Civil suit focuses on campaign contributions surrounding recent LB city election
(July 22, 2002) -- Responding to an inquiry from LBReport.com, LB City Attorney Robert Shannon has said no settlement discussions are ongoing between his office and "CA Citizens for Neighborhood Empowerment," a group that identified itself in campaign filings as an independent committee supporting Dan Baker's recent Mayoral run independent of Mr. Baker and his campaign.
City Attorney Shannon said there was no settlement of the civil suit his office filed on behalf of the city in April which alleged the group had accepted contributions in excess of LB's campaign contribution limits (details below).
Mr. Shannon said his office is proceeding with certain discovery in the lawsuit. He also indicated his office has received additional information that is pertinent to the action.
In April, the City Attorney's office issued a written release in which Mr. Shannon stated in part, "One of the most frustrating aspects of this case for the public is the lack of information forthcoming about the persons responsible for the mailers. Through this action, we intend to uncover who exactly was responsible for these violations."
Vice Mayor Baker has denied any connection with the group or wrongdoing on his part concerning its activities.
The city's suit centers on allegations that the group violated LB's Campaign Reform Act (Prop M) which limits contributions to $600 in support of a candidate in the Mayoral primary. The group filings indicate it accepted contributions of amounts of up to $15,000 in support of Baker's Mayoral bid.
To view the city's complaint in pdf form, click City of LB v. CA Citizens for Neighborhood Empowerment, et al. [Attachment of LB Muni Code section omitted.]
In May, City Attorney Shannon sued the CA Republican Party, alleging it accepted contributions exceeding LB's Prop M limit of $600 for an independent expenditure in support of a Mayoral candidate. The suit didn't name the candidate but the CA Republican Party is known to have sent a mailing before the April 9 election to some LB households with Republican voters in support of Norm Ryan; the suit did not accuse Mr. Ryan or his campaign of wrongdoing.
The CA Republican Party called the suit "frivolous" and stated it "has a right to contact members of the Republican Party under the provisions of Proposition 34, which preempts local campaign law restrictions." This suit is also pending.