Board of Supervisors to Consider Further Restrictions on Publicly-Funded Mass Mailing for Electorate Approval

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February 21, 2018

CONTACT: Matt Morrison, Communications Director

Phone: (714) 834-5498

Melanie Eustice, Chief of Staff Phone: (714)834-3330


Board of Supervisors to Consider Further Restrictions on Publicly-Funded Mass Mailing for Electorate Approval

(Orange County, CA) – A supplemental item added to the February, 27th 2018 Orange County Board of Supervisors agenda seeks voter approval to further restrict publicly-funded mass mailings by candidates running for public office. The agenda item jointly introduced by Vice Chair Shawn Nelson, Fourth District, and Supervisor Todd Spitzer, Third District, seeks to place a ballot measure on the June 5, 2018 Statewide Direct Primary Election.

Sparked by a lengthy debate during the February 13 Board of Supervisors meeting, the proposal would add restrictions to mass-mailing produced or sent at County expense relating to constituent meetings or County events. The proposed ordinance includes six addition restrictions beyond what already exists under State law in the Political Reform Act established in 1974. Last year, the California Legislature passed Senate Bill 45 to tighten mass-mailing regulations in a 60-day period prior to an election.

“These are all common sense guidelines to ensure proper compliance with State and local regulations and protect tax payer dollars,” Supervisor Spitzer said. “There is no reason elected officials should be pushing the ethical boundaries between government business and election campaigning.”

Direction in the County Board agenda item requires announcements sent to constituents regarding public meetings state the purpose directly relating to government duties, that the elected official sending notice will be in attendance, only a single elected official be listed on the notice except in specified legitimate circumstances, prohibit the reference to candidates running for public office, ban the use of mass-mailers to promote public meetings held in private residences, and require the approval of County Counsel for legal compliance.

If the proposal is approved by a simple majority vote of the Board of Supervisors, County Counsel will be directed to draft language and analysis for the ballot measure and forward to the Registrar of Voters to place on the June 5, 2018 Statewide Primary Election.


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