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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phoenix.rising

I have a Lynn Compton sign in my yard and I will submit an in-kind donation for it’s use of my land?


I love it. This will blow out the meaning of FPPC and declare it impotent and useless. When the intent is to destroy as OnTheOtherHand says then lets make the FPPC mute by in-kind donations from us regular citizens.


On The Other Hand what does the Caren Ray Campaign declare when you see the Caren Ray signs in the county “right of way”? I guess you have to get a value assessment and declare the land value for an in-kind as well as the cost of county government since Public Works takes them out and others just replace them as fast as they can. Does that mean that Public Works gives Caren Ray supporters their removal schedule?


Caren you may want to instruct your supporters on what is proper for signage and focus on your placement.


Remember Caren Ray supporters, in this world there is the yin and yang of any topic and as much as it may feel good and taste good as you try to destroy Lynn Compton’s great campaign focusing on your own race and standing up for something you really believe in is the better way to go. Just some free advice.


Lynn Compton is a woman that defies your desire to discredit her. She is running her own race and does not look back to see what you all believe because it is on November 4th when the final decision will be made.


I just happen to just wonder what it feels like being mad all of the time instead of being out there talking and meeting the wonderful citizens of this district. I see Lynn out there and surrounded by supporters.


Go Lynn Go!


JMOpinion

Kudos to Lynn Compton for just doing it. Even though I believe this whole thing is sour grapeson Caren Ray’s part (and an attempt to make her opponent look like she was trying to skirt the rules, which she was clearly not), Compton just sucked it up and did it anyway. Made Caren Ray come out the one looking bad. Integrity. That’s why Compton will get my vote.


ODX

The Rental Value ???? Really!!!!


And you say we need more of this kind of government involvement in our elections?


Have you lost all sense of prespective. Why do you really think this needs to be reported?


When did we collectively lose our ability to use common sense and good judgement. When did we decide to look the other way when government officials make bad decisions like this one? Fair political practices should be fair for everyone not just for those you want to win.


California Democrats complain about what happened in New Jersey politics with Christie but they really need to look in the mirror before they accuse Republicans of being corrupt.


MaryMalone

It needs to be reported because the van is being used for campaign purposes.


ODX

If we use your logic then she would need to report the value of our cars when I or anyone else has a bumper sticker on them or the value of the monthly rent for a house when someone puts up on of her yard signs. Then how are all those rental values going to be calculated. Do we only need to provide the in kind value when driving or must we calculate the prorated cost when the car sits in the garage too? How about if we error on the side of caution because we are dealing with crazy people so let’s wing some really large figure because that is what they really wanted all along so they can say gotcha.


Since we are paving new territory here, can I assume you also want her to declare the value of all endorsements she receives? How do you propose to value all of those in kind contributions. Can we assume that would depend on who you are? I think it would be safe to say you would not consider my endorsement of much value so she shouldn’t have to worry about reporting what I can contribute. At what point do you think this whole discussion becomes absurd.


phoenix.rising

Yes, Compton declared the cost of the wraps when vehicle/trailers were wrapped, following FPPC* rules and regulations as written and in practice at the time they were wrapped.


Then she was told by the FPPC she needed to declare the cost of the vehicle and the trailers that were used under the wrapping itself The cost of a temporary wrap was the only part declared since these vehicles have and will be used in their business. The wrapping was intended to be temporary.


Instead the FPPC decided that she should declare the cost of the vehicle underneath the wrap itself also!


These vehicles were and are used mostly for business purposes while having the campaign wraps or no wraps on them. One trailer was just on display at functions not driven around.


This is equivalent to putting bumper stickers on a car and asking to declare the value of the car as a donation to the campaign.


*Erin Peth FPPC article in the LA Times:

(Governor’s appointee), http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jul/05/local/la-me-pc-fppc-20130705


SLOBIRD

Another Gov. Brown appointee with no prejudice, NOT:


“Peth’s appointment after a nationwide search increases Brown’s reach at an agency that enforces campaign finance and conflict-of-interest laws against elected and appointed officials. He also appointed two of the five members of the commission, and its general counsel worked for Brown when he was state attorney general.


Peth, 36, will step down from her post as deputy legal affairs secretary in the governor’s office, which she has held since 2011. Before that, she served as deputy attorney general while Brown was the attorney general.”


Good for Tesla for moving out of state to Neveda and taking 6,500 jobs even after California offers them $5 BILLION DOLLARS in tax credits to stay. What successful business would want to stay in this corrupt State!


MaryMalone

Of course she should declare the van. As long as the van is being driven for the benefit of the campaign , then it needs to be declared.


obispan

I still do not get this. She has to declare the cost of the vehicle wraps, just like that of signs she provides to supporters. I do not believe she needs to declare the value of her personal or business vehicles, the personal or business vehicles of supporters, nor the value of the land on which campaign signs are placed (though landowners cannot charge rent for any political signage without losing exemptions and being subject to sign ordinances and permit requirements). By the same logic would not the presumed wages of volunteers have to be declared as it you had paid a political worker?


MaryMalone

The vehicle is being used for campaign purposes (advertisement) so it needs to be declared.


fishing village

In our city one candidate had loads of money to spend and put up huge (for us) signs 8’x8′ but didn’t win the election. So, the message is signs are not the whole thing!! Being reasonable with ‘advertisements’ seems the best policy as the voters know the difference between getting the word out and being excessive. Seems to me….


SLOBIRD

People are smarter than we give them credit for. Sometimes it takes awhile like in M.B., they were finally ready for a change.


phoenix.rising

Signs were a way for an unknown to become known. Being an unknown and earning a 47% of the vote in June while the incumbent earned 42% of the vote was fabulous. If Mike Byrd was not in the race Lynn Compton would be the 4th District Supervisor elect.


With Mike as a spoiler Caren has a second chance. This is not rocket science.


MajorityFan

Compton had to spend $400K for the June election, a great deal of that was paid by her husband. Deep pockets do make a huge difference! Much like the Koch Bros.


kayaknut

If you are talking deep pockets, don’t leave out Gov. Brown, Ms. Boxer, Ms. Fieistein, Ms. Pelosi.


cowtipper

Bring back Meg Whitman, she raised the bar.


nurse1

FV in our city, we have Mayor Jamie Iron’s who just happens to be a millionaire a few times over, who likes to pretend he is just the average Joe. Gladly many are catching on to his lies and bull~!@#. Heard there is an investigative piece coming out on him soon. Cant wait for his world to be exposed.


phoenix.rising

When you have to use all the Governor appointees to win a supervisor’s race then what part do the 4th district voters play? What an insult to the voters!


Point 1: Caren Ray was appointed by the Governor.


Point 2: The FPPC rulers are appointed by the Governor. As stated on July 5th, 2013 in LA Times article: Brown’s ethics aide Erin Peth to become executive director of FPPC

http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jul/05/local/la-me-pc-fppc-20130705


“Peth’s appointment (FPPC Executive Director) after a nationwide search increases Brown’s reach at an agency that enforces campaign finance and conflict-of-interest laws against elected and appointed officials. He also appointed two of the five members of the commission, and its general counsel worked for Brown when he was state attorney general.”


Point 3: Can any of these appointees let Lynn Compton win or must they band together and change the rules in real time to save face for the Governor?


Point 4: What Governor appointee will strike next, in what government position?


Point 5: Ed Eby hounds Lynn Compton rather than helps Caren run an honorable campaign.


Lynn, keep telling the truth and keep being creative and an out-of-the-box political person with integrity and one day soon we can help to restore honor in this county.


Stay tuned to CalCoastNews since The Tribune and NewTimes might as well be appointees of this Governor too!


cry-me-a-river

My sentiments exactly, thank you. Lynn Compton has my vote.


OnTheOtherHand

I am not ready to call this situation a conspiracy involving the governor yet. I don’t think that it hurt Compton who reacted to it quite smartly. If they really wanted to go after her there would have been fines or other actions taken in spite of her quick compliance.


SLOBIRD

That’s because she is a professional businesswomen and deals with real problem solving issues everyday. She doesn’t yuk, whine, complaint, blame, etc. Just solve the issue and move on, unlike the other candidate who had a BB gun shot into she window (maybe) and made a major issue out of being personally attacked. Did the police, Caren Ray, etc, ever solve this high profile personal attack, lol…???


MaryMalone

How absurd. It is now Ed Eby’ s responsibility to help Compton and her selection staff run her campaign?


Quit blaming the messenger.


It is bad enough that Compton is either ignorant or crooked when it comes to campaign finance reporting requirements, but to then blame the messenger for bringing it up indicates she would be a pi$$-poor supervisor.


r0y

This only bolster’s Compton’s standings for people who are undecided, as the “scum value” of the complaint does leave a bad taste in the mouth. If there were solid complaints, sure, but this is a new thing to report, they jumped on correcting it… if anything, I’d think this was a plant by the Compton campaign to make them look honest and transparent (which it does).


Then again, the DCC is often so stupid around here, I’m about to call them republicans.


MaryMalone

Neither candidate is worth voting for. They both have problems taking responsibility for their own actions. That makes them no better than Adam HIll and Bruce Gibson in my book.


fishing village

That does sound excessive! $40,000 worth of ‘signs on vehicles’? I’ve heard of like one old ford pickup truck with an A frame wooden sign in the back, but ? Whenever, people go over the top the FPPC has to step in….oh no!


SLOBIRD

Each candidate raises money and gets to spend it the best way they chose. What is wrong with putting MOVING visual signs out there vs the billboards which also cost a fortune.


It is a candidates choice, as long as it is ethical, to spend as they want.


Wasn’t is Adam Hill, Caren Ray’s mentor, that put out that phony mailer back in 2012:


http://calcoastnews.com/2012/05/adam-hill-tied-to-phoney-mailer/


Since Ray is using the same campaign organization as Hill, I suspect before this election is over we will see a desperate action by Ray’s campaign at the very end of the campaign. That is what the demorats do!


OnTheOtherHand

The issue isn’t how they spend money, it is accurately reporting what they spent. I also question how they got to $40K for putting ads on the sides of trucks but if it is a reasonable figure, I can see why they might consider that to be a reportable donation. If they had a blimp and put their ads on it, that should be considered a campaign contribution as well.


FPPC has to draw the line somewhere and they chose a point greater than a bumper sticker or window sign to do so. I can’t fault them for that and they were reasonable about not taking further action against Compton when she quickly complied with their directions.


Really, other than establishing a new precedent for campaign reporting requirements, this whole thing is much ado about nothing.


nurse1

Fishing Village, what about your fair haired boys Gibson and Mayor Jamie Irons? Were your eyes closed completely this last election? Undoubtedly so since you voted for both of these idiots. Thank god there are folks down in the south county that will vote Lynn Compton in so that we may at least have a form of representation on the BOS that is not a complete joke.