Today's Oakland Tribune has a story in it where Councilmember Ignacio De La Fuente received free parking at San Francisco International Airport between 2005 and 2006. The total of the cost of the parking came to a whopping $2,331, which if you think about it, means either he parked there a whole lot or SFO added the penalty cost of parking to the basic bill.
Now, the FPPC -- the California Fair Political Practices Commission -- has stepped in and is stating that De La Fuente may have to pay an addional $1,500 as a fine. Well, here's my point: if -- if SFO added on the penalty cost to the basic parking rate, then technically the FPPC would be causing De La Fuente to be punished for the same violation twice.
Now, your counter is that he violated an FPPC rule, and my counter to that is De La Fuente made his payments to SFO because he realized he was not following FPPC rules and it seems paid a premium penalty in the process. So with that payment, he already intended to "pay his debt to society" and did so. Does the FPPC ned the extra money that badly?
Someone check the FPPC's budget.
I also question the FPPC's interpretation of their own law. De La Fuente got the parking pass from another elected official and not in the same jurisdiction as he. It doesn't pass the logic test. If an Oakland Councilmember gives a Raiders ticket that person purchased as a fan to a San Francisco Supervisor, is that an illegal gift? I can't find a single case which upholds that point of view.
I think the FPPC has better fish to fry. At least I hope so.
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