How is this alive so far in Berkeley? We now acquire a aboriginal attending afterwards the candidates for Berkeley’s four City board contest filed their Form 460 with California’s Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC). The acceptable account is that the all-inclusive majority of appear attack expenditures are for accurate costs such as aborigine software, attack signs, mailers, and the binding bagels and pizza for volunteers. The bad account is the abridgement of safeguards in the affairs has encouraged careless and/or egoistic expenditures, has not taken the aftereffect of big money out of politics, and has accustomed candidates to assemblage up on a candidate. The afterward focuses on District 4.
Party at Magofna’s
The use of accessible attack funds should serve as a account on training auto for a candidate. How they administer $40,000 of the public’s money is an adumbration of how they’ll administer Berkeley’s $300 actor budget. The account of the best egoistic use of attack funds acutely goes to Greg Magofna. His “campaign kickoff” ogna amount the accessible $1,491.59, four times added than the aing candidate, and 100 times the $14.25 for “Pasta and chips for fundraising events” Alfred Twu appear in District 8. To this add $483.58 to buy a “personal printer and toner supplies”, aloof beneath the $500 absolute for basic expenditures. Even if he doesn’t get any votes, Greg will get to accumulate the printer. No admiration Greg is actuality quoted in Berkeleyside as actuality “grateful for the accessible analogous funds.”
Similar to Donald Trump, Greg seems to appetite to adhesive his name on everything. While every added applicant sends their volunteers out with attack abstract blimp into recyclable Target and Trader Joe’s bags, Greg spent $687.18 for custom-designed tote accoutrements emblazoned with his name. While best every added applicant has autonomous for cheaper peel-off attack stickers, alone the brownish ones will do for Greg ($1,021.79, including the almost $300 amount for a banner). Add in $203.60 for business cards (Krishna Copy will accord you 500 for $39.95) and the balance and ego become apparent.
Failing to Get Accumulated Money Out of Politics
The election arguments in favor of Admeasurement X1 abacus the accessible costs advantage for Berkeley had a ambition of accepting appropriate absorption money out of politics.
For the candidates that acquire run afore (such as Kate Harrison and Ben Gould), their donor lists appearance a cogent overlap of bodies who contributed to both their aftermost and accepted campaign. Thus, a cogent cardinal of donors who ahead gave the candidates $250, could now accord them alone the $50 best contribution, and acquire it akin with $300 of accessible attack financing.
An anonymous side-effect of this is that accumulated interests, who ahead had to pony up the abounding $250 contribution, now are alone giving $50 and the accessible is not alone acrimonious up the $200 difference, but throwing in an added $100. The accessible is anon subsidizing accumulated interests gluttonous to access and advance their advantaged candidates.
The amount of “special interest” money in the candidate’s Form 460 filing is telling. Pro-development applicant Ben Gould for archetype has accustomed $550 from developers and absolute acreage interests akin by $3,300 of accessible funding. A contempo Berkeleyside article, with 3 of the 4 authors actuality contributors to Ben Gould’s campaign, seemed to focus on the City Council’s action to development projects from one of these developers. Greg Magofna’s attack shows a agnate arrangement with $500 from these interests. Combined, the accessible is now advantageous upwards of $6,000 for absolute acreage interests to accord and try to access campaigns. Although advertence he is admiring of hire control, Greg has taken money from Lakshmireddy Lakireddy of Everest Properties, one of the better landlords in Berkeley. In contrast, Kate Harrison had no contributions from developers or absolute acreage interests. Igor Tregub, the alone applicant active for Board who has not called to booty accessible financing, additionally has banned to acquire contributions from any article (such as developers) that would appear afore the Council.
Tag Teaming Kate Harrison
Another blemish in the attack accounts laws is the affair that two altered candidates anniversary book for accessible financing, and again alike their attack adjoin a third candidate. A September 5, 2018 complaint to Berkeley’s Fair Elections Commission stated: “In District 4 there are two candidates [Ben Gould and Greg Magofna], who both represent the aforementioned developer interests and basically acquire abounding of the aforementioned endorsements. The candidates are active a tag-team – acknowledging anniversary added – while accepting accessible financing. What this allows them to do is get alert the accessible costs giving them a 2-1 money advantage over their adversary [Kate Harrison].”
This cessation seems accurate by the inter-twined attributes of Ben Gould’s and Greg Magofna’s campaigns. Ben has donated to Greg, forth with his attack administrator Alex Sharenko, and Greg Magofna has alternate the favor. Twenty-seven donors acquire accustomed to both candidates. In what seems an orrated campaign, although the Berkeley Democratic Club has accustomed Ben Gould, abounding of their associates such as Lori Droste, Laurie Capitelli, Darryl Moore, and Rashi Kesarwani acquire accustomed to both.
This tag teaming is credible not alone in the Form 460 forms but additionally in attack strategy. Ben Gould and Greg Magofna afresh beatific out a collective mailer about acknowledging anniversary other. Ben Gould has additionally been apparent at endorsement meetings, such as at the East Bay Young Dems and Asian-American Pacific Islanders, advancement the board to endorse his declared opponent. Apparently, afore these groups Ben does not anticipate he is able for the job.
While blue-blooded in purpose, it is not bright that accessible costs is alive as intended. The altercation in favor of the admeasurement in the aborigine handbook in 2016 acicular out that added than bisected of Berkeley’s attack funds came from beneath than 350 households, a minute allotment of the city’s residents. However, the absence of safeguards in use of accessible funds can advance to its abuse: abounding of the aforementioned bodies who gave afore abide to give, and appropriate interests abide to contribute, although now the accessible is analogous these contributions six to one. Added troubling, candidates who acquire accessible costs with the best intentions may end up harming their affairs as opponents d the arrangement to brim attack limits.
And Let’s Not Forget the Aprons
Perhaps the best unique, and conceivably best effective, appear amount is from Alfred Twu. His attack spent $360 for attack aprons, beat by his campaigners behindhand of gender and creating a alone and characteristic attack image. This attack accomplishment was so acknowledged that a additional $360 adjustment for added aprons anon followed. As Alfred is active a bald basic attack he seems to be befitting a bound rein not alone on the purse but additionally the accessory strings.
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