Contentious supervisor race impacts future candidates

September 2, 2014

Compton vanBy KAREN VELIE

UPDATE: The Fair Political Practices Commission sent Lynn Compton a warning letter dated Sept. 2. The warning says Compton violated the Political Reform Act by not reporting the value of the use of vehicles adorned with advertising. And that because Compton took quick action and immediately amended her filing, no further action will be taken.

ORIGINAL: Amid a complaint from a Nipomo man, Lynn Compton amended most of her campaign statements to include the cost of advertising on vehicles owned by her family business, something all candidates will now be required to do.

In May, Supervisor Caren Ray supporter Ed Eby filed a complaint with the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC). Eby’s complaint says Ray’s opponent, District 4 candidate Lynn Compton, had not claimed the cost of vehicles adorned with campaign advertisements.

In his complaint, Eby claimed Compton had rented the vehicles or purchased them outright from Valley Farm Supply, a company owned by Compton and her husband. Compton had claimed the cost of the signs on her election forms.

The FPPC responded by sending Compton a letter asking her to amend her disclosure forms. Compton complied and modified her filings to include in-kind donations of $40,800, for the cost of renting the sides of vehicles owned by her family business.

In the past, numerous local candidates have placed advertisements on vehicles. These signs range in size from bumper stickers to large vinyl wraps that cover vehicles.

Locally, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson moved a truck around the county with a large advertisement on the sides, former Supervisor Paul Teixeira placed his signs on a farm trailer, District Attorney candidate Tim Covello had his name on the back of a vehicle window. However, none of these candidates claimed the cost of renting or purchasing the vehicles donning their political advertisements.

In the past, candidates claimed the cost of purchasing the advertisement and placing it on the vehicle, but not the cost of the vehicle unless it was rented or purchased for the campaign. That has now changed.

However, it is not yet clear what size an advertisement has to be before a candidate is required to note the cost of utilizing a portion of a vehicle for advertising.

San Luis Obispo attorney Stew Jenkins assisted Compton with the amended filings.

“To answer your question about why the Lynn Compton for Supervisor campaign filed amended campaign finance reports, the answer is quite simple,” Jenkins said in the following email.

“The Lynn Compton Supervisorial Campaign fully and accurately reported all of its expenditures and contributions under existing law for each reporting period in a timely manner from the beginning. The Fair Political Practices Commission staff expanded reporting requirements, asking for new information about a candidate’s and their spouse’s personal efforts that have never previously been considered contributions in this or any other county prior to this election. When the FPPC asked that Lynn’s campaign statements be amended to cover the new, expanded reporting requirements, the additional information was fully, accurately and timely provided in amended reports as requested.

“Lynn Compton and her family are committed to winning this race without becoming beholden to special interests, contributing their own resources to Lynn’s campaign in addition to contributions made by her many, many, supporters. In contrast, Lynn’s opponent has actively sought huge contributions from large developers with numerous projects and permits now in front of the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors, or soon to be brought before the board.

“To put how the new requirement was applied in perspective, it is very like a campaign having already reported that the candidate and their spouse personally paid for T-shirts bearing the candidate’s name and slogan, followed by a request to report the “fair market value” of the candidate’s family and employees voluntarily wearing the T-shirts to school, to the grocery, or in the candidate’s business. Without addressing the constitutionality of this new requirement, in the spirit of full transparency, the Lynn Compton campaign provided the information when request was made for this type of additional information.”

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CARNAC

Picky, Picky, Picky to complain about the truck signs!


Hill, Gibson, & Ray if they continue on the BOS as the majority will just accelerate the restrictions on our freedoms. SLO County is on the verge of becoming just like San Francisco. Doesn’t Dave C. live in Ray’s district? He and his wife are big lefties.


OnTheOtherHand

If you are one of those who defines anyone who doesn’t agree with 90%+ of the conservative agenda as a “lefty,” then you are probably correct about Congalton — and I would fit your strawman mold as well. As a self-defined “moderate” (actually someone who holds positions all over the political spectrum), I would consider Congalton’s views to be SLIGHTLY left of center but definitely not an all-out “lefty.”


chrisinpaso

This is so typical of how especially the Democrats play politics. They “flood the zone” with accountants and lawyers to make the exercise of free speech as awkward and cumbersome as possible, especially in the election season. And if that doesn’t work, they simply change the accounting rules, as in the present case, to blindside their opponents. Then, with the help of rumor and a sycophantic, willing press, they try to smear the opponent’s reputation. That’s especially appropriate when the Democrats are weak on the issues and now it.


Oh, I’m sure there are plenty of Republicans who also stoop to such tactics, though not too many who have the assistance of the media. All candidates, be they Republican or Democrat, who cannot calmly discuss the issues and instead resorts to such disgraceful and dishonorable conduct does not deserve our votes. After all, why would any sane person entrust such candidates with the power to control our daily lives?!!


OnTheOtherHand

Correct as far as you go — in California. In Texas the shoe has been on the other foot and the Republicans have shown that they are plenty capable of playing dirty politics when in power.


scoopone

I don’t believe Congalton is supporting Ray….as she is getting all her political tips on how to discredit Compton from Hill & Gibson.


SLOBIRD

Ahhhhh, yes, our upstanding wife cheating, rude, dishonest ethnics of our supervisors, true role models for our Cop-u-lator Ray, the hash runner.


At least we know Compton can run a successful business with government support, pays taxes, has a deceitful family, and has values, Something definitely lacking with Gibson, Hill and Ray.


SLOBIRD

SHOULD HAVE READ:


At least we know Compton can run a successful business “WITHOUT” government support unlike Hill and Ray, professional lifetime government paid employees, …..


MaryMalone

I woudn’t vote for Ray or Compton even if the only alternative was Satan.


kayaknut

What did Mr. Hill move into district 4 to run??????????


OnTheOtherHand

It is posts like yours that make me want to go against my better judgment and support someone like Ray as a way to say “up yours” to your ad hominem attacks. The “Cop-u-lator” and “hash runner” labels are a waste of energy. Have you never done something dumb when trying to have some fun years ago?


Also, I hope your description of Compton as having a “deceitful family” is incorrect. I am leaning towards her and that would be enough to move me to a “neither candidate” position.


MikeB

This requirement is silly and an over reach by the FPPC. What is next, reporting supporters vehicle expenses if they simply have a bumper sticker?


Caren Ray has pulled a cheesy stunt in reporting this and it speaks volumes as to her own questionable ethics.


SLOBIRD

Welcome to Gibson, Hill and Ray politics… “cheesy” is a good description!


MaryMalone

Neither Ray nor Compton are worth voting for. They both have major ethical and regulation compliance issues, and both are beholding to outside financial interests.


MaryMalone

There is a huge difference between a bumper-sticker and a behemoth Ego-Mobile Sign.


cowtipper

It was like having Sarah Palin in town.


nurse1

MikeB, Caren Ray is running in the desperation mode right now.


However

Ed Eby was ridiculous with this lackluster allegation to the FPPC. When you realize the

absence of support from voters you dig into the inconsequential issues to dirty the water. AsKaren said, Lynn could have questioned the constitutionality of this new requirement. But

why do that when she has no problem being transparent in her expenditures. Give it up, Ed. Instead check into Caren’s campaign contributions from developers that want her

*yes vote* when they need BOS approval for their projects.


Jorge Estrada

Some are forced to sharpen their pencil while others sharpen their knife. If I could vote in that District, it would be for Compton and just get on with good representation for the will of the voters and not the appointers.


MaryMalone

Neither Ray nor Compton are ethical, and both are beholding to outside interests. Voting for either one is voting for special interests.


OnTheOtherHand

I would like to know on what basis you make this claim. It could very well be true but the only thing I have seen so far is the big support from a developer for Ray. One of the things that makes campaign finance reform so difficult to do fairly is that people can donate based upon a perception of shared political views too. Influence peddling is not the only motivation. How do you tell which is which?


nurse1

Mary, I usually agree with you but can not on this one. Wishing we had someone in district 2 like Ms. Compton.


nurse1

Cant wait to watch her spank Gibson and Hill at the BOS meetings, and put them to bed without their dessert.


achillesheal

About politicians, my Dad used to say, “Ask yourself why someone would pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to get a job that pays a fraction of that”.


r0y

Better yet, ask yourself why you never vote for the candidate who didn’t spend any money, and you only just may have heard about at the voting booth, reading the name on the ballot.


How many times do we say, “I have no idea who that is, so I’m not voting for him/her” ? THAT is why people spend so much.


achillesheal

Yes, but the more they spend the more they are beholden to their donors – with our money.


The FCC should dedicate a channel on TV and radio for local, state and national elections that gives equal time to all of the thieves running for office.


Rich in MB

Caren Ray is in hiding from the voters. Oh sure she will appear on the Dave Aka “Ray for Supervisor Congalton Show”. But when you are out of sync with your voters…the best you can do it go into hiding and go on the attack!


kayaknut

I am still waiting for to hear from Caren Ray, I called and emailed her a week ago to discuss the A.G. city manger issue, and nothing from her, anyone surprised?


individual

She is too busy worrying how she will feather her nest if not elected.


SLOBIRD

She will go back to teaching in Santa Maria! The students can’t wait as they miss their beer supply. Her democratic connections will get onboard somewhere, maybe she can become an administrative aide to one of our upstanding supervisors, Gibson or Hill…


Perspicacious

Just curious, what would she have to do with the “A.G. city manger” issue?


kayaknut

I didn’t say she had anything to “do” with the issue, but since her district covers the city of A.G. and I am a resident of the city, and she is my current county supervisor, as one of her constituents I wanted to hear her thoughts into the issue, on the job she thought the city did in addressing the issue, and would she had still been on the city council if she would of handled it differently. I think knowing this would help when it comes time to cast my vote in the 4th district race, but then again not even getting the courtesy of even a form letter response or recorded message would tell me a much about Ms. Ray.


willnose

Why ask her of hypothetical “what she would have done” when the current council and mayor need to be asked your questions? That’s pretty disingenuous, but then you’re not really interested in answers, are you?


Asking someone who wasn’t there is so much posturing on your part, does nothing to address the actual incident. Remember, there is still on-going investigation, so we’re just dealing in rumors, innuendos – don’t you?


Did you pose the same question to Lynn? …didn’t think so! Yet you give the other candidate a free pass? So why muddy up the waters just to bemire one candidate; one who had nothing to do with this? Just a cheap trick, chest-beating of empty shirt.


Same goes to those who keep bringing up the same old “Hash House Harrier” comments; so lame, just more drive-by shouters.


kayaknut

The better question would be “Why not ask her”?, everyone has their opinion on how the current city council is handling the issue and how they feel it should be handled and asking a potential candidate their thoughts would be a good insight into if a particular candidate follows their thinking and deserves their vote.


Your comment, “Asking someone who wasn’t there is so much posturing”, this is done all the time, a person doesn’t have to have firsthand knowledge to form an opinion, an opinion is just that, and not legally binding, and why wouldn’t you want to know someone’s opinion before casting a vote. It would make sense to ask all candidates in any election their thought on issues you feel give you a good sense of a particular candidates philosophy. One can only guess why a person would not to know the answer.


And yes I did pose the question to Ms. Compton and did receive an answer and should her answer be of interest to you I encourage you to call, email, visit her office or such.


As for Ms. Ray I can’t say the same thing since I am still waiting for a reply.


OnTheOtherHand

Sorry, but willnose is basically right on this one. If I was running for Supervisor I wouldn’t respond with an opinion until the investigation is complete if at all. If the situation is relevant to her at all it is only because she personally knows the people involved. That is not necessarily the general public’s business unless she was also involved in the activities or a coverup of them.


One of the more annoying tactics used in election campaigns is to try to create issues that are irrelevant to the position as a basis for either criticizing one candidate or praising another. You might as well have asked about her position on dealing with ISIS, Wall Street reforms, abortion or any of a hundred other controversial issues. I don’t know if that was your intent here but it appears that she may have decided that it is a waste of her time to play that game.


By the way, she has not satisfied my view of her political independence and won’t have a chance at my vote unless she does so I am not one of her supporters.


kayaknut

But what if the investigation takes until after the election? An opinion can be given at anytime based on the information known at any given time, no one ever said you can never change your opinion if new information becomes available. Again, asking her for opinion is not for a binding answer to the issue but to see if her opinion and your opinion are compatible. To me it is like asking a person their opinion on any issue, say abortion, school testing, beach access, to say a candidate shouldn’t give an opinion to these issues because they aren’t currently personally involved in them denies the voters a chance to determine if the candidate has views and values they think are important and deserving of their vote. Also, as stated I wasn’t asking her for a ruling on the issue, but in part her feelings on how the city council has handled the issue so far. This opinion isn’t dependent on the issue being “relevant” to the candidate.


There is a vast difference from asking a local candidate about ISIS or wall street reform from asking here about an local issue and even in this case an issue in a city in her district, controversial or not. It would seem odd to not be allowed to ask candidates controversial questions, and I hope she would not take the position that an issue in a city in her district is a waste of her time to comment on.


SLOBIRD

Didn’t Ms. Ray have experience as a Grover Beach Councilwoman, as a someone running for district supervisor this is a great question for those who are concerned with a County government corruption.


Thank you, “kayaknut”, for asking the question of both candidates and posting a no response from Ray and an open, direct answer from Compton!


cowtipper

The city manger only is relevant during the holidays.


However

Don’t expect a reply too soon, Caren is the last person to ask about the City Manager issue.After her own SLO Hash House Harriers escapades I doubt she has much to say on the

City Manager’s tryst. http://calcoastnews.com/2010/06/arroyo-grande-councilwoman-leads-a-harried-secret-life/


MaryMalone

I can think of two reasons.


The one Ray will use: “I am not running for AG City Council.”


The one she will never admit: “I’m guilty of very similar ethical lapses.”


If she condemns Adams/McClish, she will be a hypocrite.


If she says they did nothing wrong, she will be endorsing her own lack of morals and ethics while on the AG City Council.


Silence is her only hope.


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