Political Short Takes: Correa Hires New District Director; Bushala Fined By FPPC

Rep. Hires New District Director
Rep. Lou Correa (D-46) has hired veteran politico Claudio Gallegos as his Interim District Director.

Gallegos has been active in Orange County Democratic politics for many years. He knows the landscape and has sharp political instincts. He’s the real author of the so-called “People’s Map” of council districts adopted by the Anaheim City Council following an intense lobbying effort organized by progressive advocacy groups. He also helped draft the council district map adopted by the Garden Grove City Council, and subsequently managed the successful campaign of Kim Nguyen to represent the newly-created District 6 on the Garden Grove City Council.

“I am honored to have been trusted with such an important role in the congressman’s office,” Gallegos said when contacted by OC Daily.

Bushala Fined By FPPC Over Font-Size On Campaign Signs
Fullerton developer Tony Bushala and anti-government union activist Jack Dean were hit with a $2,500 fine from the California Fair Political Practices Commission.

Their crime: the disclosure on “NO KANG – IRVINE CARPETBAGGER” yard signs they produced wasn’t quite big enough, and didn’t make it absolutely crystal clear no candidates were in cahoots with them. Per the FPPC judgment:

The signs included a disclosure statement that said, “Paid for by Fullerton Taxpayers for Reform, major funding by Tony Bushala ID #1346685,” but the disclosure statement was smaller than 5% of the height of the advertisement, as required for large print media under the Act. The signs also lacked a disclaimer indicating that they were not authorized or paid for by a candidate for State Senate.

It stands to reason that if a disclosure is required then some size standard has to be specified. However, the reality is the only way to read the disclosures on yard signs is to physically approach them – and at that point disclosures are visible whether they 5% or 4% or 3.89% of the height of the sign.

The judgment goes on the state:

On May 24, 2016, the Enforcement Division contacted Bushala about the Committee’s deficient disclosure statements. On June 1, Bushala and the Committee agreed to remove all of the non-compliant signs and replace them with new signs featuring proper disclosure statements. On June 7, 2016, Bushala provided the Enforcement Division with photo evidence that he and the Committee had taken down all 200 non-compliant signs and replaced them with 200 new signs with proper disclosure statements by June 5, 2016.

One would think that would be punishment enough, without piling on a year later with a $2,500 fine.

Bushala has deep pockets and won’t feel a $2,500 fine. But what if it were someone of modest or less-than-modest means motivated to speak out in the same fashion? Would it be just or fair to impose such a large fine on a citizen because the font size on a yard sign weren’t quite big enough – even after the individual had been notified and fixed the error?

And tying these two unrelated items together is the fact that both Correa and Bushala worked together as bus boys at the same restaurant back in the day.

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