Fines Dished for Campaign Violations

     (CN) – California political candidates, commissioners and committees were fined from $200 to more than $100,000 for campaign reporting violations, including failing to report contributions and expenses, making decisions despite financial conflicts of interest, and accepting gifts that exceeded annual limits.




     Steve Westly, a California gubernatorial candidate in the 2006 primary, and his committee treasurer, Kinde Durkee, were fined $104,500 for “failing to report subvendor information for payments made on behalf of Westly for Governor to various subvendors,” and for not reporting accrued expenses paid to Durkee’s business firm.
     The Fair Political Practices Commission determined whom to fine and how much at its regular monthly meeting in Sacramento last Thursday.
     Other large fines imposed included a $20,000 fine on Joel Anderson, a member of the California State Assembly, and his committee, Tax Fighters for Anderson 2010, for accepting excessive contributions through the Fresno County Republican Central Committee.
     The Fresno County Republican Committee itself was fined $29,000 for failing to report contributions to and from Anderson and his committee.
     Chuck P. Valdes, a member of the California Public Employees Retirement Board, was fined $12,500 for accepting more contributions then allowed.
     Smaller fines were also dished out, including a $5,000 fine to San Bernardino city attorney James Penman for accepting gifts from a single source in 2005 and 2006 that exceeded annual gift limits.
     The Fair Political Practices Commission was created by the Political Reform Act of 1974, a ballot initiative passed by California voters as Proposition 9.

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