Follow the Money

Reform Coalition Campaign Was Outspent Roughly 7 To 1 Against Its Effort To Stop Mayor/Council Sought Term Limits Change

BBB enacted with largest number of "No" votes among four proposed Charter Amendments 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.
(November 15, 2018, 10:32 a.m.) -- The LB Reform Coalition PAC's campaign opposing the Measure BBB term limits change was outspent by a roughly seven to one ratio by a combination of two committees supporting BBB along with all or some of the other Mayor-sought Charter Amendments.

A Garcia-operated (Garcia/Doud named) committee supporting AAA, BBB, CCC and DDD listed expenditures made or incurred from July 1-Nov. 6 (FPPC filing includes some [not all] expenditures made/incurred when Garcia used his committee to support passage of Measure M) of $265,263. A newly formed Economic & Policy Impact committee (supporting BBB/DDD) listed expenditures made or incurred totaling of $19,061.

The August 2018-formed LB Reform Coalition PAC listed expenditures of $36,415.

Measure BBB passed with nearly 56% of votes cast, but with largest number of "No" votes among the four Charter Amendments proposed in June by Mayor Garcia, supported by City Auditor Laura Doud and put on the ballot in a 9-0 Council vote.

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Forms filed with the City Clerk's office show the political committee operated by Mayor Robert Garcia, which added City Auditor Laura Doud's name for the AAA-DDD campaign, spent/incurred expenses of $265,263 from July 1 through November 6, 2018. Mayor Garcia unveiled five proposed Charter Amendments in a June 12 agendized item; the Council voted to put four of them on the ballot on August 7.

The Committee's FPPC filing includes some (not all) expenditures for items previously incurred by the Committee when Garcia used it (prior to adding Doud's name) during the period when it was supporting City Hall's-desired June 2018 Measure M utility revenue transfer/diversion for the June 2018 election. During this period, the timeline of events indicates the Charter Amendments were in preparation for release. Two years earlier, Garcia used the same committee given a different name (listing former Mayors O'Neill and Foster with Garcia) for a campaign urging voters to enact a City Hall-sought Measure A sales tax increase. ( "Follow the Money" coverage of the Committee's AAA-DDD money sources here, here and here.)



In addition, another group, an Economic Policy & Impact Center-operated committee, surfaced on Oct. 18 and spent/incurred expenses of $19,061 to support measures BBB/DDD in a campaign linking the term limits change to a redistricting commission measure, describing both as civil rights/voting rights measures. ( coverage here and here.)


In opposition to Measure BBB, the grassroots funded Long Beach Reform Coalition PAC spent $36,415. Its contributors included the leaders of grassroots taxpayers groups and a number of prominent neighborhood/environmental advocates, including retired Councilwoman Rae Gabelich and the development watchdog group Citizens About Responsible Planning. The Reform Coalition PAC formed and began raising sums following the August 7 Council voted action (without dissent) that put the term limits change on the ballot. ( coverage here and included in coverage here.)

The sums supporting the ballot measures don't include a $99,430 expenditure of LB taxpayer funds by the City of Long Beach, made by city management, for a mailer that the City says was informational, not advocacy, regarding the four measures. ( coverage here.)

The pro-BBB effort also arguably benefited to some unquantifiable extent from City Attorney-drafted ballot text -- approved by City Council voted action and seen by voters immediately before marking their ballot -- telling voters a "yes" vote would limit the Mayor and Council to three terms without mentioning it would repeal LB's then-existing two-term limit law which included a write-in requirement for subsequent terms. coverage here.



As of November 13, the L.A. County Registrar Recorder shows Measure BBB receiving the largest number of "no" votes of any of the Charter Amendments on the November 6 ballot, but was surpassed by "Yes' votes: 57,438 (55.98%) to "No" 45,161 (44.02%). The other Charter Amendments were supported by larger margins: AAA (70.61%), CCC (60.73%) and DDD (59.34%.)

Support really independent news in Long Beach. No one in's ownership, reporting or editorial decision-making has ties to incumbent Long Beach officials, development interests, advocacy groups or other special interests; or is seeking or receiving benefits of City development-related decisions; or holds a City Hall appointive position; or has contributed sums to political campaigns for Long Beach incumbents or challengers. isn't part of an out of town corporate cluster and no one its ownership, editorial or publishing decision making has been part of the governing board of any City government body or other entity on whose policies we report. is reader and advertiser supported. You can help keep really 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.

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