Chapter 8.08
CABLE TELEVISION LOBBYING

Sections:

8.08.010    Purpose and intent.

8.08.020    Definitions.

8.08.030    Registration of lobbyists.

8.08.040    Exception from registration requirements.

8.08.050    Reports.

8.08.060    Campaign contributions.

8.08.070    Gifts.

8.08.080    Violation—Penalty.

8.08.090    Severability.

8.08.010 Purpose and intent.

Decisions on cable television systems involve large sums of money and ultimate profits, and the experience of other public agencies has shown that substantial lobbying may be done by members of the cable television industry to promote their interests. It is the purpose and intent of the Board of Supervisors in enacting this chapter to assure the public of the impartiality and independent judgment of public officials and employees during the consideration of cable television matters; and to impose reasonable limits and regulations on lobbying activities regarding cable television decisions. This chapter is enacted in accordance with the terms of Section 7 of Article XI of the Constitution of the State of California and Section 81013 of the Government Code. [Ord. 3355 § 1, 1983; prior code § 8.23.010].

8.08.020 Definitions.

For the purpose of this chapter, the following words and phrases are defined and shall be construed as set out in this section unless it is apparent from the context that a different meaning is intended:

(A)    “Compensation” means salary, fee, gift, payment, benefit, subscription, loan, advance, stock, stock option, partnership interest, reimbursement, or deposit of money or anything of value; or a contract, promise, or agreement, to make compensation.

(B)(1)    “Contribution” shall mean and specifically include any sum of money, gift, subscription, loan, advance, expenditure, deposit, pledge, contract, agreement, promise of money or anything of value, or other obligation, whether or not legally enforceable, which any person gives or provides to any family member, friend, or other person for the purpose of enabling such family member, friend, or other person to act to influence the outcome of any election, including any action directly or indirectly to aid or oppose the nomination or election of one or more candidates, or to aid or oppose the qualification for the ballot of any recall petition.

(2)    The term “contribution” shall include the purchase of tickets for events such as dinners, luncheons, rallies, and similar fundraising events; the proceeds of the sale of donated items; the granting to a candidate or committee discounts or rebates not available to the general public; and any payments for services performed by any person on behalf of a candidate or committee when such payments are not made from contributions the candidate or committee must report under the terms of this chapter and State law.

(3)    The term “contribution” shall also include any transfer, sum of money, gift, loan, advance, expenditure, deposit, pledge, contract, agreement, promise of money or anything of value, or other obligation, whether or not legally enforceable, received directly or indirectly by a committee from another committee.

(4)    The term “contribution” shall not include a gift of service or labor when volunteered by an individual performing the service or labor. The term “contribution” shall not include the cost of an event when the total cost of the event amounts to no more than $200.00. The term “contribution” shall not include a bona fide loan extended by a recognized lending institution to a candidate upon his or her personal application to finance his or her own campaign; however, any pledge or additional security for such loan, provided by any other person, shall be considered a contribution by such other person, and shall be subject to the limitations of this chapter. The term “contribution” shall not include a candidate’s own money or property used on behalf of his or her candidacy. The term “contribution” shall not include an expenditure made by an individual from his or her own financial resources to express personal political views when such expenditure is made independent of any candidate or committee and is in no way subject to the control of any candidate or committee.

(C)(1)    “Gift” means, except as provided in subsection (B) of this section, any payment to the extent that consideration of equal or greater value is not received and includes a rebate or discount in the price of anything of value unless the rebate or discount is made in the regular course of business to members of the public without regard to official status. Any person, other than a defendant in a criminal action, who claims that a payment is not a gift by reason of receipt of consideration has the burden of proving that the consideration received is of equal or greater value.

(2)    The term “gift” does not include:

(a)    Informational material such as books, reports, pamphlets, calendars or periodicals. No payment for travel or reimbursement for any expenses shall be deemed “informational material”;

(b)    Gifts which are not used and which, within 30 days after receipt, are returned to the donor or delivered to a charitable organization without being claimed as a charitable contribution for tax purposes;

(c)    Gifts from an individual’s spouse, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, parent-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, nephew, niece, aunt, uncle, or first cousin or the spouse of any such person; provided, that a gift from any such person shall be considered a gift if the donor is acting as an agent or intermediary for any person not covered by this subsection;

(d)    Contributions required to be reported under this chapter;

(e)    Any devise or inheritance.

(D)    “Influencing” means promoting, supporting, modifying, opposing, or delaying by any means, including, but not limited to, the provision or use of information, statistics, studies or analyses.

(E)    “Legislative or administrative action” means the proposal, drafting, development, analysis, introduction, consideration, amendment, enactment or defeat of any resolution, rate, ordinance, motion, contract, agreement, franchise, license, permit, rule or regulation of the County of Santa Cruz.

(F)    “Lobbying” means:

(1)    Communicating in the presence of a County official or employee with the intent to influence any legislative or administrative action of that official or employee which action is directly or indirectly related to cable television; or

(2)    Engaging in activities having the express purpose of soliciting others to communicate with a County official or employee with the intent to influence legislative or administrative action directly or indirectly related to cable television.

(G)    “Lobbyist” means any person who is employed or receives compensation for lobbying with respect to any legislative or administrative action directly or indirectly related to cable television. “Lobbyist” also means any person who engages in lobbying and within 12 months prior to the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter or any time thereafter receives or is promised stock or any ownership interest in any business entity undertaking activities designed or intended to affect ownership or operation of a cable television system in the County of Santa Cruz.

(H)    “Lobbyist employer” means any person who employs or contracts for the services of one or more lobbyists whether independently or jointly with others.

(I)    “Official or employee” means any person elected to, appointed to, or employed by the County or any County agency, board, commission, or committee whether or not paid in whole or in part with County funds.

(J)    “Person” means any individual, proprietorship, corporation, firm, partnership, trust, association, joint venture, syndicate, company, committee or any other organization or group of persons acting in concert. [Ord. 3355 § 1, 1983; prior code § 8.23.020].

8.08.030 Registration of lobbyists.

(A)    Any lobbyist shall file with the County Clerk a registration statement disclosing the following:

(1)    The person’s name, occupation, business address, and telephone number;

(2)    The name and business address of each person, if any, employing and/or compensating the registrant to lobby legislative or administrative action relating to cable television and, where the employing or compensating person is a corporation, a list of all stockholders or owners holding five percent or more of the stock or other ownership interest thereof and all subsidiary corporations or companies, and where the employing or compensating person is a partnership or joint venture, a list of all general partners, joint venturers or partners holding five percent or more of ownership interest thereof;

(3)    A statement describing the nature of the employment or compensation of the person required to file a registration statement by any cable entity undertaking activities designed or intended to affect ownership or operation of a cable television system in the County of Santa Cruz;

(4)    A statement describing the nature and amount of any stock or other ownership interest of the person filing the registration statement, whether received or promised, by any cable entity undertaking activities designed or intended to affect ownership or operation of a cable television system in the County of Santa Cruz;

(5)    A brief description of the legislative or administrative action the person is seeking to influence.

(B)    Within 30 days after a change in any information contained in the statement, including termination of lobbyist status, an amendment to the statement shall be made to reflect the change.

(C)    No registration fee shall be charged. [Ord. 3355 § 1, 1983; prior code § 8.23.030].

8.08.040 Exception from registration requirements.

(A)    The following acts do not require a person to register as a lobbyist:

(1)    Professional services in drafting bills or in advising and rendering opinions to clients as to the construction and effect of proposed or pending actions where these services do not otherwise constitute lobbying activities;

(2)    Appearance before the Board of Supervisors, or any County committee, board, or commission upon its specific invitation or request, but only if the person engages in no further or other activities which would constitute lobbying;

(3)    Appearances as part of the official duties of a duly elected or appointed official or employee of the State, a city, County, public district, or other public agency or a government entity of the United States and not in behalf of any other entity;

(4)    Actions of a publisher or working member of the press, radio, or television in the ordinary course of the business of disseminating news or making editorial comment to the general public who does not, however, engage in further or other lobbying that would directly and specifically benefit the economic, business, or professional interests of himself or his employer;

(5)    Appearance by an individual before the Board of Supervisors or any County committee, board, or commission at the specific invitation or request of a registered lobbyist, provided no other lobbying act is undertaken, and provided the witness identifies himself to the Board or other body as testifying at the request of the lobbyist;

(6)    The representation of a bona fide religious organization solely for the purpose of protecting the right of its own members to practice the doctrine of the organization. [Ord. 3355 § 1, 1983; prior code § 8.23.040].

8.08.050 Reports.

Every lobbyist required to register under SCCC 8.08.030 shall file quarterly reports containing:

(A)    The amount of each expenditure made by the person filing a statement to influence legislative or administrative action directly or indirectly related to cable television, and the specific purpose of that expenditure, along with the total amount of all such expenditures;

(B)    In the case of expenditures which benefit in whole or in part any board member, County official or employee, local organized business group, fraternal group, local club, business entity, civic group, service organization or other local group or person, the date and amount of the expenditure, together with the full name and address of the payee, and the full name and official position, if any, of each beneficiary if the beneficiary is other than the payee or lobbyist, and the exact legislative or administrative action sought to be influenced;

(C)    The monetary value of all payments, including, but not limited to, salaries, fees, and reimbursement of expenses received or earned even though the payment date is not yet due, received in consideration for, or directly or indirectly in support of or in connection with influencing legislative or administrative action relating to cable television, and the full name and address of each person from whom amounts or things of value have been received, and the total monetary value received from each person;

(D)    A listing of all communications or contacts relating to cable television, not made at a public hearing or meeting of the County, with individual board members, or County officials or employees who have duties or responsibilities with respect to cable television, together with the names of the participants in the discussion and any written material provided;

(E)    Reports required by this section shall be filed with the County Clerk on or before the fifteenth day of the month following each calendar quarter and shall cover only the preceding calendar quarter, except that the first such report hereunder shall be filed within 30 days of the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter, and shall cover the 12-month period from January 1, 1982, through December 31, 1982. [Ord. 3355 § 1, 1983; prior code § 8.23.050].

8.08.060 Campaign contributions.

(A)    No lobbyist or lobbyist employer shall make a campaign contribution to a candidate for Board of Supervisors or other controlled committee within the period commencing 45 days prior to an election for a seat on the Board of Supervisors.

(B)    All lobbyists or lobbyist employers shall file a report with the County Clerk listing campaign contributions made to Board of Supervisors candidates or their controlled committees and the amounts and recipients within 30 days prior to any election for a seat on the Board of Supervisors.

(C)    The amount of campaign contributions by a lobbyist and the lobbyist’s employer shall be subject to all the limitations imposed by SCCC 8.04.030. [Ord. 3355 § 1, 1983; prior code § 8.23.060].

8.08.070 Gifts.

It shall be unlawful for a lobbyist or lobbyist employer to directly or indirectly make gifts to a member of the Board of Supervisors or to any County official or employee aggregating more than $10.00 in a calendar month, or to act as an agent or intermediary in the making of any gift, or to arrange for the making of any gift by any other person. It shall also be unlawful for any member of the Board of Supervisors, County official, County employee, or other person knowingly to receive any gift which is prohibited by this section. [Ord. 3355 § 1, 1983; prior code § 8.23.070].

8.08.080 Violation—Penalty.

Violations of any provision of this chapter shall be a misdemeanor, punishable as provided in this code. [Ord. 3355 § 1, 1983; prior code § 8.23.080].

8.08.090 Severability.

If any section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase of this chapter is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this chapter. The Board hereby declares that it would have passed the ordinance codified in this chapter, and each section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase had been declared invalid or unconstitutional. [Ord. 3355 § 1, 1983; prior code § 8.23.090].