News from Ethics Agencies

Last Updated 03/2019

Upcoming April and May special elections in California will be held as all-mail elections pursuant to Governor Newsom’s executive order, with in-person voting opportunities encouraged but subject to the discretion of each county elections official.

Federal Election Commission News

After the resignation of a Commissioner in August 2019, the Federal Election Commission was left without a quorum and unable to take action. Now, a group of campaign finance lawyers has urged the White House and congressional leaders to restore a quorum as the election approaches. Link to news story. On March 10, 2020, President Trump renominated Republican Texas Attorney Trey Trainor to fill one of the vacant slots.

The Federal Election Commission has posted filing dates for 2020, including monthly and quarterly filing deadlines, the pre-election reporting deadlines for all 50 states, and the dates for pre-and post-general election reports. Link to information

California Secretary of State

Campaign and lobbying filing deadlines remain in effect. The Secretary of State’s office has a drop box in its lobby to receive paper filings in person, which may also be submitted through the mail or other delivery service. If a filer is unable to comply with obtaining an original signature on paper filings, the reason must be documented and communicated to the filing officer, while submitting electronically or through email until such time as the paper filing can be made.

Development of the Cal-Access Replacement System for electronic filing of campaign and lobby reports continues through a new platform, Salesforce. The new program is scheduled to launch February 2021.

Fair Political Practices Commission News

Advice by telephone is suspended, but advice may be obtained by sending an email to advice@fppc.ca.gov.

The deadline for filing Form 700 is extended to June 1.

San Francisco Ethics Commission News

Through its telework policy and technology, the Ethics Commission remains open for business. Staff will continue to assist with filing guidance, online disclosure tools and resources, advice, and compliance assistance, among its other duties. Note that filing deadlines established by law that apply during this period remain in effect and have not been extended.

Oakland Public Ethics Commission News

New campaign disclosure requirements are in effect for City officials and staff. In June 2019, as a way to highlight political contributions by those who may desire to influence City action, the City Council adopted amendments to the Oakland Campaign Reform Act requiring disclosure of contributions to ballot measure campaigns sought from people who have business before the City. As a result, any Oakland official or employee who is required to file a Form 700 who successfully solicits a political contribution of $5000 or more from any person/entity that contracts or proposes to contract with that official’s department must disclose the solicitation to the Public Ethics Commission within 30 days. Link to press release

Los Angeles City Ethics Commission

Ordinance prohibiting a “restricted developer from making certain campaign contributions from the date an application is submitted until 12 months after a letter of determination is used or the date the decision on the application is final became operative when the fundraising window opened for 2022 elections – for citywide candidates running in 2022, the fundraising window is 24 months before the primary election, and for council candidates, it’s 18 months before the primary election.