Nov 242023
 

So, Bill Brough got fined $100,000, not $90,000, by the California Fair Political Practices Commission for violating campaign finance laws.

The tape of the meeting is here. It starts at 12:24 appx. The comments about Brough’s behavior are staggering.

The comments included, “Most Egregious Conduct, Abuses of Public Trust I have ever seen”, and others along the line of it looks like he defaulted because we (the FPPC) have had a terrible record of collecting debts. “Intentional Obstruction”, “Falsifying Records” are other terms you hear used…

At about the 21 Minute Mark, the chairman of the commission talks about how Bill Brough defaulted on the repayment plan. He then talks about Brough hearing about the FPPC collecting less than 3% of items that go in to collections. The chair continues that he thinks Brough decided to stop making his monthly installments. At the 23 Minute mark, the chairman lowers the boom on Bill Brough.

These items are significant for the LA Times article that follows:

Please respect the LA Times Paywall and access the article here.

Conservative Mugs 970×250

In the case of the FPPC’s campaign finance investigation, Brough initially agreed to a payment plan for a $47,000 penalty. But after making a payment of $7,500 in April, according to the filing, he stopped making payments. Brough said he stopped making payments in order to enter into a settlement with the FPPC and make the investigation stop.

“It went on and on for four years,” he said. “I just wanted to go on with my life.”

The commission responded by more than doubling the penalty amount, levying the maximum fine for the charges. In a public meeting last week recommending Brough’s fine, FPPC Chairman Richard Miadich increased the fine from a recommended $90,000 to $100,000 and made the unusual motion to direct staff “to make this a priority matter for collections purposes and to pursue any and all means at your disposal to ensure we recover the full measure of this default.”

Note Bill Brough’s dishonesty in his comments to the LA Times. If you watch the comments of the chairman of the FPPC, they believed as did the investigators that Brough stopped making payments because he thought he’d evade collections. Brough has learned nothing from his fall, and apparently he has enablers that got him a job as a lobbyist/consultant in Orange County as well.

…The FPPC, which oversees candidates and campaign finances, found multiple discrepancies in the reports from Brough’s 2018 and 2020 campaign committees.

Brough used a total of $17,303 in campaign funds for personal expenses and failed multiple record-keeping requirements, even as his campaign treasurer warned him about violations, according to the FPPC’s report.

“I need all of your receipts ASAP — you’ve gone mad with the [credit] card use and I have one silly receipt for every ten expenses,” treasurer JenEve Slater wrote to Brough in 2018, the FPPC investigation found.

The unusually large FPPC fine is the latest allegation of misconduct against Brough, who was accused of sexual harassment by four women in 2019, prompting Orange County Republicans to call for him to not run for reelection. Brough said in a phone interview with The Times on Tuesday that he is no longer in electoral politics, though he works as a political consultant and lobbyist.

When I spoke to the reporter at the LA Times, I was explicit that I felt this was only partial justice because I believe that Bill Brough raped at least one woman, beyond the sexual harassment mentioned in the article. Given that the victim is still awaiting justice and the case shows open/suspended at the County of Sac there is no way to FOIA the records around it.

Back to the LA Times:

Another international trip brought Brough to the Netherlands for an Internet Marketing Assn. conference. After attending a two-hour conference, which ended with tastings at a local bar, Brough spent several days touring the area, according to the documents.

“Investigation revealed that Brough was visiting the region with his wife, for her birthday — and he asked the IMA if he could stop by … while he was in the area,” the FPPC document said.

In another instance, the FPPC reported that Brough used campaign funds to purchase a $1,300 custom cigar humidor, a custom bourbon barrel bar cabinet, a portable ice maker and a compact refrigerator, which he listed as office expenses but then took home when he left the Assembly.

The FPPC investigation began in 2019, after conservative political consultant Aaron Park filed a complaint, alleging that the politician had used campaign funds to pay for a trip to Boston with his family to attend a Red Sox game, as well as other extravagant spending.

He’s a victim of a witch hunt, I tell you. Cha-Ching another $5K fine.

Park told The Times on Tuesday that he had helped Brough get elected but soon changed his mind about the assemblyman once he heard allegations about campaign finance impropriety as well as sexual assaults.

Yep – there’s that $5000-fine-inducing Bourbon Barrell. (Photo was taken at Brough’s forced-retirement party at his capitol office)

Brough was stripped of his committee assignments in the Legislature in 2020, after a state investigation found that he had made unwanted advances on several women, including an Orange County supervisor.

Park, a political watchdog, began digging into Brough’s financial history and, after 20 hours of research, filed a complaint with the FPPC.

“I’m seeing stuff on his social media like the Red Sox game that he went to, and it corresponds to campaign expenditures and stuff like that out of his controlled accounts,” Park said. “I’m going, there’s no way in hell that’s a campaign expense.”

Park said he has filed many complaints to the FPPC over the years, but this “by far was the largest penalty I’ve ever seen.”

Someday, Trish we will get you justice. For now, we have to be thankful that some justice has finally been served.

I would be remiss if I did not finish this blog by saying Thank You to the LA Times for this article and to the reporter for her professionalism and legitimately good thoughtful questions. I have attacked the LA Times on this blog many times, but they deserve credit when they get one right. This is one of those times.

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  4 Responses to “Bill Brough Update: LA Times Gives Your Intrepid Blogger Love as They Tell the World About Bill Brough’s $100,000 Fine”

  1. It seems like you have been right on the money (pun intended) every single time you have posted about FPPC violations, local campaign law violations, contribution reporting errors, back-dating of reports, etc. [including those you were bullied into deleting from m this blog]

    Keep it up. Don’t give up. We need more WATCH DOGS!!

  2. Next stop for our Intrepid Blogger…The cover of The Rolling Stone.

  3. From the blog entry:

    “…the FPPC collecting less than 3% of items that go in to collections. ”

    ” we (the FPPC) have had a terrible record of collecting debts.”

    Maybe the FPCC needs to explain that 3% number.

    And maybe blogger could help those of us that are not good at digging expose the others in collection and why they haven’t paid up. Is it all just Republicans?

  4. Where did the November 7, 2023 blog entry go? Or maybe I am missing something and mistaken. Was looking for details on the event Charlie was invited to on Dec 9th.

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