The City of Oakland has a Campaign Finance Reform Act (OCRA), chapter 3.12 of the municipal code.
Summary (see the websites for the Real Thing)
OCRA is a comprehensive local campaign financing ordinance. The Oakland Campaign Reform Act (OCRA) exists in addition to the requirements of the California Political Reform Act (Government Code Section 81000 et seq) and its many regulations. Candidates for Oakland elective office (Mayor, City Attorney, City Auditor, District and At-Large Councilmembers and elected Oakland School Board Directors) must comply with both California and Oakland campaign laws when running for office.
OCRA essentially establishes a relationship between campaign spending and contributions. That relationship can be summarized in its simplest terms as: "Any local candidate who voluntarily agrees to limit his or her campaign spending may receive contributions in greater amounts than those who do not."
Candidates have to agree in writing to limit their campaign spending within pre-set expenditure "ceilings." They do this before they can begin collecting contributions at higher amounts, using Form 301. Form 301 must be signed & filed no later than the forms for filing papers for candidacy. A formula sets the expenditure ceiling for each City office. Every year, the Office of the City Clerk adjusts those ceilings based on increases due to the cost of living.
There are two circumstances where the ceiling may be lifted. The first is if a candidate who agrees to the ceiling is opposed by one who is not. If the candidate who does not agree to limit his or her spending either makes expenditures or receives contributions equal to fifty (50) percent of the expenditure ceiling applicable to that race, then the candidate agreeing to limit spending is no longer bound by the expenditure ceiling. In the section situation, if an "independent expenditure committee" spends more than $15,000 on a City Council or School Board district election, or $70,000 in a City Attorney, Auditor, City Council At-Large, or Mayoral election (as adjusted for inflation).
If a run-off election occurs, the ceiling starts over (ie the ceiling can be reached for each election). (This may have changed due to Ranked Choice Voting.)
Candidates may only receive up to $700 from each individual (or anyone "acting in concert") per election. They may receive up to $1400 from a "broad based political committee."
Loans are also treated as contributions. All loans must be made in writing and filed with the campaign statement on which the loan is first reported. Other than commercial loans, any "extension of credit" in excess of $1,500 for a period of more than 90 days is also treated as a contribution subject to the applicable contribution limits unless the candidate can demonstrate "good faith evidence of an intent to repay through a set payment schedule that is being adhered to through repayment of the extension of credit on a regular basis."
There is language required on all soliciations about OCRA.
OCRA also limits contributions from persons negotiating certain contracts with the City. It regulates the process by which contributions can be received or returned, how contributions from closely related entities can be attributed, and sets forth certain disclosure requirements for the distribution of independent mass mailings.
The Public Ethics Commission is the administrative enforcement body for OCRA.
Violations of OCRA may be prosecuted criminally and civilly.
[Note: OCRA provisions regulating contributions to committees that make independent expenditures supporting or opposing local candidates (Sections 3.12.050.C-D and 3.12.060.C-D) have been suspended in response to a legal challenge and will not be effective while a judicial decision or resolution is pending.]