tv [untitled] February 5, 2012 3:48am-4:18am PST
>> i am actually here for the next agenda item, and there is no more paperwork about what we will be take -- talking about. is it possible for staff to get more before that agenda item? commissioner hur: do we have any extras? commissioners, and comments with respect to agenda item two? commissioner studley: this is more in the nature of a question, and it may be for others. we know that there are other general conflict policies that apply to all city employees above and beyond the sia, and it
would help me to understand something about the scope of those, a more general version of the same kind of things or how they would operate in effect in situations of a kind that are described. >> deputy city attorney andrew shen. they are just different. there are broader and narrower. that reflects financial interests, and one significant difference between that statutory scheme and these restrictions is that at least with the political reform act,
you need to be part of the decision making chain before you have a conflict not just those people that are in the decision making chain, and i think that is where commissioner liu's questioning was going. you do not have to do that to have these rules affecting. -- affect you. there are many other differences, i think. one way that they are different from, say, the political reform act is that to do with the political reform act, to recuse yourself of the process, and here, there is a different process that you are well aware of, a determination, getting that decided on by the appropriate decision maker, is just different in many respects, but i would say in general, they
are sort of targeting the same things. the political reform act does try to prohibit them from sort of benefiting themselves at the end of the day, and i think that is what a lot of the restrictions go to themselves. it is hard to say they precisely overlap, but there are ways that these are addressed to other conflict of interest laws, as well. commissioner studley: i have another question. it has been a while, but i forgot. but ethics laws, the notions of appearances, what it looked like for the public for someone to be involved in in multiple activities even if there is not a formal or absolute chance to influence the decision or specific benefit to the person. anyone who can help me with
this, it is a tossup question. our parents issues part of what we're trying to cover 3-d -- a friendly -- to cover through the sia. >> what we're trying to do what is the incompatible activities as being incompatible or inconsistent with the mission, and many of these provisions really are covered by some of the policies that are now listed, such as the collection policy, the exhibition policy. those really set out ways by which certain of these matters are handled, certain processes are handled by the library, and therefore, i think the library
feels that because we have those things in place and because the provisions as they now stand really prohibit a lot of the employee is from doing the things that lead to greater participation in the community, for instance, and the things they want the library staff members but to do, that perhaps having these provisions is not the best thing. does that answer your question? commissioner studley: it does. my final question is whether there are a range of concerns that the library is worrying about and things would be problematic. i am just trying to understand the costs. if we were to leave these in place and have people seek waivers, they can return again if that proves cumbersome, so i
am wondering, we may want to ask miss marion to come back. possibly others have questions for her as well now, about whether that is, what the pros and cons to letting the library take of the longer with the royals this way and deal with matters case-by-case -- take a little longer with their roles -- with the rules. >> dealing with the matter case- by-case, it was felt if we could just have the rule established or have been -- the sia -- that we can be excused from doing it case-by-case matter, because i believe that there would be numerous case-by-case situations
that would be brought forth to the city librarian, and it is my understanding that he wanted to get it established in the sia. >> would be appropriate to ask for examples? -- would it be appropriate? what kind of activities the library once people to be able to do that are covered by this that would be permitted if these were not in place. we are at least hearing from public comment that the example of a book with publishers may not be particularly the one that you are anticipating. or it is. >> that is the one that we are anticipating, maybe because
someone was an author of a book or something like that. commissioner studley: if that is the one, there are several here that do not go to that situation, and i wonder if those could be left in or leave them in and see what the experience is. i think the book is almost the most obvious because the book appears in the library with somebody's name on it, and you can trace, have the acquisition transaction was made. the library commission is not determining one by one on which books to purchase. >> right. commissioner studley: so if that is what you are trying to achieve, it seems that dropping all of these is over broad. >> if i can add, when the city
librarian contacted us about this, there was a suggestion made that if we could drop most of these provisions, the provisions that they would not mind staying in our provisions that a sales representative, a purchaser, or publicist, publisher, those tribes can stay in, but what they were concerned about was if you have a prohibition against somebody being an author or editor, that would really have a major impact on the development of some library staff. we can think about going back and perhaps a retaining what is -- for instance, parts of it. >> that would be acceptable to the city librarian. >> what about publicists. >> i believe that publicists was included.
and purchasers. yes. >> so has the city librarian been dealing with this in the meantime with waivers, or have there been waiver requests? >> it is my understanding that there have been some waiver requests. >> and the library has granted those, i imagine. >> yes. commissioner hur: any further comments or questions? >> -- commissioner studley: some of these seemed problematic, but the author seems least troubling and most likely to occur frequently, said that would be my and suggestion.
commissioner liu: i agree. i would be inclined not to of this report section but to address what would be a concern, especially if the waiver process has been working. i am not sure we need to just completely eliminate the entire section. i want to more nearly -- nearly -- narrowly tailor that. commissioner: i agree, and, ms. marion, you are talking about taking out purchaser and publicists, to get to the areas you are concerned with, i think we should make it as nearly -- narrowly tailored as possible. what would that be?
>> i would meet with staff again and come back to the commission with new language. commissioner hur: 50. i am sorry. commissioner hanyon? commissioner>> this is the prop. perhaps we should address this as well. so that we can provide further directions to the staff if necessary. my view, based on the memo, that the other regulations governing this process protect against the kind of abuses that we are against, i invite the comments
of my fellow commissioners. >> do they apply to commission members? commission members being considered officers, or is this just for employees? >> this depends on the provision and the department. >> and there is no uniformity? >> there is no uniformity. and if you look at this for the library, it is only three-a that applies to the officers, the officers or the employee may be provided -- and the other is applied to the city librarian who is an employee, and employees only. there is a distinction that is there. in this case, because the library commissioners did not
engage in the contract-making, with the city library and with the other staff that will make these decisions, my inclination is to keep up like that, to have this -- when we are narrowing the exemption, but applies only to the employees and the city librarian. >> to have this apply to the commission members, and all of this is for the employees. >> the only problem is that for the commission members, i don't know that if we got rid of a, because we're talking about really, the commission members are not engaged in making contracts. this does not apply to the commission members, anyway. we are talking b to e.
so this only applies to the sales rep or the publicist. and this will only apply to the employees. does this make any sense? we will come back with the recommendation. >> and are there any further comments? thank you for your time. the next item on the agenda is consideration of the amendments, -- >> this document represents a lot of the public feedback that we got -- and the work of the staff has done, and the word from the commission in the last meeting. meetings with supervisor campos and kim.
and we tried to craft something that is acceptable not just to the commission, and not just a majority of the board of supervisors, a super-majority. the elements of this are based in, both documents produced by ethics and by supervisors campos and kim. they have pulled them together into a proposal that maintains the best elements of the public finance program and allows us to move forward but also to accommodate the constitutional restrictions by the supreme court -- that has been placed on us. and having said that, the supervisor is here so i would like to see if she wants to add anything. >> supervisor kim, thanks for
joining us. supervisor kim: thank you, and i know that this has been a lengthy process that we have been engaging in, and so we appreciate your considering a variety of different ordnances around public financing so that we could need -- the unfortunate ruling on public financing, and i address the trigger, the enforcement of public funds in response to this, because as the court has stated, they believe there is a substantial burden with the independent expenditures, and first- amendment rights. and the argument around leveling the playing field and encouraging the usage of public financing, which is viewed as eliminating corruption, and the ability of the candidates to spend time with the voters, this
was not due to the compelling state interests. mr. st. croix talked about some aspects of this ordinance. what came before us is raising the season, this has been seen in the district elections. we saw that we had to raise the ceiling in response to utilize in each of these and i think that raising this to $250,000 his on average what we have seen. i think that the highest that we saw was roughly around $300,000. considering that there are 11 districts, i think 250,000 was a number that we felt comfortable raising this to. and taking away the trigger with how we expend public funds.
the second was raising the qualifications, to apply for public financing, raising this from 5000-7500. i think that many of my colleagues are comfortable with raising it to this amount as well. i know that there are some additional items you are considering, and i just want to say that i express my support for them. supervisor campos, avalos and myself have a potential ordnance to put on the ballot for the election. many of the commissioners -- this is already in the ordnance that we introduced. one of them delays any december span of public funds until a week after the filing date. there are concerns about people applying and qualifying for
public financing and realizing they saw the pool of candidates and realized they did not want to continue running, and we thought that this would address that. we thought it was important to bring in advance the filing date, to june, after the primaries. many serious candidates should announce earlier, just to get a sense of what the field as looking like, for the candidates considering office. increasing the qualifications for incumbents is something that we support. whether this is $15,000 or $75,000 for the mayor -- we think if you are an incumbent you should be able to raise that amount to qualify for public financing. we believe that this -- we believe this should be 4-1 or 1-1. this is a criticism labeled by
the public. and this is something else that we support. another piece of feedback that we have heard is the board of supervisors is only considering increasing the board ceiling and not the ceiling of the mayor. this may be self-interested on our part, but i am open to raising the ceiling for the race and this is something that i leave at the discretion of the ethics committee, with what has been spent and what is reasonable. i think the commission would consider raising this anyway, as the cost of campaigning goes up over time. this covers most of what he has already addressed, and i just wanted you to know that many of the applicants have been working on the different offices and getting a feeling of what people would support if this came back to the board of supervisors. and several supervisors have been in contact with them in
terms of what they would like to see. we're hoping we can get this out of the ethics commission, so that we can respond to the -- to this, and if you have any questions i am happy to answer them. >> thank you for working with the staff and with your colleagues to try to fashion a credible and effective solution to this issue. >> we appreciate all of your input as well, much of what we heard from the commission has been helpful in strengthening public financing and ordnances here in the city. >> and are there any questions as we have her? >> thank you for pulling this together. i think we need to respond to the constitutional aspects. i did have one question since you raised this, on raising the
ceiling set -- i think that the december meeting we were inclined to do that, perhaps, but not as high as, for example, the expenditure ceiling, do you have any thoughts on if we went to 175, and would this be agreeable to the board, -- >> i cannot speak for all of my colleagues. this is not one of the primary, driving issues for me. the current ceiling worked for at least this year. and for the cost of campaigning -- this does increase. i think the increase is necessary in the next four years. i am certainly open to a lower ceiling for the mayor's race. this number is amenable for my
-- for myself, personally, but cannot speak for everyone. >> and are there any further questions. >> thank you very much. >> i would like to take public comment on this matter, -- if the commissioners would agree. >> good evening again, commissioners. i appreciate supervisor kim's proposal in attempting to make this more compliant with the decision. although i would oppose any increases in the cap amounts for supervise elections, i don't think that there is any data showing why the presidential caps are not adequate for anyone who would not want to run for supervisor or mayor. as you know, the public
financing comes out of the general fund and we're looking at another $300 million deficit this year at least. i think this money could be spent more appropriately. i am against increasing these caps on public financing for a supervisor's order may years. you have no information showing why the present cap is not adequate. thank you. >> thank you, mr. hill. >> did evening and thanks to everyone who participated. this is a good process involving the ethics committee and the board, to draft something given this supreme court ruling.
you had to make some changes. raising the caps is appropriate, both in the here and now and in the future, and talking to the board members, there was one particular individual who thought that this number was perhaps too low. you have to keep in mind these are supervisors that may be thinking about their own elections, in the future. a lot of this depends on if you have a hard cap, or you have the adjustable cap. i think the adjustable capa's also an issue for some members of the board, and a hard cap is something they don't refer. you have public perception issues, about how much is too
much, given the current climate, and there is the issue -- i think it is legally at risk to have the adjustable cap of any kind and if you read the supreme court ruling, in the bennett case, it did not say that it was because of public financing, it was because a privately-financed candidates -- this would create a chilling effect by making them think, if i spend more money, the candidate will be able to get more money. i think that this is an issue and you definitely want to give some thought to this. it may not be an agent -- a reason not to do this, because we need the board of supervisors. it is good public policy to have that happen if we can get away with it, and we can track the
independent expenditures, which is also a valuable service to the community. one quibble i would raise is that if you look at pages 4 and 5 of the memo, the incumbents actually end up getting $5,000 more in private money than the non-incumbents on page 5, which is $25,000 more. you can adjust these numbers so the finance rate -- in that column for the match of $35,000, if you change that to $32,500, the number at the bottom will add to 250,000, and the one-one, instead of 275,000, if you lower this, this is 62,500, this is equal to the amount that the non-incumbents
received. it looks strange if they are allowed to have more money, and why go there, if you adjust the numbers a little bit to make that add up. >> i have a number of things to say but let me try to get through this. i am certainly supportive of making changes to the program along the lines of what we have discussed in the past. there are things i generally like about the legislation and there are things i am concerned about. i would start in reverse, with section 2 and the changes to the visible elections code, this seems to violate the single subject rule of the ordnance and i would suggest that this be divided into a separate file. this does have an impact on the