Supervisors Pass Online Campaign Finance Disclosure Reform
RIVERSIDE – On a vote of 5-0, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors passed Supervisor John J. Benoit’s measure to require political committees and candidates that meet certain financial thresholds to file their campaign reports online. The new ordinance will save county staff time while making campaign finance information immediately available to the public.
“This measure takes county campaign reporting into the 21st century and makes it consistent with transparent standards at the state level,” said Supervisor John J. Benoit. “It is integral to the political process that citizens and the press have real-time information about who gives and who spends in the height of campaigns.”
Candidates for county office and committees that support or oppose candidates or ballot measures within Riverside County previously had not been required to upload their campaign reports onto the county’s electronic system. As a result, reams of hard copies, submitted in person or via mail at least twice a year and more frequently in election years, would have to be manually scanned and processed by staff at the Registrar of Voters office.
Under this ordinance, candidates and committees that receive or expend $5,000 in a reporting period will be required to file the campaign finance statement electronically.
Additionally, contributions or expenditures 90 days prior to the election exceeding $1,000 must be reported online within 24 hours. Contributions or expenditures outside that time frame, exceeding $5,000, must be reported online within 10 business days.
Violators of this ordinance may face a fine of $10 per day of violation.
The measure will apply to candidates for: County Supervisor, Sheriff, District Attorney, Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder, Auditor-Controller, Treasurer-Tax Collector and Superintendent of Schools.
The measure requires a second reading, set for next Tuesday, to be adopted. The ordinance will take effect 30 days after final adoption.
When adopted, the Registrar of Voters will mail a letter to each county committee informing them of the new changes.
The public may view campaign finance documents online at: www.netfile.com/agency/ctriv/