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Complaint details violations of “Independent Expenditure” laws by David Hadley for Assembly 2016, the Independent Expenditure Spirit of Democracy PAC, and its funder Charles T. Munger, Jr. by using the same campaign consultant

CONTACT: Mike Shimpock, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In a story titled, “Assemblyman accused of illegal coordinating with independent expenditure committee,” the Los Angeles Times today reported that Al Muratsuchi has filed a complaint with the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) accusing Assemblymember David Hadley of illegal coordination with the Independent Expenditure (IE) Spirit of Democracy (SDC) its funder, Charles T. Munger, Jr.

Munger’s committee and David Hadley’s campaign both employed the same consultant, Presson & Associates, for the first 5 months of 2016. This is explicitly forbidden by state law and is clearly a violation of the election code regulating so-called Independent Expenditure committees.

The code (section 19225.7 (d)(3) says:

(d) Expenditures Presumed to be Coordinated/Made at the Behest.

(3) Common Consultants. The person making the expenditure for a communication relating to a clearly identified candidate or ballot measure retains the services of a person who provides either the candidate or the committee supporting or opposing the ballot measure with professional services related to campaign or fundraising strategy for the current campaign.

The Los Angeles Times says:

“Muratsuchi's campaign claims that Hadley's strategists may have illegally coordinated with an independent expenditure committee that's already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to support him.

“State law allows such committees to spend unlimited amounts of money to support or oppose a candidate, as long as they don't coordinate with a candidate's official campaign. Last year, the state's top ethics watchdog approved a slew of tougher regulations on independent expenditures, including the presumption of coordination when candidate committees and independent expenditures share a consultant.”

…The Muratsuchi campaign says the complaint points to $4,000 that Spirit of Democracy paid earlier this year to Sacramento-based consulting firm Presson & Associates, which has also received $35,000 in consulting fees from the Hadley campaign this cycle.

A few weeks later, Presson refunded the $4,000 to the independent expenditure committee, the same day Spirit of Democracy first reported dropping funds to support Hadley's bid.

“…Muratsuchi's campaign calls the refund an ‘ill-conceived attempt to conceal the coordination that occurred.’”

Hadley’s illegal coordination with the IE is just another example of how out-of-touch he is with this moderate, bipartisan district:

  • Repeatedly voted against funding for our schools
  • Voted in lockstep with his extremist Republican colleagues against laws to protect our beaches and air from pollution and oil spills
  • Refused to support “one person, one vote” protections for voters
  • Took $25,000 from the oil companies and opposed clean air regulations
  • Voted with Republicans to cut Health Insurance for children
  • Opposed health care funding for patients suffering from AIDS/HIV

Republican David Hadley was elected by a 0.5% margin in the lowest turnout election in recorded California history with the aid of nearly $1 million in donations from a single billionaire, and has repeatedly voted against the interests of his moderate, bipartisan district.