The state Fair Political Practices Committee has acknowledged that it is opening an investigation into an allegation that a committee formed to support challengers Cynthia Blatt and Steve Martin and oppose incumbents John Duran and John Heilman in the March 7 WeHo City Council election has violated state and local election laws.
The complaint was made by local activist James Duke Mason, who is a backer of Heilman and Duran and a member of the city’s Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board.
The West Hollywood Money and Politics Committee (WeHoMAP) distributed mailers that don’t list who paid for them, which is required by state law, according to a letter from George Lin, Mason’s lawyer, that was sent to West Hollywood’s City Clerk and the enforcement officer of the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission.
The mailers also did not note that they were “not authorized” by the candidates for whom they advocate. Under the law, independent expenditure committees are not supposed to coordinate their activities with the campaigns of the candidates they are promoting and must acknowledge that in their campaign materials.
Scott Schmidt, treasurer of WeHoMAP, contested the allegation, saying WeHoMAP was formed as a “general purpose committee,” in other words one not solely focused on one election, and that the requirements cited by Lin are for an independent expenditure committee focused on only one election, such as the West Hollywood City Council race.
“When we created the committee, our intent was to educate voters in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, just as our website and FPPC Form 410 say, and we have continued to do,” Schmidt said in an email to WEHOville. “As long as developers and lobbyists continue to try to influence local elections, WeHoMAP intends to be around exposing the truth about their activities
The mailer referenced is one that asks “What do developers and lobbyists expect for the $275,000 + they have invested in Councilmen Heilman and Duran?” The mailer states that Blatt and Martin have received a total of only $500 from real estate interests.
Thanks Jimmy and JJ. Every two years new people sign up to run for city council, not knowing what the city is all about–but with a lot of opinions and inflated egos. It’s easy to have opinions–we all have them. Big deal. How to develop your mind in order to express what you believe in constructively is not so easy. Serve selflessly on a commission or a committee or volunteer for a non-profit for a few years will help educate you. In the meantime, John Heilman and John Duran will continue to be reasoned and careful council members. John Heilman… Read more »
Blatt…it actually makes me laugh that she has garnered any support at all. What has she done for the HIV community? NOTHING THAT I REMEMBER. What has she done for the recovery community? NOTHING THAT I REMEMBER. What has she done for the LGBT community? NOTHING THAT I REMEMBER. Has she marched with trans folks? NOT THAT I REMEMBER. Has she marched or attended prop 8 rallies after we were all shell shocked? NOT THAT I REMEMBER. Has she ever been to a pet event in our city? NOT THAT I REMEMBER. Has she attended and or helped with a… Read more »
And WEHO is doing just fine. We are THE place in to dine, shop, and party. We have money in the bank and provide the best services to residents. That’s why Duran and Heilman are going to retain their seats because if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
@ WeHo Votes..no memory issues here. Martin was voted out and then lost again upon trying to get back in. Heilman lost once (by a slim margin) after serving on the council since the City was created and then easily won his seat back. NO MARTIN & BLATT…double trouble we don’t need.
Allegations all provided by Heilman & Duran appointees, lawyers courtesy of their campaigns. Can’t over develop the city without corrupt officials, so the developers turn to the Nixon playbook.
Obviously the subjects of this mailer wish to suppress the revelations at all costs……..regardless, many voters have recognized any technical issues raised are de minimus……moreover they have already extrapolated far higher, unreported “contributions” given to the incumbents.
@JJ we voted Heilman out, too, and he came back even after he stated publicly he would not run again. Short memory there. Follow the money…developers are running this town.
We already voted Steve Martin out…yet he keeps coming back like a bad penny. Go. Away. (and take Blatt with you).
Steve should have stood on his own 2 feet instead of latching himself to Blatt and now another ethics problem. The state needs to have a propensity of information to open an Investigation. So there must be a clear breach.
It depends on what the meaning of “is” is. 0R as Cynthia Blatt might say ” it’s a question of semantics”.