LAS VEGAS (CN) – A campaign consultant sued California and its Fair Political Practices Commission, claiming that if the FPPC gets to look at his records, as it demands, it will cost him his business.
“I have many clients who desire that their business relationship with me remain secret,” Tony Dane claims in Clark County Court. “If this did not remain secret, I would lose much money, and my business.”
Dane, who operates out of Las Vegas, says he makes his living as a political consultant. He says he was contacted in November 2010 by the FPPC’s Beatrice Moore, who found his name on a financial statement of Ted Howze, a
City Council candidate in Turlock, Calif. Dane said he worked with Howze in 2006.
Moore sought telephone records. Dane claims: “I told her that I did not keep individual records after an election.”
Moore followed up the next month with an e-mail asking for copies of certain recordings, and Dane told her he didn’t have those recordings.
A few days later Moore e-mailed him a copy of his long-distance bill showing that he had called certain numbers in Turlock in October and November 2008.
Moore then requested a copy of his client list. Dane says he “refused to give her that list as a business secret. I did not want her calling all my clients as this would cause irreversible harm to my business, and prevent them from hiring me next time.”
Dane claims that Moore told him she already had called one of his clients, “HucPac.” And he says, “As a result of her call to my client HucPac will no longer do business with me.”
Dane says that Moore and an FPPC attorney then threatened him with legal action if he did not turn over the information Moore sought. Dane says he told the attorney “that threats and intimidation is [sic] not proper.”
Then, he says, the FPPC subpoenaed his bank in Sacramento “with an overly broad, blanket subpoena for my records”.
He claims that if the bank turns over his records, “That irreparable harm will result to my business, as the identity of my political clients will be known to them, and they will harass them as they did my former client who will no longer do business with me. Compensatory damages will not compensate me for my loss of business, and business secrets. That I have a first amendment right to conduct my political business, and a right to keep my private financial records private.”
He wants the subpoena quashed, and the FPPC enjoined “from obtaining my personal financial records and interfering in my business, and contacting my customers,” and costs and attorney’s fees.
He is represented by Michael Root.