On October 6, 2020 we received a letter from the FPPC stating that they had received a sworn complaint from Ajay Mohan alleging that we had violated the Political Reform Act’s campaign disclosure provisions. Not surprisingly, Ajay Mohan is closely connected to Democratic candidates running for Tustin City Council, Becky Gomez and Letitia Clark (you could have easily checked this out and perhaps noted this in your article).
On October 8, 2020 you issued your article stating many falsehoods using words like “charged”, even though we had only received our first communications from the FPPC two days earlier informing us of the complaint filed against us. That same day our attorney notified you with a Demand for Retraction of All Defamatory and Deceptive Publications and a Notice of Cease and Desist from All Further Defamatory and Deceptive Publications. The following day your published response was “It’s always fun to get a call from a lawyer demanding a post be removed.”
On October 6, 2020 we called the FPPC and reviewed the allegations. Here is what we found. We were not in violation of not reporting funds, but there were some discrepancies in how James and I had accrued obligations between ourselves as we received donations through our separate campaign accounts and how we accounted for these obligations as a team splitting costs 50:50. Throughout our campaign we have used a campaign accounting service and this service had never faced a “team” running for office. According to the FPPC, this was a minor clerical error, not “failed to report a single cent” as stated in your article. We don’t expect any further action from the FPPC.
Kurt Bensworth on behalf of James Perez and Team Tustin 2020
Bensworth for Tustin City Council 2020 FPPC ID# 1426213
Perez for Tustin City Council 2020 FPPC ID# 1426330
Editor’s Note: The post in question was a headline and press release provided by the Democratic Party of Orange County; they are responsible for the content and the headline. This blog typically publishes press releases for Democratic Organizations and Candidates as sent (not every release, but many). When I asked the lawyer what was inaccurate, be declined to be specific.