FPPC

Liccardo Camp Challenges Dem Central Committee on Endorsement, Spending

The Santa Clara County Democratic Central Committee is on the fast track to endorse its preferred mayoral hopeful, Dave Cortese. But there are growing concerns that the group’s backing will give that candidate the unfair advantage of bypassing campaign finance laws that apply to individual candidates. Campaign staff of Councilman Sam Liccardo, the fundraising frontrunner in the mayor’s race, challenged the DCC in emails to abide by the same rules governing candidates that prevent unlimited spending in an election.

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FPPC Investigates County Bar Association President-Elect John Mlnarik

Last month Fly delved into the litigious world of John Mlnarik, a local attorney and former candidate for a seat on the Santa Clara City Council. Mlnarik had open lawsuits against three four separate parties connected to his abysmal 2012 campaign, and an interesting countersuit coming back his way. Elena Rivkin Franz, a former employee of Mlnarik’s, accused him of using staff and resources from his law firm—The Mlnarik Law Group—to assist his campaign under the table. Fly did a little digging and found that the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) has had an open investigation since September into the campaign of Mlnarik, who is currently the president-elect of the Santa Clara County Bar Association.

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FPPC Expands Xavier Campos Investigation

The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) confirmed Thursday that it has expanded its investigation into San Jose Councilman Xavier Campos’ 2010 campaign. Earlier this week, San Jose Inside reported that Campos and incarcerated former county Supervisor George Shirakawa Jr. created fictitious business filings with the county Recorder’s office under identical names as their campaigns. The unconventional finance practice could have allowed the two men to funnel campaign contributions into secret bank accounts.

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Councilman Xavier Campos and the Working Lunch

San Jose requires its elected officials to make their calendars public. The idea is a little sunshine on day-to-day activities holds Mayor Chuck Reed and the City Council accountable. After an extensive review of public calendars for all 11 elected officials in San Jose, it’s clear that no one loves a working lunch more than Councilman Xavier Campos. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like he’s actually doing much work during his long midday snacks.

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Chavez Campaign Coordinators Spend Big, Disconnect Phone Numbers

With less than three weeks remaining in the county supervisor runoff between Teresa Alvarado and Cindy Chavez, supporters on both sides have now volleyed accusations of illegal assistance from outside groups. A little digging shows lots of money being spent by groups coordinating with the Chavez campaign, and very little attention being paid to update their contact information.

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Focus of Alvarado, Chavez Supervisor Race Turns to Campaign Coordination

The latest turn in the race to replace disgraced former county Supervisor George Shirakawa, Jr., the Santa Clara County Democratic Party has filed a complaint against candidate Teresa Alvarado, alleging that she illegally coordinated with a political action committee. Alvarado and fellow candidate Cindy Chavez, who has also been accused of illegal campaign coordination and is supported by the county Democratic Party, will face off in a July 30 special election. With only three weeks left in the race, an important debate is being waged on what constitutes unfair campaign assistance.

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FPPC Talks Technology at Meeting in Santa Clara County Board Chambers

Discussion on technology dominated much of the Fair Political Practices Commission’s June 20 meeting in the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors chambers, as the state political watchdog discussed the role of monitoring campaigns, candidates and elected officials in between dealing with some technical difficulties in setting up its equipment.

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