By Donna Westfall – April 30, 2018 –
It looks like the radical wing of the local Democratic Party is at it again. They are up to their old tricks of filing frivolous complaints with The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) against Supervisor Berkowitz. Only this time they have included Supervisor Gitlin in their outrageous accusations.
This time they accuse Berkowitz and Gitlin with a violation of AB 1234 which involves ethics training. Both of these supervisors have taken and passed ethics training with flying colors.
The FPPC complaint centers around a Facebook posting by Supervisor Gitlin saying that “We need new blood on the board.”
The next complaint is that Berkowitz and Gitlin vote in opposition to the other three supervisors. Never mind that on 95% of the votes taken by the supervisors, they all vote together for or against the motion by five to zero votes.
The last complaint was that Berkowitz attempted to pay the filing fee for Roger Daley. Naturally the accusers got it wrong again, because when Berkowitz was questioned by me, he responded that because Mr. Daley did not have his check book with him, Mr. Berkowitz asked the clerks office if it was permissible for him to loan Mr. Daley the funds to file and then get paid back after Mr. Daley went home to get his check book. At no time did Berkowitz loan money to Mr. Daley or attempt to do so. But with these zealots, the truth does not matter. The mere fact of asking the clerk a question will get a complaint against you before the FPPC.
When Supervisor Berkowitz was running for the board, two years ago, the Del Norte County Democratic Central Committee filed a complaint with the FPPC and sent a copy to the Triplicate. Naturally the newspaper ran the story on its front page. The Central Committee figured that if Berkowitz was ever cleared of the charges, that it would be long after the election and it would not make any difference. What they failed to count on was that the FPPC would clear Berkowitz in record time. It took them just 18 days to clear him of any and all charges which was a record for this government organization.
This time it was another record for the FPPC. The charges by the radical Democrats were dispatched in just 4 days. Here is what the FPPC said about the complaint today, “The actions by the individuals listed in your complaint are not governed by the Act, and the complaint failed to establish any violations of the Act. We will, therefore, not pursue the matter further”.
Will the Democrats quit trying to find some violation of FPPC rules on Gitlin and Berkowitz? Probably not, because they can’t find anything of substance, they will keep trying to get others like the FPPC, to do their dirty work for them.
In this county we can find only three instances of county supervisors being fined by the FPPC: Martha McClure, David Finigan and Lori Cowan.