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No on ABCUSD Bond Measure AA Campaign Committees Could Be in Violation of Campaign Laws

By Brian Hews

Hews Media Group-Community News has learned that the committees that opposed the ABCUSD Bond Measure AA possibly violated campaign finance reporting laws that could result in a Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) investigation.

The FPPC enforces the provisions of the Political Reform Act. The act gives the FPPC the ability to investigate and prosecute violations of the PRA. A violation of the act may be prosecuted for a penalty and fines of up to $5,000 for each violation.

Back in early October, a Cerritos resident received a No on AA mailer and brought it into HMG-CN offices.

The next day, HMG-CN called Benjamin Ao of the United Homeowners Alliance who told HMG-CN that he had spent “over $4,000” on a mailer opposing measure AA.

The mailer contained several fabrications that were debunked by this newspaper.

HMG-CN called Ao and asked him about the mailer, which he stood behind.

But when asked if the committee had filed forms with the FPPC Ao responded, “no, and we have no money, I just put it on my credit card.”

The call was made two days after the mailer was brought into HMG-CN offices.

Ao’s statement to HMG-CN places the committee in violation of FPPC laws requiring campaign committees that receive over $1,000 in donations to report within 24 hours after receiving the money.

In 2012, the Legislature amended Section 82036 of the PRA to expand the period in which committees must file immediate disclosure reports. Effective January 1, 2013, the requirement for committees to file 24-hour contribution reports (Form 497) was extended from 16 days before an election to 90 days before an election.

Ao’s actions could also violate FPPC law requiring that the use of credit cards be used for campaign purposes only, no personal items can be charged on the card.

HMG-CN is investigating the two other committees that opposed Measure AA for similar violations.

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twitter: @cerritosnews


  • richard burlew says:

    Hews you would dig up dirt on the pope if it would save your paper you and your cronies lost move on!!!!!

  • George Medina says:

    Thank you for the excellent investigative reporting.

    Self serving individuals need to understand that if they violate the law consequences will result.

    The FPPC should move on aggressively to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.

    Your paper does a great service the community.

  • Tim says:

    George, I have to agree (although I would describe
    Benjamin and the United-hos differently…perhaps as
    the United-nos…their senseless, selfish acts have
    cost our kids dearly…with no positive input…)

    Richard, whether it’s from the proponents or opponents,
    wrong is wrong, even if it is the Pope…

    Too bad the Gateway (guardian of Benjamin and United-hos)
    won’t step up and do the same.

    Hews, keep up the good work!

  • TomG says:

    Good to know, but this is small potatoes.

  • No No Mello Roos School Bonds says:

    How about fining the union leader, you yelled out Fascism, to all of the No on Double AA.

    How about Fining Trustee Maynard Law, for speaking on Yes on Double AA, when the trustees were not allowed to speak on the Measure, when it was in the hands of public vote.

  • No No Mello Roos School Bonds says:

    Too much in face for Cerritos Voters, all hitting their bank accounts. Any city will vote no.
    1. Double AA School Measure tax.
    2. Increase in Water Rates for next 7 yrs.
    3. Bed Occupancy Tax increase.
    4. Tax for Sheriff Departments.
    5. Failed promises to put Over Night Parking Issues to vote, for more then 40 yrs.
    6. Artesia Utility Tax.

    Voters reactions are going to be no, no, no on all accounts.

    • Jim every other school bond on the ballot was approved in LA County, there were almost 15, every one except Cerritos.

      • No No Mello Roos School Bonds says:

        Other cities drafted the bonds differently.

        1. Downey- Bond only for elementary schools.
        2. Torrance- Bond only will be accessed for completion of projects, w/ max cap tied in to index figures. Allows for long term growth, so bond will not be burned out.
        3. Irvine- Bond only for certain items and not general items from A-Z.
        4. Some cities bond will be only assessed for households with students.
        5. Some cities bonds were only placed on residences and not commercial.
        6. One city, bond can not be used, until the bond money from properties is collected, so there is no commission, no long term interest.
        7. Most cities, bond was drafted over time span of few years.
        8. Remember, Cerritos is one of the few cities in OC/LA which has so many senior complexes, which make up 47% population as seniors.
        9. Cerritos is one of the few cities, which was penalized from recent 2010 Census, for not being diversified in all avenues. This flavor was felt at polls.
        10. Remember, (R) party ruled cities, tend to be more conservative in passing bonds, measures, propositions. Cerritos is majority (R) city.
        11. Cerritos has great relationship w/ School District, as one of the few cities in either county, which has given gifts from the City’s General Fund, to rehab school districts compounds, at no cost to school district. These have been on-going over the last 4 decades. Cerritos CC has been generous with aiding educational campuses.
        12. Remember during the Trustee public hearings on Double AA Measure, many former Ret. Trustees, forewarned the trustees, bond is going to be hard sale. This painted the campaign w/ Little black box of basic economics, that this Measure maybe tainted and public be ware! Remember what Lincoln said, times you can fool the public, but eventually, the public will educate themselves on reality.

  • Tim says:

    4 of your 6 issues listed, are City of Cerritos problems…
    Perhaps you should contact your bedfellows Carol Chen,
    and other city cohorts, and discuss it with them…
    But if you send anything out in the mail, make sure it’s
    legal this time.

    (Whether it’s small potatoes or large fries, just ask Carol,
    she’ll probably order them both, and put on the Cerritos tab)

    As for the Artesia measure Y, your other bedfellow Artesia
    mayor Tony Lima, shot himself in the foot by taking down
    measures AA and Y together (according to voters I spoke
    with going door to door…)

    He took the students of ABC down as well.

    • No No Mello Roos School Bonds says:

      ABC will rise to the occasion. Next election will have trustees appointed by Districts, so will have new slant on the budget. Did nation crumble after any of the following?

      Animal Rites?
      Bullying Laws?
      Discrimination Laws?
      Equal Opportunity Laws?
      Gay Marriages?
      Gun Laws?
      HMO Ins of 90’s?
      Legal age was lowered from 21 to 18?
      Legalization of Liquor?
      Marijuana states?
      Obamacare which took more then 50 Yrs?
      Prop 13?
      Right to death w/dignity?
      Rite to Marry 3rd cousins?
      Sodomy Laws?
      Woman in the Military?
      Woman rite to smoke?
      Woman Voters?

      • Dear Jim,

        Respectfully…do you realize you listed 22 questions?
        Do you realize that this list is probably a little window
        into your mind…ie. sodomy laws, right to marry 3rd
        cousins, women’s right to smoke, prostitution…(CREEPY)

        Perhaps your conscience is getting the best of you,
        and you know that you have hurt the kids of ABC?

        There is no list long enough (even a non-creepy list) to
        rationalize your total fabrication, and damage you’ve
        caused our students… Do you think before you push
        the send button?

        Benjamin and United-hos, if you’re reading Jim’s rants,
        respectfully, please help him…(or maybe stop marrying

        Yes, ABCUSD will fight through another election, that’s
        what schools have to do, just ask the other 14 that passed.

        • No No Mello Roos School Bonds says:

          Case a point, State/National laws, which were passed over the past century, cost billions + billions of taxpayers money, in order to research and debated thru all houses. ABC Trustees spent peanuts on research for bond. Other daily newspapers, reporting our area, quoted same, lack of ABC transparency /public exposure, caused the edu. Measure spoilage from get-go.

          Facts surfaced over the weekend. Cities which past the school edu. bonds, none of them were Republican seated Maj. cities, compared to Maj. registered Republican voters in Cerritos.

          Furthermore, transparency not available in Cerritos. Cerritos, it’s one of the few cities which does not post staffs salaries online, compared to the other cities which past educational bond. Torrance/Downey, educational staffers earn more wages compared to ABC staffers. This needs to be researched. Hmmm, since trustees mostly are within 90703, disposition was predetermined, thanks to recently hoopla from city of Bell Corruption!

          Some Cities which past edu bonds, every property owner was able to vote, compared to ABC district, only registered voters were able to vote.

          Prior statement, district will have elected trustees, new Architectural Spin/Review for School District. Many of the today’s district boundaries, residents do not even use ABC, but use Los Alamitos/Cypress/Bellflower USD. Maybe will see changes.

          Horizon see new Prop, to piggy back on to Sacred Prop 13 from Jarvis camp; forbidding these dirty Mello Roos Bonds from attaching to our property.

        • Please someone help Jim says:

          Dear Jim,

          Please stick to the facts…

          1) All 14 other local districts that passed bonds, spent similar
          amounts of money and had the same transparency.

          2) They all use similar professional handlers due to the
          complexities and legalities.

          3) All cities in ABCUSD, including Cerritos, have a Democrat

          Instead of wasting our time, as you wasted our kids futures,
          why don’t you invite me to one of your United-hos meetings
          and I can share the truth with you…I promise to talk real slow.

          Benjamin and United-hos, please, please help Jim…

  • Double AA says:

    AA Measure| More Info Surfaces|

    YES/AA Measure/ Trustees, have failed to mention info taken from public records.

    #1)- 22% the statewide cities which had edu. Bonds ballot, failed to pass. Only 78% passed Edu. Bonds.

    #2)- Nearby Cypress USD, failed to pass edu. Bonds.

    #3)Hermosa Beach failed to pass edu. Bond, already had closed 2/3 campuses in order to balance the budget. ABC/ has shrunk in size, but failed to close campuses.

    #4)- Orange USD has never passed a school bond. Resid. cost per square foot is almost double compared to ABC cost per sq. ft. Residents seek bond free communities to invest in housing purchases.

    #5)- Sq. footage cost for residences in ABC district, between $125-$350 per square foot. Housing costs in Hermosa Beach, is over $1,000 per square foot.

    #6)- Villa Park, has the lowest tax rate of any city in Los Angeles/ Orange County, and has no school bonds. Yet, price per residential sq ft is >$750 Sq Ft.

    #7)-Hawaiian Gardens has the least amount of registered voters, compared to any other 14 cities in Los Angeles County which past Edu. bonds, and also has the highest amount of reciprocates of food stamps/welfare. Why should welfare money annual incomes, be used to support Edu. Bond?

    #8)- Trustees/ ABC campaigned and walked select precincts. Hawaiian Gardens, E. Long Beach, East Lakewood, S Norwalk, never had any trustees walk these communities.

    #9- Illegally mounted Yes/ No Signs for AA/ Measure, can be picked up from Code Enforcement in Artesia, Norwalk and Cerritos.

    #10)- ABC USD/ (in the 14 cities which passed Edu, Bonds ) Cerritos has sections of Over Night Parking Permits, which is form of birth control, as limits amount of cars per family. Properties are not being used to potential of family size, because of limitations for parking. Natural regression of family size, which shrinks schools.

    #11) – State has fined Edu. Bond vendors for overages to construction costs of increasing billing statements up to 23%. This could be duplicated again in this AA Meas.

    #12) –ABC has failed to maintain 1997 Improvements, per manufactures warranty; so now, some 1997 construction warranties are null/ voidable.

    #13) -Prop 13 was passed to freeze tax rates at the purchased value. Prop 218 was passed to insure all property owners vote on increase to property taxes. Double AA Measure sidestepped both propositions, had only special election on ballot, to bait registered voters only, in the district and not balloted 100% property owners in the district.

    #14)- ABCUSD has the least amount of registered voters ratios, in the 14 cities which passed Edu. Bonds. Many residents in the district and have families in the district, can never be registered voters, so are not polled on Edu. Bonds, but are expected to pay as we grow. AA/ Meas, was special target bond.

    #15) – Both Torrance/Downey passed Edu. Bonds, which were entirely drafted different compared to ABC. Both Torrance/Downey, residential cost per sq ft is 25-75% greater compared to ABC. Both Torrance/Downey have greater amount of newer homes/ $1M+ homes, compared to ABC.

    #16) Yes, Nwk-LMUSD passed Edu. Bonds. Tax rolls, show both cities housing stock w/ tax rolls starting from $8K-$15K, because the properties are older and were purchased far less compared to Cerritos homes. Their assess. will be far less compared to build-out sect. of Cerritos.

    #17)- From the 14 cities which passed Edu. Bonds, ABC has the lowest class room ratios per student, as those other 14 cities are over crowded.

    #18) Norwalk-E Lakewood-Haw Gardens has lowest annual incomes, compared to the other 14 cities, which passed Edu. Bonds.

    #19)- Double AA Measure literature was never mailed to all registered property owners in ABCUSD.

    #20)- ABC/ Trustees nor staff, never informed property owners, how much the bond indebtedness was, if property owner wanted to pay in full, inorder to not have the AA Meas. Bond recorded on to the property title. We were told of the amount per $100K, but not the total spread, with interest, commission, servicing of the bond money, etc.

    #21)- 14 SD which passed the Edu. Bond measures, all have higher % of MBA/PHD staffers, per student ratios, compared to ABCUSD.

    #22)- Many of the 14 SD which passed Edu. Bonds, have higher % rate of being accepted in to state universities, directly from graduating from high schools. What is this saying about our SD 5 High Schools, are universities over looking ABC because of money or GPA, or not qualifying for DMV Lic, or is Whitney over riding the other grads?