Bonin On The Case
As you may remember, on Tuesday, we reported that we had received reports that the West LA Democratic Club has planned to hold an anti-Arnold event at the Westchester office of Councilman Rosendahl, and that this was a fundraiser for the Democrats, a clear violation of city policy.
Rather than ignore us, cover up or deny, Bonin went to work, checking with the City Attorney and making sure the policies for use of the property were clear.
Following the event, one of our readers claimed that the Democrats did accept some contributions on the city property. Bonin went to work and makes the following report:
Mayor Sam- I looked into the reports posted on your blog, talked with officials of the organization, and spoke with some other people who actually attended the meeting. Here is what I have found out: 1) In an attempt to comply with the law, officials with the organization took pains to avoid fundraising at the event last night. They did not pitch for money, and even decided to leave the club's usual "for sale" items (t-shirts, bumper stickers, buttons, etc) at home so no sales would take place and no money would be raised. 2) After being alerted by me to reports on your blog, club leaders investigated on their own and discovered that two people wrote checks to pay their membership dues and those checks were accepted by a fellow club member. This morning, the club returned both checks. 3) After being alerted to this information, our office notified the ethics division of the office of the City Attorney. The attorney there said the club's returning the checks put them in compliance with the law. 4) The city attorney's office has agreed to contact the City Ethics Commission and get firmer and clearer guidelines that we can provide to people and organizations using the community room. As I indicated in my emails earlier this week, the West LA Democrats have been using the community since February 21, long before Bill took office, and it seems they were not provided any guidelines or restrictions regarding fundraising until we notified them this week. With the guidance of the City Attorney and the City Ethics Commission, we intend to give clear guidelines to all the groups using the community room in the Westchester Municipal Building. Thanks for alerting me to this whole thing. MikeAs you can see, the Rosendahl camp inherited a little bit of a sticky situation, but they're making the effort to resolve it and make sure everyone knows the rules ahead of the game.
In this case, that's all you can really ask for.