December 3, 2012
There are winners and losers in elections, but in the California Fair Political Practices Commission's aftermath, there are mostly losers.
The North Salinas Valley Fund for Responsible Growth, the 501(c)(4) organization that bankrolled Marc Del Piero's failed campaign for county supervisor, settled for $1,350 with the FPPC for a late filing violation.
The group's treasurer, Margie Kay, filed a statement disclosing $95,000 in contributions after a semi-annual 2012 deadline.
"It was brought to our attention and we apologized. It was absolutely our mistake," Fund president Julie Engell says.
The Fund, comprising open space advocates, formed in 2008 with $600,000 won in a settlement with the county and developer HYH Corporation, after two successful referendums on the proposed Rancho San Juan development in North County.
In 2011, the first year the Fund was active, the group gave $10,000 each to Supervisor Jane Parker's and candidate Ed Mitchell's (who serves on the Fund board) campaigns, according to 990 forms. They also made a $21,000 donation to Landwatch, a smart-growth nonprofit.
So far in 2012, they’ve given nearly $200,000 to Landwatch, Kay reports.
The FPPC opened its investigation into filing errors after Ron Chesshire, CEO of the Monterey/Santa Cruz Building & Construction Trades Council, lodged a complaint with the FPPC.
The Commission is scheduled to approve the resolution of the matter at its Dec. 13 meeting in San Diego.
Note: This blog post has been modified from its original version.