E-Filing Has Arrived in Sonoma County!
At long last, local candidates and elected officials no longer have to submit most campaign finance forms by paper! That's right -- electronic filing has come to Sonoma County! Read more here.
- Online Campaign Finance Statements
- Fair Political Practices Commission
- Filing Campaign Statements
- Sonoma County Campaign Contribution Ordinance
- Sonoma County Electronic Filing of Campaign Statements Ordinance
Online Campaign Finance Statements
Pursuant to Government Code § 84615 Campaign Reports and Statements - Electronic Filing for Local Agencies, Sonoma County is pleased to offer 24/7 online access to redacted versions of local campaign disclosure statements free of charge via Netfile. For unredacted versions, please visit or call our office.
Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC)
The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) is a five-member, independent, non-partisan commission dedicated to:
- Ensuring that public officials act in a fair and unbiased manner in the governmental decision-making process
- Promoting transparency in government
- Fostering public trust in the political system
The FPPC was formed by the Political Reform Act, which was passed by California voters via initiative in 1974. The Act requires detailed disclosure of the role of money in California politics, including the filing of financial statements revealing contributions received and expenditures made by all of the following:
- Candidates for state and local elective office
- State and local elected officeholders
- Proponents of state and local ballot measures who control a ballot measure committee
- Committees supporting or opposing state and local candidates
- Measure and petition circulation committees
Here is a list of some commonly used FPPC resources:
- Overview of Campaign Finance Rules
- FAQs About Local Campaign Activity
- Checklist for Local Candidates/Committees
- California Campaign Finance Forms
- How to Terminate a Committee
Filing Campaign Statements
Important: On July 6, 2023, Sonoma County will begin accepting campaign finance statements online. This is due to the passage of a new ordinance on June 6, 2023. Read or download the ordinance here (PDF). Instructions for how to create an account and submit electronic statements will be posted soon. Find out more by clicking here.
Every candidate and committee must be aware of the filing schedules associated with their specific election. Missing a filing deadline can have serious consequences ranging from monetary penalties, failure to be listed on the ballot, or enforcement action by the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC). Please note:
- It is the responsibility of the candidate and/or committee to be aware of, and to file, the required campaign disclosure statements in a correct and timely manner.
- Government Code § 91013 provides for a fine of $10 per day for the late filing of any campaign disclosure statements until the statement is filed.
Where to File
Generally (although there are exceptions):
- Candidates and committees involved in state elections (constitutional officers, State Senate, State Assembly, statewide ballot measures, etc.) file with the Secretary of State’s office
- Candidates and committes involved in school (school board governing board members) county (Supervisors, Sheriff-Coroner, District Attorney, etc.), or special district elections (fire districts, health districts, water districts, etc.) file with the county elections office
- Candidates and committees involved in municipal elections file with that city/town clerk's office.
Sonoma County Campaign Contribution Ordinance
For decades, Sonoma County has had an ordinance on the books limiting the amount of money a candidate running for a county office can solicit or accept from a person in an election cycle. The most current iteration of this law is contained in §§ 2-300 to 2-314 of Article XX of Chapter 2 of the Sonoma County Code of Ordinances.
The ordinance classifies county offices as the following:
- Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector
- District Attorney
- County Superintendent of Schools
In 2008, the last time the ordinance was amended by the Board of Supervisors, contributions were capped at $2,500.00, except for election cycles in which more than $10,000 in independent expenditures were made, in which case the cap doubled to $5,000.00. The ordinance also built in an "escalator" which automatically increased the contribution limits by five percent biannually beginning in 2011. To see what the current contribution limits are, please see the table below:
|Year||Contribution Limit||Increased Contribution Limit|
Sonoma County Electronic Filing of Campaign Statements Ordinance
On June 6, 2023, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance allowing local candidates to file campaign statements electronically. This ordinance became effective July 6, 2023. Instructions on how to create an account and file statements online will be are coming soon. In the meantime, please email email@example.com or call (707) 565-6808. You can also read or download the ordinance here (PDF).