The Oakland Public Ethics Commission is responsible for oversight of various laws including the Campaign Reform Act, the Limited Public Finanqing Act, and the Lobbyist Registration Act. In 2014, Oakland voters approved a City Charter amendment that created a new section 603 to strengthen the Public Ethics Commission, which included provisions to set aside money for minimum staffing.
This measure would repeal the Limited Public Financing Act and replace it with the Fair Elections Act. The current public financing program is available only to candidates for City Council; and it caps public financing for an election at $500,000 and allocates the financing by reimbursing qualifying candidates. The new program would be available to candidates for City Council, Mayor, City Attorney, City Auditor, and School Board and would require that the City set aside a minimum of $4,000,000 for public financing, per election, unless the City faces extreme fiscal necessity. Residents of Oakland would receive "Democracy Dollars" vouchers and could assign the vouchers to qualified candidates of their choice. Candidates who receive vouchers would be able to redeem them from the City to receive public financing.
The measure would amend the Campaign Reform Act to, among other things, lower contribution limits for publicly financed candidates and heighten disclosure requirements for third-party campaign advertisements. Instead of requiring identification of the top two donors of $5,000 or more only on mass mailings and television advertisements, the measure would require identification of the top three donors on all third-party advertisements.
This measure would amend the City Charter to increase minimum staffing for the Public Ethics Commission. The measure also would extend the restriction on former City officials acting as local government lobbyists after leaving office from one year to two years. The Oakland City Council placed this measure on the ballot.
Source: City Attorney's Impartial Analysis of Measure W