Complaint Filed on Mailer Sent by Independent Committee on Cooper's Behalf

May 13, 2014 | In the quickly heating-up race for the California Ninth District Assembly seat, a complaint has been filed with the ...


May 13, 2014 |

In the quickly heating-up race for the California Ninth District Assembly seat, a complaint has been filed with the California Fair Political Practices Commission regarding a mailer sent by an independent expenditure committee on the behalf of candidate Jim Cooper.

The complaint, which was filed by William Wong of Sacramento, alleges that the independent expenditure committee Californians for Jobs and A Strong Economy sent a mailer on behalf of Ninth Assembly Democratic candidate Jim Cooper that did not disclose the group's donors. Wong is the campaign manager for Democrat Darrell Fong, who along with Cooper, are believed the top two candidates in the five-person June primary election.

Wong's complaint alleges that committee contributors Chevron, PG&E and Walmart contributed $290,000, $81,000 and $75,000 respectively and did not disclose this on advertisements as required by California Government Code §84506. That code states the top two committee member contributors must be disclosed on mass mailer if they have given more than $50,000 in the previous 12 months.

One of the mailers in question was received last week by Ninth District Assembly voters and in typical fashion, praised Cooper on one side and condemned Fong on the other. Wong also said he will be filing a complaint on robocalls made by the committee that he claims did not have proper disclosure. 

Wong said independent committees can be set up using any name, and unless the backers are never disclosed, voters can be misled. As an example, he said committee could be set with pro-health type name, but be backed by members whose products are anathema to health, such as tobacco companies.   

Wong acknowledged that the Fair Political Practices Committee, which polices such activity, has 14 days to address complaints so last minute mailers can mislead voters. 

Cooper's campaign has not responded to requests for comment on the complaint. Legally, Cooper nor his campaign can coordinate efforts with any independent expenditure committee. 

The California Secretary of State's phone number listed for the committee refers callers to the Sacramento political consulting firm of Townsend Raimundo Besler & Usher (TRB&U), which shares the same "I" street address. According to an employee at TRB&U, that account is handled by Debbie Coldani, who was not available for comment. 

"Basically, if Cooper's supporters can't follow the law, then he shouldn't be serving in the state capitol," Wong said.       



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2 comments

Anonymous said...

You can sure tell that Richie Ross is Darrell Fong’s campaign consultant. We got a potholder and a letter from Fong's wife in the mail today.

In 2006, with Ross calling the shots, Pat Hume sent the same potholder with a letter from his Mother; then claiming in an article that he won the election because of the pot holder.

So is this what campaigns come down to, a potholder?

Jughead said...

What does it cost to make, print and mail a potholder? Maybe about $3 a piece? Just give me the cash so I can get a milkshake with Betty and Veronica during Coldstones Happy Hour! !

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