A Chance to Rewrite California’s Political Ethics Law

by Larry Bush on 03/17/2011

in Workshop

Does California’s 1974 Political Reform Act need an overhaul in the age of robocalls, electronic filing, the emergence of local government ethics communities, and changes in fundraising? A California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) Advisory Task For thinks so and issued final proposals on January 19, 2011. The San Francisco Ethics Commission made its proposals in a November 30, 2010 letter (here). You can offer your recommendation at TaskForceComments@fppc.ca.gov

The FPPC proposal (here) includes requiring all filing to be done electronically with a working group of IT experts. The San Francisco Ethics Commission urges that the input come from professional political treasurers. The FPPC also recommends more local flexibility to require different reporting rules; San Francisco proposes that local and state filing be standardized, reducing local flexibility.

Although FPPC chair Dan Schnur has completed his term and left the commission, his Advisory Task Force recommendations – co-chaired by Bob Stern of the Center for Government Studies and a father of the state’s 1974 Political Reform Act – are likely to live on. The San Francisco Ethics Commission recommendations could well provide a blueprint of where the commission would like to go locally.

Workshop, a CitiReport feature, provides information and links on these discussions as an opportunity for greater participation in decisions that will affect all Californians.

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