By Miriam Raftery
December 3, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) – California’s Fair Political Practices commission staff has recommended that Assemblyman Joel Anderson (R-Alpine) pay a $20,000 fine for collecting campaign donations that violated state law. Anderson has already refunded around $150,000 in donations made by non-local Republican Central Committees that funneled money received from major donors in San Diego County including SDG&E, Hamann Construction family members, and the Barona Band of Mission Indians.
An FPPC investigation concluded that Anderson’s committee took contributions that were over the legal limit allowed from individuals. The Fresno County Central Committee will also face a $29,000 fine for its role in the transactions, if the FPPC approves a settlement next week that has been negotiated with Anderson. Several Central Committee members have resigned in the wake of the scandal.
“The question becomes, what was the role of the contributors in this and why weren’t the contributors fined?” asked Robert Stern, president of the Center for Governmental Studies in Los Angeles, the Union-Tribune reported earlier this week. Stern called the fines levied against Anderson “hefty.”
Anderson has thus far declined to speak publicly in any detail about the allegations of money-laundering to benefit his campaign. Nor has he disclosed whether he will give up a bid to run for the State Senate.
The Republican Assemblyman will face some heat from some constituents next week, however, when he hosts his annual holiday party on December 8th in his El Cajon office at 500 Fesler Street.
Raymond Lutz, founder of the watchdog group CitizensOversight.org and the Democratic candidate who ran against Anderson in 2006 for the Assembly, is organizing a “Stop Dirty Money/Fund our Schools” rally. “Join us for a street protest in front of Joel Anderson’s office as he tries to hold a Christmas Party for his dirty-money supporters, and demand that he stop blocking funds for schools and colleges,” Lutz wrote in an invitation posted at the Citizens Oversight website.