California's Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) tried for more than three years to get me to sign a "stipulated agreement" that harmless filing errors in 2013 when I was a first-time state candidate, mistakes such as late-mailing the paper hardcopies of campaign finance reports that had already been filed electronically, were violations of the law meriting thousands of dollars in fines.

FPPC lawyers demanded that I agree to this "settlement offer" or face worse, at one point holding out the possibility of $55,000 in fines if I did not sign the stipulation agreement. But I don't agree with this at all, because my campaign substantially complied with the law and I made a good-faith effort throughout, which they acknowledged themselves, in writing, in 2017:



FPPC admits there was a good-faith effort and substantive compliance with the law


The FPPC's proposed "stipulated agreement" required me to give up my right to due process of law, and I wouldn't do that. I asked for a hearing. It was held on June 19, 2019, at 9:00 a.m. at the Office of Administrative Hearings. The judge has until August 9 to issue a proposed decision, which then goes to the FPPC commissioners for a final decision.

We are all at risk when the government seeks to drive ordinary citizens out of the political process by coercing people to "stipulate" to unwarranted charges by threatening fines of tens of thousands of dollars. They know most people will sign, regardless of the facts, out of fear. And then it never goes to court because the victims have signed away all their rights.

But the cost of fighting is high. I'd be grateful for your help. Could you join the battle with $25, $50 or $100 to show your support and help defray the legal costs? Thank you! 

With all good wishes to you and your family, and hopes for a better future in California,


Susan Shelley

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Legal info: Donations made here go to the Susan Shelley for Assembly 2014 campaign committee (FPPC ID #1355796), which the FPPC has advised in writing may be used to pay expenses connected with this matter. "GoFundMe" and similar types of fundraising are not permitted, according to the FPPC. Because this is a donation to a campaign committee, I am required by law to ask for your name, address, occupation and employer. (If retired, please list that as both an occupation and employer.) This committee is still open because I made loans to it, but your contribution for legal expenses will NOT be used to retire debt without your express permission. In accordance with the law, donations from any one individual totaling in excess of $8,200 to the 2014 Susan Shelley for Assembly committee ($4,100 for the June primary and $4,100 for the November general election) will be returned due to being over the contribution limit set by law. Please also note that as a journalist, I will return contributions that could create the appearance of a conflict of interest. Thank you.

Paid for by Susan Shelley for Assembly 2014. ID #1355796


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