Lei Ann Larson — who has made fighting the homeless navigation center on South Main Street the foundation of her mayoral campaign — might not be able to have a legal say in the matter should she be elected.
Larson lives directly across the street from the 8 acre parcel the city is in the process of buying for a homeless navigation center.
In the overview of conflicts of interest under the California Political Reform Act posted on the Fair Political Practices Committee website it explains Regulation 18702.2(a)(7).
The FPPC document reads, “A decision’s reasonably foreseeable financial effect on an official’s interest in real property is material if it is of a type described in Regulation 18702.2(a)(7) through (8), (b) or (c), including a decision that involves property located 500 feet or less from the official’s property unless there is clear and convincing evidence that the decision will not have any measurable impact on the official’s property. “
When such a conflict arises, elected leaders have to recuse themselves from not just voting on the item but even participating in discussions regarding the subject property.
Larson’s own assertions that the homeless navigation center would cause nearby property values to plummet underscores the potential conflict.
It would seem there would have to be no negative or positive impact on Larson’s home in order to decide the fate — or even participate in council level discussions — of the homeless navigation center should she be elected.
One would expect Larson, if elected, to challenge such an assertion either made by the city attorney or outside counsel.
The same requirement to recuse herself would also apply to Larson’s proposal to pursue an amphitheater and water park for the 8 acres on South Main Street.
The FPPC guidelines means she may not be able to champion such a project in an official capacity.
No, the mayor’s daughter
did not donate to
Speaking of the mayor’s race, those monitoring Lei Ann Larson’s GoFundMe page for her campaign might come across what appears to be an incredible coincidence.
At some point in the early afternoon Thursday “Elizabeth Cantu” and Navpreet K.” made $50 donations with minutes of each other to Larson’s mayoral campaign.
Elizabeth Cantu happens to be the name of Mayor Ben Cantu’s daughter while Navpreet K. is the name of Councilman Gary Singh’s wife.
Both Cantu and Singh happen to also be Larson’s opponent for mayor on Nov. 8.
Two quick calls Thursday confirmed neither contributed to Larson’s campaign.
That doesn’t mean that there weren’t others with the same name unrelated to either of Larson’s opponents that made such donations.
If they did, what are the odds they would each make $50 donations virtually at the same time to Larson’s campaign.
Further eroding the transparency employed by some donors to Larson’s campaign is a donation by “Dennis Wyatt” made shortly after 6 p.m. Thursday in the amount of $20.
While it wasn’t the editor of the Bulletin who has never made a campaign donation to a candidate in his 66 years and doesn’t plan to start doing so, there are clearly other “Dennis Wyatts” that live elsewhere and not in the City of Manteca who, by a coincidence, could be donating to a race in the Family City.
The donations came a day after former Councilman Richard Silverman made a $50 donation to Larson’s campaign that he confirmed.
Silverman said that the donation should not be construed as his endorsing Larson.
To be clear, Larson can’t control who donates to her GoFundMe account although she still must follow reporting practices under California Fair Political Practice Commission rules.
That means under California law a $100 anonymous donation made to her account can’t be accepted and has to be turned over to the Secretary of State’s office for placement in the state’s general fund due to reporting rules requiring donations of $100 or more to be listed with the name of the donor on mandated campaign finance reporting forms.
Donations less than $100 are exempt from that reporting.
That means if the donations from an Elizabeth Cantu who is not the daughter of Ben Cantu for a Navpreet K. who is not married to Gary Singh aren’t someone by that name there is no laws broken. That’s because donations under $100 do not have to have a name attached and they’re not required to be reported.
Still having one’s supporters mislead the electorate isn’t exactly being above board or transparent. Larson’s GoFundMe account was at $1,120 on Thursday. It has a stated goal of $50,000.
Description of district
was right, the number
published was wrong
In Thursday’s paper, the seat that Mike Morowit and Nancy Watson are seeking in the Nov. 8 election was correctly identified as to the area it encompasses but the number attached to the district was wrong.
The two are running for the District 4 seat which represents everything north of Louise Avenue that is not east of Highway 99 . It is not District 1 as was stated in the story.
Watson is a newcomer and Morowit is a former council member who served for one term.
Morowit on Wednesday conducted a campaign fundraiser at a private residence hosted by developers Toni Raymus of Raymus Homes and Bill Filios of Manteca Development Group.
Both are home builders while Filios was part of the effort that secured Spreckels Park including Target, Bass Pro Sports, Living Spaces Del Webb, as well as The Atherton, Paseo Villas and Tesoro apartments for Manteca. He is also the guy who planted the seed in the minds of elected city leaders that they might want to pursue an indoor waterpark resort which lead to Great Wolf.
There were 75 attendees at Morowit’s fundraiser.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email firstname.lastname@example.org