Friday, September 14, 2018

FPPC Drops Complaint

FPPC Counsel Says ‘Not enough evidence’ of Violation of Law by City of Long Beach on Measure M Mailers – Matter Could Be Taken to City Prosecutor -- Apologizes for Unclear Response on Complaint

Long Beach, CA – September 14, 2018 – Ruth Yang, Counsel for the Fair Political Practices Commission today told Gerrie Schipske, who filed complaints with the FPPC, alleging that the Mayor and City Council had spent taxpayers’ dollars to advocate for passage of Measure M, that she did not find “enough evidence” to continue an investigation.

Schipske had alleged that the Mayor and City Council collectively and individually had spent taxpayer dollars to advocate for the passage of Measure M. Specifically, the City hired a political consultant to develop direct mail pieces that were not sent to all voters, but a targeted 43%, which makes them not general information as required by law. Additionally, the pieces advocated for passage by omitting key issues such as the measure was a tax; the transfers were from gross revenues and the City could raise utility rates to pay for the transfers.

“I am deeply disappointed in Ms. Yang’s response,” says Schipske. “I had been emailing and calling FPPC several times for an answer on the main complaint.”

Schipske added that Ms. Yang apologized for not having sent correspondence earlier on the entire complaint, and instead only responded to allegations concerning Mayor Garcia and Councilmembers Richardson, Andrews and Price utilizing taxpayer paid cellphones and emails to advocate for the passage of Measure M.

“She did offer that I could ask the City Prosecutor to look in the matter, which does not appear likely.”

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