Democrat-Controlled ‘Watchdog’ Panel Votes for ‘Unlimited Contributions’ to Josh Newman

Josh Newman (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)
Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press

The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), the Democrat-created ethics committee for elections in California voted Thursday to reverse its long-standing rule restricting campaign limits on donations from elected officials in recall elections.

The goal is to help State Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) save his seat from a recall election.

Earlier this week, an appellate judge shut down the Democrats efforts’ to rig the recall election process by moving the date to next year, making Thursday’s FPPC vote much more significant.  But the vote to change the rule — which was fast-tracked to aid Newman — was not unanimous, according to the Sacramento Bee:

Chair Jodi Remke was the only dissenting commissioner in the final vote on Thursday. She previously cautioned against the decision, saying it could be seen as a political move that damages the agency’s reputation.

Last week, The Sacramento Bee revealed that a lawyer for Senate Democrats, Richard Rios, met privately with Hatch before the matter was discussed in a public comment period during the June meeting, according to public records. Hatch and Rios also exchanged text messages and talked on the phone. Hatch, a former lobbyist for the firefighters’ union, acted as a staunch advocate for the change throughout the process and never disclosed his private conversations with Rios during public meetings.

There is sure to be a the deluge of money from the California GOP and other interested parties hoping to unseat Newman. And now, he is sure to pull in millions from his well-heeled Democrat colleagues, some of whom have amassed massive war chests.

Instead of being limited to a mere $4,400, existing officeholders will be able to funnel unlimited funds from their own campaign accounts into his recall campaign, putting yet another brick in the wall protecting incumbents from virtually any challenge.

Democrats have controlled the FPPC since the board’s creation, and its seats are appointed by Democrats, including the governor, and other state leaders, all of whom are Democrats.

In spite of the concerns that the chairwoman had about the appearance of political favoritism, there is not likely to be a public outcry, since the general public is generally unaware of the insider machinations of state politics.

Tim Donnelly is a former California State Assemblyman and Author, currently on a book tour for his new book: Patriot Not Politician: Win or Go Homeless.  He also ran for governor in 2014.


Twitter:  @PatriotNotPol


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