The long story of the “50k” is finally over. I filed the complaint with the FPPC back in December of 2016 after collating research data from my partners Greg Sousa and Amanda Biers-Melcher. The good news is, we did it! On Thursday, February 21st, the Fair Political Practice Commission approved a stipulation agreement against the Committee for Yes on Measure B in the amount of $11,500. In June of last year, the Commission also fined The Burbank Hospitality Association $5,000 for their role in “the 50k” story. Overall, the parties involved were fined a total of $16,500 for reporting violations of the Political Reform Act. You can watch my presentation here.
It’s important to understand just what the FPPC does. Among many other facets, the Commission enforces the reporting rules laid out in the Political Reform Act. In a nutshell, if you are running a political campaign you must report the money you have raised and spent in very specific ways. So this action taken on Thursday only had to do with reporting violations related to this case. Unfortunately, any criminal allegations are the purview of the District Attorney of Los Angeles and the California Attorney General.
Sadly, although the LADA did rule that the BHA violated the Brown Act there was no recourse we could take. Also, the LADA decided there was no misuse of public fund in our complaints.
That said, at the hearing some of the Commissioners went on record disagreeing with our District Attorney’s findings. Commissioner Hayward had strong words on the DA’s decision.
Commissioners Hatch and Cardenas had encouraging words during and after the hearing as well. But because of the way this process works, there are limits to what the FPPC can do with this type of complaint. However, thanks to our case and many others over recent years things might change. A recent LA Times article explains this better than I can. In the coming days I am going to ask you to help make things better. All it will take are a couple of phone calls and letter to our elections in Sacramento.
But for now, we did it! More to come soon!
Thanks to Semichorus for helping with research on my statement tp the FPPC!