Blogging Bayport Alameda

February 22, 2019

Too much time on her hands

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:02 am

Super lawyer to the FOCCers and former City Councilmember Barbara Thomas is not doing that well in the “try to tank the Measure A campaign at all costs through any means necessary” arena.

Her most recent attempt to weaponize the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) was to complain about campaign literature in the public right of way.

Had I known we could do this I would have filed an FPPC campaign against all of those Yes on K signs that were littering every single median from the West End to Bay Farm.  I think there is still a Yes on K sign up on the golf course fencing.

Anyway, here was the complaint:
Screen Shot 2019-02-21 at 7.39.05 PM

I haven’t seen any Yes on A, No on B signs anywhere in the public space, but typically we all just upload a passive aggressive note on SeeClickFix and call it a day.

But not FOCCers, they bring in the big guns, the FPPC. But the FPPC declined to be used as a weapon in this campaign, plus apparently you don’t need to have your FPPC number on your campaign literature which I was not aware of.
Screen Shot 2019-02-21 at 7.38.56 PM

*sad trombone*


  1. The FOCC’s complaint seems to fall into the style over substance category.

    But if we must….are FPPC numbers required (as in mandatory) on campaign literature and advertisements, or not? The FPPC letter suggests not.

    I remember the same thing coming up as a knock against the Matz campaign.

    Comment by MP — February 22, 2019 @ 6:51 am

    • I’m actually shocked and surprised that it isn’t required.

      Comment by Lauren Do — February 22, 2019 @ 7:57 am

      • I probably know enough about the campaign finance and reporting laws to know that I don’t know much about them. They serve an important purpose, but I don’t know always how well. Surely, for those most practiced, they create something of a game within the game. As to the FPPC number requirement/non-requirement, maybe it should be a rule at least for ease of enforcement. But whether I should make a big deal about its absence, or whether its absence creates actual deception, probably depends on the particular case. Probably no actual harm here or in the Matz case. For instance, in this case, Ms. Thomas didn’t seem to have too much difficulty in identifying the allegedly offending party. But, then again, I’m probably nuts in holding out hope that the merits of the opposing ballot measures will be the focus.

        Comment by MP — February 22, 2019 @ 8:27 am

        • Maybe not just ease of enforcement, but having a simple across-the-board rule would make it easier to comply. I think a few years ago a group tried to qualify a state ballot measure that would have required legislators to wear logos of their biggest contributors on their clothing, like pro soccer players or little league baseball teams.

          Comment by MP — February 22, 2019 @ 9:30 am

        • None other than someone named John Cox sponsored it in 2015

          “I’m not Donald Trump and I haven’t bought politicians,” he says. “I don’t believe in crony crapitalism.”

          Comment by MP — February 22, 2019 @ 10:47 am

    • Two possible explanations for the FPPC letter:

      1.) A timing issue. The FPPC was in the process of creating the FPPC number before literature was created. The committee name is on the material, so things were ok. Once a campaign knows it FPPC number, they routinely add the number to make it look official.

      2.) The number is not actually required.

      Click to access Political%20Advertisement%20Disclaimers%20Final%20Draft%20dah%2010-26-18.pdf

      Comment by Mike McMahon — February 22, 2019 @ 8:15 am

  2. I looked into this during the campaign last fall because at least three candidates did not show funding sources on their lawn signs and a few political ads in the Alameda Sun did not list funding sources. In fact, listing the funding source in these instances is recommended by the FPPC, but not required in the elections code. I believe that some cities have tightened this requirement for local elections as part of their city’s campaign finance ordinance, which Alameda doesn’t have.

    Comment by Allan Mann — February 22, 2019 @ 9:00 am

  3. The first pre-election filings for the April 9 special election have been filed. The documents are listed under each section of the Measures.

    Comment by Mike McMahon — February 28, 2019 @ 7:29 pm

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