Filing Guidelines for County Central Committee
The following general rules apply to candidates who seek election to county central committees in San Francisco. Please consult the Fair Political Practices Commission, the San Francisco Elections Commission, and the San Francisco Ethics Commission for further guidance. To the extent that the information provided in this memorandum conflicts with local or state law, the law controls. All forms referenced below are available at the California Fair Political Practices Commission website at www.fppc.ca.gov.
A. If you expect to raise or spend less than $1,000 on your campaign
(including if you expect to raise or spend nothing), the following rules
apply to you:
(1) You must file a Form 501, Candidate Intention Statement, with the San
Francisco Ethics Commission. You must file this form before you solicit or receive any contribution, including your personal funds.
Exception: If (i) the only campaign spending is with your personal funds and for the filing fee and/or statement of qualifications in the sample ballot or ballot pamphlet and (ii) you do not solicit or receive any contributions, you are not required to file the Form 501.
(2) You must open a campaign bank account.
Exception: If you do not raise any money from others, you do not need to open a bank account as long as you spend less than $1,000 of your personal funds (discounting personal funds used for the filing fee and/or ballot statement fee).
(3) Form 470
If your candidacy will be voted upon in the election, you must file a Form 470, the Officeholder/Candidate Campaign Statement- Short Form, which covers the entire calendar year:
- No later than the first pre-election (please refer to the FPPC schedule for the appropriate date), depending on which deadline
This form is also required to be filed in non-election years by candidates who receive contributions or make expenditures or have filed a Form 501.
If you file a Form 501 and will not be voted upon in the election (you are not qualified to be on the ballot and are not a qualified write-in candidate), file the Form 470 by the next “semi-annual” deadline. Assuming you do not exceed the $1,000 threshold, you have no other filing obligations for the remainder of the year.
You must file an original and one copy of the Form 470 with the Ethics Commission for the calendar year in the year of the election.
(4) Form 470 Supplement
If you file a Form 470 for a calendar year in which you later spend or receive $1,000 or more, you must file a Form 470 Supplement within 48 hours of receiving or spending $1,000 or more. The Form 470 Supplement must be filed with the Secretary of State, each candidate seeking the same office, and the Ethics Commission. Please note that the Form 470 Supplement may NOT be sent using regular mail. You must deliver it in person or use a telegram, fax, or guaranteed overnight delivery service. You must also open a campaign bank account and file the Statement of Organization (Form 410) and the Recipient Committee Campaign Statement (Form 460). See discussion in Section B below.
B. If you receive or spend, or plan to receive or spend, $1,000 or more, you must form a committee and the following rules apply to you:
(1) You must file a Form 501 with the Ethics Commission. You must file this form before you solicit or receive any contributions, including your personal funds.
(2) You must open a campaign bank account. You must deposit your personal funds into this account before you spend them. Expenditures made from your campaign account may not be for personal use.
Exception: Candidates may use their personal funds to pay a filing fee (See A(1)).
(3) You must file a Form 410, Statement of Organization, within 10 days of raising or spending $1,000 or more. However, if you meet these thresholds during the last 16 days before the election, you must file the Form 410 within 24 hours of qualifying. The original and a copy of Form 410 must be filed with the Secretary of State. Upon receipt of the Form 410, the Secretary of State will assign your committee an identification number, which you will use on all reporting forms. You must also file two copies of the Form 410 with the Ethics Commission.
(4) You must file with the Ethics Commission a Form 460, the Recipient Committee Campaign Statement following the FPPC's schedule for the election you are invoved in.
Candidates being voted upon are required to file for the following deadlines:
- First Pre-election Deadline: On this Form 460, you will report your activities during the first pre-election period.
- Second Pre-election Deadline: On this Form 460, you will disclose your activity during the second pre-election period
- First Semi-annual deadline – (July 31*) On this Form 460, you will disclose your activities for the period on the day after the closing date of the second pre-election day through June 30.
In addition, candidates must file for the following periods if they remain active:
- Second Semi-annual deadline – (January 31*) On this Form 460, you will disclose your activities for the period on the day after the closing date of the first pre-election day through December 31.
(5) Special 24-Hour and 48-Hour Reports Due During the Late Reporting Period
- During the Late Reporting Period (i.e. the 16 day period immediately preceding the election), you must file the Form 497, Late Contribution Report, within 24 hours of (a) receiving a monetary contribution of $1,000 or more from a single source or affiliated entities, or (b) making a monetary contribution of $1,000 or more to a candidate, primarily formed committee or a ballot measure committee involved in the election.
- If you receive a nonmonetary contribution of $1,000 or more from a single source or affiliated entities during this period, you must file the Form 497 within 48 hours of receiving it.
(6) Terminating your committee:
If you filed a Form 410, you are a committee. Disclosure obligations continue until your committee is terminated. You may terminate your committee after (a) the committee’s bank account is empty and closed and all cash is disposed of, (b) you have no more activity to report, and (c) the committee has no debt or has declared that it has no ability to pay its debts. To terminate, you must do the following:
(a) File a Form 410. Check the “termination” box. File an original and copy with Secretary of State and two copies with the Ethics Commission; and
(b) File a Form 460. Check the “termination” box. File an original and one copy with the Ethics Commission.
The date of termination on these forms should be the date that the committee’s bank account was closed. The beginning date of the reporting period of the Form 460 will be the date after the end date of the reporting period of the last Form 460 filed (or January 1 of the year) and the end date should be the closing date of the reporting period in which you terminate.
For more information, please consult the Fair Political Practices Commission’s sheet on filing deadlines for local candidates for the election, available at www.fppc.ca.gov and in the Ethics Commission. If you have questions, please call the Ethics Commission at 415/252-3100, or visit our website at www.sfgov.org/ethics/.
* If the deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline is extended to the next business day.