For the second time in as many months, a complaint has been filed with the state’s political watchdog, alleging that Republican state Assembly candidate Clint Olivier’s campaign has violated campaign finance laws.
In this latest complaint, Dillon Savory, political director for the Fresno-Madera-Tulare-Kings Central Labor Council, says the Olivier campaign failed to file two required February campaign finance statements ahead of the coming April 5 special election.
In a letter to the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission outlining the nature of the complaint, Savory says they “demonstrate a clear pattern of disregard by the Olivier campaign. I strongly believe that both (Olivier) committees are attempting to hide contributions and expenditures from the FPPC and the voters of District 31.
Olivier is facing off against two Democrats, Kingsburg’s Joaquin Arambula and Carthuers’ Ted Miller, to fill the unexpired Assembly term of Fresno Democrat Henry T. Perea, who resigned in December to take a job with the pharmaceutical industry. Later this year, a second election will determine who will serve a full two-year term that begins in December.
Tim Orman, Olivier’s political consultant, said the reports were filed late, but there was no attempt to hide anything. Both reports, which were due Feb. 25 to show finances through Feb. 20, have since been filed.
Orman said the first report – which detailed fundraising and expenditures for Olivier’s April 5 special election committee – “slipped through the cracks.” It was filed four days late.
The second report, which detailed fundraising and expenditures for the June 7 primary for the full two-year term, was filed 12 days late. Orman said the Olivier campaign did not realize the filing schedule was the same for the June election and the April special election. The special election changed some of the filing rules for June.
“Both of these complaints are signs of a desperate Arambula campaign trying to throw every strand of spaghetti they have against the wall to see if any of it will stick, since their slippery ultra- liberal message is not sticking to many voters in the district,” Orman said.
In the first complaint, Fresno County Democratic Central Committee Chair Michael Evans alleges that the Olivier campaign did not fully report all expenditures on its campaign statements for the reporting period that ended June 30 and Dec. 31 of last year.
Evans also alleges that Olivier, currently a Fresno City Council member, may have illegally spent money on his Assembly campaign using money from his now inactive city council account.
The FPPC has launched an investigation into the initial complaint.