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tv   Government Access Programming  SFGTV  February 16, 2018 5:00pm-6:01pm PST

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. >> all right. the ethics commission is back in session. we're now going to move to the last of the items we're dealing with for the amendments to the matter to be put on the ballot in june, and that is behested
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payment discussion at page six. >> thank you, chair. i think i will direct you to the red line version. i think that'll be the easiest way to just look at these, so if you'll please look at page 76 in the packet, that's where the first change is that i'd like to show you. so as you know, the behested payment -- >> page six? >> page 76, correct. those are the small numbers on the bottom, not the large. yeah, it's agenda item 4, co come -- comma, amended item,
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page 76. >> go ahead. >> okay. so as you know, the behested payment reporting system that would be created by this ordinance has been narrowed such that disclosure would only be required if a person makes a behested payment and such person is an interested party, vis-a-vis the city official who is asking them to make the payment. so this version of the ordinance, attachment one, makes an important change to the definition of interested party, and you can see that change on the final line, line 25 of page 76. and what this does is it says that now if you actively support or oppose a governmental decision by the officer or member of board or commission who is asking you to make a payment, that will only be discloseable if you have a
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financial interest in that decision, whereas previously, that was not a requirement, so, for example, if you had tried to -- if you contacted a member of the board of supervisors, tried to get them to change their vote on something, and then, they asked you to make a behested payment, that would require disclosure. but now, there's the extra requirement that only is disclosure needed if you have a financial interest. and then, financial interest is defined above, lines 17 through 19 by reference to california government code, so that would benefit from the body of law that's built up around that. it's a well-established term. and then, a third change is actually above. it's on the previous page, 75. there was a slight tweak to what it means to actively support or propose.
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what it meant to act to influence, so what was changed to communicate in an attempt to influence. and then lastly, i don't need to direct you to the page, but throughout these sections, we changed the language from proceeding to matter in which someone is involved just because that will now incorporate both being an interested party by being a party or a participant to a proceeding or by someone who has a financial interest in a government decision and attempting to influence that decision. so matter should encompass both a decision and a proceeding. so those are the changes to these sections. be glad to answer any questions about that. >> okay. is there a motion to approve the amendment? >> move. >> second? >> second. >> okay. the motion is -- >> may i just make -- >> commissioner kopp? >> -- just one grammatical
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addition on page 33, 77. you go niece, nephew. put in the word "and" first cousin before you go to the next verbal inclusion. >> okay. we can make that grammatical change without any problem. okay. so the -- we have a motion made and seconded to approve the amendment. commissioners, any discussion? any public comment? >> hello, commissioners. debbie lerman, human services network. first of all, i would like to
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wholeheartedly support and thank the staff and commissioners for accepting the amendment that it only applies if you have a financial interest. i think this is a significant improvement and removed a lot of the risk around this proposal. i am still concerned about this broad language of including as an interested party people who actively support or oppose, and i'll be honest, the first time we saw this language was three days ago. i still haven't read this packet, and i have not had the chance to even wrap my head around what that means, but i know the board also expressed concern about that language at the hearing on thursday. and to me, it says if somebody spea speaks at a public hearing or takes any other action to communicate a position, which
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could include anything as small as signing a petition or somebody who participates in a rally on the steps of city hall, that that would be included in this definition, and i think that it has a real risk of not only chilling civic engagement and the expression of one's first amendment rights, but also, i have no idea how you would even begin to enforce something like that. are we now supposed to electronically deliver our petition signatures so they can be double-checked to see if there's anybody with a financial interest in there? are we supposed to go out and take attendance at our rallies and take up names? there is the right under the sunshine ordinance to testify at any public hearing anonymously. i just think this is unenforceable and too broad,
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and i would urge that you go back to the original language that says an interested party is a licensed permanent entitlement, etcetera. perhaps include someone who hires a lobbyist or something like that, make it a very clean definition, but this really broad stuff about taking any action to oppose or something, it could be just somebody who writes a letter to the legislator. it's too much. i have one concern wiabout the donor reporting section. i have less concern than i used to because we're only talking about people with a financial interest, but i think there should be a safe harbor. if the public official fails to tell a donor that they should support, i don't think the donor should be penalized. we should not be punishing donors for nonprofits. thank you.
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>> thank you. >> hello chair and commissioners. tworen charles from afj. i'd like to echo debbie's strong sentiments, and i this issue has one many nonprofits had concerns about, and i think these show they were really listened to and incorporated into this legislation by the staff, so we sincerely appreciate that. specifically adding a financial interest component and time out to state law, i think makes a ton of sense from our perspective. and while i think reasonable minds and well intentioned good government advocates can disagree with the particulars of a disclosure regime, i have
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to say that from our perspective at least, we support efforts for disclosure and transparency, and i think again, we can debate the particulars, but from our perspective, this is far, far superior to a ban and tieing it to an actual financial interest on the part of the parties is hugely helpful, so thank you for your work on that. >> thank you. >> commissioners, larry bush for friends of ethics. i'm delighted that this language now is going to be everybody in free for ron conway and for willie brown, who had a wonderful party for ed lee on the night he was elected at the palace hotel with lobster and an open bar that cost thousands and thousands of dollars. i believe they had mc hammer providing entertainment, none
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of which was reported, all of which was gratis to everybody what walked in the door. but all of that is free now, and there's not going to be any problem, because neither of them had a financial interest problem with the city. same thing with sean parker, and the money that he's been giving. there are a number of people who give a lot of money, and who do goodwill with it, but it's not a behested payment, because it's not a check that's requested by an elected official. that's the connection that we're talking about. if you look at the behested payments are going to, it's not going to the type of groups that debbie is talking about. what we're hearing now is if you send a valentine to someone, you're in trouble. i would go one step further and say limiting this to financial interests does not represent how city government works.
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if anybody understands how government works, it's the members of this city commission. i see no recognition in any of this language of how decisions are influenced and how it provides ultimately something coming back. thank you. >> thank you. >> charlie marstellar with foe. to me, this is our greatest disappointment, the behested payments issue, and it's for the simple fact of someone on your staff that told me when this process a years ago, and that is many of them who are attorneys understand that the laws in their home states were
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clear that behested payments in those jurisdictions and in many jurisdictions in the country are actually considered bribes and extortion, and they're illegal. and this is the only state that i know of that basically has seen a mission creep when the fppc made a technical error now in retroexpect and established behested payments as a mechanism that was lawful in california almost 20 years ago. i think it was '97. so i've been in conversation with other people, including some of the nonprofits since that time, and i do think there's benefit since we have
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institutionalized this practice to look at thresholds, ultimately as our remedy here, and that we need to tighten up on any loop holes that we're going to create when we setup thresholds, because that's the problem. when you don't have an outright ban, you end up with tools that very clever people can exploit, unfortunately. it's not our intent, not your intent, but the reality is there's a lot of smart people in this city particularly were gifted that way. so i'm disappointed very much that we haven't really come to grips with behested payment to the extent that i think we have, and i'm hoping that at our next crack at some point in the future, we'll have another chance to look at this again. it may be after a series of
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major corruption scandals that will precipitate an out swell of the public on this issue. thank you. >> thank you. >> commissioners, ray hartz, director, san francisco open government, although he probably doesn't appreciate it, i want to associate myself with mr. marstellar's comments. we have a lot of smart people in this city, and we have a lot of smart politicians, and this idea of behested payments, it comes up -- they're smart enough to know not to ask for the check, not to ask for the dollar amount, not to specify anything. they have some cut away or cutout or whatever you want to call it ask for them. i'd like to refer you back to this. i have previously referred to the activities of the ethics commission as, quote,
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rearranging deck chairs on the titanic, end quote. commission president, peter keane in a matter previously heard against our current mayor is quoted as saying, mr. farrell, an elected supervisor of the city and county of san francisco has never had the political will or courage or integrity to come before this commission and look us in the face, end quote. he went onto blame the results on former executive director john st. croix saying he was clearly totally incompetent in letting the statute of limitations run out or marginally corrupt for going along with the idea of not pursuing farrell, end quote. throughout the history of this commission, when they can't enforce the laws already on the books, which i can't and don't, they find a scape goat and
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claim they need to rewrite the law. what did einstein say the definition of insanity is? doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different out come, and we are here once again, rearranging the deck chairs. and all the people that we're talking about are the people who appoint you to this commission. i don't know really whether i have any expectation that you can fairly in an unbiased fashion deal with any of those political issues for the simple fact that the people who appoint you are all politicians. they all run for office. they all ask for these payments, they all accept these payments, and if i remember correctly, part of mr. farrell's argument at the time was well it was one of my staff members who asked for this payment. i knew nothing about it. it's like sergeant schultz on the old comedy, i know nothing.
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and as your commission president said, didn't have the integrity to come forward. well, bottom line is, if i was having to testify against myself, i wouldn't come before you, either. >> hello, commissioners. thank you for allowing me to speak. my name is mark bruno, and i didn't come today to speak to thissub, but i've lived here for 30 years, and i'm head of the st. vincent de-paul society, which is a nonprofit. i just want to say as a citizen who's lived and worked in the neighborhood and worked on many political campaigns, that outside of what the law might permit in terms of free speech and give money as a form of
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free speech, that if you ask most people who voted for me, and voted for other people in the neighborhood, most people would consider what we're calling here a behested payment a sort of bribe, and so without expressing a kind of anger here about who owes who what or mark farrell or the history, i'm not familiar with all of those histories, but i think the common person would consider it wrong that an elected official would be permitted to say hey, can you help mark bruno's nonprofit, can you please give them $10,000 or $20? that's wrong because the public official has a tremendous amount of power, and has a tremendous amount of sway over who gets jobs and what property values are worth. we all are familiar because we're all familiar with why george washington was eventually given a very high
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salary, because george washington at the time were investing in properties in george down and the district of columbia. they didn't have money, but they had something else, and that something else was knowledge. they knew a compromise was being made between the north and the south, where the federal capital would be. it was those people who had that knowledge and were able to invest in that property who made money, and yet, on its face at the beginning, those connections weren't really about money, they were about decision making. where would the capital be? that's where the compromise was, but in fact those people who knew wafs going on, as is today, if enthuse know what's going on. they make money from it, so it feels wrong for anyone who's elected to ask from a citizen of san francisco or outside the city to give to a nonprofit.
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it just seems wrong on its face and is wrong. thank you. >> thank you. okay. so we're prepared to vote then in regard to the behested payment disclosure amendment. >> one question. >> yes, sir, commissioner kopp. >> where's the definition of interested party? is that the california government code? >> no, commissioner, that is defined in the ordinance here, and i will direct you to it shortly. >> where is it? >> so it is on page 76, y. to see the red line version, it's 76. >> well, i don't have a red line. >> well, the color doesn't show up on your copies. i apologize.
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>> okay. thank you. >> i will point out that part of this was borrowed from state law. >> is borrowed from what? >> from 84308, which is the section that said the public officials cannot accept gifts of $250 or more from certain people, and we borrowed -- >> all right. that's the definition of interested people. >> not exactly. >> i mean financial interest. >> part of it. it's -- that -- >> well, it's not defined in what commissioner chiu just gave me. all right. mr. chairman, you're satisfied that it's defined in other provisions of law? >> yes i am. >> all right. thanks. >> all right. so we're prepared to vote on the last amendment. all those in favor of the
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amendment, please say aye. any opposed? amendment passes 4 -- unanimously. we have all the amendments. now is there a motion to proceed to approve the ballot measure itself as shown in the attachment one agenda as amended and place it on the june 5th, 2018 ballot? do i hear such a motion? >> mr. chairman, before we do that, could i make a request that could we go back to a section that we dealt with before where the vote, i think, w was maybe even 3-2 or 4-1, but at least -- >> sure, sure. >> and that's section 3.207,
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which is the initial conflicts of interest for city elected officers and members of boards and commissioner lee made a very impassioned argument against the first(a) # 1 of that, which is a prohibition, and which one says no city elected officer or member of a board or commission may use his or her public position or office to seek anything of value. >> yeah, commissioner lee did speak to that. >> and she indicated -- during the recess, she indicated to me that the only part of that section that she one would like to have the board considering -- the commissioner consider the leading is or for
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organizations with which he or she is associated. >> okay. >> and so i've -- so we have -- we have voted, and we have adopted amendment without that, so i think what would be appropriate now, if we're going to make a change, would be a motion to reconsider, and. >> i don't think we voted because there was no action required, because under the staff recommendation, there was no amendment added. >> that's correct. you're right. i -- i beg your pardon, yeah. that was one of the ones where there was no action recommended, so, therefore, no motion, so commissioner renne, are you -- >> well, i'm -- i would be prepared to make a motion that
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we delete that language after the word "family." >> do we what? >> delete the language with an organization he or she is associated. so that's -- >> yeah- >> so that's delete the organization with which he or she is associated. so that would be the motion. is that -- is there a second? commissioner lee? so commissioner lee, that was your main objection? oh, okay. that's fine. >> well, there must be a motion to reconsider. >> we have one by commissioner renne, who voted in the affirmative -- well, there was no vote. there was no vote, so you don't need a motion to reconsider. >> andrew, yes? >> i just want to suggest a
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friendly amendment. >> sure. >> so that's an amendment to delete the last clause of 3.207.01. i don't believe we need -- also, just as cleanup, we also probably want to insert "or" prior to his or her immediate family. >> so what you're addressing is other language just to implement that idea? >> yes chair. >> so the main point here is to eliminate the drk--- in regard conflict of interest, the organization to which someone is associated. that's the crux of it, is that correct? and we have a motion and it's been seconded. commissioners? >> i have a question. >> yes. commissioner lee.
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>> so i have a second for staff. the scenarios that commissioner lee raised f, a storefront for purposes of nonprofit, if an elected official is going to try and accommodate that request on behalf of a nonprofit, is that something that's contemplated under this section? >> so that would depend on the definition of associated, and associated says that an organization in which -- or it means, an organization in which an individual or a member of his or her immediate family is a director, officer or trustee or owns or controls, directly or indirectly, and severally or in the aggregate at least 10% annually, or is a subject of
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that agent. [ please stand by ] . >> -- with the official for purposes of 3.208(a) 1. >> i feel very strongly about this provision on a personal level because there was a
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situation that judge kopp alluded to earlier, and this particular provision was really designed in order to prohibit that type of activity. it's designed to address officers of organizations, people who have a high financial stake and paid advocates, authorized agents, and i think that's an important thing to keep in mind. >> mr. chairman. >> commissioner kopp? >> i want to associate myself with miss blome's remark. i am unhappy about what has been done to this proposal, meaning the whole proposed so called anticorruption act ordinance. i apprehend what'll be done do it in the board of supervisors.
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one of these nonprofit representatives called this an improvement. it's not an improvement, it's a degradation of the original proposition c and prior law in san francisco, and even though this isn't the most important part of that degradation, it certainly is relevant, and it is essential, and i shall vote against the proposed amendment for those reasons. >> commissioner chiu? >> so commissioner lee, does that alleviate your concerns at all, because as i read section
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3.207(a) 1, that the elected official or board member would not be able to obtain a nonprofit that his or her own family member is an officer of, or their family member is a trustee or owns at least 10% of the organization. so it wouldn't be any nonprofit, it would be those that would be run by or staffed by the elected or appointed family members. >> can you show me where specifically is the -- >> can't hear you. >> can you show me the specific language of the association and the organization. >> sure. so that's on page 69, again, referring to items 3 --
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attachment three. it's the red line version, so it's page 69 -- attachment two, page 69, and it begins on line five. >> well, the last line, of which an individual or a member of his or her family is an authorized representative or agent. so if i were on a board of a nonprofit as a director of a comm nonprofit community service organization, that would cover me, right? >> yes, and even more explicitly the director is listed in the second line, if you're a director, officer or trustee. >> yeah. >> right. >> so my thing is we have many
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commissioners who -- who either serve on nonprofit boards or who are associated with nonprofit boards. so even under this definition, they're still -- they're still covered by the conflict of interest rules, right? >> i'm sorry. what was your question? >> even if you take out a language that as -- that commissioner -- >> no, i'm just saying that by taking it out, you would be okay. if -- if if tthe proposed amous to take out the associations, right? >> right, to remove the line or an organization which he or she is associated with. >> so you're saying it actually doesn't apply to nonprofits because the way associated
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means whatever, but i'm looking at the last line, commissioner chiu. in addition to the officers that these officers or the board or the family members associated with, at least 10% of the equity. the one line that troubles me or which an individual or an authorized family member is an authorized member or agent, which i read is a member of a board of directors. >> right, and sorry. i didn't mean to communicate that this would wholly exclude nonprofits. i think it definitely could include them in certain instances. as you point out, if the official is a director of a nonprofit, then, that nonprofit would be considered an organization with which that
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official is associated for purposes of this. >> right. so a nonprofit still would be included in the current conflict of interest. >> they certainly could be, right? >> what would they be prohibited from doing? >> right. so if a nonprofit organization is considered an organization with which an official is associated, then under 3.209(a) 1, that official would be prohibited from using his or her official position to direct benefits to that organization. >> so it's anything of value skbl right. [ inaudible ]. >> so explain what that means. >> what it means is you can't vote or direct funds or benefits to the nonprofit on which you are sitting as a
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board of director, a paid advocate or have a 10% interest in. >> or a family member. >> yes. so this commission, if you're sitting on a board somewhere, if you had power, vote to fund that board. you'd have to recuse yourself. you'd be prohibited from taking that vote. that doesn't strike me as that problematic. >> i think you're an allergy having to do with the spur and the planning commission situation that we saw, it was spot on in regard to this. that's what this is talking about. >> again, i'm just looking at the nonprofit that are not the spurs of the world. i'm looking at the mom and pops struggling to serve meals or work with run away -- not run
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away, homeless youth. i'm talking about those nonprofits, so under -- >> but commissioner lee, if you would delete this exemption -- if you make this exemption, you would allow people sitting on boards and commissions in the city who control grant money and who control contracts, you would be allowing them to direct money to their nonprofit. that's -- >> no, no. that's -- that's a -- this is -- this is asking anything of value. i'm still -- i'm still looking at anything of value. you're asking someone for access to the lobby so that they can put a water station when they're having a walk walk-a-thon. i'm looking for anything of
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value that impacts a nonprofit organization, so i'm not looking at the spurs, i'm not looking at the ballet; i'm just looking at how it impacts community service organizations. under this proposal, anything of value to them may mean less of a water station right in front of your storefront because we don't have any money to pay. >> chair keane. >> commissioner chiu. >> so i think, commissioner lee, if i can answer your question, if there's an elected or appointed official who is wanting to make the request for a water station at, you know, along the walk-athon, and is making the request on behalf of a nonprofit for which their family member is either serving as a director or a -- what else -- director, officer, or trustee or is an owner or if
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they are an authorized representative or agency, then, that would be prohibited. but if there's no relationship between the elected -- he selected/appoint selecte -- elected/appointed, if there's no relationship between them and the nonprofit, then there's no problem. >> -- and i am asked to be on the sac committee, because we do that all the time, so i am associated with that organization. so that event would be included
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at anythi as anything of value. >> it would be somewhat rare of a sitting supervisor to be sitting on a board of directors, but perhaps that's wrong. i don't know. >> but that's the hypo, right? it's a board member sitting on the board of -- an elected board member also sitting on the board of a nonprofit, and the board member wants to put up a water station at the nonprofit walk-a-anthony. >> >> -- walk-a-thon. >> or a shared -- does that consider? >> i think it would be arguably not a use of that person's public position. you'd have to look at if that person was acting as the official. this would still allow people to act in a private capacity. you'd have to look at are they
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using their office, i can imagine looking at facts like, did they use their city letterhead, did they call people into their office, did they try and use the office to obtain anything of value or were they just acting purely as a community member? those are the things you'd be looking at under this scenario. >> and with a water station, i think if a board sitting supervisor directed city funds, in whatever form to a nothinprt on which she was sitting as a board member, i think that's okay to prohibit. >> well, that, i understand. that, i understand. but what i still don't understand is when it comes to the public official trying to support a community organization, that's where i don't see the separation. >> chair keane, if i change? >> yes, commissioner chiu?
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>> so i think it's an elected or appointed using his official capacity in a role as an elected official in trying to benefit, what i think the ordinance is getting at is trying to benefit a nonprofit in which that elected official family serves, so it's kind of a, well, i'm going to use my position to help my organization that my sister is on or that my -- that my brother-in-law owns, you know, 50% of. that's what we're trying to get at here. >> what's before us now? >> what's before us now, as i understand it, is a motion by commissioner lee to take out -- excuse me. commissioner renne to take out
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the language on section(d) of -- section 3.207, the language, no city official shall use his -- excuse me. let me just find it again. go ahead, commissioner renne, you go ahead. >> it is taken to delete from section 3.207(a) 1, the language, or for an organization with which he or she is associated. >> or an organization with which he or she is associated. that's it. that's what we have -- >> may i call the vote? >> the question's been called. is there a second? okay. so we will vote on whether or not we have to take -- >> don't you have to take public comment. >> public comment. >> all right. >> public comment. >> commissioners, on this motion, related to this issue,
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supervisor peskin had suggested an amendment it's in your packet starting at page 87. it's not going to address all of commissioner lee's concerns or commissioner renne's concerns for that matter, but i think it's something that this commission can get behind. that is anything of value, to swap out the word favor and to substitute in private financial advantage. i think that would make the sentence read, the definition of anything of value, anything of value shall mean any money or property, private financial advantage, service, payment, advance forebearance, etcetera. i think when you look at how this is reflected in the regulation 3.207, particularly in subsection(a) 2, which i know that commissioner lee did not raise, but what it means to indirectly receive a favor i
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think is -- is what would be prohibited and yet kind of unintelligible. i think it's much clearer and insures -- and anything from our perspective ensures clarity. i think that this might get around the question about whether donation of a water cooler for an event is prohibited activity, and i don't know that that smacks at what she's trying to get at, so private financial advantage would be our suggestion. >> commissioner chiu? >> thank you. can you direct me to the page on which this appears? >> in the red lined version, i'm looking at 3.203, on page
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25, line one. >> okay. and then what is the language that you are referencing from supervisor peskin's amendment? >> right, and that amendment is in your packet at page -- gosh, i want to say it's between 87 and 92, again, i dropped my packet, and it got a little mixed up. but the language would be to delete favor and to insert private financial advantage. i think that that more closely approximates the ill that this body is trying to get at. i don't think it counts as watering it down one iota. i think it's a clarity to ensure compliance, . >> commissioner chiu, did you find the page? >> no, i didn't anywhere. >> okay. if staff can help at all, just
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my packet is completely mixed around. >> i see the word property, favor, service. >> what page is that on? >> that's on page 90. >> it's on page 21, line 1. >> your packet? >> of staff agenda item 4 packet. page 21 -- or page 29, rather. page 21 of the ordinance, page 29 of your packet, agenda item 4 packet. my proposed definition is in the back. it is -- well, i was told that it was before you in the ten documents that i brought today and was told not to distribute because you already had it in your packet. >> this in the board of supervisors packet? >> it's right here. i have had told it was in your packet. it ought to be.
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[ inaudible ] >> no. >> no. >> i don't see it, mr. chairman. >> when did you make that change? >> this change was submitted to ethics staff before it went out to inclusion. it was made at the budget and finance committee yesterday. i brought ten copies. >> what i -- >> right, and i believe it was sent out in your packet. >> what was in our packet is something like this as proposed amendments.
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is this what you're referring to? >> i do have one additional copy here that reflects that amendment? >> is this what you're referring to. >> correct, that packet. >> and where in that package does it talk favor. >> on the bottom right, it says page 28, and it's the first line of that page 28, deletes favor and inserts private financial advantage. >> the problem is i don't have a page 28. i have a page 24, and then a page 32. >> i've got it. all right. what's your point? i know. what's your point? >> commissioner kopp, through
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the chair, this adds clarity and ensures compliance and enforceablity of a measure and definition of any value includes the word favor. i think relative to the regulation that it's prohibited to indirectly receive a favor. i challenge anybody on this commission to illustrate what it means to indirectly receive a favor. i think that it's much clearer to write private financial advantage. that was supervisor peskin's amendment that he made yesterday to the budget and finance committee. >> so it wouldn't apply to a nonprofit. >> no, it absolutely would, commissioner. excuse me for interrupting. it absolutely would apply to a nonprofit. >> who gets a financial bribe or an advantage out of a nonprofit? >> i'm sorry. i don't think that's the nature of the regulation. >> i think the private financial advantage would be to -- would be included in the
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definition of anything of value such that the elected or the appointed could not use his or her official position to deliver or obtain private financial advantage for the benefit of an associated nonprofit. >> chairman, are we in public comment. >> i wouldn't interpret -- >> because the question -- >> we are in public comment. we've now heard mr. hepner -- yes, sir. why don't you go ahead and speak, and then, we'll vote on the motion of commissioner renne. >> thank you, chair keane. so i'd like to wholeheartedly echo what mr. hepner just said and to illustrate an example that shows how you can receive a private financial benefit from a nonprofit. current law already would make the following scenario a conflict of interest. if i were to serve on a city commission, and my wife, let's
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say, re volunteer board member, or rather than a paid executivor of a nonprofit, and i directed city funds to her employer, that financial interest, her receiving a financial gain through her employer, because of my official action, would be imputed to me as the public official and i would have a conflict of interest in this case under government code 87100 et seq. under state law. so that arrangement is already illegal whether you're talking about a nonprofit employer or a for-profit employer. >> excuse me. before you leave, mr. chair. >> yes, commissioner kopp. >> what code is that in? government code? >> yes. >> what section? >> 87100, the conflict of interest section. >> thanks. >> and there's a similar -- >> thank you. >> provision under 1090. so the concern of ours for
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nonprofit volunteers and unpaid board members that in the scenario i just gave, if i'm a city official, my wife, let's say is an unpaid board member. if i were to use my official position to make some sort of favor to her organization, which is not very clearly defined, i would now, as the public official, have a conflict of interest even though there's no financial gain imputed to her since she's unpaid. so i think that's our concern there. and i think, again, i think reasonable minds can disagree about whether i should as a city official be able to direct funds to a nonprofit that is under the direction or control of my wife. but our concern is if there is no payment requirement, then we would respectfully ask that
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anything of value be then very clearly defined, and i think -- sorry, rather, supervisor peskin's amendment would help do that, something like that, so that public officials would be put on notice so they can better comply in good faith. thanks very much. >> thank you. >> commissioners, larry bush from friends of ethics. it seems like we're traveling the world out of a submarine and looking out of the tiniest, tiniest little hole. when you talk about profits, you're talking about nonprofits, so we do have officials who are spouses of major entities of this city, and they do have contracts with the government. if you change this to meet commissioner lee's concern, and said that you were providing an
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exemption for a nonprofit that provides sfervices -- human services of housing, health, and so forth to indigent people who are not being reimbursed for it, then, you would have something similar to what exists in approximate los angeles and their lobby law, and it's what we have said before. then, if you have someone who's on a board, and they are providing a benefit to a nonprofit that's a 501(c) 3, you're not running into the situation of spur because they don't provide services. they are just an advocacy organization, but you are helping people who do a mom and pop food drive in the community. so i think if you have an exemption that says that it applies for 501(c) 3's that are providing services at no cost,
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that are human services, that you would be well within the grounds. thank you. >> debbie lerman, human services network. i just want to briefly concur with torrance remarks. i also agree that removing organization from there would not affect true conflicts of interest which are already prohibited under the law. and i also have -- but it's just a gut reaction, this is targeting nonprofits, and as mr. bush points out, i believe it applies to for profit associations, as well, but i would urge you, as a minimum to change the word from organization to corporation or something similar or clarify for profit and nonprofit.
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>> thank you. >> thank you. >> again, my name is mark bruno, and through the chair, i would like to comment on commissioner lee's criticism or description of a situation where a mom and pop nonprofit might be negatively affected because a supervisor or a commissioner, an unelected public official might want to do small favors for a small group. i was cochair with mohamed nuru when mayor lee was chairman of the graffiti advisory board. in those days, and i think the same challenge is faced by all commissioners and boards now, it's a virtue in government to reach out to other people. there's no reason that the president of the board of supervisors also has to be


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