Voluntary Campaign Expenditure Limit

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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 $40,500: 

  • The single source contribution amount goes from $270 to $550.
  • 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 $40,500 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.

For more information, please view the Santa Clara Political Campaign Finance Reform Act.

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