Incumbent Asm. Reggie Jones-Sawyer is fighting like a mad dog to save his coveted assembly seat. A one time supporter of his has bested him in the March primary and is poised to declare an outright victory in November.
Jones-Sawyer is using a series of complaints lodged against Efren Martinez to paint him as “corrupt” despite the fact that they were “allegations” that legal minds found no grounds for bringing charges against him.
Jones-Sawyer is hanging his hat on a $209 fine issued by the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) in 2014 when the campaign Efren Martinez for Bakersfield City Council, for Martinez’s father, failed to timely file a late contribution report within 48 hours of receiving a non-monetary contribution of $1,000 or more, with the Bakersfield City Clerk.
What Jones-Sawyer failed to mention is the FPPC issued him a $10,000 fine, during the same time, for depositing $50,000 into his personal bank account that he would then deposit into his campaign account. The source of income was from a former girlfriend.
The transaction amounts to two violations of the state’s Political Reform Act – accepting a political contribution above the $3,900 limit in effect that year, and hiding the source of the funds.
The FPPC recommended the maximum penalty of $10,000, arguing that Jones-Sawyer should have known the $50,000 loan went beyond legal limits and that the sources of political contributions must be disclosed.
Jones-Sawyer is also attempting to draw a correlation between Martinez assisting candidates get elected and then obtaining contracts from the city’s they represent, however, if we take a closer look at Jones-Sawyer’s funders for this particular campaign, will we find him voting in favor of his donors too?
We can start with the cannabis industry.