The state Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) has levied a $3,500 fine against the political action committee California Citizens for Fair Government and its treasurer Chris Anderson for failing to name the Orange County Employees Association as its sponsor.

State law requires PACs that receive more than 80 percent of their funding from a single source to include that source in their committee name.

According to the FPPC, the PAC received $90,000 in contributions from OCEA, the county’s largest public employee group, before it was shut down in July 2012.

Between 2010 and 2012, the PAC made it possible for union money to be funneled to Republicans, most notably former county supervisor and current state Sen. Janet Nguyen, and thus subvert the so-called “Baugh Manifesto,” a mandate from the local Republican Party to refuse campaign contributions from unions.

Although individual contributions from OCEA were identified, the union “was never explicitly identified as a committee sponsor during its approximately three years of existence,” according to the FPPC.

Anderson has maintained that the failure to include the union in its committee name was inadvertent. OCEA General Manager Jennifer Muir declined to comment.

The Orange County Register first reported the use of political action committees to veil contributions by the OCEA in Aug. 2013.

Contact Thy Vo at tvo@voiceofoc.org or follow her on Twitter @thyanhvo.

Since you've made it this far,

You are obviously connected to your community and value good journalism. As an independent and local nonprofit, our news is accessible to all, regardless of what they can afford. Our newsroom centers on Orange County’s civic and cultural life, not ad-driven clickbait. Our reporters hold powerful interests accountable to protect your quality of life. But it’s not free to produce. It depends on donors like you.

Join the conversation: In lieu of comments, we encourage readers to engage with us across a variety of mediums. Join our Facebook discussion. Message us via our website or staff page. Send us a secure tip. Share your thoughts in a community opinion piece.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.