Yesterday the UT reported:
Kinde Durkee was arrested Friday at Durkee and Associates in Burbank and charged with one count of mail fraud, said Lauren Horwood. The arrest was first reported by The Orange County Register.
In 2010, Voter Education Group, a slate-mailer managed by Durkee and Associates, was fined more than $110,000 by the FPPC for various reporting violations. One of the mailers endorsed Encinitas council candidates Kristin Gaspar and Dan Dalager while taking aim at Teresa Barth.
Last year the UT reported (with an empty comments section):
Voter Education Group reported receiving a $5,000 contribution last month from an Encinitas woman named Jane Blair for mailers endorsing Gaspar. Its original Oct. 5 campaign finance statement erroneously identified Jane Blair as a candidate for Encinitas City Council.
Gaspar, CFO of a physical therapy group called Gaspar Doctors of Physical Therapy, said Blair is her former client. Blair also was seen campaigning for Gaspar at an event last month. Blair’s listed numbers were all disconnected and she did not respond to e-mails.
Read: Follow the Money 2010
Read: It is all legit.
Read: Believe in unicorns.
The negative appearance that is projected by the use of a group like this should give pause to candidates. It hasn't. Some candidates have been extremely proud of the work of Voter Education Group. We should not be surprised that public policy discussions sometimes appear hollow, manipulated, and even bought. We should not be surprised that our elected leaders spend taxpayer dollars on projects that are shady.
The public should begin supporting candidates who campaign on issues and do so in a manner that is transparent and in the spirit of the law.