Experts Expound

Experts Expound

“Brown’s new appointment to the FPPC seems to favor rolling back the aggressive nature of the panel that has emerged over the past few years, including halting the practice of announcing when someone is under investigation. What do you think?”

The FPPC can (should) be aggressive in prosecuting abuses without announcing those under investigation.  To the public, “under investigation” means guilty.

It’s hard to fathom why the self-proclaimed “father” of the Political Reform Act in 1974, and the man who once called all political contributions “legalized bribery,” would want to make the relatively toothless enforcement agency of that act even more toothless.

Seems kinda contrary to Prop. 9 that Mr. Reformer Governor, the guy who just appointed her, pimped so hard to get elected back in 1974.

Amen to that. “Investigation” was a loaded word, conveniently used by self-appointed good government groups and rival campaigns to paint candidates as corrupt when they were often innocent.

The “presumed guilty” policy was a bit over the top, and given that she – unlike former chairman Dan Schnur – is an attorney, she may have significant concerns about giving that much heft to what amounts to an allegation. That said, one hopes that the FPPC aggressively continues to pursue political scofflaws and continues to rachet up the “embarrassment factor” for those who do violate the Political Reform Act.

The posting of those under investigation was an absolutely great idea. It warned people there was a sheriff in dodge, it alerted reporters to keep their eyes open, it reassured the public that somebody really is watching the henhouse. The only people who don’t like this practice are politicians and the people who suck up to them.

Who really cares? The whole image-driven, media-inundated world that the public now inhabits isn’t interested in such nuances as “innocent until proven guilty” unless it happens to them personally. The FPPC’s findings were used by rival campaigns to tarnish each other, and why not? The reporters covered pecadillos like this in depth while the state lost $50 billion in the energy crisis.

An absurd position. The FPPC complaint process has NEVER been used by one campaign against another in order to generate a little negative attention. Hey, if someone has violated the law or the regulations, they get banged. That seems fair. It also provides some due process – a novel thought!

If rolling back enforcement is the plan, I think that’s pretty disappointing. Schnur is the one Schwarzenegger appointee Brown should have kept, and an aggressive FPPC is a good thing.

Andrew Acosta, A.G. Block, Mark Bogetich, Barry Brokaw, J Dale Debber, Peter DeMarco, Mike Donovan, Jim Evans, Kathy Fairbanks, Jeff Fuller, Rex Frazier, Ken Gibson, Evan Goldberg, Deborah Gonzalez, Sandy Harrison, Bob Hertzberg, Jason Kinney, Greg Lucas, Mike Madrid, Nicole Mahrt, Steve Maviglio,  Adam Mendelsohn, Barbara O’Connor, Bill Packer, Kassy Perry, Jack Pitney, Adam Probolsky, Tony Quinn, Matt Rexroad, Matt Ross, Roger Salazar, Dan Schnur, Will Shuck, Ralph Simoni, Sam Sorich, Ray Sotero, Garry South, Kevin Spillane, Robin Swanson, Angie Wei, Rich Zeiger

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