Senate Committee Advances Frazier Bill to Hold Candidates Accountable for Claims Made on Ballot Statements

August 11, 2017 16:36 pm · 10 comments

The Senate Public Safety Committee has approved a bill by Assemblymember Jim Frazier, D-Discovery Bay, which would impose stiff financial penalties on candidates who lie on ballot statements when seeking political office.

AB 894 would impose a fine of up to $5,000 if a candidate includes knowingly false information on statements they submit for inclusion on election ballots. If an offender is convicted of associated criminal wrongdoing, a formula that multiplies the base fine could result in as much as $20,500 in total financial penalties for those who intentionally lie to voters.

“The penalty for shamelessly lying to voters should be very painful,” Frazier said. “And right now it’s not painful enough. Often, the only information a voter may have about candidates is what is contained in ballot statements, especially in races for local offices that might not get a lot of press coverage. AB 894 creates a strong deterrent to dishonest candidates who falsify their qualifications in an attempt to mislead voters.”

Frazier authored AB 894 after a candidate to represent East County on the Contra Costa County Board of Education in 2014 was found to have blatantly lied about his qualifications, background and criminal record in the candidate statement he submitted for inclusion on the ballot. Instead of a punishment, the candidate received just an entry into a diversion program for offenders. The current fine for intentionally misleading voters on ballot statements is $1,000.

AB 894 has received unanimous bipartisan support in every committee and Floor vote. It has been approved by the Assembly Elections Committee, the full Assembly and the Senate Elections and Public Safety committees without a single “no” vote. The bill’s final vote will be on the Senate Floor after the Legislature returns from recess. If the full Senate approves AB 894, it will go to Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature.

Notmeagain August 11, 2017 at 5:15 PM

If this wasn’t so pathetic it would be funny.

Original G August 11, 2017 at 5:16 PM

Include ballot Propositions and make those fines start at ten million dollars and we got a deal.

Atticus Thraxx August 11, 2017 at 5:40 PM

“The penalty for shamelessly lying to voters should be very painful,”

As empty a statement as has ever been published.

primo August 11, 2017 at 5:41 PM

fine plus jail to all existing/prospective pols
would it apply to fraiser as well??retroactivitly ?????????

Cowellian August 11, 2017 at 5:57 PM

Atticus nailed it again.

pac islander August 11, 2017 at 7:14 PM

Can it be retro active? Clean house!

TIFOKCIS August 11, 2017 at 7:18 PM

Saved but yet another CA Democrat.

I’ll sleep tonight.

Anon August 12, 2017 at 6:31 AM

Original G, yes let’s add that to it too.

Cautiously Informed August 12, 2017 at 1:00 PM

If this bill passes and is adhered to, then a vast majority of state politicians will be flat broke. However, we all know that they are above the laws and any regulations. They do whatever they want, they don’t have to answer to their constituents and they are not accountable to anyone for their mistakes, failures and lies.

In the meantime, the state crumbles away, disintegrates and falls apart.

promisespromises August 13, 2017 at 9:55 AM

If this passes, I expect the fine will be in the neighborhood of maybe $500.00 or less. That will do nothing if it does not happen everytime that person goes back on his/her word.

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