Campaign Finance Charges in Berkeley District 8

Russ Tilleman, Candidate for Berkeley City Counci, District 8
Saturday October 27, 2018 - 05:16:00 PM

Have you heard about Lori Droste getting caught violating Berkeley campaign finance laws?



The staff report says:

"However, based on the facts above, there does appear to be sufficient evidence for a reasonable basis on which to believe that a violation of BERA Sections 2.12.500.A.7 and 2.12.440 occurred for the use of the retail space"

BERA Section 2.12.440 is not related to public financing. It is part of the law that has been there since at least 1991: 

'2.12.440 Contributions from certain organizations and business entities prohibited. No proprietorship, firm, partnership, joint venture, syndicate, business trust, company, corporation, including non-profit corporations, or labor union shall make a contribution to any candidate or committee (supporting or opposing any candidate) directly or indirectly, and no campaign treasurer (of any such committee) shall solicit or accept such contribution. (Ord. 6096-NS § 1, 1991: Ord. 4701-NS § 1 (part), 1974: Ord. 4700-NS § 605, 1974)" 

Droste appears to have violated one of the longtime anti-corruption measures in the Berkeley campaign laws. 

And after she was caught and she wrote a check for the use of the space, I think she greatly undervalued it. $100 for 2000 square feet that rents for $9000 a month? I paid $200 for 108 square feet when I rented the Berkeley Room at the Berkeley City Club for 4 hours for a campaign event. So I think she also violated the $250 limit. 

To me, this is a much more serious violation than inadvertently messing up accounting or moving funds around from one account to another. Especially considering Droste's strong pro-development stance and the fact that the company that made the illegal contribution stands to profit from Droste's actions as a Council member.