FPPC releases lobbying, campaign violations report

Dec. 14, 2012

By Katy Grimes

After big election seasons, it’s always interesting to see what the campaign and lobbying violations were. However, rarely is this information timely.

It’s even more interesting that this information is not publicized prior to election day.

Most interesting however, are the lobbying reporting violations. These always appear to me to be risk-reward decisions, and not the typical and sloppy goofs made by political campaigns. The fines for lobbying reporting violations seem to support this as they are larger than most of the campaign reporting violations. The lobbyists listed in this report received large payments for lobbying services, but failed to timely report these payments as required by California law.

Lobbying Reporting Violations

The Fair Political Practices Commission reported:

“California law requires lobbying entities to file registration forms and quarterly reports to provide the public with specified information,” the FPPC website said. The following failed to timely file the required forms or failed to include all required information:

Sacramento Advocacy and Catherine Barankin, failed to timely file quarterly lobbyist and lobbying firm reports from July 1, 2010 through September 30, 2012 involving over $500,000 in payments received for lobbying services. $22,500 fine.

California Industrial Hygiene Council and Jaime Steedman-Lyde. California Industrial Hygiene Council, a California lobbyist employer, and Jaime Steedman-Lyde, the Responsible Officer, failed to timely file ten Lobbyist Employer Reports between October 1, 2009 and September 30, 2012, failing to disclose total payments made for lobbying services in the amount of $95,557.03. $10,000 fine.

California Collaboration for Youth and Rick Benfield. California Collaboration for Youth, a California lobbyist employer, and Rick Benfield, the Youth’s Responsible Officer, failed to timely file twelve Lobbyist Employer Reports between October 1, 2009 and September 30, 2012, failing to disclose total payments made for lobbying services in the amount of $149,032.28. $12,000 fine.

State Public Affairs Committee – Junior Leagues of California and Wendy Penbera. State Public Affairs Committee – Junior Leagues of California, a California lobbyist employer, and Wendy Penbera, the Responsible Officer, failed to timely file two Lobbyist Employer Reports between October 1, 2009 and March 31, 2010, failing to disclose total payments made for lobbying services in the amount of $11,708.27. $2,000 fine.

Wildlife Center and Lindy O’Leary. Wildlife Center, a California lobbyist employer, and Lindy O’Leary, the Responsible Officer, failed to timely file five Lobbyist Employer Reports between October 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010, failing to disclose total payments made for lobbying services in the amount of $65,910.76. $5,000 fine.

California State Alliance of YMCAs and Sal Cisnaros. California State Alliance of YMCAs, a California lobbyist employer, and Sal Cisnaros, the Responsible Officer, failed to timely file twelve Lobbyist Employer Reports (Form 635) between October 1, 2009 and September 30, 2012, failing to disclose total payments made for lobbying services in the amount of $397,623.11. $12,000 fine.

See the other lobbying reporting violations here.

Campaign Reporting Violations

According to the FPPC, the biggest campaign reporting violation went to Daniel K. Tabor, Tabor for Mayor 2010, and Krishna Tabor, Treasurer. Daniel K. Tabor was a candidate for mayor of the City of Inglewood in the June 8, 2010, special election, the August 31, 2010, run-off election, the November 2, 2010, general election, and the January 11, 2011, run-off election. Tabor for Mayor 2010 was his candidate-controlled committee, and Krishna Tabor was the committee’s treasurer. They failed to timely file preelection statements for the March 18, 2010, through May 22, 2010, the July 1, 2010, through August 14, 2010, the August 15, 2010, through September 30, 2010, the October 1, 2010, through October 16, 2010, the October 17, 2010, through November 27, 2010, and the November 28, 2010, through December 25, 2010, reporting periods; failed to timely file a semiannual statement for the May 23, 2010, through June 30, 2010, reporting period; and failed to file late contribution reports within 24 hours of receiving nine late contributions, totaling approximately $29,500, between August 15, 2010, and January 10, 2011. $32,000 fine.

Californians for Privacy, Luke Breit and Michael Gunter. Californians for Privacy is a state general purpose committee organized for the purpose of decriminalizing prostitution. Luke Breit was the treasurer of the committee from April 2008, through the termination of the committee, on or about November 9, 2012. Michael Gunter took over the treasurer duties from approximately June 2008, through approximately April 29, 2009, when Mr. Breit resumed the treasurer duties. Mr. Gunter and the committee failed to file an amended statement of organization regarding a change of the committee’s treasurer; Between October 15, 2008, and March 11, 2009, Mr. Gunter caused the committee to make expenditures of campaign funds, which conferred a substantial personal benefit on him, for purposes other than directly related to a political, legislative, or governmental purpose; On or about December 2, 2009, Mr. Breit made a loan of committee campaign funds for purposes other than reasonably related to a political, legislative, or governmental purpose; the committee and Mr. Breit failed to timely file a semi-annual campaign statement for the reporting period January 1, 2010, through June 30, 2010, which was due by August 2, 2010; the committee and Mr. Breit failed to maintain the detailed accounts, records, bills, and receipts necessary to prepare the semi-annual campaign statement, for the reporting period of July 1, 2009, through December 31, 2009, to establish that the campaign statement was properly filed, and to comply with the campaign reporting provisions of the Act. $17,000 fine.

Colton Police Officers Association PAC failed to timely file a preelection statement for the October 1, 2010, through October 16, 2010, reporting period, by October 21, 2010; failed to timely report four late independent expenditures made between October 17, 2010, and November 1, 2010; and failed to properly report 60 contributions of $100 or more received during the July 1, 2010, through December 31, 2010. $7,500 fine.

Warren P. Willis, and Warren Willis for Senate 2010. Warren P. Willis was a successful candidate for California State Senate, 30th District, in the June 8, 2010 primary election and he was an unsuccessful candidate in the November 2, 2010 general election. Warren Willis for Senate 2010 was Mr. Willis’ candidate controlled committee. At all relevant times, Mr. Willis was treasurer of his committee. This matter arose out of an audit performed by the Political Reform Audit Program of the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) for the period of January 1, 2010, through December 31, 2010. Respondents failed to file a statement of organization by the April 19, 2010 due date; failed to file a pre-election campaign statement by the May 27, 2010 due date, for the reporting period of January 1 through May 22, 2010; and the committee accepted and Mr. Willis made two personal loans his committee, in the amount of $15,000 each, which caused the outstanding balance of personal loans made by Mr. Willis to his committee to exceed the $100,000 threshold by $25,000. $10,000 fine.

There was even a money laundering violation.

Ana Maria Gonzalez Ibarra, an individual who works at the Macy’s Department Store as a salesperson in the City of Chula Vista, made two campaign contributions through her friends, by reimbursing them with a personal check, for the campaign contributions they made. The two contributions, totaling $600, were made to Steve Castaneda in connection with the June 8, 2010 election in the City of Chula Vista.$10,000 fine.

Read the FPPC report here.

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