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June 7, 2016 — California Primary Election
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County

Orange County
Measure A Charter Amendment - Majority Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results

Passed

400,470 votes yes (69.6%)

174,999 votes no (30.4%)

100% of precincts reporting (1,597/1,597).

Shall the Ordinance amending the County Charter to establish the Campaign Finance and Ethics Commission to provide 
administrative oversight and enforcement of the Orange County Campaign Reform Ordinance and County ethics 
ordinances and amending the Orange County Campaign Reform Ordinance to remove unlawful provisions, allow for 
establishing an additional campaign bank account, under specified circumstances and repeal provisions pertaining to 
civil enforcement by the California Fair Political Practices Commission be adopted?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

YES vote means

A “yes” vote is a vote to amend the County Charter and the Orange County Campaign Reform Ordinance, and to 
establish the Campaign Finance and Ethics Commission.

NO vote means

A “no” vote is a vote to not amend the County Charter and the Orange County Campaign Reform Ordinance 
and not establish the Campaign Finance and Ethics Commission.

Summary

Orange County Registrar of Voters

This measure, if approved by the voters, would amend the Orange County Charter to establish a Campaign Finance and Ethics Commission to provide administrative oversight of the Orange County Campaign Reform Ordinance and the County ordinances regulating lobbyists, gifts and certain provisions of the County Code of Ethics (collectively, “Ethics and Campaign Ordinances”).

Background

Orange County Counsel

This measure, placed on the ballot by the Board of Supervisors, amends the County Charter, and authorizes the Board to establish a Campaign Finance and Ethics Commission (“Commission”). This measure adds the Campaign Finance and Ethics Commission Ordinance (“Ethics Commission Ordinance”), which establishes a five member Commission to provide administrative oversight of the Orange County Campaign Reform Ordinance (“Campaign Ordinance”) and the County ordinances regulating lobbyists, gifts and certain provisions of the County Code of Ethics (collectively, “Ethics and Campaign Ordinances”).

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Orange County Counsel

This measure, placed on the ballot by the Board of Supervisors, amends the County Charter, and authorizes the Board to establish a Campaign Finance and Ethics Commission (“Commission”).

This measure adds the Campaign Finance and Ethics Commission Ordinance (“Ethics Commission Ordinance”), which establishes a five member Commission to provide administrative oversight of the Orange County Campaign Reform Ordinance (“Campaign Ordinance”) and the County ordinances regulating lobbyists, gifts and certain provisions of the County Code of Ethics (collectively, “Ethics and Campaign Ordinances”).

This measure establishes an administrative hearing process for alleged violations of the Ethics and Campaign Ordinances. This measure provides for the appointment of an Executive Director to the Commission, who is tasked with civil enforcement of these ordinances. The Executive Director will investigate alleged violations of these ordinances upon receipt of a written complaint. Under the measure, the Commission will serve as the appellate body for administrative hearing decisions and is required to report annually to the Board of Supervisors.

Under the measure, the Executive Director of the Commission may be delegated subpoena power for campaign account bank records, and both hearing officers and the Commission Chair may be delegated subpoena power to compel the attendance of persons and things.

This measure also requires the Executive Director to obtain copies of campaign statements and maintain an independent tracking system of campaign contributions.

The 1992 voter approved Campaign Ordinance regulates campaign activity of elected County officials and candidates for those offices. This measure clarifies that contribution limits apply to Elective County Officers (“Officers”) and County Candidates (“Candidates”). This measure removes provisions regarding spousal contribution aggregation and the intra-candidate transfer prohibition, which have been found unenforceable by federal courts and the California Attorney General.

The measure authorizes Candidates and Officers to establish a campaign bank account for another office so long as the first account is closed within 60 days of establishing the second. The measure specifies that certain intra-candidate transfers are aggregated and subject to contribution limits.

This measure repeals the voter approved provision authorizing the California Fair Practices Commission (FPPC) as civil enforcement prosecutor of the Campaign Ordinance. This measure also allows Candidates and Officers to establish a separate legal defense fund as authorized under California law.

This measure would authorize the Board of Supervisors to make non-substantive changes to the Campaign Ordinance and Ethics Commission Ordinance by a majority vote and substantive changes furthering the purpose of these ordinances by a four-fifths vote.

A “yes” vote is a vote to amend the County Charter and the Orange County Campaign Reform Ordinance, and to establish the Campaign Finance and Ethics Commission.

A “no” vote is a vote to not amend the County Charter and the Orange County Campaign Reform Ordinance and not establish the Campaign
Finance and Ethics Commission.

A copy of the entire proposed Ordinance, including the Charter amendment, is posted on the Registrar of Voter’s website, http://www.ocvote.com/. Voters may also contact the Registrar of Voter’s office and request that a copy of the proposed Charter amendment be mailed to them at no cost.

Financial effect

No data available.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

It’s time to upgrade our ethics and campaign finance laws with a neutral and non-political commission to hold politicians accountable and ensure our government answers to the people.

Measure A puts Orange County at the forefront of open and ethical government by instituting the Orange County Campaign Finance and Ethics Commission, a local commission to enforce our campaign finance rules. It will be a truly independent body. Political insiders - like lobbyists, politicians, union officials, political party officers, and consultants - will be banned from serving on the commission or influencing its independent decision-making authority.

Orange County will take responsibility for enforcing our local campaign finance regulations, rather than relying on a distant Sacramento bureaucracy to do so.

Measure A has received praise from ethics experts and transparency advocates because it empowers average citizens to engage in the political process. When citizens raise an issue with the Orange County Campaign Finance and Ethics Commission, Measure A requires the commission to respond.

The Campaign Finance and Ethics Commission will provide regular and predictable enforcement, auditing, and training for Orange Couty campaign finance rules.

The Orange County Campaign Finance and Ethics Commission will have the power to:


• Enforce and investigate compliance with the Orange County Campaign Reform Ordinance


• Enforce and investigate compliance with the Orange County Gift Ban


• Enforce and investigate compliance with the Orange County Code of Ethics


• Develop and establish an ethics training program


• Impose fines on politicians for three times the amount of money illegally spent or illegally received

 
Measure A will ensure Orange County’s national leadership in government reform with the Orange County Campaign Finance and
Ethics Commission.


Vote “Yes” on Measure A to create the Orange County Campaign Finance and Ethics Commission.

 
s/ Shirley L. Grindle 

Original Author, Orange County Campaign Reform Ordinance


s/ Andrew Do 

Orange County Supervisor, First District


s/ Todd Spitzer 

Orange County Supervisor, Third District


s/ Shawn Nelson 

Orange County Supervisor

 

s/Lisa A. Bartlett

Chairwoman, Orange County Board of Supervisors                                                                                                

Supervisor, Fifth District

— Orange County Registrar of Voters

Arguments AGAINST

No argument against this measure was submitted.

— Orange County Registrar of Voters

Who supports or opposes this measure?

Yes on Measure A

Organizations (2)

Elected & Appointed Officials (0)
No on Measure A
Organizations (0)
Elected & Appointed Officials (0)
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