Friday, August 15, 2008

DeMaio Fined by Ethics Commission

The UT has reported that City Councilman-elect Carl DeMaio has been fined $1,500 by the Ethics Commission for deliberately soliciting campaign contributions from city employees.

The fine comes exactly one month after the FPPC declared that DeMaio violated the Political Reform Act in his bid to win the District 5 council seat.

My favorite part of the story comes when DeMaio tries to blame his violation on the Ethics Commission, the same defense he used with the FPPC violation. While he says that the commission provided him with a letter supporting his decision to intentionally add city employees to his e-mail solicitation lists, Stacey Fulhorst, the commission's executive director, disagrees (emphasis added):

'Our investigation showed that Mr. DeMaio knew some city employees would be among those invited to the fundraiser at his home,' Fulhorst said. 'If you as a candidate put city employees on a solicitation list, you are considered targeting them.'

She said the letter covers candidates who send out mass solicitations as long as city employees are not specifically targeted. She added that DeMaio did not know about the advice letter until after the investigation was under way.

I'm sure DeMaio will try and brush this off as not being a big deal. Some may think it was just an e-mail list, and deserves little attention. I disagree.

Even if this were nothing more than an e-mail list containing 90 people who shouldn't be on the list, it underscores a major flaw in the right-wing's "Superman."

At worst, DeMaio seems to feel he can bend rules to conform to his benefit and lie and deflect his way out of responsibility. At best, he has twice been extremely sloppy in following basic campaign rules.

Either way, these two violations highlight the reason so many distrust his motives. It also showcases himself as being exactly what he claims to be fighting against.

How can you be a "reformer" when you behave the same as those you claim to be acting against?

13 comments:

blue in the face said...

Funny how burried this story is on the UT's Web site. Not on the front page a about six stories down on the Metro section. Coincidence?

Anonymous said...

Actually, read the FAQ from the Ethics Commission. Yet another case of the Ethics Commission screwing things up.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/politics/images/080815demaio_ethicsqanda.pdf

Anonymous said...

Either way, it's common sense not to get city employees involved in elections like this.

Anonymous said...

You especially don't get city employeees involved when the City Attorney was hit hard on the same thing less than a year ago.

Even Bob Kittle agrees.

"But the patent ethics violation entailed in taking contributions from those who rely on an official for their jobs should be glaringly obvious," the UT editorial of October 10, 2007 read.

Anonymous said...

Slap on the wrist. Councilmen Hueso and Young both have fines in the $10,000 and $15,000 range.

DeMaio said he doesn't agree with the fine, but paid it to spare taxpayer and legal expenses.

interesting to note, Mike Aguirre is being fined for the same issue and he is FIGHTING it. DeMaio may well be vindicated. :-)

Anonymous said...

Give me a break... this is so petty.

Its ridiculous this law is even applied to someone who hasn't even taken office.

Anonymous said...

Yet another example of DeMaio's notions of "open" government. I wonder how long Frye will carry his water...

Anonymous said...

This is a stupid violation. It sounds like this law is on the books so subordinates don't feel intimidated or pressured to give to their boss.

DEMAIO'S NOT EVEN ON THE COUNCIL YET! ...He has no subordinates yet!

Anonymous said...

Lame lame lame. Is this really news worthy? Thanks for not having the people you represent stuck with the bill. :) Already putting the city first. Thanks Carl.

David said...

YAWN....

Slow news day?

Anonymous said...

I love it how the pro-Demaio hacks are on this comment page in force. I guess they've taken some time off from conspiring with Donna Frye to enrich Demaio's right wing cronies. The man was fined by the ethics commission, how is this not news? How is accepting responsibility for breaking the law somehow helping the city? I guess at least Demaio knows he's a crook, thats more than I can say about his cronies Donna Frye and Stephen Whitburn.

Anonymous said...

Is this site active? 2 months until election and you haven't posted in 2 weeks?? Way to let conversations die. Pathetic.

Anonymous said...

No they are still trying to defeat someone who won in June with the widest margin ever. Oh yeah, and they are trying to use the same messages against that candidate that failed to resonate with voters.