State Democrats file FPPC complaint on Maldonado
November 1, 2012
California Democrats requested Wednesday that the California Fair Political Practices Commission investigate whether Republican Congressional candidate Abel Maldonado violated state law by not disclosing two campaign fundraisers in 2007 [McClatchy].
The California Democratic Party complaint attempts to link Maldonado’s tax problems to campaign misconduct in the former state senator’s 2007 reelection bid.
On December 5, 2007, Maldonado hosted a party at his father’s home. The same day his campaign collected $35,000 from 27 donors. Maldonado’s family business, Agro-Jal Farming Enterprises, tried to write off $3,686.03 in catering costs from the party as a business expense, but the Internal Revenue Service denied the deduction, saying that the party could have been a political fundraiser.
In the FPPC complaint, the state Democratic Party said that, if IRS assessment is accurate, the party costs were contributions to Maldonado’s state senate reelection campaign and that the Republican violated state law by nor reporting them.
The complaint additionally cited a party Maldonado’s family business held earlier in 2007, which it also attempted to write off as a business expense. IRS documents show that Agro-Jal tried to write off a $16,473.43 catering fee from an April 2007 “Harvest Party” at the Santa Maria Country Club. But, the IRS rejected the write-off, again saying it could have been a Maldonado fundraiser.
“It was noted during the examination that Abel Maldonado Jr, was a state senator in California during this time period. It is conceivable that the party could have just as easily been a political fundraising party,” the IRS said.
Though the IRS did not provide a day for the party, campaign finance records show that Maldonado reported no nonmonetary contributions in all of April 2007. Records also revealed that Maldonado raised $23,100 on April 20 from a total of 11 donors.
But, the Maldonado congressional campaign called the FPPC complaint a political stunt.
“The complaint filed by the chairman of the California Democratic Party is a purely political and desperate stunt attempting to exploit an issue less than a week away from the election that the campaign addressed weeks ago,” Maldonado spokesman Kurt Bardella told McClatchy.
Capps’ campaign did not comment on the campaign finance complaint.