Update Policies and Procedures for Campaign Financial Support Committee

Subject: Update Policies and Procedures for Campaign Financial Support Committee

Presenter: Campaigns and Candidates Working Group. Contact Warner Bloomberg, San Jose (408) 295-9353, wsb3attyca@aol.com

Background and Purpose: The GPCA adopted policies and procedures for distribution of donations to candidates in April 2008 (see Addendum B to the GPCA Bylaws). Current rules regarding eligibility to receive GPCA financial assistance requires candidates for partisan office to be the GPCA nominee following the Primary Election before the Campaign Financial Support Committee (CFSC) may authorize a GPCA donation to the candidate's campaign committee.

But Proposition 14 has created a “Primary Election” that is a de facto general election with a further “top two” runoff election for California statewide and legislative offices. In all likelihood, most GPCA candidates for legislative and statewide office will not succeed to the runoff election. The outcome of current court proceedings in Fall 2011 is speculative at the time this proposal has been written. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQrl6Wh8bG0)

Accordingly, the GPCA should amend the current CFSC rules unless and until the operation of Prop 14 is either suspended or voided.

Additionally, the existing policies and procedures need clarification to expressly state that a GPCA candidate in a recall situation is considered a “candidate” (e.g., as in a special election).

Proposal: The General Assembly of Delegates amends the policies and procedures for the Campaign Financial Support Committee as follows:

The following Paragraph 5. D-1. is added to the existing CFSC Policies and Procedures (see GPCA Bylaws Appendix B) as follows:

Notwithstanding the foregoing, until such time as the Proposition 14 elections structure is suspended or voided, the CFSC may authorize distribution of GPCA donations to candidates for office upon the certification by the Secretary of State of the candidate's qualification to appear on the "Primary" ballot.

Also add a new Paragraph 5. F. as follows:

An elected official subject to a recall election, or a replacement candidate in a recall election, shall be considered a candidate in a special election.

Committee Process: General discussion of the subject of this proposal was begun on the July 13, 2011 CCWG teleconference and continued on the July 27, 2011 CCWG teleconference and was approved that evening, subject to any outstanding concerns on the CCWG email list, of which there were none.

Timeline: Adoption at the December 3rd/4th, 2011 General Assembly.

Resources: The current situation requires early identification of candidates and communication about how candidates can apply for a limited campaign donation from the GPCA. This means that County Green Parties and locals will need to endorse candidates and communicate those endorsements to the CCWG as soon as practical – preferably before the deadline for candidates to be certified for the ballot. It also requires an expedited recommendation process by the CCWG to the CFSC and prompt decision making by CFSC members. This requires greater and earlier focus on these concerns at the County GP level and better County GP communications with the Campaigns and Candidates Working Group. The General Assembly also should review the candidate support budget line at the next Plenary as part of its creating the second half of its Fiscal Year 2011-2012 Budget.

References: The full text of the current CFSC policies and procedures is as follows:

1. Membership. The Campaign Financial Support Committee (CFSC) shall consist of two GPCA members from each of the GPCA Coordinating Committee (CC), Finance Committee and Campaigns and Candidates Working Group (CCWG). Each SC/WG shall use its own ordinary processes for making such appointments. A current SC/WG/GPUS Delegates Coordinator shall not be eligible to be a CFSC member. Any person who is, or who has announced an intention to be, a candidate for elected office, or anyone serving as a campaign manager, treasurer or consultant for such a candidate, is ineligible to be a CFSC member. Quorum for the CFSC shall be at least three CFSC members.

2. Term of Office. CFSC members shall be appointed not later than the General Assembly at which the GPCA annual budget is submitted for adoption, and shall serve a one year term. CFSC members may not serve more than three consecutive terms. In the event a vacancy occurs in any CFSC position, the SC/WG that appointed the person who has resigned or become disqualified shall appoint the replacement to serve the remainder of the applicable term of appointment as soon as practicable after the vacancy occurs.

3. Responsibilities. The CFSC shall have the responsibility to decide what campaign committees shall receive funds from the part of the annual GPCA budget approved for the financial support of GPCA candidates for elected office.

The CFSC shall establish procedures for candidates to apply for funding, including an application form or questionnaire and application deadlines, that shall be generally communicated via GPCA email lists and publications and posted on the CCWG webpage(s). Drafts of those procedures and forms also shall be published to the CC, CCWG and County Contacts email lists for at least 15 days to allow comments before adoption. Procedures adopted by the CFSC shall continue until modified. The CFSC shall internally establish general principles for prioritizing the distribution of limited funds in each GPCA fiscal year. Within 60 days following any election in which the CFSC designates funding for candidates, the CFSC shall provide a written report of its funding deliberations and decisions to the CC and CCWG (Co)Coordinators.

4. Authority.

CFSC funding decisions shall be communicated directly to the GPCA Treasurer for transmittal of funds as decided by the CFSC. Any funding decision shall require agreement by a minimum of three CFSC members. The GPCA Treasurer shall promptly issue funds as designated by the CFSC except where either (a) the donation would result in the candidate's committee receiving more cumulative donations than allowed by statute or regulation or (b) where the candidate declines all or part of the donation.

The GPCA Treasurer shall promptly report either such circumstance to the CFSC which may amend its previous determinations upon receipt of such information. The CFSC may request the assistance of the CCWG or any other GPCA committee, working group or county organization in its processes for evaluating candidates' applications for GPCA financial support.

5. Funding Eligibility.

Notwithstanding any of the foregoing, to be eligible for GPCA campaign donations:

A. Candidates for non-partisan municipal, county and special district races, California state legislature and U.S. House of Representative must obtain the endorsement of any active Green Party county organization operating within the boundaries of the district for the applicable office. Endorsements must be communicated directly to the CFSC by a County Council member of the County GP or a designated officer of an applicable GP County Local.

B. Candidates for partisan statewide constitutional offices (Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Treasurer and State Comptroller); Non-Partisan statewide constitutional offices (Superintendent of Education); State Board of Equalization and U.S. Senate must obtain GPCA endorsement by a General Assembly of Delegates or County Polling. [The text of this subsection shall automatically be amended in the event the California Secretary of State is amended to become a nonpartisan office.]

C. In special circumstances (e.g., large voting districts with multiple county organizations; special elections), the CFSC may waive the endorsement requirement on a case-by-case basis. However, in such cases, a candidate will need to demonstrate local support by endorsement of at least one active County GP, or endorsement by one or more Locals, or endorsement by the CCWG, or some other form of internal GPCA organizational endorsement, as a funding eligibility requirement.

D. Candidates for partisan office shall not receive GPCA financial support unless they are the GPCA nominee following the GPCA Primary Election.

E. Committees related to issue campaigns are not eligible for funding under these procedures.