News


Goodbye, Two-Thirds Voter Threshold for Taxes Passed by Initiative

BY JIM SUTTON I recently asserted that the Citizens’ Plan for San Diego ballot measure – which would raise funds to promote San Diego tourism, expand the Convention Center, build a football stadium, and other inter-related matters – requires a majority and not a two-thirds vote, even though others disagreed. A landmark appellate […]


Pre-Election Litigation (March 2016) 328

As the June 7, 2016 election season heats up, candidates and consultants should keep in mind that the law allows campaigns to challenge false, misleading, or improper information which will appear in the voter information pamphlet and/or on the ballot.  These include candidate ballot designations, candidate statements, and arguments for […]


The Regulatory Creep of Grassroots Lobbying Public Disclosure Regimes 4

BY MATTHEW C. ALVAREZ Requiring public disclosure of an organization’s grassroots lobbying efforts may not be a new concept, but San Francisco’s recently adopted Proposition C is a reminder of the regulatory creep of lobbying disclosure regimes on nonprofit organizations across the nation. San Francisco is the latest of many […]


FEC should look to California to rein in super PACs 300

BY MATTHEW C. ALVAREZ Special to The Bee The money-in-politics world recently witnessed a seemingly rare event: a government agency actually did something about super PACs that secretly and illegally coordinate with politicians to affect our elections. Unfortunately, the wrong government agency acted. California’s version of the Federal Election Commission […]


Desperate Measures 347

BY BRAD HERTZ   In Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll used the phrase “curiouser and curiouser” to describe Alice’s amazement as her body grew so big she imagined having to mail her shoes to herself. “If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense,” she says. “Nothing […]


New Year, New Laws 2

BY BRAD HERTZ   You probably remember Proposition F (the anti-Airbnb law that lost) and Proposition A (the $310 million affordable housing bond that won) from San Francisco’s November ballot. But you might not be aware of the 10 new state laws that take effect January 1. In what has […]


Grassroots Lobbying law now in effect in San Francisco (February 2016) 1

As you may recall, San Francisco voters passed a law last November to impose monthly reporting requirements on businesses, nonprofits organizations and labor unions which spend $2,500 during any calendar month to urge people to directly communicate with City officials in order to influence pending or proposed legislative or administrative […]


San Francisco Lobbying Law Alert (November 2015) 337

New disclosure requirement for grassroots lobbying.  As you have probably heard, Proposition C, which San Francisco voters approved this month, requires businesses, nonprofit organizations and labor unions which spend $2,500 or more on “grassroots lobbying” during any calendar month to register and file reports with the Ethics Commission.  The new […]


California Campaign Law (November 2015) 345

We thought you might be interested in an op-ed which I wrote for the Sacramento Bee comparing the approach to independent expenditures taken by the California Fair Political Practices Commission to the approach taken by the Federal Election Commission.  In fact, since the article appeared at the end of last […]