The West Hollywood Money and Politics Committee (WeHoMAP) is a “General Purpose Committee” created to educate West Hollywood and its surrounding cities voters on issues that most impact our daily lives – traffic and parking, affordable housing and homelessness.
A General Purpose Committee, like WeHoMAP or the WeHo Chamber of Commerce’s WeHoPAC, is defined as being involved in either multiple elections or multiple jurisdictions.
WeHoMAP has been active not only in educating voters in West Hollywood but also in support of smart-growth candidates like John Mirisch in Beverly Hills, and support of Los Angeles County Measure H, to help house the homeless.
Unfortunately, the law firm behind Standing Up for West Hollywood—a $140,000 SuperPAC supporting John Heilman and John Duran re-election funded mostly by real estate developers and their lobbyists—is trying to shift the focus away from these issues by making two allegations against WeHoMAP.
1. Mail pieces did not include the top three donors to WeHoPAC. However, as a General Purpose Committee, WeHoMAP is not required by any state or local law to include that information on any of its communications.
Kaufman Legal Group, which filed the complaints is also the employer of Joe Guardarrama—the only West Hollywood resident allowed to sit on the 2015 City Ethics Task Force.
One of the few recommendations to come from the Ethics Reform Task Force was to require local “Primarily Formed Committees” (not General Purpose Committees) to include their top three donors on mass mailings going to more than 200 households.
2. The second complaint claimed failure to include a disclosure stating, “advertisement was not approved by any candidate for this office or any committee controlled by the candidate”.
This disclosure was included on every mass mailing, door hanger and video. In two instances, however, the disclosure was not surrounded by a 3.5-point box when it should have been. When the committee was made aware of this issue, it promptly stopped the presses on all voter communications and asked the graphic designer to add the 3.5-point box, which voters will see this week when they receive our mail.
WeHoMAP encourages all voters to turn out on Tuesday, to research the issues and the candidates and who’s supporting them because for the future of the region, that is what matters on Tuesday.
When voters go to the polls on Tuesday, they will have several issues to decide. We hope the residents of WeHo, Beverly Hills and Los Angeles will evaluate the issues facing the region and where the candidates stand on the issues and go vote on Tuesday, March 7th.
Catherine Hahn is the WeHoPAC principal officer. Scott Schmidt is the treasurer of WeHoPAC