Archive for the ‘Politics & Elections’ Category

Harper recall organizers ran ad in newspaper, website with fake committee name, paper takes responsibility

Friday, June 12th, 2015
Recall newspaper ad final Harper recall organizers ran ad in newspaper, website with fake committee name, paper takes responsibility

Recall ad in East County Times with fake committee name.

Collected money without keeping proper records; never formed committee, opened bank account or filed state paperwork

By Allen Payton

In a recent Herald article about the failure of the second recall attempt against him, Harper stated “Now that the recall attempt has ended, I am asking Mr. Buongiorno to please cancel the ‘Committee to elect Wade Harper,’ it is misleading, dishonest and it is not a committee to elect me.” That has opened up other issues regarding how the recall was handled.

Harper was referring to what appeared in an ad the recall organizers ran in the East County Times print edition and online in April.

The misleading committee was listed within an ad posted on Contra Costa Times,” Harper stated via email.

According to Buongiorno, he was told by one of the remaining recall organizers in April, the day the ad ran, that there was a type-o in the ad. He informed the organizers that it was a violation of state elections law to use a committee name that wasn’t theirs or hadn’t been filed.

By that time, Buongiorno had resigned from the effort, as he was undergoing a kidney transplant.

Recall ad Times website Harper recall organizers ran ad in newspaper, website with fake committee name, paper takes responsibility

Recall ad that appeared on the Contra Costa Times website.

Recall ad Times website closeup Harper recall organizers ran ad in newspaper, website with fake committee name, paper takes responsibility

Closeup of recall ad that ran on the Contra Costa Times website showing the fake committee name.

Times takes responsibility for “typo”

In an email to Harper, Times’ reporter Rowena Coatsee explained what happened:

I had looked into the bizarre wording of the ad when it first appeared and at that point contacted the account manager. I’m forwarding you her response, although I’m not sure whether it was she or someone else who actually made the typo.

She explained to me that political ads are required to identify who paid for them and as such they usually contain the wording ‘Paid for by the committee to ELECT (fill in the blank).’ But in this case, unfortunately, whoever keyed in the information didn’t carefully read the heading of the ad ‘Recall Antioch Mayor Wade Harper’ and so he/she wrote the standard verbiage.

She went on to say that yes, we can run a corrected version of the ad, but also pointed out that it might create confusion now that the recall is over — i.e., people might think there’s going to be yet another attempt (there won’t), etc.

But it’s up to you — please let me know what you’d like to do ….”

Harper responded:

You have stated that this was a “typo.” I reject the idea that this was a “typo” as my name is spelled correctly. In my opinion this was an error in judgment that does harm and discourages any fundraising by the subject of the recall (me). This is my request, 1) refund the cost of the ad to the customer(s), 2) print a retraction stating that this ad was not paid for by Committee To Elect Wade Harper and that this was printed in error. This was a BIG mistake by Bay Area News Group and should never have happened. Thanks.”

It was someone’s poor judgment,” he added.

When asked who approved the ad, and if all ads require approval before the Times runs them, Coatsee responded:

I’m afraid I have no idea…Rich indicated (and the updated story will reflect this) that a couple of members of a splinter group went ‘rogue’ and took it upon themselves to place the ad. He says he knew nothing about the wrong wording until someone alerted him — categorically denies authorizing it.

When he saw the wording at the bottom of the ad, he told me he thought it was a typo.

But yes, you’re right — any ad that we run is approved by the person/group that pays for it (obviously) and then goes through a vetting process on our end.

As for our internal processes, I have nothing to do with ads, as you know. Editorial and advertising here are two different departments that almost never intersect (for good reason). So who creates the ads we run, who signs off on them — I wouldn’t know.”

Multi Media Account Manager Karen Cortez, who handled the ad for the Times, was asked who approved it and she responded via email:

The error in the ad was not the clients fault it was ours. I can simply give the name of the committee. There (sic) contact information was in the ad.”

The ad was run both in the print edition of the newspaper and on their website, she added. “We are publishing a correction statement in the East County Times on Sat. [June 13, 2015].”

Organizers never created formal committee

The Times may have used an incorrect committee name in the ad, the organizers never formed a committee, although they were required to do so, in their effort to recall Harper, according to the Secretary of State’s Political Reform Division, if they raised or spent at least $1,000.

When Buongiorno was asked when the recall committee formed, he responded, “It is required only if you have expenses that exceed $1,000.”

Buongiorno explained what happened after he resigned from the effort, in March, due to undergoing a kidney transplant. He said he passed on the responsibility to a committee of five people who were all agreed to keep the recall going, including Antioch residents Jani Fletcher, Lisa Lacy, Paula Knight, Anabelle Gudilano Donato and Laura Allen Stewart.

They were given the information, they were given the forms and they were supposed to have done that, but they didn’t,” Buongiorno stated. “I told them I already had a name, of ‘Reclaiming Antioch’ that I was going to put on the form.”

When Paula Knight was asked about forming a committee, she responded, “No we were never informed of that by Rich. We were asked to form a committee, because he was going in for transplant surgery. But, we were never told it had to be done by law. Lie. Never happened.”

I’ve talked to Jani and Lisa and they don’t know anything about that,” she shared. “All we were told on the recall Harper page. ‘I just got a call by UCSF and I gotta go. You guys have to form a committee.’”

We only had about five or six people step up, out of 300, to lead the effort,” Knight continued. “We all donated the money for the ad to be placed in the Contra Costa Times. We were never informed we had to file any forms.”

Knight and Buongiorno were the original organizers of the recall.

Rich handled the first one,” she stated. “We started the second one and Rich, again, got all the information he needed. Never was there a request that we file any forms. Because if he did tell us, it would have been done.”

They paid $500 for the ad in the Times.

When asked if a bank account had been opened, Knight responded, “I think there might have been an account. Anabelle, she set up the ad to go in. She or someone in her family did the graphics.”

When we started the second recall, some of us donated money for the other expenses,” she explained. “I gave cash to Rich. I remember Rich saying form a committee and open up a bank account, but I don’t know if that was done.”

We put our heart and soul into this, the five or six people who stepped forward. We went door-to-door, set up tables at stores.”

She was sympathetic and understood that Buongiorno needed to back off because of his transplant.

But, he was home within three days and he was in contact with us, constantly,” Knight added. “Now he’s throwing us under the bus.”

No one is sure if $1,000 threshold was reached, no bank account was opened

We never had a bank account, because I was the only one spending money, me personally, on my credit card,” Buongiorno said. “That’s it.”

A total of $250 came in through a PayPal account in Buongiorno’s name. That is until the ad was paid for.

I made sure I had receipts for everything,” he said. “I would say at the most people gave was an additional $50.”

Other than Buongiorno, no one else contributed more than $100, he said.

Maybe Paula didn’t know,” he offered. “But, the other two did. Lisa and Jani were the ones heading things up. I told one or the other, I don’t remember, because they’re sisters and always together, that they had to form a committee once they reached $1,000.”

I was told by Arne we had to use Form 460 to report the finances,” Buongiorno stated. “That asks who everyone is and it also says ‘once you reach $1,000.’ Then once you do you have to report it. You can do it earlier, but you have to do it once you’ve hit $1,000.”

Lisa Lacy, Annabelle Donato and Laura Stewart did not respond to multiple attempts to contact them for this report.

However, when a phone number for Lisa Lacy was called, a man who would only identify himself as “one of the proponents,” but later identified as Roger Hudson, answered questions.

The stuff he [Buongiorno] got he didn’t write down and all we did was collect signatures and get money for the ad,” Hudson said. “We got the truth on our side.”

When asked how much money was raised, he responded, “We got $500. Half of that came from us” referring to the group of individuals helping to pay for the ad. “Nobody contributed $100 or more to us.”

When asked about what Buongiorno said that they had to form a committee and open a bank account, Hudson responded, “He’s lying…to you. He had the committee.”

When Jani Fletcher was reached for comment, she shared about her part in the recall effort.

I took up the $500,” she stated. “It was all cash. People would give $5, $10. I don’t think a committee was ever formed.”

It was Amy Landry, Susan Williams and Marie Crandell, that’s who we thought was the committee,” Fletcher stated. “But they dropped out of sight. I didn’t know about forming committees. I was just trying to get signatures. He [Buongiorno] never mentioned nothing about a committee.”

Rich jumped all over me because I was taking down people’s names and amounts they gave, because I wanted to be honest about it,” she stated. “He said he had no idea how much people had given. I said, ‘Are you kidding? Because this is serious.’”

When told that Buongiorno said no one had contributed more than $100 Fletcher responded, “That’s crap, because I gave him money after money. He collected money at a bar, one time, and at a park.”

I know some people with a fancy car contributed. That had to be more than $100,” she added.

In response to Fletcher’s accusation, Landry provided the following statement via email:

Based on my experience during the first recall attempt, Rich was very detailed with information about how and why a committee needed to be formed. Rich provided the information time and time again regarding fundraising and the formation of a committee during both attempts to recall.

I was a tentative member of the committee during the first recall attempt. Before we could even raise any money and finalize the formation of the committee, the first recall attempt ended abruptly (“missed” deadline). It was at that point that personal matters pulled my attention away from the recall. When the second attempt began, I signed the Intent document with the other proponents and donated money (to someone other than Rich) through my PayPal account.

The reason why this matters to me is because the comments made about the original committee are inaccurate and imply that there was some type of dishonesty or wrong doing. I assure you that the lot of us (including Rich) wanted every little aspect to go perfectly because we all knew that one little error could mean the end of all our hard work.”

State requirements for political committees

By law any political effort becomes a committee and organizers must file the required reporting forms, once the $1,000 threshold is reached, according to California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) spokesman Jay Weirenga, stated.

Candidates and other campaign committees are required to file papers with the California Secretary of State’s office and then obtain an FPPC identification number.

Regarding the committee name listed in the newspaper ad David Hoang, Program Technician II of the Secretary of State’s Political Reform Division said “We have no record of a committee with that name.”

The ad should have also included the Fair Political Practices Commission number,” he added. “You can talk to them about what legal action they can take.”

He said the information on all political committees in California could be found on the Cal-Access website, which lists only two committees with the name Wade Harper included. Those are for both Harper’s 2012 and 2016 campaign committees for Mayor. That information can be viewed, here.

Organizers may face up to a $5,000 fine

When we would receive a complaint or notice something in a media report, that would raise our attention, we would investigate,” the FPPC’s Weirenga stated. We don’t do any criminal action, here,” If the DA wants to pursue this, they can use our law.”

Violations of the political reform act can be fined up to $5,000, based on how complex the case is and how cooperative those involved are, and how egregious and how much harm it can cause the public,” he added. “Those are the kinds of things that are taken into consideration. There are penalties and there are rules to be followed in proper reporting of committee activities.”

UPDATE 6/13/15 9:45 PM: Harper considered filing complaint, but won’t

Harper had said he was considering filing a complaint against both the Times and the organizers of the recall for the misleading committee name.

I will definitely be looking into possibly filing a complaint,” Harper stated, earlier this week.

However, in an email to the Herald on Saturday, June 13, 2015, Harper wrote “After prayerful consideration I have decided not to file a complaint against the recall proponents (specifically Mr. Buongiorno). I know he has had health challenges. I wish him good health as he recovers.”

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Effort to recall Antioch Mayor Harper falls short, expected to seek re-election, another candidate announces

Monday, June 8th, 2015

By Allen Payton

According to an email from Antioch City Clerk Arne Simonsen, the recall effort of Antioch Mayor Wade Harper is dead.

This afternoon, Monday, June 8th, the proponent (Mr. Richard Buongiorno) of the recall petition of Mayor Wade Harper presented for filing all sections of the petition to the City Clerk in accordance with Elections Code 11222(a),” Simonsen’s email stated. “In accordance with Elections Code 11222(b), as the elections official I determined that the number of signatures, prima facie, did not equal or exceed the minimum number of signatures required and in accordance with Election Code 11222(b) “…the petition shall not be filed. Any petition not accepted for filing shall be returned to the proponents. All sections of the petition were returned to the proponent.”

They needed approximately 9,000 valid signatures of registered voters in Antioch.

We had a deadline to meet, which was June 8th, today,” said Buongiorno, who was the original organizer of the recall effort. “The problem that exists is I had bowed out of the recall on March 5, because I was going to get a transplant.”

He explained what occurred, further.

On March 10 a committee of five people was formed, to follow through,” he said. “I kept referring people who wanted to sign the petition to one or two of the primary committee members.”

I found out a week-ago Friday, after making numerous referrals to these two ladies, that they had disbanded the recall committee and they told me ‘we are not in the recall any more.’

That started a frenzy. I had to recruit over a dozen people to help get signatures. Even up until 3:30 p.m., today I was driving around the city to gather petitions with recall signatures to count, because I had a meeting with Arne at 4:00 p.m., today.

Simonsen immediately saw problems with the petitions. So, now I’m going to have to go through it, for my own piece of mind, to see how many signatures we have,” Buongiorno added. “But, we are done with the recall.”

However, he attempted to offer supporters a bright side.

We currently have sufficient information to continue with our efforts to replace Harper as Mayor in 2016. It’s only 515 days away,” he said with a laugh. “Not that I’m counting.”

But, it’s not just Harper,” Buongiorno added. “It’s all the council members who are up for election, next year. All those people not doing their job.”

People are tired of it. They’re sick of it. It’s all the lying. They’re not doing their job.”

In response to the recall failing, Buongiorno changed the name of the Facebook page from Recall Wade Harper to Fire Wade Harper 2016.

In a post on that page, Buongiorno wrote the following:

This is an advisory, which will be followed up on very soon.

I arranged for an appointment this afternoon with the Antioch’s Election Official, Arne Simonsen. I submitted everything I had received for the recall, including the incredible amount of signatures gathered in the last 10 days.

It would appear that there would be insufficient signatures to proceed with the filing.

First, I would like to thank all the people that worked on recall, many of who stuck it out to the very end. I do acknowledge there were a lot of hours invested in this effort and I certainly appreciate all that time invested.

Second, even though it was a blessing and I would not have changed a thing, I have not doubt that had I not been grounded by the transplant medical team and support staff, I am confident that the outcome would have been different.

Once it has been determined that the recall is definitively not proceeding, I will be receiving written confirmation. However, once the determination is made it becomes public which is why I am posting this advisory. No doubt the media will catch wind of it, as early as today.

My respect for you and the movement is my major concern and I wanted you to know before you read it elsewhere.

As indicated, I will be posting additional information since I have received so many requests.

Sincerely expressing my appreciation to all, Rich”

Harper is expected to seek reelection, next year, having held a Mardi Gras themed fundraiser, earlier this year.

The only other candidate for mayor, so far, is Gil Murillo, who announced at a Brazil Night music event at Tailgaters in March, that he organized.

Murillo posted the following on the Facebook page he created for his campaign, www.facebook.com/murilloformayor:

What is my platform…it is simple.

First, work with the County and Local School District to design a plan to improve our schools. We are a community and before we can make it better, we need to have an inspiring environment for the children of our City. I know it is the School District that needs to be responsible for this, but this is a community issue which is all of us.

Crime – this is a tough subject and I don’t have the answer but I will work with community, ADP and consultants who can provide great insights on a long term plan. But for sure, look at expanding our mutual aide agreements with Brentwood and Pittsburg for expanded patrols. Look to see if we can engage County or State services for police services. I would work on developing a Police Reserve program for residents who want to serve once more from the heart. There is much we can do quickly.What is important, is to ensure revenue streams exist to ensure that we have a strong force.

Employment – In targeting education and crime, employers will consider Antioch once more. My goal is to bring high paying jobs to our community. By bringing these jobs, the organic change in our community will occur. If you have great paying local jobs, you will shop more in the community and it will also bring property values higher. I will work in allocating General Fund dollars to our local Economic Committee and Chamber of Commerce to promote Antioch.

Housing – With so many development plans already approved or in flight, we need to make sure that developments are aligned to the community. Important that the community style is maintained. I will also push for a local HUD office to open in Antioch with the emphasis of managing the issues that surround Section 8 housing. We have to realize that the property owner who is local or overseas, is overall responsible for their tenants. Having a local HUD office will ensure that property owners are responsible for the tenant and appearance of the property, the tenant will adhere to the regulations of their HUD agreement. I will stop development efforts on the condo complex and move forward with the community park in Downtown.

Blight and Graffiti – I will increase funding for City services to ensure that these issues are addressed quickly. I would work with the local school district to elicit students to help combat graffiti by having them paint.

This is a quick narrative but it gives you some ideas. Happy to speak with you directly.

We can make a difference in working together. I am not seeking this position for any personal agenda, but seeking this position to bring your thoughts forward for consideration. We all have the answers.

Thank you for spending your time in reviewing my thoughts and God Bless you all and God Bless our wonderful city of Antioch.”

Buongiorno added one final comment, via email to the Herald:

There were two primary goals of the recall group. First being the recall, the second being an introduction to what the City of Antioch staff, including all council members, are doing to it’s residents and constituents (where applicable).

The constant and continual ‘smoke and mirrors’ is not acceptable. After specifically expressing the lack of transparency, questionable tactics and what appears as malfeasance and possible collusion. Nothing has changed.

The people of Antioch have learned to do what they learned as children to, ‘Stop, Look and Listen.’ It is doesn’t look or sound right they have learned they have the right to question and receive a reasonable answer.

I personally believe that 515 days from now, the people of Antioch will express their voting rights and change this city, even if it takes new recalls to do it.”

Harper responded via email, with the following statement:

While I believe the recall attempt was not warranted, for me this has been a blessing in disguise; I have gained supporters that I didn’t know I had. My supporters have stated that they would not vote for, support or allow a recall; they see me out there in the community. I have continued to work hard for the citizens of Antioch. I will continue to do so, as long as I am able. We all want a safer community. We are working hard to make that happen. The recent report by Chief Allan Cantando has shown that violent crime continues to decrease. As a retired law enforcement professional, I understand that crime trends are cyclical, and as crime continues to rear its ugly head, we will continue to fight it.

Now that the recall attempt has ended, I am asking Mr. Buongiorno to please cancel the ‘Committee to elect Wade Harper,’ it is misleading, dishonest and it is not a committee to elect me. The recall events were disguised as ‘stop the violence’ rallies (I noticed online that there were photos with the recall wording covered up). I have a lifetime of community service and I will continue to work hard for the citizens of Antioch. My plan during these last few months was simply to continue to work hard in the community and continue to be visible. Let’s end the divisiveness and let’s work together to make Antioch safe and build our economy.”

The next election for Mayor of Antioch will be held in November, 2016.

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U.S. Senate candidate to speak at East County Republican Women lunch, June 11

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

East Contra Costa Republican Women Federated will be meeting Thursday, June 11, 2015, 11:30 a.m., at the Discovery Bay Country Club, 1475 Clubhouse Drive in Discovery Bay. The speaker will be Tom Del Beccaro, a contributor for Forbes and the former Chairman of the California Republican Party. Tom is publisher of PoliticalVanguard.com, author of The Divided Era, The New Conservative Paradigm 1st Ed. & 2nd Ed., as well as a frequent talk radio and television commentator.

Everyone is welcome! For information and reservations call (925) 286-7674.

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Glazer beats Bonilla to win “hard fought battle” in special State Senate race

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015
Steve Glazer from Facebook 240x300 Glazer beats Bonilla to win “hard fought battle” in special State Senate race

Steve Glazer from his campaign Facebook page.

By Allen Payton

Awaiting a call from Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, following the final vote count in the special 7th State Senate District election, Tuesday night, Orinda Mayor Steve Glazer was happy with his victory and said he would post a statement on his Facebook page in a few minutes.

Millions of dollars were spent by both sides in this election, with mainly business interests on one side backing Glazer and union, education and health care interests backing Bonilla.

It was a hard fought battle,” said Martin Wilson, Executive Vice President, Public Affairs for the California Chamber of Commerce’s JobsPAC, which paid to send out a variety of pro-Glazer and anti-Bonilla mailers during the campaign. “We’re gratified with the results. The voters made a wise choice. He will represent the people of this district from both parties, well.”

According to the California Secretary of State’s website, as of 11:22 p.m., with the votes from all 645 precincts counted, Glazer leads Bonilla by 60,824 to 50,569 votes or 54.6% to 45.4%. In the Alameda County portion of the district he won by 56.9% to 43.1% of the vote. In Contra Costa County, much of which has been represented by Bonilla in the Assembly, Glazer won 54.08% to 45.92% of the vote.

Glazer posted the following statement on his Facebook page at 11:07 p.m.:

Today we saw that people are more important — and more powerful — than special interests, and that’s a great message for our state to hear. Our campaign struck a chord with voters frustrated by the gridlock and dysfunction in Sacramento. They want leaders who are more pragmatic than partisan, more focused on answers than ambition.

One new state senator can’t change California government on his own, but I hope to work with my colleagues to restore confidence in public policymaking and advance progressive ideals in ways that are financially responsible.

This election offered voters a clear choice. I promised to be an independent thinker committed to solving problems and serving my district. I will work hard to make sure the voters are always proud of their decision.

I am grateful for everyone who participates in our democracy and especially for the volunteers and voters who believed in my message. Thank you!”

According to Paul Burgarino, Voter Education and Engagement Specialist with the Contra Costa County Elections Office, the ballot that have been counted, were “At this point the vote-by-mail up through today and the ballots turned in at the polls.”

Those vote-by-mail ballots postmarked by Tuesday will be counted as they are received by the two county elections offices, and are expected to be received over the next three days. The officials have 10 days to certify the results of the special election.

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Bonilla files FPPC complaint against women’s group on claims of violating Political Reform Act

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

Washington, DC-based “Independent Women’s Voice” funded by Koch Brothers trying to dictate their choice, Steve Glazer, to East Bay voters

[Concord, CA] – The Susan Bonilla for State Senate campaign called on the Fair Political Practices Commission, on Tuesday, May 11, 2015, to investigate violations of the Political Reform Act by Washington, DC-based non-profit, the Independent Women’s Voice (IWV), the latest effort in a $4.5 million barrage of political advertising by outside groups to elect Steve Glazer to the state senate.

Independent Women’s Voice is an extremist right-wing Koch Brothers’ front group, known for opposing women’s rights and for protecting tax loopholes for billionaires,” said campaign spokesperson Josh Pulliam. “This Koch Brothers’ group is affiliated with the same right-wing Super PAC that committed the most egregious violations of the Political Reform Act in California history, laundering millions of dollars in last minute attack ads right before the election.”

While the IWV has hidden their funding from California voters, investigative journalists have reported that the committee has received $250,000 from the Center to Protect Patient Rights (CPPR), a well-known Koch Brothers slush fund that infamously laundered $15 million to oppose Governor Brown’s ballot initiatives in 2012. Their illegal activities in that losing effort resulted in the biggest campaign finance violation in California history.

IRS tax filings show that Washington, DC-based Independent Women’s Voice is prohibited from making political expenditures, but that isn’t stopping this right-wing group from dumping thousands of dollars so far into the 7th Senate District,” said Pulliam. “It is imperative that the FPPC step in to require out-of-state billionaires like the Koch Brothers and Los Angeles mega developers like Bill Bloomfield to play by the same rules as everyone else.”

Bonilla’s complaint identifies four different violations of law: 1) Violating the Single Purpose Committee, failing to properly disclose the committee on campaign expenditures; 2) Misreporting attack ads against Susan Bonilla as “Support Steve Glazer” expenditures; 3) Failing to report timely political expenditures; and 4) Violating their non-profit status by making political expenditures to impact the SD7 election.

See the response from the Independent Women’s Voice in a news release from their organization, here.

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National women’s organization claims no money from Koch brothers, as accused in special State Senate election

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Says Susan Bonilla campaign received the same funding from the Koch Brothers as does IWV: zero

WASHINGTON, DC – Independent Women’s Voice (IWV) would like to correct the record as certain false statements about IWV, that were deliberately not checked with us for accuracy, are being floated in a desperate bid to create an issue where there is none.

Those false statements are that

a) IWV is a Koch proxy group and receives funding from the Kochs.

b) IWV made a TV ad buy in the May 19th CA SD-7 special election.

c) IWV is violating its non-profit status by making a political expenditure.

None are true. Sadly those special interests – the same ones that wanted the BART strike and prefer sex-offender teachers over children, and who are supporting Assembly member Susan Bonilla — want headlines and a bogeyman in order to distract from themselves and their opposition to Steve Glazer’s independence from such interests.

What Koch Funding?

In the summer of 2009, IWV received funds from the Center to Protect Patient’s Rights (CPPR) to do education on the health care issue as it affected women, particularly women with cancer.

That 2009 funding was reported on CPPR’s 2010 filings and is the basis for claiming that IWV is a Koch entity, since CPPR eventually seems to have become a vehicle for Koch funding.

But CPPR did not become a Koch entity until sometime in at least 2010, when its director started working for the Kochs, well after IWV’s work was done and complete.

IWV, a 501(c)(4) advocacy organization, contrary to allegation, has never received any funding from the Koch’s or from any Koch-related entities. We wouldn’t mind receiving some, but we don’t seem to be their cup of tea.

What TV buy?

As for the short video we made to shine some light on Susan Bonilla’s track record, there is no TV buy – the distribution is simply digital. Oh, and if you want to read why we support Steve Glazer, (think anti-special interests and fiscal responsibility), you can see that too.

What rule violations?

IWV is a 501(c)(4) advocacy organization, and as such is permitted to make political expenditures. We are not a Single Purpose Committee, much as the Bonilla campaign might wish we were. We care about ethics and about fiscal sanity, and so are working, independent of any campaign, to educate people both for Steve Glazer and against Susan Bonilla and the special interests she represents – all while accurately and scrupulously following the laws as established by the Fair Political Practices Commission.

It is sad that the Bonilla campaign is so desperate for sympathy and attention, and so short of an appealing track record, that they would manufacture wholesale charges to throw at Independent Women’s Voice. Really, isn’t it time politics got out of that gutter?

Independent Women’s Voice is a 501(c)(4) nonpartisan, nonprofit organization for mainstream women, men and families dedicated to promoting limited government, free markets, and personal responsibility. IWV is an affiliate organization of the Independent Women’s Forum. For more information visit www.iwvoice.org.

See the news released from Bonilla’s campaign regarding their complaint against IWV, here.

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BART confirms Glazer’s complaint about illegal campaigning, says union wasn’t honest about activities

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Orinda, CA— In a statement late Monday evening, BART Board President Thomas Blalock acknowledged that BART personnel illegally engaged in campaign activities on behalf of Senate candidate Susan Bonilla in the May 19th State Senate special election.

BART claims they were fooled by union leaders in approving these ‘meetings’,” said Orinda Mayor and Senate candidate Steve Glazer.

But they ignored the fact that many of these gatherings occurred in open work areas with election posters and flyers and under the watchful eye of management.”

The Glazer for Senate campaign released photos of BART workers engaged in rally-type events and advocating for the election of Bonilla. There was also a photo of workers in a classroom listening to union leaders while a video featuring Bonilla was being shown on BART-owned audio-visual equipment. Union leaders featured in numerous pictures included BART Chapter President John Arantes and BART Concord Chapter President Dan Jameyson.

I appreciate BART’s swift investigation and confirmation that there is widespread illegal campaign activities throughout BART workplace facilities,” said Glazer. “While I had photographic evidence at three locations, I believe these activities are even more widespread.”

BART claims that they were fooled by the union and approved ‘meetings’ during break time. BART fails to acknowledge that many of these so-called meetings took place in open areas with campaign posters and flyers and under the watchful eye of management.”

BART implies that only future campaign activities will be subject to disciplinary action, ignoring the fact that professional union organizers made false statements about the purpose of these ‘meetings’ at numerous places and times.”

I reiterate my call that a full inquiry needs to be conducted by an independent party to ensure the fairness of the review. Given my criticism of management’s role in these activities, the BART Board of Directors should insist that the investigator be in a position to hold both union members and managers accountable.”

I know there is resentment by BART unions and management for my criticism of their involvement in the eight days of strikes in 2013. These actions by the union and management resulted in exorbitant pay raises in an agency that claims that it has no money for train, station and technology upgrades. But that is no excuse for allowing this illegal conduct at numerous BART facilities and a cursory investigation.”

In press interviews, Union President Pete Castelli claims that if any campaign activity occurred, it was the result of spontaneous individual conduct. He ignored the obvious fact that Union organizer Dan Jameyson was in every ‘spontaneous’ campaign picture even though he is not on work assignment at any of the three work areas or various work shifts. BART’s preliminary findings dispute this.

If union leaders show this type of disdain for following the rules and being truthful, it is not a surprise that the collective bargaining process broke down and eight days of debilitating strikes occurred,” Glazer added.

Glazer is Mayor of Orinda and a Trustee of the California State Universities. He is competing in a special Senate runoff election that ends on May 19th. He was the top vote getter in the primary, leading his second place finisher by more than 10,000 votes. The Senate District includes most of central and eastern Contra Costa County as well as the cities of Livermore, Pleasanton and Dublin in Alameda County.

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Glazer complains of BART union illegally using work sites to campaign; Bonilla calls for all parties to stop campaigning at BART stations

Monday, May 11th, 2015
CONC1 BART Concord Yard Bonilla Rally Shift No. 1 1024x768 Glazer complains of BART union illegally using work sites to campaign; Bonilla calls for all parties to stop campaigning at BART stations

Bonilla rally at Concord BART Yard, Shift No. 1. photos courtesy of Glazer for Senate campaign.

By Allen Payton

During a press conference at BART headquarters in Oakland, today, State Senate candidate Steve Glazer condemned the illegal electioneering on public property by the BART unions and management, and called for a swift crackdown on the use of BART facilities for campaign activities. In a letter to BART Board Chair Thomas Blalock, Glazer wrote, “During the same week that BART experienced major breakdowns, inconveniencing thousands of Bay Area commuters, BART workers were holding illegal Susan Bonilla for Senate rallies at BART facilities throughout the Bay Area. Some of these activities occurred openly with management personnel nearby.”

HAY1 BART Hayward Yard Shift No. 1 union leaders lead member training session about SD7 race 300x225 Glazer complains of BART union illegally using work sites to campaign; Bonilla calls for all parties to stop campaigning at BART stations

Union leaders during member training session about Senate District 7 race, Shift No. 1, BART Hayward Yard.

This is an outrageous abuse of public property for campaign activities,” Glazer added. “I know there is resentment by BART unions and management for my criticism of their involvement in the eight days of strikes in 2013. These actions by the union and management resulted in exorbitant pay raises in an agency that claims that it has no money for train, station and technology upgrades. But that is no excuse for allowing this illegal conduct at numerous BART facilities.”

I am calling on the BART Board of Directors to initiate an immediate investigation into these violations. This inquiry needs to be conducted by an independent party to ensure the fairness of the review. The BART Board should also take steps now to prevent these abuses from happening again.”

The attached photos show maintenance personnel rallying for Senate candidate Susan Bonilla at facilities in Concord, Hayward and Richmond. These events were not just held in private rooms but were in open spaces in clear view of management. In one case, union leaders are showing television coverage of a recent Glazer and Bonilla debate using BART audiovisual equipment.

In response to Glazer’s complaint, Assemblywoman Bonilla issued a statement calling on Glazer, BART workers and Bill Bloomfield, who has been funding an independent expenditure campaign to support Glazer, to stop campaigning on BART property.

Glazer on BART platform 290x300 Glazer complains of BART union illegally using work sites to campaign; Bonilla calls for all parties to stop campaigning at BART stations

Photos of Glazer at BART stations, used in his campaign materials and on his website.

I am appalled that BART platforms and BART property have been used for electioneering by Steve Glazer, Los Angeles billionaire Bill Bloomfield (who has spent $2 million on Steve Glazer campaign advertising), and by BART employees who were holding my campaign signs – these parties should immediately stop using BART property for electioneering, including candidate Steve Glazer who has repeatedly used internal BART property for self advertising,” Bonilla stated.

Bonilla’s campaign also provided examples of dozens of uses by Glazer and his backers, including use of BART platforms and internal BART property for electioneering and promoting his political campaign, including campaign photo shoots, use of those photos in campaign advertising, direct mail and on his website, and displaying Glazer campaign signs and materials at BART stations.

Visit SteveGlazerFacts.com, to see examples of Glazer’s usage of BART property for his campaign advertising.

It is illegal for BART workers to use BART facilities to oppose or promote a candidate during work hours. They can campaign on their own time, but only at BART stations in public areas. It’s also against BART’s code of conduct to campaign at BART facilities, other than stations, any time. 

However, candidates can campaign at BART stations and have been doing so for years. BART has a permit system and Glazer says he has the necessary permits to campaign.

I have the right, I have a permit and I’m not an employee on the premises,” he stated in a brief interview, today. “I’m talking about their [the BART employees'] place of work.”

RIC2 BART Richmond Yard Shift No. 1 rallies for Susan Bonilla 300x225 Glazer complains of BART union illegally using work sites to campaign; Bonilla calls for all parties to stop campaigning at BART stations

Rally for Susan Bonilla at BART Richmond Yard during Shift No. 1.

According to Director Joel Keller who represents Antioch and East County on the BART Board, “It is a violation of BART’s code of conduct for all employees. The short answer is it is not allowed at BART.”

He further stated, “Anyone can campaign at the non-paid areas of BART stations on their own time at any time. Directors, management and employee groups may not use district property to campaign at any time.”

As of the time of publication of this article, Bonilla had yet to respond to why she’s calling on Glazer and his supporters to stop campaigning at BART stations when it’s legal for them to do so.

Glazer is Mayor of Orinda and a Trustee of the California State Universities. He was the top vote getter in the primary, leading Bonilla, who finished second, by more than 10,000 votes. The 7th Senate District includes most of central and eastern Contra Costa County, including all of Antioch, as well as the cities of Livermore, Pleasanton and Dublin in Alameda County.

Bonilla is serving in her final of three terms in the State Assembly. For more information, visit www.glazerforsenate.com or www.susanbonilla.com. The election is Tuesday, May 19.

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