News

Liz Kniss violated campaign finance laws, a 4-year-long investigation concludes

Former City Council member faces fines of $4,500 for reporting omissions, use of personal funds for campaign expenditures during 2016 run

Palo Alto City Council member Liz Kniss listens during the public comment period at a council meeting on Jan. 7, 2019. Embarcadero Media file photo by Veronica Weber.

An unusually lengthy investigation by the California Fair Political Practices Commission has finally concluded that Liz Kniss, a former Palo Alto City Council member who left office in January, violated two campaign finance laws during her 2016 campaign for reelection.

As a result, she faces $4,500 in fines, according to a stipulation agreement that the agency released Monday and which the commission is scheduled to formally approve on Feb. 18.

The four-year investigation kicked off shortly after Kniss was reelected to a second consecutive council term in November 2016. Kniss, who also served on the council between 1989 and 2000, was chosen to be mayor three times over her council career, the last time in 2018, while the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) case was ongoing.

In the stipulation, the FPPC contends that over the course of the 2016 campaign, Kniss violated two laws: one that prohibits candidates from using their personal bank accounts for campaign expenditures and another that requires them to report the employers and occupations of donors who contribute more than $100.

The FPPC did not, however, penalize Kniss for the reporting irregularity that triggered the investigation: her failure to disclose 31 contributions, totaling $19,340, that she had received from developers in the weeks before the November 2016 election but did not list in her filings until Jan. 11.

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As the Weekly had previously reported, numerous major contributors from the real estate industry, including Charles Keenan, Jim Baer, Thoits Brothers and the California Association of Realtors, had sent her checks in October or early November. Her acceptance of these contributions represented a shift in policy for a campaign that had initially pledged not to accept money from developers. However, the public did not know about the policy change since Kniss' campaign did not report these checks until her January filing.

Liz Kniss. Embarcadero Media file photo by Veronica Weber.

Kniss previously told the Weekly that the contributions weren't reported because her campaign treasurer, Tom Collins, was waylaid by a knee surgery in 2016, which kept him from opening the envelopes, depositing the checks and filing the reports. While the stipulation agreement does not specifically address the campaign committee's late reporting of the developers' contributions, it notes that the campaign committee had some "additional reporting failures" and that those violations "are not being charged for settlement purposes."

"The actions of the Committee, Kniss and Collins appear to be negligent, as opposed to intentional or with an intent to conceal," the stipulation states. "Neither Kniss nor Collins has a prior record of violations."

Kniss also contended, according to the agreement, that Collins was ill during the period in which the violations occurred and that this was one of the main causes of the errors that were made. She told this publication in a Monday interview that, ultimately, the candidate for office is the one who is responsible for following campaign laws.

The $4,500 fine is well below the $10,000 maximum that the FPPC could have imposed based on the two violations, each of which carries a maximum fine of $5,000. In settling for a total fine of $4,500, the commission weighed the seriousness of the violations and Kniss' record of compliance with campaign finance laws.

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If the FPPC approves the stipulation agreement, as expected, Kniss would be charged $2,000 fine for failing to list the occupations or employers of dozens of her contributors.

She is also facing a $2,500 fine for using her personal bank account to make campaign expenditures, with the understanding that the campaign account would later reimburse her. According to the stipulation, this violates the state's "one committee bank account" rule, which requires all expenditures to be made from the campaign account.

According to the FPPC, she made 24 transactions totaling $7,241 for campaign-related expenses using her personal credit card. She also paid $1,876 for campaign printing material using a personal check.

In setting the fine, the FPPC considered the similar case of Frank Bigelow, who made 13 charges on his personal credit card relating to his 2016 campaign for state Assembly. He was fined $2,000 for violation. In recommending a $2,500 fine for Kniss, the FPPC cited her extensive experience in politics. While Bigelow was seeking his first reelection in 2015, Kniss was first elected to office in 1985 and had served in various public positions, including on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, the FPPC noted in explaining its recommendation of the higher fine.

While the anonymous complaint that triggered the FPPC investigation focused on her late reporting of developer contributions, Kniss noted that her campaign had sought a legal opinion from the Legal Division of the FPPC. It was advised that because Collins was rehabilitating from surgery and did not open the contributions, they were not considered "received." Collins died in May 2020.

While the Legal Division functions separately from the Enforcement Division, Kniss suggested that the legal opinion influenced the Enforcement Division's decision not to pursue that as a violation.

Kniss told this news organization she wasn't aware of the state's "one bank account" rule and suggested that it's not uncommon for candidates to pay for campaign expenditures upfront out of their personal accounts with the expectation of being reimbursed.

Kniss was represented in the FPPC case by Gary Winuk of Kaufman Legal Group, who served as chief of the FPPC's Enforcement Division from 2009 and 2015. She said she was informed by her attorney that the violations she was cited for by the FPPC are among the most common. She also suggested that the anonymous complaint that was filed against her was politically motivated and characterized it as a sign of the city's polarization.

"This is done to really discredit someone, which is most unfortunate," Kniss said. "It's going to continue in Palo Alto because we're so divided as a community now."

Neither the FPPC nor Kniss offered any explanation as to why the investigation took four years and is set to conclude one month after Kniss left office. The agency's 2017 investigations against then-council members Adrian Fine and Greg Tanaka were each resolved within a few months of being opened. (Fine was given a warning and Tanaka was fined $733 for three reporting violations that he called "clerical errors.")

When asked in January 2018 about the length of time the Kniss probe was taking, FPPC spokesman Jay Wierenga said the agency works to ensure that every investigation is both thorough and timely but would not comment specifically on Kniss' case.

In February 2019, Wierenga said that collecting facts and evidence and contacting witnesses, especially uncooperative ones, takes time. However, he noted, the FPPC completes more than 80% of its cases within a year.

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Liz Kniss violated campaign finance laws, a 4-year-long investigation concludes

Former City Council member faces fines of $4,500 for reporting omissions, use of personal funds for campaign expenditures during 2016 run

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Mon, Feb 8, 2021, 9:14 pm

An unusually lengthy investigation by the California Fair Political Practices Commission has finally concluded that Liz Kniss, a former Palo Alto City Council member who left office in January, violated two campaign finance laws during her 2016 campaign for reelection.

As a result, she faces $4,500 in fines, according to a stipulation agreement that the agency released Monday and which the commission is scheduled to formally approve on Feb. 18.

The four-year investigation kicked off shortly after Kniss was reelected to a second consecutive council term in November 2016. Kniss, who also served on the council between 1989 and 2000, was chosen to be mayor three times over her council career, the last time in 2018, while the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) case was ongoing.

In the stipulation, the FPPC contends that over the course of the 2016 campaign, Kniss violated two laws: one that prohibits candidates from using their personal bank accounts for campaign expenditures and another that requires them to report the employers and occupations of donors who contribute more than $100.

The FPPC did not, however, penalize Kniss for the reporting irregularity that triggered the investigation: her failure to disclose 31 contributions, totaling $19,340, that she had received from developers in the weeks before the November 2016 election but did not list in her filings until Jan. 11.

As the Weekly had previously reported, numerous major contributors from the real estate industry, including Charles Keenan, Jim Baer, Thoits Brothers and the California Association of Realtors, had sent her checks in October or early November. Her acceptance of these contributions represented a shift in policy for a campaign that had initially pledged not to accept money from developers. However, the public did not know about the policy change since Kniss' campaign did not report these checks until her January filing.

Kniss previously told the Weekly that the contributions weren't reported because her campaign treasurer, Tom Collins, was waylaid by a knee surgery in 2016, which kept him from opening the envelopes, depositing the checks and filing the reports. While the stipulation agreement does not specifically address the campaign committee's late reporting of the developers' contributions, it notes that the campaign committee had some "additional reporting failures" and that those violations "are not being charged for settlement purposes."

"The actions of the Committee, Kniss and Collins appear to be negligent, as opposed to intentional or with an intent to conceal," the stipulation states. "Neither Kniss nor Collins has a prior record of violations."

Kniss also contended, according to the agreement, that Collins was ill during the period in which the violations occurred and that this was one of the main causes of the errors that were made. She told this publication in a Monday interview that, ultimately, the candidate for office is the one who is responsible for following campaign laws.

The $4,500 fine is well below the $10,000 maximum that the FPPC could have imposed based on the two violations, each of which carries a maximum fine of $5,000. In settling for a total fine of $4,500, the commission weighed the seriousness of the violations and Kniss' record of compliance with campaign finance laws.

If the FPPC approves the stipulation agreement, as expected, Kniss would be charged $2,000 fine for failing to list the occupations or employers of dozens of her contributors.

She is also facing a $2,500 fine for using her personal bank account to make campaign expenditures, with the understanding that the campaign account would later reimburse her. According to the stipulation, this violates the state's "one committee bank account" rule, which requires all expenditures to be made from the campaign account.

According to the FPPC, she made 24 transactions totaling $7,241 for campaign-related expenses using her personal credit card. She also paid $1,876 for campaign printing material using a personal check.

In setting the fine, the FPPC considered the similar case of Frank Bigelow, who made 13 charges on his personal credit card relating to his 2016 campaign for state Assembly. He was fined $2,000 for violation. In recommending a $2,500 fine for Kniss, the FPPC cited her extensive experience in politics. While Bigelow was seeking his first reelection in 2015, Kniss was first elected to office in 1985 and had served in various public positions, including on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, the FPPC noted in explaining its recommendation of the higher fine.

While the anonymous complaint that triggered the FPPC investigation focused on her late reporting of developer contributions, Kniss noted that her campaign had sought a legal opinion from the Legal Division of the FPPC. It was advised that because Collins was rehabilitating from surgery and did not open the contributions, they were not considered "received." Collins died in May 2020.

While the Legal Division functions separately from the Enforcement Division, Kniss suggested that the legal opinion influenced the Enforcement Division's decision not to pursue that as a violation.

Kniss told this news organization she wasn't aware of the state's "one bank account" rule and suggested that it's not uncommon for candidates to pay for campaign expenditures upfront out of their personal accounts with the expectation of being reimbursed.

Kniss was represented in the FPPC case by Gary Winuk of Kaufman Legal Group, who served as chief of the FPPC's Enforcement Division from 2009 and 2015. She said she was informed by her attorney that the violations she was cited for by the FPPC are among the most common. She also suggested that the anonymous complaint that was filed against her was politically motivated and characterized it as a sign of the city's polarization.

"This is done to really discredit someone, which is most unfortunate," Kniss said. "It's going to continue in Palo Alto because we're so divided as a community now."

Neither the FPPC nor Kniss offered any explanation as to why the investigation took four years and is set to conclude one month after Kniss left office. The agency's 2017 investigations against then-council members Adrian Fine and Greg Tanaka were each resolved within a few months of being opened. (Fine was given a warning and Tanaka was fined $733 for three reporting violations that he called "clerical errors.")

When asked in January 2018 about the length of time the Kniss probe was taking, FPPC spokesman Jay Wierenga said the agency works to ensure that every investigation is both thorough and timely but would not comment specifically on Kniss' case.

In February 2019, Wierenga said that collecting facts and evidence and contacting witnesses, especially uncooperative ones, takes time. However, he noted, the FPPC completes more than 80% of its cases within a year.

Comments

ALB
Registered user
College Terrace
on Feb 8, 2021 at 10:10 pm
ALB, College Terrace
Registered user
on Feb 8, 2021 at 10:10 pm

Well as the Chairman of the Board would sing at the end of That’s Life, “My my.”


Not Good Enough
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 8, 2021 at 10:45 pm
Not Good Enough, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Feb 8, 2021 at 10:45 pm

Liz Kniss! Don't try to pass off what happened as someone trying to discredit you. You discredted yourself by violating California election laws. And no, it's not common for candidates to pay expenditures out of their own pocket but for the few very limited exceptions as you must know given your many campaigns.

The other scandal here is that of the FPPC took 4 years to resolve Kniss's 8 cases that eventually were combined into one while Kniss blissfully got elected and served as if she had done nothing tilted.

If a person not taking responsibility when they are wrong is an indiction they should not be in public office, then Kniss should never have been a candidate for anything.


citizen
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 8, 2021 at 11:12 pm
citizen, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Feb 8, 2021 at 11:12 pm

Kniss was quoted in the Weekly as acknowledging that she understood that taking contributions from developers was not popular. We also still do not know the technology company that gave her $5,000 in services -- this is not irrelevant given how the whims and desires of technology companies (who apparently could have all along turned on a dime and changed their attempt to megalopolize the Bay Area) have had such an oppressive and deleterious impact on local life and quality of life.

"The FPPC did not, however, penalize Kniss for ... her failure to disclose 31 contributions, totaling $19,340, that she had received from developers in the weeks before the November 2016 election but did not list in her filings until Jan. 11."

FPPC is a toothless entity under the best of circumstances. The second it was clear that Kniss's finances were mainly from developers - which we all knew very early in her term -- whoever complained to the FPPC should have instead launched a recall. The outcome for the residents of the President Hotel might have been different if we hadn't had a developer-obsequious majority.




Resident
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 8, 2021 at 11:33 pm
Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Feb 8, 2021 at 11:33 pm

Decades of favoring developers, the infamous hit piece on Dolly Sandoval, and now fined by the FPPC. Quite a body of work.


Jeanne
Registered user
another community
on Feb 9, 2021 at 6:15 am
Jeanne, another community
Registered user
on Feb 9, 2021 at 6:15 am

Outrageous.

The investigation mysteriously takes four years and concludes conveniently one month after Kniss leaves office. The Weekly should come out and identify this for what it is: blatant cheating and corruption.

Kniss brazenly serves the interests of developers for her entire four-year term and then once out of office faces a measly $4500 fine. Yes, consider all the displaced President hotel residents or the “leadership” of spending 2020 working on important initiatives like shuttering libraries.

Kniss epitomizes a time when Palo Alto lost its moral compass.


Simon Cohen
Registered user
another community
on Feb 9, 2021 at 7:34 am
Simon Cohen, another community
Registered user
on Feb 9, 2021 at 7:34 am

It's all about politics and various entities procuring certain assurances from the candidate they are supporting.

It's no different than a county judge seeking re-election and then returning favorable bench decisions to supportive contributors from the bar association or police union.

The key oversight was the lack of full disclosure on Ms. Kniss' part prior to and during the election process.

Other than that that, what transpired is no different than what goes on in any electoral process in America. Even Donald Trump loaned his campaign monetary resources from his own personal financial estate.

Ms. Kniss' tenure in office is officially over and she successfully fulfilled her 'backroom' promises and obligations to her supporters.

The fine itself is minimal and trivial. No big deal from the standpoint of financial outlay. Compared to a DUI infraction, small potatos.

Meanwhile the development interests in Palo Alto have gained a stronghold based on her council advocacy of such interests.

And now it's time to move on as spilt milk is not worth bemoaning over.


Palo Alto Green
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 9, 2021 at 10:24 am
Palo Alto Green, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Feb 9, 2021 at 10:24 am

Kniss told the voters she would not take campaign contributions from developers, and then failed to disclose 31 contributions, totaling $19,340 from developers till after the election because she knew it would cost her votes. The FPPC is worse than toothless because it slow rolled her investigation for 4 years until after she left office and then failed to hold her accountable for deceiving the voters. These fines are pathetically small. The former FPPC head of enforcement represented her? That sounds like it undermines the integrity of the FPPC.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 9, 2021 at 10:47 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Feb 9, 2021 at 10:47 am

How special and timely. The whole episode is as shameful as her "leadership" and her proteges she mentored on ignoring the will of the residents.

"Meanwhile the development interests in Palo Alto have gained a stronghold based on her council advocacy of such interests.

And now it's time to move on as spilt milk is not worth bemoaning over."

That "milk" is still in office and/or actively campaigning and/or funding others to do the same and to keep attacking Palo Alto. I think it's time to fight those forces. NOT move on, before it sours us all in acrimony and density.


Name hidden
Downtown North

Registered user
on Feb 9, 2021 at 11:12 am
Name hidden, Downtown North

Registered user
on Feb 9, 2021 at 11:12 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


peppered
Registered user
Community Center
on Feb 9, 2021 at 11:45 am
peppered, Community Center
Registered user
on Feb 9, 2021 at 11:45 am

Utterly despicable behavior by an elected representative. Besides breaking the law, the real fraud was claiming she wasn't taking money from developers and then quietly doing so.


BenT
Registered user
University South
on Feb 9, 2021 at 12:00 pm
BenT, University South
Registered user
on Feb 9, 2021 at 12:00 pm

"Neither the FPPC nor Kniss offered any explanation as to why the investigation took four years and is set to conclude one month after Kniss left office."

Here's a wild guess - "Kniss was represented in the FPPC case by Gary Winuk of Kaufman Legal Group, who served as chief of the FPPC's Enforcement Division from 2009 and 2015."


Novelera
Registered user
Midtown
on Feb 9, 2021 at 2:30 pm
Novelera, Midtown
Registered user
on Feb 9, 2021 at 2:30 pm

Yes, this final outcome of the ridiculously slow process of the FPPC that only wound up after Kniss was out of office doesn't pass the smell test.


community member
Registered user
University South
on Feb 9, 2021 at 3:33 pm
community member, University South
Registered user
on Feb 9, 2021 at 3:33 pm

My favorite of her excuses:
Her campaign treasurer, Tom Collins, was waylaid by a knee surgery in 2016, which kept him from opening the envelopes, depositing the checks and filing the reports.
So she didn't report the huge developer donations from Charles Keenan, Jim Baer, Thoits Brothers and the California Association of Realtors, among others.

[Portion removed.]


Mark Steinberg
Registered user
Palo Alto Hills
on Feb 9, 2021 at 3:45 pm
Mark Steinberg, Palo Alto Hills
Registered user
on Feb 9, 2021 at 3:45 pm

The account of what transpired is disturbing to a certain extent but perhaps it is time to move on and accept things for what they are.

Palo Alto has long been overdeveloped and chances are these fiscal indiscretions would not have alteted the direction or future appearance of the city.

On the other hand, it would have been both progressive and socially enlightening had these developer interests provided for extensive below market housing in Palo Alto to increase it's population of African Americans and other people of color.

1.9% is a very low demographic of African American residents and an ideal percentage of perhaps 20% should be targeted to dispel any allegations of Palo Alto's racist reputation throughout the country.


The Voice of Palo Alto
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Feb 9, 2021 at 4:04 pm
The Voice of Palo Alto, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Feb 9, 2021 at 4:04 pm

“She suggested that the anonymous complaint that was filed against her was politically motivated and characterized it as a sign of the city's polarization.”

No Liz Kniss! This was not politically motivated. You took that money, you were reported, and you were caught. Really good try with the citing of “political divisions” in our great city. That’s also a thinly veiled way to try to use the backdrop of National political division somehow as an excuse. No. [Portion removed.] I really don’t like that she got off with just a fine. She sort of claims this was all just a big misunderstanding, an attempt to discredit her, and that she wasn’t aware of the “one bank account” rule. Sure! Why didn’t she have someone who IS aware? How about an apology? It just seems like convenient excuses. [Portion removed.]

Finally, I don’t get why this investigation took four years! On one hand it’s good that Kniss has sort of been publicly embarrassed/shamed for what she has done, but on the other hand that seems to me to be a complete waste of time and resources over an eventual fine of $4500. There are no political divisions over here about this in my beloved Crescent Park. I expect better behavior out of our City Council members! I am truly disgusted by the behavior of Liz Kniss and her excuses to stay out of deeper trouble. I think they should also keep an eye on Tanaka now to make sure he doesn’t make anymore “clerical errors” in the future. I don’t think I can handle anymore dishonesty.


Person
Registered user
Southgate
on Feb 10, 2021 at 8:15 am
Person, Southgate
Registered user
on Feb 10, 2021 at 8:15 am

This shouldn't surprise anyone.


Person
Registered user
Southgate
on Feb 10, 2021 at 8:16 am
Person, Southgate
Registered user
on Feb 10, 2021 at 8:16 am
Jacob Epstein
Registered user
Menlo Park
on Feb 10, 2021 at 10:12 am
Jacob Epstein, Menlo Park
Registered user
on Feb 10, 2021 at 10:12 am

What Ms. Kniss allegedly did is no different than what many politicians do if afforded the opportunity.

[Portion removed.]


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 10, 2021 at 10:18 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Feb 10, 2021 at 10:18 am

[Post removed due to deletion of referenced comment.]


mjh
Registered user
College Terrace
on Feb 10, 2021 at 4:01 pm
mjh, College Terrace
Registered user
on Feb 10, 2021 at 4:01 pm

Developer donations were a big issue during this council election campaign.
Ms. Kniss promised voters she would not accept developer money.

The question we are left with is, would Ms. Kniss have been elected if voters had known that she would not keep this commitment? Worse, accepted $20,000 from developers timed to arrive after voters could not find out about it before they cast their votes. There is a good chance that this campaign deception cost someone else a seat on the council.

Of course we will never know. Unfortunately, Liz Kniss had an outsize influence on council. Whenever there was a choice, her votes seem to have consistently benefited developers and related interests at the expense of those who live here. Outcomes that might have been very different had she not chosen, or giving the appearance of appearing to, win her council seat by deliberately deceiving voters during the election campaign.


Elinore Rosenstein
Registered user
Atherton
on Feb 11, 2021 at 8:51 am
Elinore Rosenstein, Atherton
Registered user
on Feb 11, 2021 at 8:51 am

Palo Alto seemingly strove to become the premier midpeninsula city by encouraging growth in various business sectors (aka office development) and this vision was often reflected by city council actions.

Now residents are complaining about overdevelopment.

This reminds me of a relative who once gorged himself at an all you can eat buffet only to complain of indigestion later.

Payola in return for political favors has been going on since the beginning of so-called democracy. Nothing new and while this disclosure is disturbing to some Palo Alto residents, did they not elect this individual to multiple terms of office?

Geesh.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 11, 2021 at 9:11 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Feb 11, 2021 at 9:11 am

"Now residents are complaining about overdevelopment."

Surely not just now. Many are painfully aware that we've been over-run by commuters for years as traffic's worsened. Many been complaining about "overdevelopment" and office growth for a long time.

That's why there was a successful petition for a ballot initiative to cap office growth that the developer-friendly City Council majority gamed away to keep a vote on the office cap off the ballot.

That's why there was syc a big stink over the lame-duck CC majority trying to front-load the Planning & Transportation Commission with developer-friendly candidates on their way out the door.

That's why the developer-friendly candidates lost this past election.


Jacob Tseglin
Registered user
Menlo Park
on Feb 11, 2021 at 9:59 am
Jacob Tseglin, Menlo Park
Registered user
on Feb 11, 2021 at 9:59 am

A quote: That's why the developer-friendly candidates lost this past election.

So why did it take so long for Palo Alto voters to finally see the light?

A little too late to reverse the damage already done.

Like the Dust Bowl back in the 1930s.


Ara Goldman
Registered user
another community
on Feb 11, 2021 at 10:31 am
Ara Goldman, another community
Registered user
on Feb 11, 2021 at 10:31 am

[Portion removed.]

Other than accepting an alleged and minimal gratuity for her promotion of further city development, what wrong was done?

It often requires developer investment for a city to grow and Palo Alto sought greater heights as an influential bay area city.

This is simply a tale of sour grapes [portion removed.]


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 12, 2021 at 7:31 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Feb 12, 2021 at 7:31 am

Reading this article and the one in the SJM/BAN 02/12 - "Ex-councilwoman penalized in campaign violations" we see that almost all of the PACC members are now under scrutiny concerning the timing of when they reported on the monetary donations and who provided those monetary donations. I am noting a trend here in reporting of a offense / defense attitude.

There is a Peninsula YIMBY action group headed by Kelsey Banes who it appears has the job of scrutinizing the PASZ candidates. The demand on the table is who is providing funding and who do they work for. I would ask the same question of the people who contribute to the Peninsula YIMBY group - who are they and who do they work for. How much are they contributing? Since the YIMBY group appears to be interfering in the workings of the city and wasting taxpayer money in the process then they also need to put all of their data on the table.

I am noting comments from citizens of other cities which have also appeared on other topics and am wondering why the fascination with this city when they live in a different county and city. What is the connection? Are they contributors to some organization which has desires for political action in this city. Duly noted.

The reporter is expecting results from the defense but no results from the offense. I view that as political push from the press. The SJM/BAN needs to clean up the reporting and get all of the information on everyone noted in the articles.


The Voice of Palo Alto
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Feb 12, 2021 at 8:40 am
The Voice of Palo Alto, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Feb 12, 2021 at 8:40 am

“I am noting comments from citizens of other cities which have also appeared on other topics and am wondering why the fascination with this city when they live in a different county and city. What is the connection? Are they contributors to some organization which has desires for political action in this city. Duly noted.”

Thank you Resident 1. This is fantastic detective work here in the comment section of the weekly. I have been noticing a similar pattern and have also been wondering the same thing. I love that you have “duly noted” this. It makes me feel more at ease about everything. You are right. The million dollar question is “What is the connection?” Again, fantastic work here uncovering this and also posting about it. Maybe the fact that you have shown everyone that “you know what’s going on here” will dissuade any further chicanery. Your allegations are very serious so one can only hope!


Clyde Freeman
Registered user
another community
on Feb 12, 2021 at 9:05 am
Clyde Freeman, another community
Registered user
on Feb 12, 2021 at 9:05 am

As a resident of another community but also a current residential landlord in Palo Alto, a continued interest in the goings-on of the city is warranted.

And questionings or ridicule regarding how the City of Palo Alto conducts it business and politics compared to where I currently reside are relevant to a certain extent because I have sizable fiscal resources tied-up in Palo Alto.

As far as the serious concerns confronting Palo Alto today, many of them could have been avoided had voters not allowed themselves to be hoodwinked by the election-time gibberish being presented by the various candidates, many of whom have blatantly contributed to expanding an over-bloated City Hall with far too many employee quirks and retirement benefits AND the overdevelopment of the city per se.

It's one thing to incessantly complain and another to initiate pro-active change to remedy the overall discontent.

And this begins with the elective process.






Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 12, 2021 at 10:23 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Feb 12, 2021 at 10:23 am

"There is a Peninsula YIMBY action group headed by Kelsey Banes who it appears has the job of scrutinizing the PASZ candidates. The demand on the table is who is providing funding and who do they work for. I would ask the same question of the people who contribute to the Peninsula YIMBY group - who are they and who do they work for. How much are they contributing? Since the YIMBY group appears to be interfering in the workings of the city and wasting taxpayer money in the process then they also need to put all of their data on the table."

Thanks. This needs to be probed much more, especially with all the big tech spending AND the way they're gaming our district's endorsement of candidates to the Democratic Central Committee and their policies. Note the latest slate has almost all YIMBY names from the past like Cory Wollbach (Ms. Barnes' partner) current PTC member Carrie Templeton, both of whom have been rejected by PA voters.


jr1
Registered user
Greenmeadow
on Feb 14, 2021 at 5:29 am
jr1, Greenmeadow
Registered user
on Feb 14, 2021 at 5:29 am

Plenty of financial problems seem to occur when politicians run for additional terms. Voters should seriously consider revising the term limit for elected offices. In order to get more citizens involved in the process, term limits should consist of one four year term.


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