FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Working Families Supports Bi-Partisan Effort by City Councilmembers to Stand Up Against Illegal Campaign Activities in San Diego Mayoral Election
Local leaders call on San Diego Ethics Commission to weigh in on illegal campaigning by Fletcher supporters ‘Restoring Trust’ in the final hours before the vote
SAN DIEGO – November 18, 2013 – ‘Working Families for a Better San Diego to Support David Alvarez for Mayor 2013’ filed a complaint this morning against the ‘Restoring Trust in San Diego’ independent expenditure committee citing a major campaign finance violation in the final days leading up to the election for San Diego’s next mayor.
The complaint focuses on Restoring Trust’s recent distribution of an advertisement which is identical to an ad designed, produced, paid for and distributed by the Nathan Fletcher for Mayor (Campaign Committee) earlier in the election.
Working Families cites a violation of State independent expenditure laws as the primary offense. According to the San Diego Ethics Commission: “When a committee makes a payment that advocates for or against a City candidate, it is presumed that the payment is not “independent” if: …the communication duplicates, in whole or in substantial part, a communication designed, produced, paid for, or distributed by the candidate.”
Despite the alarming resemblance between the two advertisements, Restoring Trust’s counsel claims the ad “complied fully with the law” and “In fact, we [Restoring Trust…]have specifically cleared this advertisement with the San Diego Ethics Commission – the agency charged with enforcing the campaign finance laws for the San Diego Mayoral election – in order to remove any doubt regarding it’s legality.”
Working Families are not the only ones imploring the San Diego Ethics Commission to speak for themselves. This afternoon, Council members Myrtle Cole (District 4) and Scott Sherman (District 7) sent a joint memo to the Commission inquiring about whether the agency had actually pre-approved the advertisement.
“We find it extremely difficult to believe that the San Diego Ethics Commission would approve this advertisement,” said Richard Barrera, Secretary-Treasurer of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, adding “We share the concerns of Council members Cole and Sherman and applaud their bipartisan efforts to keep San Diego honest. Our city has been through enough in the last year – we deserve a fair election and leaders who will play by the rules. ”
Mickey Kasparian, President of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council added “We are all responsible for upholding election laws – and the public has a right to know when these laws have been violated, especially by someone seeking our trust. No one should be allowed to violate ethics rules just because they can afford to pay the fines.”
Samantha Peterson, San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council