|(November 5, 2020, 11:45 a.m.) -- Might allegations itemized and presented in early August to various enforcement agencies including the L.A. County District Attorney's office end up costing Councilwoman-elect Cindy Allen her office?
DA office media spokesman Greg Risling tells LBREPORT.com (Nov. 4) that the matter remains "under review."
Materials sent on or about August 3 to the DA's office and other enforcement agencies by a newly surfaced group ("Grassroots for 2nd District Accountability") alleged -- with 41 attached exhibits -- voter registration fraud by Ms. Allen for having registered to vote in Long Beach and voting in Long Beach while allegedly living in OC. In a release, the group said its exhibits "strongly suggest that...at a minimum, she has not been a member of the 2nd District residential community until very recently."
Voter registration issues, seemingly simple on initial examination, can be legally and factually complex. They require enforcement agencies to compare the specific facts involved to the applicable law. Allegations of voter registration fraud don't automatically prove themselves.
Under CA law, voters must register at the address where they maintain their "domicile," requiring a sometimes complex analysis. The CA test for establishing a lawful voter registration "domicile" includes not only where "habitation is fixed, wherein the person has the intention of remaining" but also, in the case of multiple residences, where one "maintains a homeowner's property tax exemption." (An exception applies if one has a differing registration address "listed...on any driver's license, identification card or vehicle registration.")
Ms. Allen and her campaign could have produced these documents and put the issue to rest. They didn't. Ms. Allen said she lives and has lived for several years in the downtown LB condo, cited a decision by the LB City Clerk's office deeming her qualified as a ballot candidate (based on residing in LB for at least 30 days before the election) and shrugged further questions pursuing conflicting details. Some of our media competitors -- who had access to Allen in online "debates" they arranged and staged -- let her get away with that brush off.
The Allen campaign also sought to fog the issue by trying to link the complaint to her opponent's campaign, a basically irrelevant response. The allegations are either meritorious or they're not.
In 2014, then-LB area state Senator Rod Wright was prosecuted for filing a false declaration of candidacy, voter fraud and perjury in connection with his voter registration when he ran for the state legislature. Sen. Wright raised legal and factual issues in strongly denying the charges but was convicted and required to forfeit his state Senate seat. The state legislature subsequently amended the state law to clarify claimed ambiguities. In Nov. 2018, then-Governor Jerry Brown pardoned Wright.
The DA's office says only that the Aug 3 complaint submitted regarding Ms. Allen remains "under review." It hasn't dismissed the complaint or alleged any voter registration issues against Councilwoman-elect Allen.
We don't know to what extent, if at all, the DA's office under new management (under newly elected DA/former SF DA) George Gascon may affect its decisionmaking on matters like this.
In LBREPORT.com's opinion, this matter deserves to be addressed on its merits without further delay. The ballot count changes nothing. The public deserves appropriate action on the merits of the complaint, one way or the other, by enforcement agencies paid by taxpayers pay to provide it.
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In August 2020, new buyers of ETA alleged civil fraud by Allen in a civil suit seeking monetary damages. In public statements, Ms. Allen has denied the lawsuit's allegations. The lawsuit attached the buyers' ETA sale agreement which included a previously secret provision enabling Ms. Allen to receive 10% of ETA's net revenue for three years [a period during which she would be a Councilmember.] When asked about the matter at a community candidate forum, Ms. Allen declined to address the issue and walked out of the Zoomed forum, calling it an "attack" question. [LBREPORT.com believes that as a Councilwoman, Ms. Allen could recuse herself on ETA related maters, effectively leaving a decision to her Council colleagues who endorsed her.]
In the closely watched race for LA County District Attorney, former SF DA George Gascon has unseated incumbent County DA Jackie Lacey. Gason was a primary author of Prop 47, by which CA voters reduced criminal penalties for several felonies to misdemeanors. (In March, Mayor Garcia contibuted identical sums to both candidates. After LA Mayor Garcetti switched his endorsement to Gasvon in early October, Garcia announced in late Ocober that he'd voted for Gascon.)
On November 3, CA voters declined to amend Prop 47 (to restore increased penalties for some crimes), defeating Prop 20 by a roughly 37% to 62% margin.
CA voters also defeated Prop 15 (would have allowed reassessing commercial/industrial properties to market rates not currently allowed under Prop 13) (48.3% to 51.7%).
Voters statewide by a larger margin defeated Prop 16, which would have renewed the use of race ("affirmative action") as a decisional factor in college admissions and government contracts (43.9% to 56.1%).
The LB City Coucvil voted (6-3, Price, Supernaw, Mungo) to endorse Props 15 and 16. It took no position on Prop 20.
On a partisan basis, as of Oct. 19, the CA Secretary of State's office says ("15 day Report of Registration") Long Beach has 279,735 total registered voters.
147,276 registered as Democrats (52.6%). 66,857 regostered as "no party preference" (23.9%). 47,615 registered as Republicans (17.0%).
2,470 registered as Libertarian. 2,323 as Peace and Freedom. 1,438 registered as Green.
Statewide (since the last 15-Day Report of Registration for a general election in a presidential election year (October 24, 2016):
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