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Tilt Heads: Chris Hansen and Orange County-Centric Campaign Consultant

Posted by Allen Wilson on September 16, 2013

When a story has a twist it makes many tilt their heads as questions start to evolve especially when it involve FPPC civil matters.

The Fair Political Practices Commission is a state watchdog campaign finance reporting agency created in 1974 due to passage of Proposition 9 by the California voters, which the initiative was known as the Political Reform Act (PRA).

CAMPAIGN-FINANCE-2

Last week, the Sacramento Bee reported that Chris Hansen settled a $50,000 fine with the FPPC due to failure to properly disclose the source of funding behind the ballot measure to force a public vote on the City of Sacramento arena subsidy.  The arena was to be used for the basketball team Sacramento Kings.

Chris Hansen is hedge fund manger who had desired to relocate the Sacramento Kings to Seattle, which never came to fruition.

The FPPC’s detailed 6 page report to the Commissioners gives a lengthy background information regarding the $50,000 settlement with Chris Hansen, but also mentions the names of Brandon Powers and Lysa Ray as the other two defendants agreeing to the fine.

Brandon Powers is an Orange County-centric campaign political consultant and Lysa Ray is an Orange County-based campaign treasurer.

Brandon Powers is the President-CEO of Powers Communications who managed campaigns for Diamond Bar Councilmembers Ling-Ling Chang and Steve Tye in 2009 and the unsuccessful campaign for GOP Attorney General candidate John Eastman in 2010.

Lysa Ray is the owner of Lysa Ray Campaign Services since 1991, which Ms. Ray has provided campaign finance reporting services for Jordan Brandman School Board in 2010, Larry Dick for State Assembly in 2008, Lorri Galloway for Orange County Supervisor in 2010, Harry Sidhu for State Senate in 2008, currently campaign treasurer for GOP Assembly candidate Diamond Bar Councilwoman Ling-Ling Chang.

What is so intriguing, immediately after the Sacramento Bee article went to print, Mr. Hansen gave his account with regards to the proposed FPPC settlement and what really happened of the events from May 15th NBA vote regarding the relocation of the Sacramento Kings and up to the FPPC fine.

The heads start to tilt as Mr. Hansen asserts:

At this time, a broad-based political committee had not yet been established, and I neither directed nor authorized Loeb & Loeb to make this expenditure on my behalf. During this entire process, I never spoke with, emailed, met, or had any correspondence with GoCo, Brandon Powers, STOP or Taxpayers for Safer Neighborhoods.  

Whoa!

According to the FPPC’s September 9th memo explains Mr. Powers role that could have put Mr. Hansen in the dark with regards to the signature gathering efforts:

…August 9, 2013, a representative for GOCO said political consultant Brandon Powers approached GOCO in order to hire GOCO to provide signature gathering services in Sacramento…

Mr. Hansen admits his error in judgment in the midst of the raw emotions from the get-go beginning on May 15th and never made any political contributions in his life:

Finally, although  I’ve never made any political donations or contributions in my life prior to this (including contributions to PAC’s), with the benefit of hindsight I also should not have relied solely on Loeb’s expertise and discretion in handling this matter and clearly should have asked more questions earlier in the process.

The FPPC role with regards to the Chris Hansen matter has been instrumental in enforcing the Political Reform Act to ensure campaign finance reporting are done in a transparent manner, because it is in the public interest regarding any issue much like the controversial Sacramento arena.

The next time any candidate or campaign committee desires to get themselves in the political mud it is best to get reputable campaign consultant and treasurer that knows what he or she is doing before getting a phone call from the FPPC that would amount to a tilt head.

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