When outside organizations or individuals spend money to influence the outcome of a city election, they have made independent expenditures.
Independent expenditures are made without the involvement of any candidate, and may refer to candidates running for city office or to ballot proposals.
All independent spenders must file disclosure statements with the CFB once they have spent more than $1,000 on a single candidate or ballot initiative. There are no limits on contributions or spending. However, every independent spender is required to report information about its expenditures and its sources of funding.
Independent spenders must create an account in the Independent Expenditure Disclosure System (IEDS) in order to submit disclosure statements to the CFB.
Effective August 28, 2015, there are additional disclosure requirements for independent spenders.
- The owners, officers, and board members of organizations that contribute to independent spenders must be disclosed.
- The funding sources of organizations that contribute more than $50,000 to independent spenders must also be disclosed.
- IE materials must include enhanced “paid for by” notices listing the spender’s principal owner, CEO and top three donors, as well as a URL for the CFB’s web site directing voters to additional information.