County Democratic Central Committe Chairman files complaint against PAC supporting Glazer

Accused of hiding contributions, PAC’s attorney says it’s baseless

By Allen Payton

Contra Costa Democratic Central Committee Chairman Jeff Koertzen, on Monday, filed a complaint with the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) alleging two political action committees are playing a shell game to hide donations of more than $300,000 to their campaign to elect Steve Glazer to the State Senate.

“This elaborate shell game tried to obscure extraordinary sums of pro-Glazer money from voters,” Koertzen stated in a news release about the issue. “JobsPAC is no stranger to intentionally withholding crucial information from voters to achieve an election advantage. We are hoping the FPPC will move quickly to enforce the law that we contend has been violated.”

JobsPAC is the political arm of the California Chamber of Commerce, which is celebrating its 125th anniversary, this year. 

According to Koertzen, JobsPAC, whose donors include insurance, oil, tobacco and pharmaceutical companies, has spent more than $530,000 to date in an independent expenditure campaign to elect Glazer to the State Senate. Their efforts have included dozens of negative direct mail pieces attacking his rival, Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla (D-Concord).

Koertzen further stated that Glazer was JobsPAC’s political consultant in 2012, when the political action committee was involved in an attempt to hide an in-kind contribution worth $100,000 that resulted in JobsPAC making changes in its filings after media reports exposed its failure to properly disclose the contribution.

Also according to Koertzen, the complaint shows that JobsPAC has reported receiving $300,000 in political contributions from another PAC named “Govern for California” since January, 2015 and that Govern for California is largely funded by former Gov. Schwarzenegger’s economic adviser David Crane and hedge fund manager John Scully.

The complaint alleges that to avoid disclosing their contributions to the JobsPAC effort to elect Glazer, the donors contributed to Govern for California instead of directly to JobsPAC. This appears to be an attempt to hide the Crane and Scully contributions, says the complaint. It notes Govern for California had less than $15,000 in funds at the end of 2014, and raised more than $285,000 to support the JobsPAC campaign to elect Glazer. That, says the complaint, is a violation of state law.

When reached for comment, Martin Wilson, Executive Vice President, Public Affairs for the California Chamber of Commerce, provided a response from the attorney for the two political action committees.

“The complaint is baseless,” said Steven S. Lucas, Partner in the San Rafael law firm of Nielsen Merksamer Parrinello Gross & Leoni LLC. “This is a desperate and futile attempt to derail JobsPAC’s strong support for the leading candidate in the race, Steve Glazer.  Both JobsPAC and Govern for California are in full compliance with all applicable campaign disclosure requirements.”

The complaint can be viewed online.

One Comment to “County Democratic Central Committe Chairman files complaint against PAC supporting Glazer”

  1. Timothy L Yiim says:

    Sounds like another Bonilla ruse to move voters to her camp. It’s obviously not going to work, mainly because it convinced me, and my fellow teachers, to sway a vote towards Glazer.

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