By Todd Spitzer, Chairman of the OC Board of Supervisors
Board of Supervisors Chairman Todd Spitzer hosted an informative roundtable discussion on the future of ethics in Orange County that was moderated by Professor Stephen J. Stambough, Ph.D., who is Chair of Cal State Fullerton’s Division of Politics, Administration & Justice. The meeting was an opportunity for the public to engage in a roundtable discussion. Many views on ethics were discussed by the community, including an ethics commission proposal that was presented by Shirley Grindle. The meeting was held at the Irvine campus of Cal State Fullerton.
The following speakers presented information at the event:
- Emelyn Rodriguez, Commission Counsel, California Fair Political Practices Commission
- Ann Fletcher, Senior Assistant County Counsel, Orange County
- Mark Sacks, Senior Deputy District Attorney, Orange County
- Heather Holt, Executive Director, Los Angeles City Ethics Commission
- David Tristan, Deputy Executive Director, Los Angeles City Ethics Commission
After voters approved Measure E in November, Supervisor Spitzer committed to launching a countywide discussion on ethics in Orange County. The Board of Supervisors had voted unanimously to place Measure E on the ballot at the urging of the Board’s Subcommittee on Ethics, which consisted of then-Chairman Shawn Nelson and Supervisor Todd Spitzer. Measure E allows the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) to enforce Orange County’s local campaign finance ordinance (TINCUP) if legislation is passed to allow for the oversight. Orange County voters approved Measure E by a decisive 56.5%-43.5% margin in the November 2014 election.
“The voters are clearly not satisfied with the way campaign finance laws are currently enforced in Orange County,” Supervisor Spitzer said. “There is a mandate for change to the way TINCUP is enforced.”
TINCUP’s campaign contribution limits for County elected officials remain unchanged by Measure E, and no FPPC contract can alter them. The TINCUP campaign contribution limit formula cannot be changed without voter approval via another ballot measure.
Measure E is based on San Bernardino County’s successful pursuit of an FPPC contract. San Bernardino County received legislative authorization in 2012 for an FPPC contract that went into effect in 2013.
Supervisor Spitzer coordinated the ethics forum in an effort to help facilitate the discussion on ethics is leading the County’s examination of all of the comments and proposals presented at the forum.