Start watching
Tending Nature poster 2021

Tending Nature

Start watching

Southland Sessions

Start watching

Earth Focus

Start watching

Reporter Roundup

Start watching

City Rising

Start watching

Lost LA

Start watching
Your donation supports our high-quality, inspiring and commercial-free programming.
Support Icon
Learn about the many ways to support KCET.
Support Icon
Contact our Leadership, Advancement and Special Events teams.

Political Committee Funds: Not for Love Interests or Business Startups

A word to the wise: Just when you thought "silly season" ended with the election, it did not.

Last week, California's political watchdog agency imposed two fines on treasurers of political committees for misuse of funds. In the first case the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) fined a treasurer of a committee formed to support the decriminalization of prostitution for loaning dancer at a strip club money. Strangely enough (insert sarcasm here), a treasurer of a political committee cannot use committee's funds to make loans to love interests.

The loan was apparently to pay expenses related to a family law case and plastic surgery. Again, oddly enough, those expenses do not count as proper expenses for the political committee formed to decriminalize prostitution.

The FPPC acted quickly and fined Luke Briet almost $10,000. The apparent loan of $3,000 has not been repaid.

But the fun doesn't stop there. The FPPC also fined another treasurer, Michael Gunter, of a different political committee. Gunter's violation was based on using $10,000 of the committee's funds to start his own business. He was the treasurer for the Californians for Privacy Committee -- I'm guessing he would have preferred to keep many of his activities private (ba-dum ching!).

None of these violations rise to the level of now-infamous campaign treasurer Kinde Durkee. She, thanks in large part to the investigation and subsequent actions by the FPPC, was recently sentenced to eight years in prison and ordered to pay $10.5 million in restitution to her victims.

In the meantime, campaign treasurers would be wise to take note and use committee funds for statutorily-defined proper purposes only.

Jessica Levinson writes about the intersection of law and government every Monday. She is an Associate Clinical Professor at Loyola Law School. Read more of her posts here.

Support Provided By
Support Provided By
Read More
A gavel on a table

Justice Delayed: Courts Overwhelmed by Pandemic Backlog

From child support to insurance fraud, court cases are delayed throughout California. Only half as many civil and criminal cases were resolved last summer compared with pre-pandemic numbers. “Justice has not shut down. Justice has slowed down,” according to an attorneys’ group.
People pull up in their vehicles for Covid-19 vaccines in the parking lot of The Forum in Inglewood, California on January 19, 2021. | FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

L.A. County Expands COVID Vaccines to Residents 65 And Older

L.A. County began scheduling COVID-19 vaccination appointments for those aged 65 and older today, but limited supplies and uncertainty about future allocations has left the inoculation effort shrouded in doubt.
Bill Kobin - hero image

Public Media and KCET Legend Bill Kobin Dies at 91

William H. “Bill” Kobin, a public media icon who helped build PBS flagship station KCET into a Los Angeles powerhouse, airing news programs like the acclaimed “Life & Times” and helping to launch Huell Howser’s career, has died.