How's this for outrageous BS?
While Larry Agran, Orange County's most notoriously devious campaign finance violator has operated a multimillion dollar campaign scheme with impunity for more than a decade, state regulators in California spent five years investigating $340 then-county supervisor Chris Norby spent on a crappy hotel room for several days in 2007.
The state's Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) finally ended its Norby probe yesterday after concluding he'd violated no law or regulation in the hotel spending he claimed was related to his study of homelessness in the area.
Norby's critics believe the hotel spending was an illegal conversion of campaign funds into personal use because the supervisor had been in the midst of marital discord at the time.
The commission overruled the opinion of Gary Winuk, the agency's
chief enforcement officer, who noted suspiciously that Norby checked
into the hotel on the same day that the supervisor officially separated
from his wife.
Meanwhile, the FPPC can't bring itself to sanction Agran, the longtime unethical political boss of Irvine's city council.
Agran–a Democrat and 1992 presidential campaign candidate with a pronounced preference for secrecy, financial shenanigans and arrogance–enacted contribution limitations on local candidates years ago by
arguing that citizen's deserve council members who haven't been bought
by special interests.
But each election cycle he creates a fake
“independent” expenditure campaign committee with an out of town address for wealthy
individuals and corporations with financial interests in Irvine to
donate large sums. The money evades the Agran-imposed limitations all
the other candidates obey and goes to illegally benefit Agran and his
handpicked Democratic Party candidates.
Several years ago, Chuck DeVore–one
of Agran's Republican critics–asked state campaign finance law experts
if he could copy Agran's fundraising operation and was told the scheme
is brazenly illegal.
Agran has manipulated one of California's biggest public projects, the $3.4 billion Orange County Great Park, into a cesspool of financial corruption by diverting millions and millions of taxpayer dollars to his friends, campaign consultants and associates.
Norby, a Republican, is now the state Assemblyman representing Fullerton.