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ABC Board Incumbent Lynda Johnson Has Twice Violated State Election Laws During Current Campaign

 


 

One election violation was linked to an advertisement, another in a letter Johnson recently sent to voters.

By Brian Hews

ABCUSD Trustee Area 3 incumbent Lynda Johnson published an election advertisement two weeks ago that could land Johnson in legal hot water and generate hefty fines under Fair Political Practice Commission laws.

Cerritos Fine Arts and Historical Commissioner Janet Beach, who designs the newsletter the ad appeared in and who likely placed the ad without the disclaimer, as well as her boss Melinda Kimsey, could also face fines.

And in another unbelievable gaff, just days after the advertisement published, Johnson sent a letter to voters that violated the same FPPC laws.

The newsletter advertisement on the bottom of the front page said,  “Re-Elect Lynda Johnson… Vote Nov. 7.”

However the advertisement did not contain certain state required information and violated the Political Reform Act and FPPC laws.

The FPPC mandates a “paid for by” disclaimer that contains the name, address, and committee identification number of the responsible committee.

In Johnson’s case, the disclaimer on the advertisement should have read “Paid for by Lynda Johnson for ABCUSD” with Johnson’s election committee address and identification number immediately after that.

Johnson’s campaign manager Alan Gaff passed the buck on the ad, throwing Kimsey and Beach under the bus, “I didn’t create an ad two weeks ago, so I am at low info on that.”

A few days later, in another egregious error, a questionable letter from Johnson hit Area 3 voter’s mailboxes that did not list her committee address as required by the FPPC.

It was the second FPPC violation in less than two weeks.

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ABOVE: SECOND VIOLATION WITHIN TWO WEEKS

The letter sent Oct. 19, 2017. Note the “Paid for by Lynda Johnson is missing the address of Johnson’s committee, a FPPC violation which carries a maximum $5,000 fine. It is Johnson’s second violation in two weeks, Johnson published a print advertisement that did not contain campaign information. 

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Normally, person’s responsible for placing the advertisements or mailing the letters are in charge of “proofing.”

Proofing is simply checking the information for correctness prior to the advertisement’s publication or mailing.

But neither Johnson, Kimsey, nor Johnson’s $3,000 campaign manager Gafford corrected the errors.

 

 

ABOVE: GRAMMATICAL ERRORS IN CAMPAIGN LETTER

“Lynda was the {sic} leadng voice on the Board to create …”  As “leading voice on the Board to create an Ad-Hoc Citizen’s Facility Committee” Johnson fought to exclude long-time retired teachers, union members, and volunteers Richard Hathaway and Gavin Riley from the committee.

 

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ABOVE: MISLEADING VOTERS

A Sept. 2016 HMG-CN investigation found that Johnson was the only Board Member taking “cash-in-lieu” totaling $7,500. It was only after the story broke in HMG-CN that Johnson stopped taking the cash for health.

 

BOARD MEMBER LYNDA JOHNSON TOOK $7,500 ‘CASH IN LIEU’ INSTEAD OF GIVING MONEY BACK TO ABC

 

It could be costly mistakes for Johnson and Kimsey. Johnson would be liable up to the $5,000 maximum fine for each violation; Kimsey could be liable for three times the cost of the advertisement.

The FPPC states, “The penalty for failing to comply with the Act’s disclaimer requirements can be a fine of up to $5,000 per violation. In addition, any person who violates the disclaimer requirements may be liable for a fine of up to three times the cost of the advertisement, including placement costs.

Texts into Kimsey were met with an automated message: “another request, stop sending me, Melinda Kimsey emails and text messages.”

Emails into Kimsey’s newsletter designer, Cerritos Fine Arts and Historical Commissioner Janet Beach, went unanswered.

This is not the first time Kimsey has violated FPPC laws. Three years ago she failed to publish a “paid for by” disclaimer when James Kang published an election ad in her newsletter. The FPPC does not look kindly on repeat offenders.

Kimsey was also fined $20,000 when she falsely accused a 4th grade teacher of pedophilia and sexual harassment and completely recanted the story in court.

 

Cerritos Resident Melinda Kimsey Fined $20,000 for Falsely Accusing Teacher of Pedophilia

 

 

 

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