I first met Redondo Seashore Mayor Invoice Model by e-mail.

“Loved your piece in [Daily Breeze] right now. Boy, do I’ve a narrative for you,” he wrote on June 2, 2019. “Myself, my marketing campaign and volunteer treasurer have been ‘personally’ sued in a non-public enforcement motion for FPPC violations by two residents who after 17 months, 11 depositions, 2 obligatory settlement conferences and a 5-day trial in downtown L.A. have been labeled ‘shills’ for a ‘sham’ lawsuit by Decide Mackay.”

My column that day was in regards to the Honest Political Practices Fee’s abusive apply of  levying wildly excessive fines towards residents who foolishly interact in election-related First Modification exercise with out an legal professional to advise them on the alligator-occupied moats surrounding political campaigns in California.

I reported on the FPPC’s $3,000 penalty towards a bunch of Redondo Seashore residents who opposed a 2015 poll measure associated to a improvement challenge. Redondo Residents for Accountable Revitalization distributed about 4,000 flyers, two units of door hangers and a “mass mailing,” however one thing associated to the promoting disclaimer wasn’t proper. Questioned about this enforcement motion by one of many commissioners, then-chief of the enforcement division Galena West acknowledged that the group was “inexperienced,” however insisted that the high-quality was justified. “They by no means requested for recommendation,” she mentioned.

I additionally reported that the FPPC was threatening me with $55,000 in fines over harmless paperwork errors made six years earlier, after I was a first-time state candidate in a particular election for the Meeting. I did ask for recommendation, but it surely didn’t matter to them.

“I can relate to your predicament,” Invoice wrote to me in his e-mail. “Be at liberty to name me anytime, however we might meet at your listening to. A number of of us are considering of attending on the nineteenth.”

And he did attend. Together with Redondo Seashore Metropolis Council Member Nils Nehrenheim, Mayor Invoice Model got here to the executive legislation listening to in downtown L.A. to indicate his help for somebody he didn’t even know. He walked as much as the desk the place the FPPC attorneys have been seated, barely seen behind their excessive stacks of three-ring binders, and informed them they have been treating a newbie candidate like a homicide suspect. “What are you doing?” he requested.

It was attribute of Invoice’s ethical compass and private braveness to name them out whereas he was nonetheless below FPPC scrutiny himself. It was 2021 earlier than the FPPC lastly closed its investigation into Invoice and his Redondo Seashore colleagues, and solely after the Redondo group had received an appellate courtroom judgment upholding the victory in Decide Mackay’s courtroom.

“Simply wished to ship this e-mail alongside,” wrote Invoice’s pal and legal professional Steve Colin in April 2021. “The FPPC determined to shut the FPPC violations case towards Invoice Model and Co. The prosecutor who was dealing with the case for fairly some time was transferred to Los Angeles, within the Dept. of Public Well being. Nobody mentioned something till I beginning calling the FPPC and I despatched it a duplicate of the Attraction Court docket resolution.”

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