The Riverside County Board of Supervisors is slated Tuesday to hold its first public hearing on a proposal to amend Riverside County's campaign finance regulations so candidates for county office would be required to publicly disclose—via the Internet—all contributions of $1,000 or more.
Supervisor Kevin Jeffries advocated the change in April, saying the $1,000 threshold, combined with the availability of an easily accessible online database, would ensure the highest degree of transparency during an election, as well as save the county "time and money."
Among other local jurisdictions in his First District, Jeffries represents the cities of Lake Elsinore, Wildomar, and the unincorporated area of Lakeland Village.
A county regulation approved by the board in 2011 requires that political contributions of $5,000 or more be posted on the Office of the Registrar of Voters' website during an election cycle. However, a state law that took effect Jan. 1 allows local governing bodies to require that campaign contributions of $1,000 or more be posted online in the interest of public scrutiny.
Jeffries proposed an amendment to the county's campaign finance disclosure ordinance to reflect the change in California law.
"This will make it easier for the media and voters to see who's contributing what," the supervisor said earlier this year.
In April, county Registrar of Voters Kari Verjil called electronic filing a "great success." She noted that since it went into effect in 2011, staff workloads have decreased because there's less time spent scanning, copying and e-filing documents, which candidates are required to do themselves when the amounts received exceed $5,000.
The proposed revision under consideration by the board would only affect candidates for county offices—assessor-clerk-recorder, auditor-controller, district attorney, judge, sheriff, supervisor, superintendent of schools and treasurer-tax collector—or ballot measures that are countywide in scope.
If the board approves the amendment, another public hearing would be scheduled before the end of the month. If the disclosure threshold is changed to $1,000, a candidate or political action committee would thereafter have to electronically post details of a contribution within 10 days.—City News Service