So said future Associate Supreme Court Justice and lawyer Louis Brandeis.  It is the lack of sunlight in the San Bernardino Primary Municipal Election that is disturbing.  While you can go to the City Clerk’s Office to look at particular records, many of the records posted were taken off-line by the San Bernardino City Clerk’s Office.  However, some of them are back up.  They are available in the Requested Folder, the Campaign Statements Public folder or the not-quite-ready-for-prime-time Public Access Portal.

    San Bernardino lacks some institutional memory; most people cannot remember much politically before Ralph Prince was City Attorney or Al Ballard was Mayor. Things have gotten worse as The Sun does not have the same beat reporter from the last election.

    The residents of San Bernardino need to step up and discover the information for themselves.  For example City Clerk Gigi Hanna had this to say in 2011 before the 2011 Primary Municipal Election:

    As the elections officer and record keeper for the City and the public’s main link to its local government, the City Clerk must be committed to ethics, value open government and be an effective administrator

    Further, in a letter to voters dated October 12, 2011, Gigi Hanna said:

    City Clerk is a natural fit for me; I have the experience, education, passion, skills and personality to lead the department, maintain records, and uphold state and federal statutes, determining open meetings and public records. My commitment to open and transparent government did not begin when I decided to run for office, nor will it end November 8.  I have spent 25 years working to makes sure people know what their government is doing, and holding elected officials accountable to those they serve. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism with a minor in political science and my graduate work in Communications focused on public records and open meeting law, key components of the City Clerk’s job.

    Is City Clerk Gigi Hanna making good on the promises of candidate Gigi Hanna?The Public Access Portal listed above appears to be the future home of online filed documents. For documents filed in 2013, it gives these candidates:

    Avila, Rick
    Barrios, Benito
    Brinker, Tobin
    Castro, Richard
    Crawford, Draymond
    Dailey, Casey
    Davis, Carey
    Hanna, Georgeann
    Jenkins, Robert
    Johnson, Rikke
    Jones, Anthony
    Kelley, Chas
    Korner, Matthew
    Lee, Larry
    Longville, John
    Marquez, Virginia
    McCammack, Wendy
    McKenna, David
    Mlynarski, David
    Morris, Pat

    Also, it has these committees:

    Anthony Jones for San Bernardino City Council 2013
    Barrios for City Council 2013
    Business for Better Government
    Casey Dailey for San Bernardino City Council 2013
    Chas Kelley for City Council 2011
    Chas Kelley for Mayor 2013
    Citizens for Accountable City Government
    Committee for Integrity in San Bernardino City Government
    Committee to Elect Draymond Crawford II for Mayor 2013
    Committee to Elect Gigi Hanna City Clerk 2011
    Committee to Elect John Valdivia City Council 2011
    Committee to Elect Virginia Marquez for City Council 2009
    Committee to Re-elect Mayor Pat Morris for Mayor 2009
    Committee to Re-elect Wendy McCammack San Bernardino City Council 2011
    David McKenna for City Attorney 2011
    Davis for Mayor 2013, Carey
    Fred Shorett for City Council 2009
    Friends of Amelia Sanchez-Lopez for San Bernardino City Clerk 2011
    Friends of Brinker for Council 2011
    Friends of Castro for Mayor 2013
    Friends of John Longville City Council 2011
    Friends of Mulvihill for Council 2011
    Friends of Rikke Van Johnson for City Council 2011
    Friends of Tim Prince
    Friends of Wendy McCammack for San Bernardino Mayor 2013
    Henry Nickel for San Bernardino Mayor 2013
    Karmel Roe Your Mayor 4 Prayer 2013
    Larry Lee for City Council 2011
    Matt Korner for Mayor 2013
    Mlynarski for City Council 2011
    Penman for San Bernardino City Attorney 2011
    Rick Avila for Mayor 2013
    Rikke Van Johnson for Mayor 2013
    Robert Jenkins for City Council 2011

    Some of these documents must exist, when they were in the records section of the Clerk’s website, I linked to and quoted them. As your dutiful servant, I clicked on each of these links, and the only thing listed were:

    146090788 Friends of Wendy McCammack for San Bernardino Mayor 2013 09/19/2013 FPPC 497 ( 09/18/2013 ) E-Filing
    146090701 Friends of Wendy McCammack for San Bernardino Mayor 2013 09/19/2013 FPPC 497 ( 09/18/2013 ) E-Filing
    145863638 Committee to Re-elect Wendy McCammack San Bernardino City Council 2011 09/10/2013 FPPC 497 ( 09/09/2013 ) E-Filing
    144829378 Committee to Re-elect Wendy McCammack San Bernardino City Council 2011 07/31/2013 FPPC 460 ( 01/01/2013 to 06/30/2013 ) E-Filing
    146077271 Friends of Wendy McCammack for San Bernardino Mayor 2013 07/31/2013 FPPC 460 ( 01/01/2013 to 06/30/2013 ) Office
    139325234 Committee to Re-elect Wendy McCammack San Bernardino City Council 2011 01/28/2013 FPPC 460 ( 07/01/2012 to 12/31/2012 ) E-Filing

    And

    ling ID Filed By Filing Date Form Covers Period View Filing
    146056522 Penman for San Bernardino City Attorney 2011 09/18/2013 FPPC 497 ( 09/18/2013 ) E-Filing
    146054771 Penman for San Bernardino City Attorney 2011 09/18/2013 FPPC 497 ( 09/17/2013 ) E-Filing
    145863273 Penman for San Bernardino City Attorney 2011 09/10/2013 FPPC 497 ( 09/09/2013 ) E-Filing
    145690525 Penman for San Bernardino City Attorney 2011 09/04/2013 FPPC 497 ( 08/07/2013 ) E-Filing
    144828537 Penman for San Bernardino City Attorney 2011 07/31/2013 FPPC 460 ( 01/01/2013 to 06/30/2013 ) E-Filing
    139325046 Penman for San Bernardino City Attorney 2011 01/28/2013 FPPC 460 ( 07/01/2012 to 12/31/2012 ) E-Filing

    Why are only City Attorney James F. Penman and Council member and Mayoral Candidate Wendy McCammack’s campaign disclosures available online? My educated guess is that they were e-filed, so they were automatically populated, whereas the other filers did it by hand.

    However, that in no way excuses the lack of information within the system by the City Clerk’s Office. For example, elsewhere on the City’s website is the Form 460 filed by Gigi Hanna for 2013 for the period ending June 30, 2013. But it’s not available in the Public Access Portal.

    What did City Clerk Gigi Hanna take in in the first six months? $859 in contributions, three of them made by City Clerk Gigi Hanna (to her committee), and $99 in unitemized donations, presumably from one other person.

    She still has $13,540 owed to herself for a loan of $15,300 made in her campaign.

    She still owes $1,200 on another loan.

    She made a payment of $500 to Reed and Davidson, the Los Angeles law firm that provided the “legal defense of [Gigi Hanna’s] election win.”  She still owes them $29,807.

    She made a payment of $200 to Marty Graham for “voter polling following election.”She still owes him $250 at the end of the period

    She made a payment of $280 for a table purchase at a Rosa Parks Foundation fundraiser at Cal State San Bernardino.

    She also made $224 in unitemized payments during the period.

    Looking back to her July 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012 Form 460,

    Of interest, she received a contribution from Lynda Savage for School Board of $300.  Gigi Hanna paid herself $1160 on her outstanding loan balance of $14,140; and she paid Crown Printers $768 for mailers.

    There are also some campaign statements for office holders found in the same place.  However, they should all exist in one place, online, and they should be posted online for everyone.  Residents should not have to go to City Hall in this day and age to look at campaign public records.

    This is not acceptable within a month of an election, days away from early voting, and in this day and age.  The public should express their displeasure with the state of affairs in the Office of the City Clerk.

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