Open Disclosure visualizes campaign finance data for Oakland candidates and ballot measures. The data comes from the City’s campaign finance portal on the City of Oakland Public Ethics Commission website.

The data collected by the Public Ethics Commission is required by the California Political Reform Act (PRA), which requires that a candidate or campaign committee that plans to raise or spend $2,000 or more in a calendar year—including the candidate’s personal funds—must file statements and reports on the committee’s financial activity at specified periods. Candidates or campaign committees that do not raise or spend $2,000 or more in a calendar year are not required to report their financial activity electronically, which may result in some candidates with no available public financial data.

Campaign finance data is self-reported by all local candidate-controlled and ballot measure committees. Our volunteer team does not clean, scrub, or edit the data. If there are misspellings or duplicate entries, then that was how the committee reported the campaign finance data. The data is presented as reported. Where necessary we may aggregate data that we believe represents the same entity.

Where does the data come from?

The campaign finance data that Open Disclosure presents is derived primarily from the filings of the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) Form 460 (Recipient Committee Campaign Statement). Once a campaign committee has raised or spent $2,000 or more it must file Form 460, which contains an overview of the committee’s activity during a specified period.

Oakland campaign committees file Form 460 with the Public Ethics Commission’s e-filing system, NetFile, which is available on the Public Portal for Campaign Finance and Lobbyist Disclosure. The raw data is also synced daily to the City of Oakland’s Open Data Portal.

How up-to-date is the data?

The data is published to the site approximately every 24 hours. The data for Open Disclosure is based on campaign finance filing deadlines established by the State of California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) for all state and local elections.

The filing deadlines for local candidates and measures on the November 6, 2018 election are:

Reporting Period       FPPC Filing Deadline
1/1/2018 – 6/30/18       July 31, 2018
7/1/18 – 9/22/18       September 27, 2018
9/23/18 – 10/20/18       October 25, 2018
10/21/18 – 12/31/18       January 31, 2019

In addition to these filing deadlines, contributions of $1,000 or more from a single source made to candidate and ballot measure committees within the 90 days prior to the election (8/8/18-11/6/18) must be reported within 24 hours.

What is a non-itemized contribution (small contribution)?

Candidate and ballot measure committees must report their total contributions regardless of size. However, contributions of $100 or more must be itemized and include additional information about the contributor. Contributions under $100 are reported in the aggregate.

How do you calculate the proportion raised within Oakland?

Candidates and ballot measure committees must itemize contributions of $100 or more. Information includes the location of the individual, committee, or business making the contribution. The percentage is the proportion of contributions reported to be from Oakland divided by the total of the itemized contributions. We remove contributions and loans made by the candidate to their own campaign from this calculation.

Why don’t the total contributions presented match the numbers in the lists of itemized contributions by location and category?

The total contributions and the itemized lists are calculated using different data sets. The total sums the total monetary and non-monetary contributions reported by each campaign committee at each filing deadline. The charts displaying contributions by location and category sum the itemized contributions filed, which are a sub-set of the total contributions. This leads to some discrepancies, because contributions under $100 are not required to be itemized with information on the donor’s identity and location.

What is an Independent Expenditure?

Political spending that expressly advocates the election or defeat of a candidate or ballot measure but is not made in consultation, cooperation, or coordination with the candidate or campaign committee is termed an independent expenditure. Under California law, any entity that makes independent expenditures of $1,000 or more per year to California candidates or ballot measures is subject to California campaign finance disclosure reporting requirements.

How are contributions calculated for committees that support or oppose multiple measures?

Data reported by committees formed to support or oppose multiple ballot measures is displayed in total and may include contributions and expenses to support or oppose other ballot measures. In cases where more than one ballot measure committee is formed to support or oppose a ballot measure, data may include transfers between committees. To view campaign statements visit Oakland’s public campaign finance portal

Committees that are not candidate-controlled or formed to support or oppose a particular candidate or ballot measure also raise funds and spend money in local elections. Under the Political Reform Act, committees that receive contributions or make expenditures to support or oppose multiple candidates and/or ballot measures must also file statements and reports on their activities just as candidate and ballot measure committees do. They must also report which candidate or ballot measure their expenditure is intended to support or oppose and whether the expenditure is a contribution to the campaign or an independent expenditure (see above). Independent expenditures are not included in the fundraising totals for candidates or ballot measures, but they are shown in a separate line item. For more information, see the California Fair Political Practices Commission guide to Campaign Rules.

How were ballot measure summaries prepared?

Ballot measure descriptions are intended to provide a brief, neutral summary. Summaries are written by Open Disclosure volunteers based on information prepared by the City Attorney for the Alameda County Official Voter Information Guide.

Does Open Disclosure endorse third-party content?

Open Disclosure contains links to various third party websites that contain additional information related to elections and the political process. Content linked to candidates, such as their campaign websites and social media, are not reviewed. Our site does not endorse, approve, certify, or control these external websites. We do not exercise editorial control or oversight over the content featured by these third-party sites and make no representation as to their accuracy, objectivity, fairness, completeness, efficacy, timeliness, or correct sequencing of information. We are not responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any material available on or through such websites.We neither support nor oppose political parties, ballot measures, or candidates for public office.

Who do I contact if I believe any of the data is incorrect?

Contact the Open Disclosure team if you believe any of the data or candidate information is incorrect or violates the statement of impartiality outlined in the answer above. We want public feedback and ask to be notified if any errors are present. Thank you!

What are Oakland’s Campaign Finance Rules?

Any “person” may contribute up to $800* to each candidate per election cycle. “Broad-based political committees” may contribute up to $1,600* to each candidate per election cycle (Oakland Campaign Reform Act (OCRA) 3.12.050).

*Candidates may accept this higher contribution limit ONLY IF they accept the OCRA expenditure ceilings by submitting the OCRA Form 301. If the candidate does not accept the expenditure ceilings then the limit for persons is $100 and the limit for broad-based political committees is $400.

“Person” means an individual, proprietorship, firm, partnership, joint venture, syndicate, business, trust, company, corporation, association, committee, and any other organization or group of persons acting in concert (OCRA 3.12.040).

”Broad-based political committee” means a committee of persons which has been in existence for more than six months, receives contributions from one hundred (100) or more persons, and acting in concert makes contributions to five or more candidates (OCRA 3.12.040).

For more information on Oakland’s campaign finance rules, please review the Oakland Campaign Reform Act (OCRA) and the Public Ethics Commission’s Oakland Campaign Reform Act Guide.

Contact the Public Ethics Commission with any questions at ethicscommission@oaklandca.gov or (510) 238-3593.

Expenditure Categories: What each category includes

From Form 460 Schedule E, p24

Campaign Paraphernalia/​Miscellaneous (CMP)

Includes lawn signs, buttons, bumper stickers, T-shirts, potholders, etc. Includes costs of election night event.

Campaign Consultants (CNS)

Includes fees and commissions paid to professional campaign management or consulting firms.

Contributions (CTB)

Includes contributions made to other candidates and committees. Use “CTB” for direct monetary contributions. For nonmonetary (in-kind) contributions, use “CTB” and, if one of the other codes accurately describes the expenditure, you may enter that code also. Otherwise, describe the payment. Also provide the name of the candidate or committee that received the nonmonetary contribution in the “Description of Payment” column.*

Civic Donations (CVC)

Includes donations to civic, nonprofit or education organizations; payments for community events.

Candidate Filing/Ballot Fees (FIL)

Includes payments to election officials for candidate filing fees and fees charged for publication of a ballot statement.

Fundraising Events (FND)

Includes expenditures associated with holding a fundraising event, including payments for event space to hotels or halls, payments for food and beverages to restaurants, caterers and other vendors, and payments for speakers, entertainment, and decorations. Includes costs of house parties. (Use “LIT” for costs of invitations, brochures, and solicitations associated with fundraising events.)

Independent expenditures (IND)

Includes payments for communications that support/oppose other candidates or measures that are not made in consultation or coordination with the candidates or a ballot measure committee. Use “IND” and, if one of the other codes accurately describes the independent expenditure, you may enter that code also. Otherwise, describe the payment. Also provide the name of the candidate or ballot measure supported or opposed by the expenditure.*

Includes attorney or other fees paid for legal defense.

Campaign literature and mailings (LIT)

Includes preparation, production, and distribution of campaign literature, direct mail pieces, fundraising solicitations, and door hangers. Includes costs of mailing lists, design/graphics, copy and layout, printing and photocopying. Includes payments to be on a slate mailer, and for absentee ballot mailers.

Member Communications (MBR)

Includes payments for communications to members, employees, or shareholders of an organization, or their family members, for the purpose of supporting or opposing a candidate or ballot measure.

Meetings and appearances (MTG)

Includes costs associated with meetings, press conferences, town halls, and constituent meetings.

Office expenses (OFC)

Includes expenditures for office rent; utilities (including cellular phone service); purchase or rental of office equipment (computer, fax, photocopier, etc.) and furniture; office supplies, etc.

Petition circulating (PET)

Includes payments for printing petitions and payments to signature gathering firms for ballot measure qualification drives.

Phone banks (PHO)

Includes costs of phone banks.

Polling and survey research (POL)

Includes costs of designing and conducting polls, reports on election trends, voter surveys, etc.

Postage, delivery and messenger services (POS)

Includes U.S. Postal Service, Federal Express, United Parcel Service, and other delivery and courier services.

Professional services (PRO)

Includes legal, accounting, and bookkeeping services.

Includes advertising space in newspapers, magazines and other publications, and billboard ads.

Radio airtime and production costs (RAD)

Returned contributions (RFD)

Campaign workers salaries (SAL)

Includes state and federal payroll taxes.

Television or cable airtime and video production costs (TEL)

Candidate travel (TRC)

Includes payments or reimbursements for travel, lodging, and meals of a candidate.

Staff/spouse travel (TRS)

Includes payments or reimbursements for travel, lodging, and meals of a candidate’s representative (staff), or member of the candidate’s household.

Transfers (TSF)

Includes only use this code to report the transfer of funds to another authorized committee of the same candidate or sponsoring organization. Report funds this committee gives to other committees on Schedule E, as contributions (“CTB”) to those committees, not as transfers.

Voter registration costs (VOT)

Information technology costs (WEB)

Includes payments for website design, e-mail, internet access, production of website and e-mail advertising.

* Payments that are contributions or independent expenditures to support or oppose other candidates, measures, and committees must also be summarized on Schedule D.

ODCA Calculation Methodologies

The code we use to make these calculations can be found in the caciviclab/disclosure-backend-static repository.