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Ventura County

Masry's Complaint to State Accuses Hoffman Campaign of Illegal Activity

April 18, 2002|MARGARET TALEV | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Thousand Oaks Mayor Ed Masry has filed a complaint with state regulators alleging that failed supervisorial candidate Randy Hoffman's campaign illegally coordinated political research and strategy with a so-called independent expenditure committee that supported Hoffman.

Independent expenditure committees may spend unlimited amounts in support of a candidate so long as their efforts are not coordinated with the candidate.

Hoffman, a Thousand Oaks entrepreneur, lost to Councilwoman Linda Parks in the March 5 primary to succeed retiring county Supervisor Frank Schillo.

Masry, a trial lawyer, is one of Parks' closest supporters. Masry filed the complaint with the state's Fair Political Practices Commission on letterhead from his law firm, not city stationery.

In the complaint, Masry also alleged the independent expenditure committee, Ventura Taxpayers for Responsible Government, and the group's major donors deliberately delayed filing contribution disclosures to obscure supporters' identities until after the election.

Hoffman denied any coordination with the independent committee, calling Masry's April 2 complaint "preposterous."

Hoffman said he had filed a complaint against Parks the day before the election. That filing, Hoffman said, was the reason Masry was retaliating against him.

In that complaint to the commission, Hoffman alleged Parks had failed to disclose all her campaign contributions. He argued the market rate and postage for Parks' last-minute advertisements would cost more than she reported having in her war chest.

After the election, Hoffman was appointed to the Planning Commission. Parks supported Hoffman's nomination; Masry abstained.

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