Press Release: Request for Opinion from FPPC Regarding El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce

posted Sep 29, 2014, 11:12 PM by Lori Parlin   [ updated Sep 29, 2014, 11:13 PM ]
For Immediate Release

Contact:  Lori Parlin  (530) 672-6425
               Sue Taylor (530) 391-2190
 
REQUEST FOR OPINION FROM FPPC REGARDING
EL DORADO COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
 
September 29, 2014, Shingle Springs, CA
        Members of the grassroots group Local Voter Control in El Dorado County are in the process of filing an inquiry with the Fair Political Practices Commission to start investigations into slander during an election campaign.  The request stems from a Town-hall Phone Meeting hosted by El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce member Mike Kobus, owner of Koby Pest Control, on the evening of September 24, 2014.  Mr. Kobus stated misinformation about the initiatives and its proponents. 
 
            According to California Election Code Section  20501. (b):
 "A person who is a sponsor of a sponsored committee, as defined
by Section 82048.7 of the Government Code, is liable for any slander
or libel committed by the sponsored committee if the sponsor
willfully and knowingly directs or permits the libel or slander."
 
The sponsor of the phone meeting was the El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce, a 501c6 organization, which Mr. Kobus is a Board Member.  The Chamber also has a Political Action Committee, which has previously spent over $70,000 against all grassroots efforts to put land use measures on the November ballot.  A request will be made to the Fair Political Practices Commission to investigate whether the Chamber has overstepped the boundaries of what is allowed in its campaign against the initiatives by using misinformation to scare voters.
 
          “The amount of misinformation in Mr. Kobus' phone meeting was astonishing.  He reached out into people's homes over the phone to intentionally spread this misinformation and cause confusion.  An uninformed listener would be led to believe that Mr. Kobus is an expert about these measures, when in fact he lumped all of the measures together and mixed up and distorted the facts," said Lori Parlin, a Measure O proponent.  "For example, Mr. Kobus debated with one caller that Measure O has a kill clause in it that will wipe out all of the other measures if it got the most votes.  That is an absolutely erroneous statement because Measure N has the kill clause in it, which is one of many reasons I am opposed to Measure N."
 
          Sue Taylor, another Measure O proponent agreed with a caller that said, "Follow the Money."  Taylor went on to say,  "Mike Kobus should have explained that it is with the Chamber's Board members and directors where the money lays... such as Sierra Pacific Industries, PG&E, AT&T, The Mountain Democrat, and Kirk Bone of  Parker Development who developed Serrano and is proposing the Marble Valley development project.  There is a lot riding on this election for these people."
 
          Further updates will be published at www.LVC-EDC.org as the inquiry progresses.