Voluntary Campaign Expenditure Limit
The decision of whether or not to participate in the program is made at the time of filing the nomination papers. If candidate agrees to an expenditure limit of $38,300:
- The single source contribution amount goes from $260 to $520.
- City pays 1/2 the cost of the candidate's statement of qualifications printed in the ballot pamphlet.
- The sample ballot will designate the candidate was a participant in the Voluntary Campaign Expenditure Limit program.
- The fact of a candidate's participation will be publicly disseminated in a newspaper of general circulation, on the City's website, government access cable television channel, and posted in the City's public libraries.
- Withdrawal from the program is permitted (within 72 hours of the date nomination forms are to be filed) - if a rival candidate indicates when filing nomination papers they will not participate in the program.
- Withdrawal from the program is permitted if a rival candidate violates the $38,300 expenditure ceiling.
Effect Of Violations Of The Voluntary Campaign Expenditure Limit
- The rival candidates are relieved of adherence to the Voluntary Campaign Expenditure Limit.
- After a trial, the trier of fact may determine the violation had a material effect on the election. The consequence of that determination may result in loss of office and a disqualification from holding office for a period of 4 years.
- Potential criminal prosecution.
- Resident of City may institute a civil action within 2 years. Recovery of 50% of up to 3 times the amount of the unlawful contribution or expenditure.
- Resident of City may sue for injunctive relief to enjoin violations.
- Court costs (including reasonable attorney fees) may be awarded to prevailing party - resident bringing the action or the candidate accused of violating Chapter 2.74 of the Ordinance.
You can read the complete Santa Clara Political Campaign Finance Reform Act here.