Three of Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor‘s closest allies were slapped with fines from the state’s political watchdog, according to the agency’s latest filings.
The state’s Fair Political Practices Commission, which enforces compliance with election law, reached settlement agreements with Santa Clara Councilwomen Debi Davis, Kathy Watanabe and unsuccessful council candidate Tino Silva.
All three violated the law by failing to disclose campaign expenditures in the 2016 election cycle.
The FPPC’s enforcement team found that neither Watanabe, Davis or Silva had an “intent to conceal” the money. All three individuals paid their fines, according to FPPC spokesman Jay Wierenga. The commission is set to vote on the settlements during its next meeting on Sept. 21.
Watanabe didn’t report $1,400 in campaign spending in 2016 and was fined $614. She said her failure to report campaign spending was “an oversight” from a first-time candidate, though she said she called FPPC for advice on filing deadlines.
Davis didn’t disclose $3,400 and was fined $634. She was unavailable for comment.
Silva, who lost to Councilwoman Pat Mahan, also failed to report $3,400 and was fined $634. Silva said the money was paid to his social media manager at the end of the campaign, but he didn’t realize it should’ve been paid and reported during the filing periods.
Both Watanabe and Silva said argued the charges amounted to petty harassment by political rivals who reported them to the FPPC.
“This was politically-motivated and malicious,” Watanabe told IA. “People need to get a life and leave the people who were elected to do their job alone. Just leave good people alone.”
“The complaint is absolutely frivolous,” Silva said. “To me, it’s really sad that Debi, Kathy and I had to pay out of pocket. That comes out of my family’s money for something that was beyond ridiculous.”
Source:: The Mercury News – Politics