Fluoride Action Network

Crescent City: Measure A foes spending more than supporters

Source: The Daily Triplicate | October 29th, 2010 | By Kelley Atherton

Opponents of a ballot measure to stop the fluoridation of the Crescent City water supply have spent far more than supporters.

City residents will vote on Measure A on Nov. 2.

The city has been fluoridating its water for more than 40 years. Roughly 14,000-15,000 people inside and outside the city limits drink the water.

The committee opposing Measure A, Crescent City Neighbors, Dentists and Physicians to Protect Our Children — No on Measure A, has received $12,592 in contributions and spent $12,142 as of Oct. 16, according to campaign finance records.

The Del?Norte Clean Water Coalition Yes on Measure A committee, has reported receiving and spending $1,544 as of Oct. 18.

The California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) is investigating a complaint that the Yes on Measure A committee did not file proper paperwork detailing its contribution and expenditures.

The committee has filed paperwork with the city and state, but the FPPC has not made a formal determination of its investigation yet. The state commission has, however, sent out letters indicating it has found no evidence that violations occurred.

All of the No on Measure A committee’s contributions have come from the California Dental Association.

From Oct. 1 to 16, the committee paid LifeStyles Research Company $5,960 for campaign literature, consulting, polling and surveys. An additional $1,798 went to Strong and Associates, Inc., based in Sacramento, for more campaign literature.

The committee has also bought $986 in radio and newspaper advertisements and spent $825.74 in legal fees from a firm based in Sacramento, Bell, McAndrews and Hiltachk, LLP.

In support of Measure A, several local residents and a city councilwoman have used their own money to buy advertisements and supplies, according to records.

Eileen Cooper spent $536 on newspaper ads. Katherine Kelly spent $308 on signs, postcards and copies. Connie Morrison paid $205 for copies and DVD blanks. City Councilwoman Donna Westfall paid $495 for radio ads.

Local resident Cheryl Corpstein filed a complaint with the FPPC stating that she had heard ads on KCRE featuring Westfall, but the Yes on Measure A committee had not filed its campaign statements.

“I believe in the process,” Corpstein said. “When it came to my attention they had not filed their paperwork, I wanted to have that addressed.”

She checked with the city and county clerk offices and did not find any paperwork with the group as of Oct. 7. The first deadline for filing statements was Oct. 5.

“Everyone needs to be following the rules,” Corpstein said.

The FPPC contacted Bicoastal Media to confirm that Westfall had purchased radio ads on KCRE and KPOD.

Kelly filed paperwork with the city and state detailing Yes on Measure A committee spending on Oct. 15 and 21.

She said she researched campaign rules and spoke with the FPPC about filing financial papers. Kelly said she was told she had until Oct. 15 and didn’t have to file until the committee had received $1,000 in contributions.

“As soon as I had to file, I jumped up and did it,” She said.

The FPPC called Kelly and she explained what happened.

Both Corpstein and Kelly received letters from the FPPC this week stating that the commission had found no violations.

“I didn’t do anything wrong,” Kelly said, adding that opponents of Measure A were “looking for blood.”

Roman Porter, the executive director of the FPPC, said it’s policy not to speak about the specifics of an investigation.

After a person files a complaint, the FPPC determines whether it’s worth investigating, and in this case it was, Porter said.

The FPPC?posts information about investigations on its website, www.fppc.ca.gov, but doesn’t provide status updates until it sends a letter closing the case, Porter said. No such letter for this case had been posted as of Thursday afternoon.