FPPC Action Brings Disclosure to Voters Ahead of Election


June 3, 2016


Jay Wierenga, FPPC Communications Director

(916) 322-7761

.pdf version of press release

FPPC Action Brings Disclosure to Voters Ahead of Election

        100% of candidates running for office in the California counties and cities who participated in the FPPC Enforcement Division’s Proactive Pre-Election Program have complied with the law and filed all of their pre-election statements as of yesterday, days before the June 7th Primary Election.

        The FPPC Enforcement Division took a number of steps to ensure voters have the vital information they need before an election. Weeks ago, FPPC Enforcement Division staff began contacting clerks in every city and county in the State having June elections to identify candidates who had not yet filed pre-election statements. When FPPC Enforcement Division staff notified the candidates, all but 7 complied immediately. Those 7 then complied upon threat of the Enforcement Division obtaining a court order to compel the candidate to file the missing statement.

        “The Proactive Pre-Election Program is a successful program which encourages local clerks to notify us of any non-filers in their jurisdiction so that we are able to bring every candidate into compliance ahead of the election, when it matters most” said FPPC Enforcement Chief Galena West. “Our priority is to have candidates comply with the law so that voters have the legally required information available when they’re making decisions on how to vote.”

        Another pro-active measure by the FPPC involves publicizing those individuals that have violated the law by failing to properly disclose the true source of various political signs. This resulted in the FPPC issuing news releases to local media in localities where signs either contained none of the required disclosure, or the disclosure was not the legal size for people to see. Four different parties took responsibility for the violations and the local press publicized their admissions to get the word out to voters. This involved ballot measures in the City of Hemet, and Siskiyou and Butte Counties.

( see example in attached PDF)

        "Our goal is to ensure that all campaign ads provide adequate and timely disclosure of the funders,” said West. “I’m happy we’ve found a way to achieve disclosure before the election. The spirit of the law is for campaigns to compete fairly, and give the voters the information they deserve and are legally entitled to.”

        Election-related complaints also became prioritized by the Enforcement Division in efforts to resolve allegations between competing campaigns. Our prompt review of these complaints resulted in the rejection of unsupported allegations of misconduct in approximately a third of the complaints, highlighting that political gamesmanship will not be tolerated in the system. In particular, since late April, 64 complaints regarding candidates or measures involved in the June Primary had been received, resulting in 30 open cases, 21 complaints dismissed, and 13 contacted and under review.