Schipske Forms Political Action Committee To Raise/Spend Money "To Fight For Open, Transparent And Accessible Local Gov't"

Says Mayor Garcia/Council incumbents have weakened LB's Campaign Reform Act, enabled by monied special interests; Schipskle says her PAC will give concerned LB residents a way to reach voters and stop these actions is reader and advertiser supported. Support independent news in LB similar to the way people support NPR and PBS stations. We're not non-profit so it's not tax deductible but $49.95 (less than an annual dollar a week) helps keep us online.
(Aug. 22, 2018, 12:15 p.m.) -- Former 5th dist. Councilmember (2006-2014) Gerrie Schipske has announced she's filing necessary paperwork to launch a new political action committee -- Open Up Long Beach (linked on a companion webpage at www.openuplongbeach/politicalaction] -- [release text] "that will raise and spend money to fight for open, transparent and accessible local government." Ms. Schipske issued the following statement:

[Scroll down for further.]

[Schipske release text] In 1994, the voters of Long Beach approved a "Campaign Reform Act," because of their concern that:

Monetary contributions to political campaigns are a legitimate form of participation in the political process, but the financial strength of certain individuals or organizations should not permit the exercise of a disproportionate or controlling influence on the election of candidates...The integrity of the governmental process, the competitiveness of campaigns and public confidence in local officials are all diminishing

Today, many voters are concerned about how the 'Campaign reform Act' has been weakened by this Mayor and this City Council and how we are seeing the growing power of special interests in our City which contribute tens of thousands of dollars for candidates and ballot measures. Consequently, this Mayor and this City Council continue to raise taxes, to increase and consolidate their power and to further weaken the City's "Campaign Reform Act."

Voters supporting open, transparent and accessible local government need a way to reach other voters to stop these actions. A political action committee will provide this way by raising and spending money to reach voters with the information they need to make good decisions at the ballot box. Action will be a general purpose, local political action committee. Our Treasurer will be David Gould, a seasoned political consultant on campaign finance...



Ms. Schipske's two Council terms were marked by periodic clashes with then-Mayor Bob Foster and a City Council that included then-Councilman/Vice Mayor Robert Garcia (against whom Schipske ran for Mayor 2014.) When Councilwoman Schipske agendized discussion of open government/transparency measures to treat communications by LB officials public records on the public's business when using their private or email networks, Mayor Foster voiced no support and then-Vice Mayor Garcia joined in killing the proposal by failing to provide a second. [The CA Supreme Court has since ruled that such communications are public records.]


Then-Councilwoman Schipske also opposed efforts by then-Mayor Foster, backed by Garcia, to tear down LB's less than 40 year old City Hall, transfer part of LB's Civic Center to private ownership for private development, and commit LB taxpayers to pay increasing annual sums to a private entity to operate LB's Civic Center for 40+ years. She was the sole dissenter on Council votes that approved the transaction (without a vote of the people and without putting a less costly City Hall retrofit out to a public bid or RFP process.)

In 2017, Schipske entered the 2018 race for state Senate against Republican incumbent Janet Nguyen (R, SE LB-west OC) but found her campaign stymied by now-retired Mayor Foster and former state Senator Betty Karnette, who backed a late-entering Dem candidate for the state Dem party endorsement (effectively blocking Schipske's access to state party funds for a run against the OC Repub.)



Ms. Schipske, who is an attorney, served as co-counsel for LB taxpayer Diana Lejins in a lawsuit that challenged the City of LB's imposition of pipeline fees., ultimately paid by LB Water customers, that generated General Fund ("blank check") revenue for City Hall spending without a vote of the people. The City settled the lawsuit without admitting wrongdoing; the Water Dept. rebated some sums to consumers, and the City Council put Measure M on the June 2018 ballot to seek voter approval to restore the utility revenue transfer/diversion. In a $100,000+ campaign funded mainly by LB's police and firefighter union PACs, Measure M caried by roughly 53% of the vote without a competitively funded political committee in opposition. In the same 2018 election cycle, all LB incumbents seeking re-election were returned to office, some (City Attorney, City Prosecutor, City Auditor, Council district 1) without ballot competitors.

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