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Randi Shade 1822 W. 10" St. Austin, Texas 78703 May 23, 2011 Via Hand Delivery Ms. Shirley Gentry, City Clerk Austin City Hall 301 W. 2" St Austin, Texas 78701 hI Lud €2 au Subject: Enforcement of City's Candidate Contract Dear Ms Gentry: am writing to request that the City, as a party to a Fair Campaign Ordinance Candidate Contract with Kathie Tovo, withhold distribution of funds based on a breach of that contract. The City has the right to investigate the breach and is under no obligation to distribute funds while itis investigating the breach, and certainly under no obligation to distribute funds if it finds that a breach has occurred. According to testimony at last week's Ethics Review Commission hearing, during the general election, Kathie Tovo accepted an in-kind contribution of an email list of over 8,000 names. The Tovo campaign subsequently paid a third Party to distribute an email advocating for Tovo's candidacy to the contributed list. According to testimony, the contributed email list previously belonged to a local non-profit organization. The list was an “opt in" list, meaning that those on the list had voluntarily signed up to receive email from that organization. According to commercial list vendors, the fair market value of an “opt in” list of 8,000 email addresses is, without question, in excess of the maximum contribution allowed under the City Charter. Therefore, accepting the list as an in-kind contribution constituted a breach of the Candidate Contract The Tovo campaign maintained in testimony last week that the list had not been contributed to the campaign, because it was used by Tovo only once and o3A13034 yuo ALIO NILSAY subsequently deleted. However, Texas Ethics Commission definitions makes clear that the transfer of anything of value constitutes a contribution, regardless of how it is used. The City, through you, signed the Candidate Contract. As the party entitled to enforce the terms of the Candidate Contract and based on Kathie Tovo's breach of the agreement, | am requesting that you, on behalf of the City, investigate the breach and withhold distribution of the City's Fair Campaign Ordinance funds. Respectfully submitted, Aw A Randi Shade Enclosures Sworn Complaint filed May 13, 2011 outlining breaches Statement by Randi Shade to Ethics Review Commission Press reports identifying source of list and content cc: Austin City Manager, Marc Ott Randi Shade 1822 W. 10" St. Austin, Texas 78703 May 13, 2011 . ae Via Hand Deliver = Members of the City of Austin Ethics Commissi 2 aS clo Ms. Shirley Gentry, City Clerk 3 3s Austin City Hall Bs 301 W. 2" St BBs Austin, Texas 78701 =< om » B Ss Dear Ms. Gentry and Members of the City of Austin Ethics Commission: This letter is intended to serve as formal notice of complaint regarding the violation of the Austin Fair Campaign Ordinance by Place 3 City Council candidate Kathie Tovo. While I have previously contended that Ms. Tovo has violated the spirit of the Fair Campaign Ordinance, itis my belief that she has also now violated the purpose and the letter of the law. As you know, each candidate who agrees to abide by the Fair Campaign Ordinance signs a Candidate Contract in which they agree to “act in accordance with all substantive and procedural requirements of the Charter and the Austin Fair Campaign Ordinance.” It further states the “agreement is to be construed in a manner that is consistent with the purpose and spirit of the Charter and the Austin Fair Campaign Ordinance.” And finally, the Contract requires that “[tJhe Candidate must follow the requirements of the Charter and the Austin Fair Campaign Ordinance.” On May 6, 2011, the Kathie Tovo campaign distributed a political advertisement which failed to include the disclaimer language required by both City and State law that would identify the Tovo Campaign as the source of the advertisement. The advertisement was an email purportedly from “Tom Cooke” with a subject of “Friends of Lady Bird Lake” with a footer identifying “netvictories.com” as the manager of the email list. A copy of this advertisement is attached. This email clearly violated Section 2-2-14 of the City of Austin ethics code. Section 2-1-14 states that any candidate who signs the Fair Campaign Contract MUST include in all political communications the following disclaimer: "This campaign has agreed to comply with the contribution and expenditure limits of the Austin Fair Campaign Chapter.” The email in question did not include a standard political disclaimer ("Paid Political Advertisement”) nor did it include the mandatory notice required of candidates that sign the Fair Campaign Contract. Itis my belief that the required disclaimer language was purposefully omitted by the Tovo campaign in order to disguise the true source of the communication. This is precisely the reason for the disclaimer requirements contained within the City Charter and the Fair Campaign Ordinance. Press accounts, also attached, suggest that the source of the list used to distribute the email advertisement is most likely to have been a 501(c) organization called Save Town Lake. These same reports suggest that the list in question was recently developed with the assistance of a consulting firm hired by the 501(c) organization. Further, the press reports include an admission by the Tovo campaign ‘hat their campaign staff was directly involved in the distribution of the advertisement, Ifthese press reports are accurate, itis apparent that the Tovo campaign accepted an in-kind contribution in the form of the email list which was valued in excess of the maximum contribution allowed under the City Charter While an omission of the disclaimer alone constitutes a breach of the City Charter and thus the Candidate Contract, the suggestion in press reports that the Tovo campaign accepted an in-kind contribution in excess of allowable amounts would clearly constitute a second violation. Violations of the City Charter and the Austin Fait Campaign Ordinance should be a serious concern and constitute a breach of the Candidate Contract, ‘ommission immediately undertake a review of this complaint to determine whether a breach of the Candidate Contract has indeed occurred, Respectfully Submitted, Randi Shade Enclosures ce: Austin City Manager, Mare Ott Ms. Kathie Tovo, via email . AUSTIN CITY CLERK Randi Shade RECEIVED 1822 W. 10" St. Austin, Texas 78703 2111 MAR? PAY 02 May 17,2011 Via Hand Delivery Members of the City of Austin Ethics Commission clo Ms. Shirley Gentry, City Clerk Austin City Hall 301 W. 2"St. Austin, Texas 78701 Dear Ms. Gentry and Members of the City of Austin Ethics Commission: This letter is intended to serve as formal notice of complaint regarding the violation of the Austin Fair Campaign Ordinance by Place 3 City Council candidate Kathie Tovo. While I have previously contended that Ms. Tovo has violated the spirit of the Fair Campaign Ordinance, it is my belief that she has also now violated the Purpose and the letter of the law. As you know, each candidate who agrees to abide by the Fair Campaign Ordinance signs a Candidate Contract in which they agree to “act in accordance with a substantive and procedural requirements of the Charter and the Auistin Fair Campaign Ordinance.” It further states the “agreement is to be construed in a manner that consistent with the purpose and spirit of the Charter and the Austin Fair Campaign Ordinance.” And finally, the Contract requires that “t]he Candidate must follow ihe requirements of the Charter and the Austin Fair Campaign Ordinance.” On May 6, 2011, the Kathie Tovo campaign distributed a political advertisement which failed to include the disclaimer language required by both City and State law that Would identify the Tovo Campaign as the source of the advertisement. The advertisement was an email purportedly from “Tom Cooke” with a subject of “Friends of fady Bird Lake” with a footer identifying “netvictories.com” as the manager of the email list. A copy of this advertisement is attached, This emai clearly violated Section 2-2-14 of the City of Austin ethics code. Section 2-2-14 states that any candidate who signs the Fair Campaign Contract MUST include in all political communications the following disclaimer: “This campaign has