City Council Meeting 7-24-01 Santa Monica, California
TO: Mayor and City Council
FROM: City Staff
SUBJECT: Emergency Ordinance Adding Disclosure Filing Requirements Applicable to Committees Supporting And Opposing Ballot Measures
At its meeting of July 10, 2001, the City Council directed staff to return with an emergency ordinance which would supplement state law by requiring additional disclosure filings as to ballot measures covering the circulation periods. The attached ordinance fulfills that directive.
The Political Reform Act establishes campaign disclosure requirements. The Legislature set forth their purpose as follows: AReceipts and expenditures in election campaigns should be fully and truthfully disclosed in order that the voters may be fully informed and improper practices may be inhibited.@ Government Code Section 81002(a). However, the disclosure schedules in the Act only require filings quarterly or semi-annually. In contrast, the signature gathering period for ballot measures is, or may be, quite short. For referenda, the period is only thirty days.
The proposed ordinance would address the Council=s concern that voters have access to disclosure statements during the circulation period by adding new filing requirements to those already required by state law. Specifically, as to initiatives and recalls, disclosure filings would be required on the 10th day of the signature gathering period, on the 30th day, and every 30 days thereafter. As to referenda, disclosure filings would be required on the 10th and 20th days of the thirty day circulation period. These requirements would enable potential signatories to obtain information about the funding of committees supporting or opposing the measures.
Scanning of Campaign Statements
As requested by Council, Campaign Disclosure Statements will be scanned and posted to the City Clerk=s Web Page on the City Web Site as soon as practicable after receipt in the City Clerk's office. It is expected that most statements will be posted on‑line by the next business day. In order to address privacy issues, the addresses of campaign contributors and payees for expenditures will be blocked out prior to scanning.
The statements will be scanned at 300 dots per inch resolution and converted to the Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). Users will be required to download and install the free Adobe Acrobat viewer program to view and print these files. This is already a requirement for many documents provided on the City Web Site. The statements will be viewable on‑screen, but handwritten forms may be difficult to read without "zooming in" using the viewer controls. This is standard industry practice and experienced Internet users are accustomed to this. When printed from the Web, the statements are of good resolution and can be easily read.
No financial impact is anticipated.
Staff recommends that the Council adopt the attached emergency ordinance.
PREPARED BY: Marsha Jones Moutrie, City Attorney