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Council condemns anonymous hit piece; considers adopting local election regulations

Beverly Hills Weekly of Beverly Hills, California

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In light of the anonymous hit piece delivered as a door hanger October 8, the City Council gave direction to adopt local election regulations for campaign advertising at Tuesday's study session.

Vice Mayor John Mirisch, who has filed a police report against the unknown perpetrator, said that penalties "should have teeth."

"I think the max we can do is six months in jail and [a] $1,000 [fine]," Mirisch said.

According to the October 20th staff report, under the state's Political Reform Act (PRA), the City, as a local government agency, is permitted to adopt local regulations as long as those regulations do not conflict with those set forth in the PRA.

"At the end of the day, we've got to have some rules," Councilmember Willie Brien said. "When people are sending things out with no attachment to any name, that's just fundamentally wrong. I think it violates the FPPC rules."

As a result of Tuesday's discussion, the City Attorney's office will now complete additional analysis and draft an ordinance for the Council's consideration.

"It's the worst of the worst," said Mayor Julian Gold of the hit piece. "And to not sign your name to it is an act of cowardice."

The Council would have jurisdiction over municipal elections, but not Board of Education elections, which are run by the County.

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Original Publication Date: October 22, 2015

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