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Archive for the '2008 November election' Category

Prop. 8 committee fined $49,000 for violations

California’s political watchdog agency today slapped the committee behind 2008’s Proposition 8 – the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage – with a $49,000 fine for campaign finance reporting violations involving more than $1.3 million in contributions.

According to the Fair Political Practices Commission, on 8 and its treasurer, David Bauer, “failed to file late contribution reports in a timely manner; failed to file in a timely manner, contributions of $1,000 or more received during the 90-day election cycle ending on November 4, 2008; failed to file contributions of $5,000 or more in a timely manner, in an online campaign report within ten business days of receipt; failed to properly dispose of an anonymous $10,000 contribution received on or about October 28, 2008; and failed to disclose occupation and/or employer information regarding persons who contributed $100 or more” – 18 distinct violations in all.

“The total amount of contributions not timely reported on these reports is approximately $654,424, which is approximately 2% of the total contributions received by Respondent Committee during the audit period,” commission staffers wrote of the late contribution reports, in an exhibit to the stipulation agreed to by Staffers noted “there are no cases that are similar in size and amount of contributions received that have been considered by the Commission in the recent past.” also “failed to disclose 188 contributions of $1,000 or more totaling $582,306 during 90-day period before the November 4, 2008 General Election within 24 hours of receipt in online campaign reports,” the exhibit said. It also failed to disclose contributions of $5,000 or more on or about July 21, 2008 and August 5, 2008, totaling $95,000.

Posted on Thursday, August 16th, 2012
Under: 2008 November election, ballot measures, campaign finance, same-sex marriage | 2 Comments »

Ex-Richmond official files FPPC complaint

Richmond Councilman Jim Rogers

Richmond Councilman Jim Rogers

Former Richmond Councilman John Marquez has filed two complaints against Councilman Jim Rogers, alleging that his one-time colleague violated campaign finance laws and may have cost him re-election in November.

In a complaint filed today with the Fair Political Practices Commission, Marquez states that Rogers formed an illegal committee, loaned it $28,000 to pay for three attack mailers and failed to include proper disclaimers.

Marquez said Rogers also violated a city ordinance that limits contributions in Richmond campaigns to $2,500.

“These illegal mailings were just plain wrong,” Marquez said. “Jim Rogers is a lawyer and member of the City Council and he promoted and voted in support of Richmond’s Campaign Finance Ordinance. He should have known that it was wrong.”

Rogers said that he amended his committee type with the state last fall after he was made aware by the Contra Costa Times of a problem.

John Marquez

John Marquez

Under state campaign finance law, candidates cannot create and control independent expenditure committees. The regulation is intended to prevent elected officials from using such committees to avoid disclosure or sidestep compliance with contribution limits.

“I didn’t realize at the time that I had screwed up the paperwork,” he said. “Once it was brought to may attention, I called the (state) and followed their advice.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, February 4th, 2009
Under: 2008 November election, Contra Costa politics | 1 Comment »

Get your campaign finance report tidbits here

Last night was the deadline for campaign finance reports, where candidates and ballot measures must report their activity through the end of 2008.

Keep in mind that it is a postmark deadline, so some of the reports have not yet arrived in the election offices.

But here is a quick run-down of what some East Bay candidates raised in 2008 based on reports I picked up in Martinez this morning and checked on-line at the Cal-Access, the state’s on-line campaign finance report web site:

California Legislature

State Senate District 7: Democrat Mark DeSaulnier raised $702,709. His opponent was a nominal Republican who did not campaign due to conflicts with his employer.

State Senate District 9: Democrat Loni Hancock raised $751,151. She spent most of her money in the primary in a hard-fought race with Wilma Chan.

Assembly District 15: This was unquestionably the most expensive contest in the East Bay. Democrat Joan Buchanan, who won the seat, raised $2,390,835. Her GOP opponent Abram Wilson collected $1,384,436. These totals do not include the vast sums of independent dollars spent on their behalf by various interest groups.

Assembly District 14: Democrat Nancy Skinner raised $628,321. She spent most of her money was spent in the primary where she battled against other Democrats in this heavily Democratic district.

Assembly District 11: Democrat Tom Torlakson raised $370,492. He also had a nominal Republican challenger. Torlakson returned to this seat after he termed out of the Senate, where he will serve his final term allowed under term limits. He is running for state superintendent of schools in 2010.

Click through on the right for Contra Costa County campaign finance tidbits: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009
Under: 2008 November election, California Assembly, campaign finance | No Comments »

Two California robocalls make Top 10 ‘Hall of Shame’ list

Two of those obnoxious automated campaign phone calls from the 2008 California election made the National Political Do Not Contact Registry’s Top 10 Hall of Robocall Shame.

Ranked No. 2 is the infamous sex call financed by a Republican challenger in an uphill fight to unseat incumbent Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Napa.  “Mike Thompson has been a baaaaaad boy!” says a throaty woman in a breathy voice.

And in the No. 10 spot is the robocall from conservative group that used Barack Obama’s words about gay marriage in an anti-Proposition 8 call.

Click here for the full Top 10 list and audio links to the calls, along with a chance to vote for your favorite.

Not that you would know it but robocalls are illegal in California unless introduced by a live caller. Then why do we get so many? Campaigns get around the law by hiring out-of-state call centers beyond the jurisdictional reach of the California Public Utility Commission.

The National Political Do Not Contact project is lobbying for national legislation to bar or restrict the use of robocalls but critics say a prohibition is a violation of Free Speech rights.

Posted on Monday, December 29th, 2008
Under: 2008 November election | 3 Comments »

Alameda County conducts survey of voters, pollworkers

Alameda County is asking voters and poll workers who took part in the Nov. 4 election to participate in an on-line survey at the Registrar of Voters website,,

The department will use the results to improve serrvices, according to Registrar of Voters Dave Macdonald.

The survey features 10 questions about voting methods, polling place operations and effectiveness of pollworkers.

Inspectors who run polling places, poll workers, precinct coordinators who provide support to polling sites, and personnel who staff return centers were election supplies are returned after the closing of the polls are also asked to participate in a survey.

For more information, call 510-272-6933.

Posted on Tuesday, November 11th, 2008
Under: 2008 November election, Alameda County | No Comments »

Heavy demand slowed state election computers

Capitol Weekly just posted this great explanation about why the Secretary of State’s election web site was almost useless on election night: Click here for the story.

Posted on Friday, November 7th, 2008
Under: 2008 November election, 2008 presidential election, Election reform | No Comments »

Saint Mary’s College to host post-election panel

Come see me and my colleagues Carla Marinucci from the San Francisco Chronicle and Mark Sandalow from KCBS radio on Monday at 7 p.m. at Saint Mary’s College.

We’ll be talking about the 2008 presidential campaign and all things to do with elections. It’s a free event open to the public at the college, so come on by.

Click here for the details at Saint Mary’s College events calendar or read more. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, November 7th, 2008
Under: 2008 November election, 2008 presidential election | No Comments »

It’s after 1 a.m. and the news is sinking in

It’s been a wild ride.

I started the day at the gym, in part, to ward off the calories I knew would hit the newsroom. It’s tradition here to eat pizza, Chinese food and M&Ms on election night.

I then began a new tradition of meeting for lunch with some veteran Contra Costa politicos for some off-the-record predictions about national and local races. The most prescient among us win bragging (or gloating) rights until the next election.

And then I watched the first African-American in this nation’s history become president-elect. It was something many believed could not happen in my lifetime or even the lifetimes of my children and grandchildren.

Unlike the past several presidential elections, the outcome unfolded quickly, too.

By 8:01 p.m., the television networks declared Obama the winner. GOP nominee John McCain delivered a very classy concession speech. It was just what I would have expected from McCain.

I was unable to listen to all of Obama’s short speech because I was busy writing about the early results in congressional district 11 (McNerney vs. Andal) but I am sure I can find it online in at least 3,000 places.

Now, all eyes will be on the Democrats.

They will hold power in the White House, Congress and the U.S. Senate, a trifecta that will carry both tremendous responsibility and an extraordinary level of scrutiny. The country faces deep economic uncertainty, growing concerns about climate change and expensive wars on terror that seem to have no end.

Obama promises change but as the debate during the election showed, voters are far from united on what that means. Meanwhile, near super-human status has been bestowed on this one man — even Obama jokes about it — and he will almost certainly fall short of the expectations of one group or another. Obama has inspired tens of thousands of people to become involved in the process but unlike an emotional election night victory, political successes are usually measured in small incremental steps over many years. Will these new enthusiasts have the patience and the stamina to stick with it over the long haul?

Tomorrow … make that later today … I will talk with the East Bay members of Congress and find out how they view their jobs in the next two years given the changing political landscape.

Posted on Wednesday, November 5th, 2008
Under: 2008 November election, 2008 presidential election | No Comments »

California election returns web site seeing 10 times the traffic

Like most of you, I’ve been unable to bring up the California Secretary of State’s election results web page most of the evening

But it is back up as of a few minutes ago.

I’m told the site is experiencing 10 times the normal levels of traffic. A spokeswoman says they are disabling the map function, which should speed it up.

This is what happens when you have an election and everyone shows up.

Posted on Tuesday, November 4th, 2008
Under: 2008 November election, 2008 presidential election | 4 Comments »

Pleasant Hill resident sends message to sign-stealer

Here’s how one Pleasant Hill resident responded to the theft of an Obama sign:

Posted on Tuesday, November 4th, 2008
Under: 2008 November election, 2008 presidential election | No Comments »