FPPC Rules Mayor Reed's $100,000 Contribution to Help Rose Herrera is Illegal

The California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) issued a stern enforcement letter to the campaign committee controlled by San Jose Mayor Reed stating that the $100,000 contribution made by the Mayor’s committee to support the effort to re-elect Councilmember Rose Herrera was illegal.


The letter, issued by Gary Winuk, Chief of the FPPC’s Enforcement Division states: "The San Jose Fiscal Reforms, Mayor Reed, Chamber PAC and Issues Mobilization PAC has violated Section 85501 and must immediately demand that the San Jose Reform Committee Supporting Rose Herrera return the contribution in full." Winuk’s letter goes on to state that the Mayor Reed’s committee violation "may result in an enforcement action, including penalties of up to $5,000 for each violation."


"I’m grateful that the FPPC moved swiftly and sternly to crack down on the illegal funneling of campaign cash by Mayor Reed and the Chamber of Commerce to help Rose Herrera," Unland stated.  "No one is above the law, even the Mayor and it is our hope that Ms. Herrera will now condemn this illegal effort made on her behalf."


"As one of the drafters of Proposition 34, I know the section prohibiting independent expenditures by candidates was crafted to restrict candidates to using campaign funds for their own elections and to avoid undue influence by officeholders over other elected officials, I'm gratified that the FPPC held Mayor Reed accountable to the law," said Lance H. Olson, founder of Olson Hagel & Fishburn LLP.  Mr. Olson specializes in the practice of election and political law.


In addition to ruling that the $100,000 contribution was illegal, the FPPC also ruled that the Chamber of Commerce’s PAC failed to accurately disclose its major contributors on its campaign mailers.  According to a separate letter issued by Winuk, "The San Jose Reform Committee Supporting Rose Herrera for City Council 2012’s failure to include accurate advertisement disclosures may result in an enforcement action including monetary penalties of up to $5,000 for each violation."


The sworn complaint, filed on October 11, 2012 by Jim Unland, President of the San Jose Police Officers’ Association, correctly stated that the Mayor’s contribution of $100,000 to an independent expenditure committee created by the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce to bankroll the effort to support Rose Herrera was illegal. The complaint urged the FPPC to demand that the ill-gotten contribution by the Mayor be returned and the illegal mailers be stopped.


The letter, issued by Gary Winuk, Chief of the FPPC’s Enforcement Division states:


"The San Jose Fiscal Reforms, Mayor Reed, Chamber PAC and Issues Mobilization PAC has violated Section 85501 and must immediately demand that the San Jose Reform Committee Supporting Rose Herrera return the contribution in full." Winuk’s letter goes on to state that the Mayor Reed’s committee violation "may result in an enforcement action, including penalties of up to $5,000 for each violation."


The complaint, filed on October 11, 2012 by Jim Unland, President of the San Jose Police Officers’ Association, correctly stated that the Mayor’s contribution of $100,000 to an independent expenditure committee created by the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce to bankroll the effort to re-elect Councilmember Rose Herrera was illegal. The complaint urged the FPPC to demand that the ill-gotten contribution by the Mayor be returned.


"I’m grateful that the FPPC moved swiftly and sternly to crack down on the illegal campaign activities of the Mayor and the Chamber of Commerce," Unland stated. "No one is above the law, even the Mayor."


In addition to ruling that the $100,000 contribution was illegal, the FPPC also ruled on a second component of Unland’s complaint, that the Chamber of Commerce’s PAC failed to accurately disclose its major contributors on its campaign mailers. According to a separate letter issued by Winuk, "The San Jose Reform Committee Supporting Rose Herrera for City Council 2012’s failure to include accurate advertisement disclosures may result in an enforcement action including monetary penalties of up to $5,000 for each violation."


Both the Mayor Reed’s campaign committee and the Chamber of Commerce backed independent expenditure committee have collected significant contributions from large corporations and industry with items before the City Council.

AttachmentSize
FPPC-Ruling-Against-Reed.pdf543.14 KB