July 20, 2004 > Candidates & Elections
Candidates & Elections
The Political Process
by Praveena Raman
The nomination period for the upcoming November 2004 elections started on July 12 for all candidates running for public office. From this date until January 31st, 2005 there are several forms to be filed and deadlines to be met. This can be a daunting experience especially for a person running for office for the first time. All of the information required for candidates before and after an election is not found in a single convenient place. Candidates often have to ask people experienced in this political process or search the Internet and visit their libraries to get the myriad of information.
However, the City of Fremont has done a wonderful job developing a Candidate's Handbook for the General Municipal Election. This handbook is very comprehensive and covers various topics from deadline dates and political practices to historical and current information about the City government. The handbook is available at the front desk of the City Administrative offices on Liberty Street, Fremont for the perusal of any community member. All City Council candidates receive a copy of the candidate's Handbook.
An "Election Calendar" alerts candidates to forms and deadlines. For instance, after the Nomination period starts the next important date is August 2nd, 2004, which is the last date to file semi-annual disclosure forms for the period January 1 through - June 30th, 2004. The last day to file Nomination papers is August 6th and August 11th is the deadline for an extended nomination period (in the event an eligible incumbent does not file for reelection).
The last day to file the first pre-election campaign disclosure forms is October 5th and that for the second and third pre-election campaign disclosure forms are October 21st and October 29th respectively. January 31st is the last day to file semi-annual disclosure forms for the period of October 28th through December 31st, 2004.
The handbook contains information from the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC). Besides the disclosure statement filing schedule, this area covers information about the administration and finance concerning the election including campaign contributions, loans, unpaid debts, and campaign violations.
A copy of the Campaign Disclosure Manual for local governments is included. This covers finances and record keeping during a campaign, contributions, communications, getting started on a campaign, when and where to file reports, specific information on committee report - form 460, additional reports, what to do after an election and restrictions on contributions. Details about the political reform act and how to get help.
Fremont's political sign ordinance is discussed, specifically where and how political signs can be placed, for how long and when they should be removed. A chapter gives details about the Brown Act that covers public meetings - what are open and closed meetings and when they can be convened, agendas and other requirements and who is exempt from this Act. The history of the City, chronology of elections since 1956 and a city data sheet is also included.
The book gives information pertaining to the 2004/2005 Operating budget from the City Manager and the city's organization chart. A calendar of City Council events is also included. The 2004 State of the City Address and examples of the collaborations with the Fremont Unified School District are given as well as information about the City Council and the Boards, Commissions and Committees.
More information about campaigns, candidates and committees can be found at the Fair Political Practices Commission website http://www.fppc.ca.gov