Shink’s Payments to Herself from Campaign Funds an Apparent Violation of State Law

Heidi Shink, a candidate in the June race for West Hollywood City Council, has given herself $7,800 from money raised for the March 2015 election in an apparent violation of campaign finance rules.

Shink’s Dec. 31, 2014, campaign finance statement shows payments of $999 and $6,795.55 to an entity identified as Shortcuts Music, which is located at her apartment on Curson Avenue. The $999 payment is identified as being for “information technology” such as email or the Internet and the $6,795.55 payment is identified as being for office expenses.

Heidi Shink
Heidi Shink

Shink’s June 30, 2014, finance statement also shows a payment of $500 for campaign consulting services to Caitlin Stansbury, her wife, who writes about and consults on wine.

In an interview with WEHOville, Shink said she made the payments to repay herself for expenses she incurred in the March 2015 City Council race (in which she ultimately decided not to run). However state campaign finance law bars candidates from reimbursing themselves for expenditures they make for their own campaigns. Shink’s payment to Stansbury, legal at the time, would not be permitted today because of  a state law enacted in September 2014 that bars candidates from paying their spouses or domestic partners for services.

Shink also apparently attempted to use money raised for the March campaign in her June Council race, another violation of campaign finance laws. In a letter to David Gould, her campaign finance manager, City Clerk Yvonne Quarker noted that the election date on Shink’s Dec. 31, 2014,  filing had been altered to indicate that the $17,214 left in her campaign account would be spent toward the June 2 election.

“The City Attorney’s office has discussed this rule with you,” Quarker said in the letter to Gould.  She said Shink must return the money she raised for the March election, donate it to a non-profit organization or dispose of it in other non-political ways authorized by the California Political Reform Act. “If you continue to disregard the City’s campaign finance regulations, we will be forced to refer this matter to the City Prosecutor for further action,” the letter said.

The Shink campaign responded to a story in WEHOville about Quarker’s letter by saying “Our campaign has not only complied with the letter of the campaign finance laws set forth by the City of West Hollywood, but the spirit of them as well. Ms. Shink did not run in the March 3rd election cycle, and absolutely no monies raised for the March 3rd election have ever been spent on this June 2nd campaign …”

The first round of campaign finance statements for the June 2 race was due to be filed April 23 with the West Hollywood City Clerk and are expected to be made public soon.


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Golden B
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Golden B

She has no return my $500:00 yet, from the March election even that I asked her twice,
Obviously not a supporter anymore, what is she waiting for?

Guy Privaton (@guyprivaton)
Guest

confirmed misuses of campaign money intentionally
disqualifies in my book

who cares whatever else she credits to herself???
better fish in the sea

joetheplummber
Guest
joetheplummber

What is sad is a candidate’s claim that she has been busy representing the LGBT community for 30 years. “Say this isn’t a wink, Ms. S. . . .” My research says you were never a struggling LBGT activist, just a privileged lady on “vacation” back in the ’90’s looking for the next infootmercial.

http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1991-09-23/business/9102060990_1_birkenstocks-sandals-million-pairs

Robert Switzer
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Robert Switzer

My concern with John Heilman is his unbridled support of way too dense development. WeHo is the 16th most densely populated city in the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. He takes thousands in campaign donations from developers. Rather than coming up with creative incentives for restoring existing housing stock, I fear he will continue to espouse policies that will ruin the quality of life in our city, if he’s returned to the Council. There’s no law that requires the City to build more housing units than our infrastructure can accommodate, yet the construction doesn’t stop, even with… Read more »

Oliver Francis
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Oliver Francis

Channeling Cher’s top ten for the right comment on candidate Heidi Shink’s latest transgressions. Heidi, after you broke the boycott of the Beverly Hills Hotel because you couldn’t say no to a friend’s visiting mother, I thought, “I can feel something inside me say I really don’t think you’re strong enough, no.” I read that donors from your Cher event complained, “She took my money She said “I’ll be with you soon,” but no delivery on the promise of a photo or an intimate moment. “Well here we are again I guess it must be fate.” This time, $7,794.55 in… Read more »

Frank D
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Frank D

7k in office expenses? At her home? Paying her wife consulting fees. The wrong date on a form and then says she wasnt running. How many “mistakes” can one person make? She hired campaign staff so that excuse doesn’t fly. My guess is she is used to getting away with stuff and now when people are watching she cant. Beverly Hills Hotel for example. She even puts her signs up on public property.Whos paying to take those down? We do. Does she have any respect for the rules? Just like Hileman in the do as I say not as I… Read more »

Don Jones
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Don Jones

Wish we had this same fine reporting when Duran was running and using his campaign to pay the Mani Brothers eight separate times for OFC (office expenses). The Mani Brothers are his landlord for the Duran law office.

One of Cassandra's Snakes
Guest
One of Cassandra's Snakes

Alison has a point, particularly because I think she has mentioned she is an Eastsider. Heilman has catered to the rich folk on the Westside, supporting the moratorium and letting the Westside Residents Association have design control. Have you looked at the Eastside lately??? Giant, ugly apartment buildings that no one can afford to live in. Take THAT, you peasants, who can not afford a single family dwelling. @Manny, Heilman may have been pandering to you all the thirty years, but other than giving Eastsiders more density and hellish traffic he rarely goes to the Eastside unless it is campaign… Read more »

Larry Block
Guest

@ one of cassandra’s snakes, – i neither endorsed or supported Heilman, but I did reach out to all the candidates for lunch. It was good to get to know Heilman during the campaign— his service to the community is second to none. Respect does not equal support. We have a chance to move this city forward with independent voices on the city council. Neither Heilman or Shink represent that. Do you really want to go back to divided council? … council members who don’t shake hands or do you see an opportunity for a fresh start? .

Chris Sanger
Guest
Chris Sanger

Alison – should Ted Kennedy have left the Senate in 1993 after 30 years? What is your problem with experience and expertise and a successful city one has been a major part in creating? The council has already lost Prang and Land. Where I come from, proven service is a reason to keep qualified people on board. Oppoe Heilman if you’d like, but spare me the ridiculous notion that longetivity is a negative, rather than a positive.

All Smiles
Guest
All Smiles

Give her a break & take this with a grain of salt. It’s mud slinging time… nothing more, nothing less. She’s a good person & she answers her phone. Larry will come in 3rd & Cole in 4th.

If you want Heilman to lose vote Shink. If you want Heilman to win vote for any of the other 3 & Heilman is back in.

Manny
Guest
Manny

That’s right Alison, 30 years of devoted and successful service to this city. That’s why he deserves to be re elected.

Good enough reason for me.