Blogging Bayport Alameda

May 30, 2012

Seek and hide

So you all know, and I know that campaign finance reform is not just to limit the amount of money that is spent on elections, but also to improve the disclosure around who is funding who and what.    The problem about insisting on more campaign finance reform is that if groups and candidates can’t follow rules that are currently in place and there are no repercussions for not following the rules in place, what’s the point?

But, you’ll be glad to know that last Thursday was the deadline for the second pre-election filing for the June election.   Preserve Alameda, the group supporting Measure C the sales tax initiative, duly filed their paperwork by the deadline and that document was up on the City Clerk’s database and attached here.  What you’re probably wondering is — like Doug deHaan’s wife — is who are the biggest funders.

Yes, in early May, Gail deHaan sent out this email, which warned people to watch out for this filing date because then then we would all know who was funding the pro Measure C campaign:

From: GaildeH@<redacted>
Subject: FYI – Doug deHaan’s Stand On Measure C
Date: May 5, 2012 9:29:24 PM PDT
To: gaildeh@<redacted>

Hi,

I’ve had questions from friends asking how to vote on Measure C, as they are a bit confused because Doug did vote at the council meeting to put the measure on the ballot, so they feel he is in favor of the measure. I have asked them to please tell their friends that after Doug did some detailed independent research immediately after the council meeting, he is definitely voting NO on Measure C. Feel free to call or email him if you have questions. I went over to tell one neighbor who serves on the museum board that we are putting up a No on Measure C sign. I explained that we feel that the firefighter projects will get the bulk of the sales tax/bond money and who knows what happens after that, as the city is not obligated to any specific project(s). We then went over to explain to our other neighbors who are strong supporters of the library, that a 30 year tax is not necessary to obtain an elevator, e-books and computers for the main library, as this is less than $300,000, and these procurements are normally funded by the general fund. Voters need to pay special attention on May 24th, when the campaign financial reporting is released for YES on Measure C. This should/might answer the question as to whom exactly is footing the bill for the “YES” campaign. Unfortunately, the financial reporting will not come out before absentee ballots arrive next week.

Gail

The unwritten is that because the “firefighter projects will get the bulk of the sales tax/bond money” that clearly we can anticipate that Firefighter contributions will be the bulk of the contributions, turns out while they gave a lot, they were not the biggest contributors, below is a bullet list of who gave and how much:

  • Alameda Police Managers Association, $3000
  • Alameda Police Officers Association, $24,999
  • Fire Managers Association, $3000
  • Ron Matthews, $1000
  • Thomas Schweich, $100
  • Northern California Carpenters, $1750
  • Alameda Firefighters Association, $15,000
  • Construction and Laborers, $850
  • IBEW, $500

The Firefighters Association  also gave some non-monetary contributions in the form of office space and developing the website, which adds up to less than the amount of Alameda  POA contributed.

On the other hand the No on Measure C campaign apparently scrambled yesterday to pull together a filing that they turned in well after the Thursday deadline.

Of course, I guess the No on Measure C campaign didn’t anticipate that they would need an FPPC number, still waiting apparently for their FPPC number to be issued even though you don’t need to wait until you hit the $1000 threshold to request a number from the FPPC.  They didn’t file anything with the FPPC when they first printed up their lawn signs, since all their signs do not contain an FPPC number.   A search of the FPPC website still does not turn up an FPPC number for the No on Measure C campaign aka Alamedans Against Measure C.

This last minute, late, filing it apparently to cover their collective asses because it’s not because they haven’t spent the $1000, in fact on their website they ask people to send checks because they have spent in excess of the $1000 threshold, and of course the filings show that they have well exceeded the $1000 mark.

So they are required — by election law — to have at least applied for a FFPC number when they hit that $1000 number, that post, by the way, went up last week or the week before, so it’s curious that no one with the campaign thought that they would need to fill out the proper disclosure forms and such in a timely manner.

But probably the most egregious bypassing of spirit of campaign disclosures is the request  — like the anti-School Parcel Tax people — for folks to send checks in the amount of $10 – $99.   Why is this significant?   Because $100 is the threshold for itemizing in campaign contribution filings the names of actual contributors.   Anything below $100 would just get placed in a lump sum and wouldn’t necessitate itemization.   In fact the bulk of their money was received in increments of less than $100 bypassing the need to itemize the contributors.

So who is funding Alamedans Against Measure C, well only a few individuals gave over the $100 mark to get listed:

  • Marilyn Tham
  • Gene Oh (improperly listed as the owner of “Park Street Bicycles”)
  • Eric Cross

Others have given non-monetary contributions like Janet Gibson, former school Board member who is also acting as the Treasurer for the group (so one would think she would know when the proper filing deadlines are), Denise Lai, and Gretchen Lipow of the Sunshine Task Force who recently came out to take the City Council to task for not moving forward on the campaign reform Council Referral by Doug deHaan.   One would think that someone who is asking for more disclosures for campaigns would be a little more prudent about meeting campaign filing deadlines since the disclosure in the Campaign Finance Ordinance is designed to get more information out there, not less.   And if someone who is so keen on campaign finance reform can’t even bother to meet current disclosure requirements, how can we expect other campaigns to meet the letter of the law?

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31 Comments

  1. Its those damm Koch Bros again controling our Elections…..

    I hate to quit quoting you Jack

    “Is this a fuxking joke”

    Your worried about people pulling thier last quarters out of their sofa cushions to try and make a political statement and you have them on the Grill…UFR…

    Comment by John — May 30, 2012 @ 9:46 am

  2. Ah, I see, so campaign finance reform is only for groups that you disagree with. Groups that agree with your political positions are exempt from following the most basic of campaign finance disclosure laws?

    Comment by Lauren Do — May 30, 2012 @ 9:54 am

  3. It cost more to Replace a Siding Glass Door in your house not including Permit then the No on C people spent.

    Check the guy panhandling with the cup in Oakland and see if he is getting money for No on C and using it on election and using out of city money.

    Comment by John — May 30, 2012 @ 10:05 am

  4. So what’s the monetary threshold for campaign rules and laws not mattering? $500? $1000? $2000?

    The FPPC and Secretary of State says it’s $1000. But I guess the rules are different in Alameda.

    Of course, the group of people failing to file in a timely manner are the same people who want to enact more campaign finance rules that I guess they will also be exempt from.

    Comment by Lauren Do — May 30, 2012 @ 10:09 am

  5. You have two people who spent a hundred and one two hundred….Few more that spent money on supplies and a website……The collection Hat at the Firehouse got that on Every shift I’m sure.

    Comment by John — May 30, 2012 @ 10:11 am

  6. And an un-itemized number of people donating below the reporting threshold of $99 which makes up the bulk of their contributions because the campaign has made an explicit request on their website for people to donate below the itemization limit.

    Because campaign finance disclosures are really important to this group.

    Comment by Lauren Do — May 30, 2012 @ 10:14 am

  7. My threshold for BS is pretty low on this one.

    Comment by John — May 30, 2012 @ 10:18 am

  8. Your talking Bulk…….They spent a little over 1900…RLOL

    Comment by John — May 30, 2012 @ 10:22 am

  9. You keep fixating on the amount of money spent. The FPPC has already set a nominal amount, $1000, as the mark for folks to NOT have to file anything. Anything above that must be disclosed. You are suggesting that there is a different threshold for not needing to follow rules set for every other campaign and candidate committee out there in every other election and jurisdiction out there. So what is that monetary threshold? Or perhaps it’s just how much that campaign or group agrees with you?

    Comment by Lauren Do — May 30, 2012 @ 10:26 am

  10. According to Website they have spent a little over 1,000.

    They are showing two donations of 100 and one for two hundred. and have raised 1942.00……so this huge group your worried about has recieved 1542.00 in cash contributions. You might want to go by recycle center at South Shore and get photos of those turning in Cans and Bottles that are being green and turning those bottle moneys into NO on C donations…..Amazing..LOL

    Comment by John — May 30, 2012 @ 10:46 am

  11. Why don’t you Focus on the Real Money and why they are even involved in Election if they are not Real Benefactors.

    I think you are making the No on C Campaigns point clear by pointing out where real money in Campaign is coming from.

    Comment by John — May 30, 2012 @ 10:55 am

  12. While we’re at it let’s make another rule that forbids public employee unions from donating to campaigns of any sort for any amount of money. That these unions wield the most influence through financing campaigns is a most blatant conflict of taxpayer interest.

    Comment by Jack Richard — May 30, 2012 @ 12:17 pm

  13. That would change your fusillade of bullets from $44999 to a trickle of $4200.

    Comment by Jack Richard — May 30, 2012 @ 12:23 pm

  14. Jack, and John. so far neither one of you have made an argument for people breaking the rules, basically you two are defending them because you agree with them and that’s fine too.

    Comment by JOHN P. — May 30, 2012 @ 12:48 pm

  15. Thanks for supporting my argument; that the Police are a bigger Public Safety Hazard than Firefighters.

    Comment by vigi — May 30, 2012 @ 12:56 pm

  16. deHaan’s hypocrisy continues to reek. He sounds a lot like Mitt Romney.

    Comment by BarbaraK — May 30, 2012 @ 1:00 pm

  17. JOHN L (not P). (remember, yesterday you made a rule for yourself that you were going to sign with an ‘L’ to signify your political bent …”Your right Jack, from now on I’ll just use the (L).”)

    Frankly, I, for one, take great pleasure watching every rule liberals make being broken by liberals.

    Comment by Jack Richard — May 30, 2012 @ 2:57 pm

  18. Jack …This is just frkn hilarous…… They are worried about 10 grains of sand when looking at the Beach…

    I guess no one considers they don’t have huge PR Firm and Basket of attorneys handling their 1942 dollars.

    The City would need One Staff and Asst to watch just the money and a auditor with assts..

    I’m sure one entertainment bill from the Yes on C campaign dworfs their total contributionsof the No.

    Like shooting a Toothpick at a Lumber Mill.

    Comment by John — May 30, 2012 @ 3:30 pm

  19. Jack, it will look like this. John P. (L)

    Comment by John P.(L) — May 30, 2012 @ 4:08 pm

  20. Probably the Largest Contributor to Sports in Alameda in both Money and his Passion for this City is Eric Cross. I know he is not toooo bright he went to Stanford. He Coughed up a Hundred to the No Campaign.

    Why would he be Voting No on C….Does his homework… Probably cares about the City…….Just my wild ass guess.

    Comment by John — May 30, 2012 @ 4:17 pm

  21. I think people who know how much money Christopher Seiwald has given over the years in both money and time to sports would disagree with you.

    Comment by Lauren Do — May 30, 2012 @ 4:20 pm

  22. [Mr. Seiwald] “suggested that Measure B opponents – 85% of those who voted – are stupid and ignorant”

    Hee hee

    Comment by Jack Richard — May 30, 2012 @ 5:17 pm

  23. 16 deHaan’s hypocrisy continues to reek. He sounds a lot like Mitt Romney

    Reek??? Try to ‘hotbox’ in a Choom Wagon. (ran across this in China couple weeks ago)

    Comment by Jack Richard — May 30, 2012 @ 5:39 pm

  24. Lauren…..Really……..Eric has been doing it for 40 years and even was helping while going to Stanford regarding Time…I’m sure that doesn’t count because you were not around…and As percentage of Wealth I’m sure Eric has Given alot more than Double to our New Developer of Park Street and Eric has raised more with the help of friends……….But you like to Divide and Seperate……We use to actually all work together til the DOOOOOOO Gooders surfaced…..

    Comment by John — May 30, 2012 @ 6:57 pm

  25. They both do a lot, but John’s right. Eric’s a household name for sports in Alameda, few know who Seiwald is.

    Comment by Jack Richard — May 30, 2012 @ 7:33 pm

  26. Jack

    I appreciate all that they both do…..I wish I had their pockets to help more…..DO just likes to throw anyone under Bus on her Highway .

    Comment by John — May 30, 2012 @ 8:43 pm

  27. Jack and John. I think you are being very unfair to Lauren. Her point is simple: the campaign finance rules should be the same for all and those who complain the loudest about transparency should be scrupulous about being transparent and following the letter and the spirit of the FPPC law. Now you can have fun and beat up on me for agreeing with her. Go to it, boys!

    Comment by Kate Quick, — May 30, 2012 @ 9:29 pm

  28. John and Jack, you can change the subject all you want, but at the end of the day your guys didn’t follow the rules. So your “sun shiners” were in the wrong by not getting their papers in order. Its not Laurens fault its theirs.

    So John should we get rid of the Dooooo Goooders, and just have Action Alameda. So we can all just get along.??

    Comment by John P.(L) — May 30, 2012 @ 10:22 pm

  29. First, there’s the sheer absurdity of comparing these two campaigns, one that has access to tens of thousands of dollars, and the other that’s collecting money in dribs and drabs.

    Then the reference to the late filing — as this site has so many times pointed out, city hall is closed on Fridays, and it was closed as well this past Monday, so a filing on Tuesday, rather than the previous Thursday, is hardly a big deal.

    Then the reference to the “No on C’ site — the operative word here is “spent”, as in $1,000 spent. That’s an expenditure, it’s not a loan or a contribution, so it doesn’t count towards the $1,000 limit, obviously.

    Finally, the failure to itemize. Thanks so much for bringing this up. See for example, the campaign finance report filed by the Alameda Firefighters PAC for the 2010 election year. All in all, they’re reporting contributions of over $60,000 that year, and $50,000 of that in the second half of the year (7/1 to 12/31/10), yet they did not itemize a single dime, not one cent. In fact, they never itemize any of their contributions.

    Clearly they don’t get this money from $25 a year contributions from the local here, so where and who exactly does it come from?

    Here’s the campaign finance report (filed, incidentally, on 1/4/2011 — what were they thinking?).

    http://docs.ci.alameda.ca.us/WebLink8/DocView.aspx?id=236845&dbid=0

    Comment by dlm — May 30, 2012 @ 11:19 pm

  30. DLM, to quote from Dr. Seus: “A person’s a person, no matter how small!” Laws apply to all campaigns, no matter how small. How can Lipow argue for campaign finance reform when her campaign can’t even follow the current disclosure laws in place now. Isn’t this just part of the deHaan hypocrisy campaign? You have drank the koolaid.

    Comment by BarbaraK — May 31, 2012 @ 11:14 am

  31. 30
    Adults are obsolete children.
    Dr. Seuss

    Comment by Jack Richard — May 31, 2012 @ 12:16 pm


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