August 21, 2013 •
San Francisco, California Ethics Commission Announces Website Maintenance
Electronic filing system to be down August 24 for 24 hours
The Ethics Commission has announced a scheduled maintenance for the lobbying and campaign finance electronic filing systems.
The filing systems and public access websites will be down between 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 24, 2013 and 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 25, 2013.
The commission has advised campaign finance entities to plan accordingly if required to file 24-hour expenditure or contribution reports.
April 25, 2013 •
Thursday News Roundup
Here are some great articles for today’s government relations news summary:
“The Shadow Lobbyist” opinion piece by Tom Edsall in The New York Times.
Georgia: “New ethics law’s Jan. 1 start creates uncertainty for lobbyists, legislators” by Aaron Gould Sheinin in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
North Carolina: “NC elections board supports investigation on sweepstakes cash” by Michael Biesecker and Mitch Weiss (Associated Press) in the News & Observer.
“Donor Gets Jail Time for Illegal Contributions” by Kent Cooper in Roll Call’s Political MoneyLine.
“Does Stephen Colbert’s Endorsement of His Sister Violate Election Laws?” by Megan Wiegand in Slate.
Florida: “Common Cause: campaign finance ‘reform’ bill is a ‘farce’” by Mary Ellen Klas in the Miami Herald.
Florida: “Legislators send campaign finance and ethics bills to governor” by Mary Ellen Klas in the Miami Herald.
“’Hacking’ Open Financial Disclosure Data” by Scott Detrow in KQED Public Media.
Alabama: “Former state senator Lowell Barron indicted on campaign finance, ethics charges” by Kim Chandler in Alabama Live.
Colorado: “San Francisco Considers Ethics Reforms” by Ryan Parker in the Denver Post.
Illinois: “State Sen. Trotter pleads guilty to misdemeanor” by Jason Meisner in the Chicago Tribune.
Government Tech and Social Media
“Get Ready for Mobile Only” by Joseph Marks in Nextgov.
Alaska: “Redistricting Board asks Supreme Court to clarify ruling” by Richard Mauer in the Anchorage Daily News.
April 25, 2013 •
San Francisco Considers Ethics Reforms
Legislation would expand lobbying and squeeze exceptions
City Attorney Dennis Herrera and Board of Supervisors President David Chiu have introduced legislation to better regulate lobbying and campaign finance within the city. The ordinance would amend the Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code to expand the definition of lobbyist and require lobbyists to complete training online.
The lobbying exemption for contractors and their attorneys would be limited to in-house officers and employees. Outside consultants communicating with public officials regarding contract bidding and negotiating would be subject to the registration and reporting requirements of lobbying.
The ordinance would also require the Ethics Commission to publish a guide for campaign contributors regarding contribution regulations and reporting requirements.
The board may begin discussion of the legislation at the next meeting in May.
December 11, 2012 •
San Francisco’s Campaign Reporting System Gets Upgrades
Committees required to create new SFEDS account
The Ethics Commission has announced a system upgrade to the electronic filing system for campaign committees, available here. The San Francisco Electronic Disclosure System (SFEDS) now offers additional features including streamlined data entry, page help for every form, and an easier amendment process.
Committees will need to create a new user account, which will link to the existing committee filer account. The new user account will act as a gateway to access all accounts of multiple committee filers. The next filing deadline for committees is January 31, 2013.
Assistance is available by contacting the commission at 415-252-3100 or by e-mail.
November 28, 2012 •
San Francisco Ethics Commission Announces Recommended Reforms
Discussion topics will consider following L.A.’s example
The Ethics Commission will conduct two interested persons meetings following a report comparing the city’s campaign finance, enforcement, and lobbying laws with the laws of the city of Los Angeles.
Discussion topics include whether or not the city should increase pay-to-play restrictions, prohibit political contributions from lobbyists, and whether to adopt more stringent enforcement policies.
The meetings are scheduled for Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 5:30 p.m. in Room 408 of City Hall and for Monday, December 10, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. in Room 416 of City Hall.
Feedback may also be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
December 14, 2011 •
San Francisco Hackathon Produces Open Government Apps
Legislative alerts, ethics, and lobbying information made available and searchable
CityCampSF gathered app developers for a hackathon last weekend. The result was a series of apps that took raw government datasets and turned them into usable, searchable information. One app will allow people to receive city legislative alerts and agenda item alerts based on keywords. Another app will make ethics commission data and lobbyist filings searchable.
Don’t miss what Govtech reported in “SF Hackathon Produces Legislative Alert App Prototype” by Sarah Rich.
Here is CityCampSF’s summary of the results from the Hackathon in “CityCampSF Outcomes” on AdrielNation’s blog:
“What happened at CityCampSF Hackathon 2011 on Saturday and Sunday? Lots of great discussion about technology and open government, folks meeting for the first time over pizza, Red Bull and Peanut M&Ms, and some civic hacking on online lobbyists filings, timber harvest plans and text notifications for public meeting agenda keyword alerts.”
State and Federal Communications, Inc. provides research and consulting services for government relations professionals on lobbying laws, procurement lobbying laws, political contribution laws in the United States and Canada. Learn more by visiting stateandfed.com.