, December 5.

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December 1, 2017 •

San Jose Passes Ordinance to Amend Gift Law

The San Jose City Council voted unanimously to amend the city’s gift ordinance. The new law struck the city’s exceptions for allowable gifts and incorporated the exceptions for allowable gifts under the state’s Political Reform Act while maintaining a $50 […]

The San Jose City Council voted unanimously to amend the city’s gift ordinance.

The new law struck the city’s exceptions for allowable gifts and incorporated the exceptions for allowable gifts under the state’s Political Reform Act while maintaining a $50 gift limit.

Under the new ordinance, tickets to certain events are no longer considered an exception to the gift rule. Instead, San Jose will follow a framework similar to the Political Reform Act.

San Jose will consider tickets to civic, cultural, or community functions as permissible gifts, so long as they do not exceed the $50 limit.

The ordinance is effective on December 8, 2017.

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November 29, 2017 •

San Francisco Ethics Commission Approves Anti-Corruption and Accountability Ordinance

At its November 27 meeting, the San Francisco Ethics Commission gave final approval to recommend and transmit to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors its Anti-Corruption and Accountability Ordinance. The ordinance would create or expand certain pay-to-play prohibitions on political […]

At its November 27 meeting, the San Francisco Ethics Commission gave final approval to recommend and transmit to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors its Anti-Corruption and Accountability Ordinance.

The ordinance would create or expand certain pay-to-play prohibitions on political contributions, institute new disclosure requirements, create local rules for reporting behested payments, and create new rules regarding conflicts of interest.

The Commission will transmit its recommendations to the Board of Supervisors, where at least eight votes will be required to adopt the proposal.

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November 29, 2017 •

California Assemblyman Resigns

State Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra resigned amid sexual harassment allegations. Bocanegra initially stated he would resign in September and not seek reelection when allegations first surfaced. However, his resignation was accelerated after additional sexual harassment allegations emerged. Gov. Jerry Brown has […]

State Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra resigned amid sexual harassment allegations.

Bocanegra initially stated he would resign in September and not seek reelection when allegations first surfaced. However, his resignation was accelerated after additional sexual harassment allegations emerged.

Gov. Jerry Brown has two weeks from Bocanegra’s resignation to declare a special election to fill the vacancy in Assembly District 39.

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