After falling behind early in the campaign contributions race for the Mayor of Turlock seat, Mike Brem has made a recent push having reported $17,000 in new contributions on Tuesday.
However, the contributions reported by Brem were delayed and reported late per the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC).
Under the FPPC, between Aug. 6 and the election date candidates are required to report any contributions a candidate has received or made of $1,000 or more within 24 hours.
The Mike Brem for Mayor 2014 committee, which shows Gary Wahl as treasurer, reported eight new contributions, each $1,000 or more, for a total of $17,000 on Tuesday. The contributions, however, are dated between Aug. 11 and Sept. 17.
The contribution were reported as follows:
- $1,500 from Alan Marchant, President of Turlock Recycling on Aug. 11
- $1,500 from Lee Marchant, Office Manager of Turlock Scavenger Co. on Aug. 12
- $5,000 from Daregal, Inc. on Aug. 26
- $5,000 from SupHerb Farms, founded by Brem, on Sept. 3
- $1,000 from Ahlem Farms Partnership on Sept. 4
- $2,000 from Smith Chevrolet Cadillac, Inc. on Sept. 4
- $1,000 from Turlock Action for Business – Political Action Committee on Sept. 14
- $1,000 from Charles Ahlem, owner of Charles Ahlem Ranch, on Sept. 17
About the late reporting, Brem said he had been mistaken about the FPPC rules, and immediately reported the money once he found out.
“In the Candidate Forum Information I received from the City, the Form 497 required reporting of any donations of $1,000 or more as of October 19th, 16 days before the election,” said Brem in an email. “We were made aware this week that the rules changed and immediately reported as per the requirements.”
On Sept. 19, TurlockCityNews.com informed the public of the campaign finance 24 hour donation reporting law, that went into effect Jan. 1, 2013, in an article updating the community of new donations received by Mayoral candidate Gary Soiseth and Turlock City Council candidate Forrest White.
According to the FPPC, violation of the Political Reform Act could result in a penalty anywhere from a warning letter to the maximum of $5,000 for each violation.
“Of course, it all depends on the facts and specifics of each case,” said FPPC spokesperson Jay Wierenga.
In a similar case, the Supporters for a Better San Clemente and Jeanne O’Grady were fined a total of $2,500 for failing to report a contribution of $2,111 to the City Clerk within 24 hours in October 2010.
Prior to the newly reported $17,000, Brem’s opponent Soiseth had taken a sizable lead in campaign contributions.
After the first filling period, ending on June 30, Soiseth had $32,402 in contributions while Brem had $8,923.99.
Soiseth added $4,500 in August with three contributions of $1,500, the personal limit he has declared he would accept from an individual, taking his total contributions near $37,000.
Brem now sits at $25,923.99 after the newly contributed money.
With both candidates bringing in big money, the Mayoral race appears to be headed towards another record race.
In 2006, then-candidates John Lazar and Kurt Vander Weide had more than $118,000 contributed to their campaigns, according to 2006 FPPC finance forms.
Since the end of the first filing period, only contributions of $1,000 have been reported by the candidates. On Oct. 6, the end of the second filing period, there will be a more clear picture of how much each candidate has received and how close they are to record numbers.