Jeff Smith noon, March 8
One week before election, Myrtle Cole and Dwayne Crenshaw were fined by Ethics Commission
Candidates found to have solicited votes and cash from city employees, including councilmembers and the Mayor
From claims about hanging out at crack houses to accusations over prior campaign infractions, the race between Myrtle Cole and Dwayne Crenshaw to become District 4's representative was anything but pretty.
In an election separated by just over 700 votes, with Cole being crowned the victor, each candidate did everything in their power to curry favor with any and all voters.
According to San Diego's Ethics Commission, that meant searching for money and support from city employees as well.
On May 16, the Ethics Commission fined Crenshaw $250 and Cole $500 for violating the City's Election Campaign Control Ordinance which prohibits candidates from "soliciting campaign contributions from persons they know to be city employees."
"[Cole's] campaign fundraiser used the Committee’s e-mail account to send several different e-mails to more than 3,000 recipients," reads the May 16 complaint lodged against Cole. "Three of these emails, which included solicitations for campaign contributions, were sent to City employees at their sandiego.gov email addresses."
Those people were not just your typical city employee. They included emails to Councilmembers Todd Gloria, Marti Emerald, and David Alvarez as well as Mayor Bob Filner.
Other emails, found the complaint, were sent to a deputy city attorney and the Executive Director of the City’s Gang Commission.
"The prohibition on soliciting campaign contributions from City employees was adopted by the City in order to ensure that City employees do not feel pressured or obligated to make monetary contributions to candidates who have or could have some influence over the terms of their employment. In this case, [Cole] repeatedly solicited contributions from the Executive Director of the Gang Commission, a position that has historically worked very closely with the office of Council District 4, even after [Cole] was notified of the Commission’s investigation."
Crenshaw was also found to have been searching city departments for cash and votes. On five separate occasions, Crenshaw's campaign sent emails to hundreds of employees, ten council staffers, and three coucilmembers.
The complaints stated that each candidate cooperated with the investigation.
Follow the links below to read the complaints:
More like this:
- Ethics Commission fines PAC backing councilmember Myrtle Cole — Nov. 19, 2013
- Tapping the homeless lobby for Cole's political debt retirement — June 27, 2013
- Myrtle Cole, Dwayne Crenshaw headed for runoff in race to fill vacant City Council seat — March 26, 2013
- Two District 4 candidates pulling ahead in campaign cash — Feb. 18, 2013
- When a $900 campaign contribution ends up costing $10,000 — Dec. 4, 2012