Ensuring Fair Play: California’s Fair Political Practices Commission

The health of a democracy relies on transparency and accountability. In California, the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) plays a vital role in upholding these principles. This independent, non-partisan commission is tasked with enforcing the state’s Political Reform Act, ensuring fair play in elections and ethical conduct by public officials.

What Does the FPPC Do?

Campaign Finance: The commission regulates campaign contributions and spending, ensuring transparency in how political funds are raised and used.

Conflicts of Interest: The FPPC enforces rules to prevent public officials from using their positions for personal gain. This includes identifying and addressing potential conflicts between an official’s public duties and private financial interests.

Lobbying: The commission oversees lobbyist registration and reporting, ensuring transparency in how special interests attempt to influence government decisions.

Governmental Ethics: The FPPC establishes and enforces ethical standards for public officials, promoting fair and unbiased decision-making.

How Does the FPPC Promote Transparency?

A cornerstone of the FPPC’s work is ensuring transparency. The commission maintains a comprehensive online database where the public can access information on:

  • Campaign finances of candidates and ballot measure committees
  • Statements of economic interests filed by public officials
  • Lobbyist registrations and reports

What are the Benefits of the FPPC?

The FPPC’s work offers several benefits to California’s political landscape:

  • Increased public trust in government by ensuring ethical conduct and fair play.
  • A more informed electorate through greater transparency in campaign finance and lobbying activities.
  • Reduced potential for corruption by identifying and addressing conflicts of interest.

How Can I File a Complaint with the FPPC?

If you believe a violation of the Political Reform Act has occurred, you can file a complaint with the FPPC. The commission has a clear process for submitting complaints, which can be found on their website.

What Resources Does the FPPC Offer?

The FPPC website offers a wealth of resources for the public, including:

  • Information on the Political Reform Act and FPPC regulations
  • Filings database for campaign finance, lobbying, and economic interests disclosures
  • Educational materials on fair political practices


  • Is the FPPC a federal agency?

No, the FPPC is a state agency specific to California.

  • Who appoints the FPPC commissioners?

The FPPC commissioners are appointed by the Governor, Attorney General, and the Speaker of the Assembly, with confirmation by the State Senate.

  • How is the FPPC funded?

The FPPC is funded by a general appropriation from the California State Legislature.

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