Financial Backing of School Board Candidates by Councilmembers Formally Questioned

South San Francisco, CA     October 24, 2014     Submitted by Mike Murray
 

24 October 2014

Fair Political Practices Commission

Enforcement Division

428 J Street

Sacramento, CA 95814-2329

Via: Email address: complaint@fppc.ca.gov

 

OFFICIAL COMPLAINT

To Whom it May Concern,

The Political Reform Act has been the rule of Law in the State of California since 1974, through the years it has been updated and candidates, officeholders and committees have been under these rules since that time. The people of the State wants to know who is financing the campaigns and whom is trying to buy elections and for what purpose.

The Fair Political Practices Commission is the rightful arbiter of stated “Act” and is the body to receive complaints to possible infractions or criminal activity of the “Act”.

In the November 2014 election for the South San Francisco Unified School District Board of Trustees, there are three candidates Patrick Lucy (appointed Incumbent), Rosa Acosta (Assistant to the City Manager) and John Baker (City Commissioner, City of South San Francisco) for lack of better verbiage (The Slate) who were recruited or coaxed into running for “The Board” by South San Francisco Council Members Carol Matsumoto and Liza Normandy who have “controlled” candidates at the earliest by recruitment, holding a “meet and greet” at Historical Old Molloys Bar in Colma, and obtained endorsements for “slate” by calling or meeting with local politicians and local unions to secure stated endorsements.

The above actions are probably not anything more than common campaign practices. However, on October 18, 2014 voters in the district received a color brochure touting the “slate” and had a notation “FPPC pending” notation on the brochure. It is clear that the amount spent on stated brochure was more than the $1,000 limit that can be spent by an outside committee without disclosures. As nearly all print and mail houses require pre-payment, I would suggest to the Commission that monies were raised by this committee prior to having the brochure designed, printed and mailed. It would be my contention that Council Members Matsumoto and Normandy either broke the law or worked to skirt FPPC disclosure statues.

Furthermore, the address that was used as the address for stated committee was the home of the former South San Francisco Police Chief Mark Raffaelli, who is openly supporting candidate Rick Ochsenhirt. Mr. Ochsenhirt called the former Chief who told him that Council Member Matsumoto “asked to use his address” and that he “did not support” the slate. It is somewhat interesting that the South San Francisco Police Department’s Union endorsed the “slate” without holding an endorsement hearing nor having a vote of the “rank and file” members.

I would state by using the address of former Chief Raffaelli’s home address as the “committee’s address” is a violation of the FPPC rules and is used by Council Member Matsumoto to “hide and deceit” the voters of the district of the involvement of Matsumoto and Normandy to have undue influence into the “Board” activities.

The people of the South San Francisco Unified School District need and deserve to know Council Members Matsumoto and Normandy’s source of funds for their committee. I believe that the following FPPC rules have been broken and should be thoroughly investigated. I believe that slate candidates Baker, Acosta and Lucy should also be investigated for what they knew and when they knew that the contributions had been spent on their behalf and if stated committee had legally “informed” of the contributions and why they did not “report” stated expenditures on their behalf.

Because, I am not an attorney nor an expert on FPPC laws, codes and/or rules or regulations. I would like the further codes looked at in regards to stated expenditure of brochure and anything else you may find askew.

Sincerely,

Michael S. Murray

§84102. Statement of Organization; Contents.

The statement of organization required by Section 84101 shall include all of the following:

  1. The name, street address, and telephone number, if any, of the committee. In the case of a sponsored committee, the name of the committee shall include the name of its sponsor. If a committee has more than one sponsor, and the sponsors are members of an industry or other identifiable group, a term identifying that industry or group shall be included in the name of the committee.
  2. In the case of a sponsored committee, the name, street address, and telephone number of each sponsor.
  3. The full name, street address, and telephone number, if any, of the treasurer and any other principal officers.
  4. (1) A committee with more than one principal officer shall identify its principal officers as follows: (A) A committee with three or fewer principal officers shall identify all principal officers.

§ 84203.3. Late In-Kind Contributions.

(a) Any candidate or committee that makes a late contribution that is an in-kind contribution shall notify the recipient in writing of the value of the in- kind contribution. The notice shall be received by the recipient within 24 hours of the time the contribution is made.

(b) Nothing in this section shall relieve a candidate or committee that makes a late in-kind contribution or the recipient of a late in-kind contribution from the requirement to file late contribution reports pursuant to Section 84203. However, a report filed by the recipient of a late in- kind contribution shall be deemed timely filed if it is received by the filing officer within 48 hours of the time the contribution is received.

§ 84203. Late Contribution; Reports.

(a) Each candidate or committee that makes or receives a late contribution, as defined in Section 82036, shall report the late contribution to each office with which the candidate or committee is required to file its next campaign statement pursuant to Section 84215. The candidate or committee that makes the late contribution shall report his or her full name and street address and the full name and street address of the person to whom the late contribution has been made, the office sought if the recipient is a candidate, or the ballot measure number or letter if the recipient is a committee primarily formed to support or oppose a ballot measure, and the date and amount of the late contribution. The recipient of the late contribution shall report his or her full name and street address, the date and amount of the late contribution, and whether the contribution was made in the form of a loan. The recipient shall also report the full name of the contributor, his or her street address, occupation, and the name of his or her employer, or if self-employed, the name of the business.

§ 84204. Late Reports.

Independent

Expenditures;

(a) A committee that makes a late independent expenditure, as defined in Section 82036.5, shall report the late independent expenditure by facsimile transmission, guaranteed overnight delivery, or personal delivery within 24 hours of the time it is made. If a late independent expenditure is required to be reported to the Secretary of State, the report to the Secretary of State shall be by online or electronic transmission only. A late independent expenditure shall be reported on subsequent campaign statements without regard to reports filed pursuant to this section.

 
 
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[…] UPDATE ON FPPC LEGAL/ ETHIC QUESTIONS – City Council backing of SSFUSD Candidates […]

Chris Corbett
Chris Corbett
6 years ago

Congrats to the winners: Ochsenhirt, Acosta, Lucy take board seats: Longtime incumbent ousted, seven ran for S.S.F. school district (see link below)

http://www.smdailyjournal.com/articles/lnews/2014-11-05/ochsenhirt-acosta-lucy-take-board-seats-longtime-incumbent-ousted-seven-ran-for-ssf-school-district/1776425132819.html

Now, go lead our kids into victory! Now, I am getting corny…

🙂

Michael Murray
Michael Murray
6 years ago

Great News, The committee filed their paperwork and it leaves more questions than answers. I have the copy of the filing and I would like to share with the readers:

1. The Committee ‘South San Franciscans for Quality Education” was rejected as the FPPC stated that the group was trying to “mislead voters”
2. The Committee named was changed to “South San Franciscans for Acosta, Baker and Lucy” (NO SLATE?)
3. The Committee received a loan from Karyl Matsumoto in the amount of $3,000.00, and donations from Liza Normandy in the amount of $750.00 and a donation from Poletti Realty and the “Poletti Grandchildren’s Trust in the amount of $800.00.
4. The paperwork was received by the San Mateo County Clerks Office on October 29, 2014.
5. The paperwork shows NO EXPENDITURES and yet we know that monies were spent on design, printing, and mailhouse costs and postage.

SAD commentary when local politicians are told that they are misleading voters, that they do not follow the law and the City (Karyl Matsumoto and Liza Normandy) are trying to BUY this election for their hand picked slate. Before you vote tomorrow….ask yourself these questions
… WHY is the City trying to get their three hand-picked candidates (all government employees) to run your school board? Why would they try to mislead and deceive the people of this district so they have an incredible amount of undue influence into matters of educating our children? What is the end game??

John Baker
6 years ago
Reply to  Michael Murray

Hi Mike,

I’ll let the producers of the flier debate or explain any of the intricacies of campaign reporting related to their endeavor. But I do want to know why you think that city councilmembers supporting a campaign is any more sinister than any other outside/not-school connected agency supporting candidates. Say, for example, the coroner, the Teamsters, or a county supervisor who doesn’t represent this district. Do I think the candidate backed by those supporters is under their thrall? Not at all. They support her because they know her experience and think she would do a great job. My supporters think the same of me. That’s why your implication that the councilmembers in question would have “undue influence into matters of educating our children” is both insulting and just plain wrong.

John

Mike Murray
Mike Murray
6 years ago
Reply to  John Baker

I am not discounting the endorsements that you received as a matter of fact… I applaud you for getting the endorsement of the Council members.

What I have a problem with is that “the committee” raised money on behalf of three candidates. They sent out a brochure touting their candidates under a fictitious committee name which the FPPC stated was misleading to the voters and had them change their name. The committee by law had 24 hours to file reports that showed where the money came from. They did file awfully late and did not report the expenditures that they spent. The report is incomplete and was so to mislead the voters and not allow the rightful tramsperarancyransparency that the voters are due.

The FPPC will make a ruling and sanctions will be levied. But, I am quite perplexed that people running for office would take such a cavalier approach to violations of the law. Why candidates would not insist on doing their due diligence when it comes to campaign finance laws. If it was my campaign I would insist on knowing why the person that recruited me loaned a committee $3,000 and produced a brochure on my behalf… And not think that that didn’t benefit my campaign. I want an elected official to be proactive not sitting in the background and saying while political cronies say it’s ok… So I’ll go with it!

The FPPC has an advice line and would have told you and the other two that you have a legal duty to report such an expenditure. This was about a $5,000 campaign donation that you, Patrick Lucy or Rose Acosta were not transparent with… And I believe that it is wrong and shameful. I expected more from the three of you and that is what’s upsetting.

barrowak99723
barrowak99723
6 years ago

That’s the beauty of living in this US of A, Kathy and Cynthia–the two of you may vote at your discretion, as can we. Happy Halloween, everyone! What drama, huh, for a local contest?!

Kathy Eagles
Kathy Eagles
6 years ago

The three votes in our home all went to Pat Murray! I have known her for decades and witnessed her infinite involvement with and for the children of SSFUSD! No better candidate in this election!

Cynthia Marcopulos
Cynthia Marcopulos
6 years ago

This is the same old dog and pony show. The City Council members, or anyone elected to office, should not try to influence voters. I’ve received umpteen brochures with appointed or elected office holders of our fair City endorsing a candidate from school board to you name it. This is just that same old business as usual game the politicians played when the citizens in So. City said NO to Costco on El Camino, and then the week before the election, the City Council came out with a threatening hit piece influencing people to vote for Costco because the sales tax generated would fund the essential services like police and fire.

No politician in any capacity should try to influence an election, but they do — look at Billy and Hillary running around the country, or Barack O’Bomba trying to influence elections in several states.

Remember, vote your conscience and not who the machine, either on the local level or the national level and everything in between, tries to influence you because in the end we’re stuck with pile of crap A or pile of crap B, and the people suffer.

barrowak99723
barrowak99723
6 years ago

Awesome dialogue, everyone! Thank you Rosa, Patrick, Michael, Patricia, John, and of course Separation of Church and State for your much-needed civic participation herein! 🙂

Rosa Acosta
Rosa Acosta
6 years ago

I was not going to respond to this either but I feel it is appropriate to say that I am a teamplayer and I am not part of a “slate”, I believe in working as a team and in unity, after all we are all aspiring to become a team. I am disappointed with what has been said but everyone is free to express their frustrations and opinion. I also believe that we are all seeking to become leaders for our children and hope that they someday aspire to serve the public with that said, I will lead by example and will not engage in hearsay and I will treat my fellow candidates with respect and integrity. As Patrick has said we need to focus on how to serve our children so that we are prepared and ready to lead.

I am confident that our community has done their due diligence and will vote for their “leaders”! Please remember to vote on November 4th.

Patricia Murray
6 years ago
Reply to  Rosa Acosta

@Rosa:

I won’t comment on whether you’re part of the “City Slate” or not as I expressed my opinion in my last post and don’t need to rehash it. We’ll just have to let the public decide if it’s an issue for them or not. You may disagree with some of the comments made but I’ll reiterate, I didn’t see a lack of respect or integrity – spirited debate is part of the process.

I think all of the candidates in this race have leadership qualities and skills or we wouldn’t be running for office. You don’t have to be a School Board Trustee to be a role model. We are all role models for our children and the children in our community. In running for office, volunteering in our schools and community, having a good work ethic, being honest and treating others kindly and respectfully, we show our children what it means to be a good community member.

In terms of readying ourselves to lead, I hope that the culmination of our life experience and school/district experience has already prepared us for this role and that we are already “prepared and ready to lead.”

I have worn many hats in my time, mostly in management positions, but the one I’ve been most passionate about has been my volunteer work in the district. This is one of the reasons I have decided to run for School Board Trustee. As my youngest child graduated from El Camino this past June and I am no longer PTSA President, I am close enough to the schools and families to know the issues, while having the time to put 100% into this job. I am prepared and I believe I can make a difference.

For the last 18 years, I have volunteered in the classrooms and served on several school and district committees, including PTA (unit and council), Site Council, WASC, AVID, Safety and many more. I have also attended more than 100 Board meetings, representing all of our families, but giving a voice to the underserved and underrepresented. I have also done my part to hold district leadership accountable.

Study after study shows that students do better in school and life when their parents/guardians are active participants in their education. In my leadership positions in our district, I have always stressed building community and inviting EVERYBODY “to the table”. I have done this by writing newsletters, setting up email lists and starting social media accounts. Of course, one of my favorite ways to involve people is engaging them in conversation. I have been blessed to meet many wonderful parents and community members over the years and have appreciated their passion and effort to make our schools better.

I wish you (and all of the candidates) the best of luck and I hope, win or lose, we can all get together and share ideas after the election!

~Pat Murray

barrowak99723
barrowak99723
6 years ago

It’s good to hear from everyone, Patrick! Thank you. Good post. Elections can get heated, and that’s normal, even expected. As long as everyone gets back to the Town of Friendly when it’s over…when it comes down to it, we share the same space, the same air, same stores…same streets…

Chris

Patricia Murray
6 years ago

Hi All,

Let’s take a step back, take a deep breath and calm down.

I didn’t see any disrespect/bullying in the debate/conversation above. I saw a high spirited debate and perhaps an exercise in futility. For the reasons stated above, Mike’s complaint has been filed and the FPPC will come up with a determination (probably after the election.)

There seems to be an issue with the word “slate”. I don’t know who dubbed Patrick, John and Rosa the “City Slate” but I’ve heard the phrase many times by many people (not just by Mike and the candidates running.) The reason is that at least two were recruited by the mayor. Most of the City Council Members are endorsing only these three. There have been 2-3 joint events and a mailer where the three were presented to the public together. Is that a bad thing? It’s for the public to decide. But, maybe a better, less heated phrase would be the “Mayor’s preferences”?

I think we can all agree that this debate has seen it’s logical end. Let’s move on and spend this last week campaigning our hearts out.

Good luck to everyone running! Sometime after the election, let’s meet and share ideas!

Pat (Murray)

barrowak99723
barrowak99723
6 years ago

Everyone said his peace–now the voters can decide! We definitely don’t need pugilism or libel…not saying that is happening here–just don’t want emotions to run too high where people can get, well, “passionate,” to a high level that is out of control…

Great posts, you all…great posts! And, you all who know me, I can get emotional! I am the King!

Patrick Lucy
6 years ago
Reply to  barrowak99723

Chris and John,

Thank you for your efforts in dealing with Mike Murray. I am not going to say much because I have other important issues to deal with. Mike please remember we are the only three that still have children in the schools and I have many Alternative to Expulsion Students to follow up with. Also, remember that you could say what you want but our actions within the community speak louder than words. Lastly, remember we are currently working with issues of bullying and treating people with respect, we don’t need you to be angry at us for what you believe.

I wasn’t going to respond at all but I think the people of South San Francisco need to here we are not a slate, we are a group of South San Francisco residents who currently still have students in our schools and will continue to do things to benefit the students, teachers, staff and not ourselves.

barrowak99723
barrowak99723
6 years ago

John, I read your ‘humorous’ “conspiracy” platform, and you have my vote double now! Since that’s not possible, you’ll have to settle for one single vote. ha ha

Your passion and courage to put your voice out like that in the wind to be judged is commendable. I don’t have that intrepidity! So, kudos to you. Like Ms. Normandy, you are a person who gets things done! I am sorry that some have tried to neutralize your campaign, but rest assured, many in your corner will work day and night until the End if you will do the same for the kids in our great community. It’s not an “if,” it’s a will, I know…

Election hell week (the seven days before election) is the most important time of the election season. Once the voters know the candidates, and can match a platform with a name, then if that matches the voter’s need, you have the vote! I would say that you are well known in a positive way, John!

Chris

Separation of Schools & Government
Separation of Schools & Government
6 years ago

I believe that in order to have a solid School Board, members should not be either employed or directly influenced by City government officials. I would use analogy of “separation of Church and State.” Yes, since schools are located in confines of local government boundaries, there should be mutual respect and working relationships in order to maintain and reach goals beneficial to schools and students. Bottom line is that School Board members should always have students best interest in mind and not their own. If City employees and direct City contacts were to be elected, I believe their decisions would be biased and not beneficial to our schools and students.

barrowak99723
barrowak99723
6 years ago

I hear ya. And, I respect your beliefs. The truth is, anything can be philosophically debated–or just about anything! Hence, debate classes in HS and college debate teams throughout the world being so prominent. Throughout the world and time, laws have changed with such (time), beliefs, cultures, and the like…and it will continue to do so. I once read a book of history’s laws, and you’d be amazed at the laws the world once had–and still have in some places! Anyway, the one thing we probably can all agree on in this so-called laissez faire society is we have too many laws, but we are creating more every election–just like this one, sorry to report. We are a hypocritical society of sorts, but we are doing the best we can. I understand Separation of Church and State, but you may not know that the School District is ruled by the School Board, and it is it’s own entity, not affiliated with South City in the sense you may be accustomed to; in fact, three of it’s schools lie outside of South City (Skyline, JS, and Monte Verde). How it obtains funding is too complex for my brain–it is sort of advanced combinational mathematics! That’s above calculus, I’m told. The “formula” is on the district website, should you want to study it! Nonetheless, I maintain that less fighting over little things and more community tacking of the important issues are best for the children, parents, and their educations…well, that’s my contention.

Chris

barrowak99723
barrowak99723
6 years ago
Reply to  barrowak99723

tackling, not tacking (spelling error) hey, I am not perfect 🙂

barrowak99723
barrowak99723
6 years ago

John, you are entitled to get human now and then like the rest of us mere mortals–and show a little frustration. We all understand you are just defending yourself passionately. Hey, a mama bear protects her young, as does a papa bear his house…(that coinage can be quoted vice versa, and no sexism is intended!). Anyway, I love your spirit! Maybe, save it for the real issues that the schools will certainly need you for when you are elected! But, I tell you that that fire in your soul is just what the doctor ordered for our schools! We definitely have found one of our future leaders today! Keep up the solid work, John.

John Baker
6 years ago
Reply to  barrowak99723

You’re right, . I will save my energy for fighting for the kids post-campaign should I earn a seat (or to take some nice long bike rides if not elected!). I understand Mike’s concerns, and will let the people responsible address them. I will leave it alone except to say that I have been reassured that everything that happened was within FPPC rules.

In any case, this was an independent expenditure neither solicited by or in any coordination with my campaign. In fact, I still have not even seen the flier because it was apparently only sent to mail-in voters (I always vote at the polls — it gives me that extra sense of accomplishment 🙂 ). I only got defensive because Mike wrote “Baker, Acosta and Lucy should also be investigated for what they knew…” without asking me for a comment. He is a Facebook friend and has my phone number. I would probably have prefered a donation from the organizers of the flier, but they chose to go a different route. C’est la vie.

Michael Murray
Michael Murray
6 years ago

That sounds fine and good and I lke the fact that you say you have the energy to fight. But let’s look at this at a legal matter:

On October 18. 2014, the voters of SSF received a brochure touting 3 candidates by a committee who people are unknown, the source of there monies are unknown. The date was within 45 days of an election and would have been mandated to be reported in 24 hours. The committee would have to let the candidates know that an expenditure was made on their behalf and the candidates would have 24 hours to report within 24 hours.

As of this date…. No filing by candidates Baker, Acosta or Lucy. Are they victims or did the conspire with people if unknown orgins conspire to mislead and deceive the people of SSF? I can not answer that… And I’m not sure you can also. One of three candidates tol me last night that Karyl Motsomoto guaranteed everything regarding the brochure was above board. It appears at best he was mislead and the FPPC is the rightful people to investigate my complaint.

I like you comment that looks can be deceiving; but I have learned unfortunately in politics that perception is reality. This stinks to holy hell! The good people of SSF deserve better and shouldn’t be allowed to be mislead and deceived!

barrowak99723
barrowak99723
6 years ago
Reply to  Michael Murray

Mike, time is of essence–can we both agree here? Election day is next Tues. Many people will be mailing in their ballots before that. Personality and people skills–above all–win elections. Why? That is because few people know how to get along (I am not one of them, I am afraid). Wars are everywhere. They are abroad. They are within our United States of America. They are locally. They are even at our schools and homes. If our shadows are a war, we trip over a figurative battle everyday. Conflict seems to be the human condition, and it always has. People want less conflict and war. You, me, and SSF want more happiness and peace. We don’t want to count pennies and grasp at straws. I am confident nothing illegal was perpetrated. But I am also practical about it. It is better to focus on positive campaigning than negative in a local election. The people want to see that your strategy when in office (or the work ethic/routine) is focused on solutions and conflict-bridging and repairing, not the antithesis or problem-making. When it comes down to it, the School Board/Council is a collaboration of intelligent, civic-minded people with a common goal (our children). They have to be able to reach parents, kids, teachers, administrators, etc from all walks of life and socio-economic backgrounds. It takes a unique talent to do all that. I wish I could do it, but I have made more enemies than friends on my journey–choosing to be hardheaded and learning everything through experience rather than being taught via instruction. Boy, do I wish I listened! Maybe some people can empathize?

Alas, even though John Baker, Rosa Acosta, and Patrick Lucy are strong candidates deserving of wide ranging support, they want–first and foremost–what is best for the South San Francisco Unified School District and nothing more. It is not about them. It is about the kids. It’s about the parents. And, it’s about the teachers! Vote on 11/4/14.

Michael Murray
Michael Murray
6 years ago
Reply to  barrowak99723

Well, I can agree with you on a lot of what you wrote… However you did not address that which is at hand you have three candidates that seem to be tweeting campaign finance laws. It’s that simple… A campaign is about showing who you are and what you are about. You have three candidates that you seem to be backing that are trying to deceive and mislead the voters of South San Francisco.

We have a lack of transparency, and what seems at least two council members behind this plot. If that is what you want from your city leaders… Vote for the slate… I can not persuade you any differently… The facts are obvious… And decisions are being made or have been made!

barrowak99723
barrowak99723
6 years ago
Reply to  Michael Murray

Mike, Mr. Baker had the guts to take a huge risk and put his face out there and platform on his behalf. I am sure Mr. Lucy and Ms. Acosta will also pen more this week here or on Patch for our reading pleasure and campaign needs. Just a week to go! We all get to vote for three school candidates each!

Michael Murray
Michael Murray
6 years ago
Reply to  barrowak99723

I guess you really do not get it! It has nothing to do with them putting their names in the ballot. It has to do with the brochure that was designed. Printed and mailed on their behalf by a committee that has broken the laws of the Fair Political Practices Commission. The people of South San Francisco deserve to clean elections. I have asked the FPPC to look into this brochure and see if the laws have been broken.

It appears to me that the three candidates were the benefit of campaign contributions by persons unknown within 45 days of an election and they would have by law had to report that within 24 hours. Furthermore, one of the candiates has stated that he was assured by the Mayor of SSF Karyl Matsomoto that the brochure and the funding of the brochure was on the up and up.

This certainly appears to be shady. Campaign finance laws were put into effect so the citizens know whom are trying to buy elections, whom are trying to buy influence, who plays by the rules….

The FPPC has been the rule of law in the State of California since 1974. (Remember Richard Nixon)

John Baker
6 years ago
Reply to  barrowak99723

Mike,

Seriously, you’re starting to get into a libelous situation here by accusing me and the other two candidates of (your quote) “shady” dealings.

I explained to you that this was an expenditure by an independent group neither solicited by or in any coordination with my campaign (no “John Baker approved this message” here). In fact, I literally have not even seen the flier in question. I provided no information to the producers of the flier and all information they used, including the picture, I’m told, were taken off my campaign website or other public sources.

You quoted a lot of California code up top, but neglected to list the two-most relevant sections, FPPC regulations 18225.7 and 18550.1, which define and govern independent expenditures and define coordination. This expenditure did not meet any of those definitions and thus it is NOT something I am required to report. (I have nothing to report anyway, as I have not been notified of any contribution.)

(Here’s links to the relevant code: http://www.fppc.ca.gov/legal/regs/current/18225.7.pdf
http://www.fppc.ca.gov/legal/regs/current/18550.1.pdf )

I don’t know what coordination the other two campaigns had, after all, we are NOT a slate, but I’d bet it was similar – none.

You want to complain about any FPPC problems of the committee that produced the flier, fine. That’s on them to report and explain. But quit dragging my name through this. Slinging mud is beneath both you and the candidate with which you’re affiliated.

John

John Baker
6 years ago
Reply to  Michael Murray

Mike,

Seriously, you’re starting to get into a libelous situation here by accusing me and the other two candidates of (your quote) “shady” dealings.

I explained to you that this was an expenditure by an independent group neither solicited by or in any coordination with my campaign (no “John Baker approved this message” here). In fact, I literally have not even seen the flier in question. I provided no information to the producers of the flier and all information they used, including the picture, I’m told, were taken off my campaign website or other public sources.

You quoted a lot of California code up top, but neglected to list the two-most relevant sections, FPPC regulations 18225.7 and 18550.1, which define and govern independent expenditures and define coordination. This expenditure did not meet any of definition of being coordinated with my campaign and thus it is NOT something I am required to report. (I wouldn’t have anything to report anyway, as I have not been notified of any contribution.)

I don’t know what coordination the other two campaigns had, after all, we are NOT a slate. But I’d bet it was similar – none.

You want to complain about any FPPC problems of the committee that produced the flier, fine. That’s on them to report and explain. But quit dragging my name through this. Slinging mud is beneath both you and the candidate with which you’re affiliated.

John

Michael Murray
Michael Murray
6 years ago
Reply to  John Baker

John,

That is up to the FPPC to decide how much coordination the campaigns had or did not have. However, I am sorry that you feel this is slinging mud and you can not see how one can say that this seems shady. I can tell you I feel it is shady and stinks to holy hell. Let’s really look at if I personally believe there was any co-ordination between the campaign and the committee (whom ever they are).

You can argue until you are blue in the face that you are not part of a slate….however you are running as part of a slate. you may not like the term because you do not share the same “philosophies” as your fellow slate members. However that is just playing semantics and the people who recruited you to run….calls the three of you “her slate.” Furthermore, dictionary.com defines a slate as “a list of candidates, officers, etc., to be considered for nomination, appointment, election, or the like.”

There had to be some coordination between the campaigns and the “city backed slate.” Neither one of the three of you had your own brochures printed and all of a sudden out of the blue this so called “committee” comes up with brochures touting the slate. Your comments to me have said that you knew it was coming out because Karyl told you it was ok. You knew whom was sent the brochures.

My point exactly was that according to FPPC rules the committee had 24 hours to let the candidates know that an expenditure was made on their behalf and each candidate had 24 hours to report said expenditure or donation if it was in the window of 45 days prior to an election. As a point of reference my final paragraph in the complaint stated:

“The people of the South San Francisco Unified School District need and deserve to know Council Members Matsumoto and Normandy’s source of funds for their committee. I believe that the following FPPC rules have been broken and should be thoroughly investigated. I believe that slate candidates Baker, Acosta and Lucy should also be investigated for what they knew and when they knew that the contributions had been spent on their behalf and if stated committee had legally “informed” of the contributions and why they did not “report” stated expenditures on their behalf.”

barrowak99723
barrowak99723
6 years ago

Sorry, Mike–I called you Mark once in the response! my apologies

barrowak99723
barrowak99723
6 years ago

Mike,

I appreciate your formal complaint. In fact, I have your energy, I can tell. Believe it or not, we are alike. The battles I have fought are many and multifaceted, and I have been through Hell and back with a great many corrupt entities (locally) that it is easy to find fault on the surface when something does not look right, but as we know, looks can be deceiving. The fact is, there are people who do wrong, and some of them are in public office. On the flip side, Mark, there are people who do very right, or at least try to do right. And, I think we can all agree, if someone is an honest broker of the law, that is pretty good! Those law-abiding office holders’ focus is their house, kids, job, community, friends, and if they are ambitious and want the next step that may come with that in responsibility, such as a more pronounced public office–if the voters see fit–so be it! I have to respect the democratic process, and chalk a lot of things up to free speech, and good, ol’ fashioned competition.

Ms. Normandy is just that! She is a do-gooder! She is a mom, wife, and normal person. Nothing she did was disingenuous, I assure you. She would not co-mingle with those who would bark up that corrupt tree either. If you have further questions regarding skirting disclosure statutes or breaking them altogether, the point person and committee chair is Mark Raffaelli, and maybe he’s a better person to query? But, once again, I assure you, everything was done properly, and focusing on the campaign itself is probably best. But, you can do as you wish. Nonetheless, Ms. Normandy–in no way–coerced anyone to run for School Council, either. These are grown adults who can and have made their own decisions, just like I am today penning this draft. She is supporting them (in spirit only), as she thinks they would make good council-members, as if anyone who knows this, it is she! She was a School Board of Trustee for seven years! Now, people have made donations within their legals rights. I have not, by the way. Everything I do is free!

I find that if we focus on our goal’s result, we have a greater chance of achieving said end. Now, I understand I am not SSF’s finest and most powerful–not by a longshot–perhaps, however, if we focus on telling the voters less negative about our competition and more positives about our campaign, our goal can be realized. Even though I am pulling for Baker, Acosta, and Lucy, that does not mean we don’t want honest competition. In fact, we want it. It is the American way! Mike, we appreciate once again your reaching out for your sister, Pat, and we look forward to her campaign. If my response was lacking, blame me…I did my best. Now, go vote SSF, on Tues, Nov 4, 2014.

barrowak99723
barrowak99723
6 years ago

Ms. Normandy did respond, and I will get the crux of her answer out to you all today.

Thanks for your patience.

Chris

John Baker
6 years ago

My finance reports are all online (at: http://johnbakerssf.org/Filed460s.pdf ), Mr. Murray. Does your sister (or any other candidate, for that matter) have the courage to post where THEIR money is coming from?

And enough of this “slate” nonsense. I might be part of a conspiracy, but it’s not the one you think: http://johnbakerssf.org/Conspiracy.pdf

Michael Murray
Michael Murray
6 years ago
Reply to  John Baker

John, that sounds like a great political answer. I’m certain you are aware that all campaign reports are public information and as a matter of fact… Before I made the official complaint to the FPPC, I met with the San Mateo County Clerk’s office and we went through all of the candidates reports. The complaint was not done by my sister or her campaign… It was done by me as a private citizen. Before, I filed the complaint, I spoke with several candidates, elected officials and legal counsel.

To state that the slate is not trying to hide where their funding is coming from, to hide the source from the voters is exactly why the FPPC was founded. It is sad that there are people that are willing to deceive the voters of the City. I can only hope that the three of you are victims in this case! But that is why the FPPC has been the arbiter of this act since 1974.

barrowak99723
barrowak99723
6 years ago

I will talk to Liza and get to the bottom of this! I have trusted her for over five years, so I cannot imagine her doing anything shady. She’s ambitious like President Obama, yes, but nothing else…nothing bad. I will update you in 24 to 48 hrs. She surrounds herself with good people from all walks of life. A lot of people will vouch for her credibility!