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Supporters of library in park outspend foes

Original post made on Nov 2, 2012

In the battle over whether Atherton should put a new library in Holbrook-Palmer Park, the committee working in support of ballot Measure F, which approves the park location, had not only spent far more money than its opponents, but had also spent at least three times as much as it had raised as of the end of the latest campaign-spending filing period.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, November 2, 2012, 8:05 AM

Comments (8)

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Posted by follow the money
a resident of Atherton: other
on Nov 2, 2012 at 11:17 am

Where is the Friends money coming from? Is it some of that "no cost to taxpayer" free money? It must be coming from outside Atherton but who or whom? The whole world wants to know.

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Posted by Yes on F Donors
a resident of Atherton: other
on Nov 2, 2012 at 11:37 am

Donors to Yes on F prior to September 30, 2012 are:

Kathy McKeithen $500.00
Denise Kupperman $1000.00
Walter Sleeth $800.00
Joan Sanders $500.00
Sandy Crittenden $1000.00

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Posted by Yes on F Donors
a resident of Atherton: other
on Nov 2, 2012 at 11:57 am

To: Follow the Money,

Possible donors could be builers of the library-- maybe San Mateo County employees?

Who gives that much credit to a political campaign?

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Posted by Ranch Gal
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Nov 2, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Who needs this library anyway? Ridiculous waste of private funds to build a monstrosity in our park where only 10% at best, of the population, has ever set foot in the old library.
Libraries sadly will be a thing of the past soon since digital books, Google, and the Internet information highway is upon us! At 60 I have an iPad with books on it and suspect that many of my generation do too! I see many older folks reading on their Kindles too.
Tearing down the Main House for a "library" is IMHO... ridiculous!

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Posted by Bernie Madoff
a resident of another community
on Nov 2, 2012 at 8:22 pm

Finally, something for the FBI to investigate in Atherton!

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Posted by Yes on F Donors
a resident of Atherton: other
on Nov 3, 2012 at 4:56 am

Almanac Issue date: November 01, 2000

Atherton election: Slate may have violated campaign finance law
**Jenkins, McKeithen receive payments from their campaign committee.

By Anne H. Kim

Almanac Staff Writer

Atherton slate candidates Bob Jenkins and Kathy McKeithen may have violated the Political Reform Act for dipping into their campaign coffers to pay themselves for working on their campaign. They could face fines of up to $2,000 per violation, according to the Fair Political Practices Commission.

"We will rectify the problem," said Mrs. McKeithen. "We are rushing to figure out how you do that, but one way or another, we will resolve this and do it the way it's supposed to be done."
As of Monday, October 30, Mrs. McKeithen told the Almanac that she and Mr. Jenkins had resolved the matter by repaying their committee and filing an amended disclosure statement.

The Almanac learned of the problem from their latest campaign finance disclosure statement, filed jointly October 26, which states that Mr. Jenkins paid himself $300 for "campaign consultants" and Mrs. McKeithen paid herself $1,517 for campaign expenses she paid out of her pocket.

In the previous disclosure-statement period, ending September 30, Mr. Jenkins said he paid himself $300 for "campaign literature and mailings."

Details for Mr. Jenkins' payments were not included in either statement, but Erv Ericksen, the group's treasurer, said Mr. Jenkins was most recently reimbursed $300 for paying a Menlo College professor who coached both candidates on debate tactics.

According to the Fair Political Practices Commission, which interprets and enforces the Political Reform Act, those payments may not have been legal.

Section 89518 of the act states: "Campaign funds shall not be used to compensate a candidate or elected officer for the performance of political, legislative, or governmental activities." The section goes on to state an exception for "reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses incurred for political, legislative, or governmental purposes," but a representative of the FPPC said that doesn't apply to candidates.

"It's not that simple," said John Sympkowick, in the media relations office. "The exception only applies to incumbents, and those are for expenses not having to do with campaigns."

The act states that "all personal funds of a candidate must first be deposited in the campaign bank account," said Mr. Sympkowick. "The only exceptions are filing fees or ballot statement fees." He said the act does permit candidates to make loans or contributions to themselves.

Both Mrs. McKeithen, a nonpracticing attorney, and Mr. Jenkins, a business consultant and real estate agent, have been highly critical of town government for its handling of public money.

Mr. Jenkins could not be reached for comment.

Mrs. McKeithen said she had "no idea" that reimbursement of candidates for out-of-pocket expenses is not permitted under the act.

"This was through the committee," she said. "I asked if this (reimbursement) was OK to do and they said yes as long as I provided receipts, and that's what I've done."

Mrs. McKeithen said she paid for copies, photographs, postage and envelopes out of her own pocket because it was more convenient.

"I was organizing stuff at Kinko's (copy store) and going back and forth, and it seemed a logical thing for me to pay," she said. "It wasn't anything sinister or devious or that we did something to avoid something."

Mr. Ericksen told the Almanac that early in the campaign, an FPPC representative told him that candidates could be reimbursed for expenses. But his question had to do with Mrs. McKeithen's ballot statement fees for which she can legally be reimbursed under the act.

He said Atherton's city clerk gave him an old copy of an elections information booklet; but despite that, he said, he's tried to run a clean campaign.

"It seems to me that it's a procedural thing and there are people who are maybe too honest, like we were," he said. "This is bureaucracy at its worst, particularly if they (elections office) are sending information that is years old."

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Posted by Finance Concerns
a resident of Atherton: other
on Nov 3, 2012 at 9:54 am

Yes on F has been running a banner ad on the Almanac Web Site for two weeks. How much does that cost?

Only a few people donated to Yes on F, so after the campaign ends maybe they will made larger donations. For now it looks to the public like a well supported campaign.

Who is the chair of the campaign?

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Posted by Finance Concerns
a resident of Atherton: other
on Nov 4, 2012 at 11:19 am

The campaign probably should have to report those that guaranteed the debt as making a loan guarantee or contribution.

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