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Auditor Mary Hull Caballero

Promoting open and accountable government

Political Consultant Program Info, Forms, & Disclosures

On April 20, 2016 City Council passed ordinance No. 187689 creating City Code Chapter 2.14 and requiring reporting by City elected officials (Mayor, Commissioners, and Auditor) and certain Political Consultants. The purpose of the program is to improve transparency by requiring Political Consultants advising City elected officials to meet certain registration and reporting requirements.

The program is administered by the City Auditor’s Office.    

What are the Disclosures Required for Political Consultants? 

The first date reports are due is Sept. 15, 2016. After Sept. 15, 2016, reporting is on an on-going basis.

Political Consultants (individuals & entities) must register on an on-going basis within 15 calendar days of providing services and disclose: 

  • If providing Political Consulting services to a covered client, the Political Consultant must report the date services began, and related information. A covered client includes a City elected official, a successful candidate for City office, or either individual’s principal campaign committee.
  • If the Political Consultant also provides services for a City-referred ballot measure, the measure information and date services began must be reported.
  • When no longer providing services to a covered client, the Political Consultant must provide a termination of services form within 15 days.

What are the Disclosures Required for City Elected Officials? 

The first date reports are due is Oct. 17, 2016 and quarterly thereafter.

City Elected Officials must report quarterly on the previous months’ activities and disclose:

  • Political Consultants who provide or provided services to the elected official and the date when services commenced.
  • If an elected official has sponsored a City-referred measure to the ballot, then they must identify any Political Consultants who provide or provided services for the measure.
  • Updates are required within 15 calendar days if previously provided information changes.  

Prohibited Conduct

  •  A City elected official shall not knowingly utilize a Political Consultant who is in violation of this Chapter.
  • A Political Consultant shall not provide Political Consulting Services without reporting as required under this Chapter.
  • No person shall submit false, fraudulent or misleading information on statements, including but not limited to misrepresenting the scope or nature of services provided or the identity of clients to whom services are provided.

Key Definitions

  • Political Consultant is a person or entity that engages in Political Consulting services as a trade or profession and provides these services to a City elected official, successful candidate for City office, or either individual’s candidate campaign committee registered with the Secretary of State. The term “Political Consultant” does not include attorneys who provide only legal services, accountants who provide only accounting services, professional fundraisers, or pollsters who provide only polling services.
  • Political Consulting Services include actions in campaign management and political strategy services, including but not limited to: advocacy and strategy; political polling; advising or assisting in voter contact strategies and services; advising in media strategy, buying and advertisement; providing candidate development, policy training, political image consulting, and designing, implementing and analyzing polls and surveys; performing issues research and opposition research; developing, assisting in strategic communication such as news releases, talking points and speech writing; and advising on negative information handling an political crisis management.