Ridley-Thomas files ethics complaint against opponent

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NAJEE’S NOTES

By Najee Ali

Contributing Writer

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas went to social media and his Twitter account to announce his legal team has filed a formal complaint with Kirsten Pickenpaugh, the interim enforcement director of the Los Angeles Ethics Commission.

Ridley-Thomas, who is running for the Los Angeles City Council’s 10th District seat against attorney Grace Yoo Nov. 3, is accusing Yoo of violating city campaign reporting rules. Every candidate is supposed to report any mass communication sent to voters to the commission within 24 hours so candidates can’t run a secret, shadow campaign. Yoo, however, goes days and days without reporting anything and mailings, and meanwhile, voters in District 10 are getting her campaign mail and door hangers and other off-the-books campaign materials.

Ridley-Thomas’s letter says Yoo’s letter violates Section 49.7.32 of the code which states that a candidate who distributes a campaign communication to 200 or more persons must file a copy of the communication with the Ethics Commission within 24 hours. Door hangers, lawn signs and digital advertisements all qualify as communications for which disclosure is required under Section 49.7.32, Ridley Thomas claims.

Ridley-Thomas says Yoo hasn’t disclosed any of these communications to the Ethics Commission’s public portal, despite the fact that they have been in circulation or were posted more than a week ago.

“Disclosure to the public of a candidate’s campaign communications is an essential aspect of the city’s ethics laws,” Ridley-Thomas said in his letter and asked the commission to investigate and prosecute the violations of the city’s campaign disclosure laws.”

If these allegations are true, Yoo has violated campaign ethics regulations. She is delinquent in filing her communications with voters with the Ethics Commission and there is absolutely no excuse for not following the rules.

This is essentially cheating to gain an advantage with voters. But it also demonstrates a candidate’s lack of integrity and character. In full disclosure, I have known Ridley-Thomas for more than 20 years dating to his first years on the City Council. We might not have agreed on every community issue, but Ridley-Thomas’ dedication to improve the quality of life for his constituents is unquestionable.

From his work on the homeless crisis to bringing back King Hospital and establishing it as a first-class health facility is what many residents call a miracle. Ridley-Thomas has always been a mentor to up and coming South L.A. activists that include now Rep. Karen Bass and City Councilman Marqueece Harris Dawson, and this writer.

Our community deserves leadership that is tried and true to our issues.

My vote goes to Ridley-Thomas, if Black people have any sense of trying to hang on to the Black community or what is left of it, Ridley-Thomas should have your vote also.

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For news tips, email Brothernajeeali@gmail.com.