Why is Christy Smith not amending her FEC filings to reflect which staffers she paid and the reason she paid them?
Back in November 2020, California Globe wrote about Smith’s large payments to staffers through an organization called Method Campaign Services. However, the filings did not give detail on the particular staffers being paid. As the Globe reported,
The Federal Elections Commission is unambiguous when it comes to the reporting of recipients of salary payments of campaign staff: The name of the individual must be listed.
Congressional candidate for California’s 25th Christy Smith is not reporting the names and salaries of her campaign staffers, based on her FEC filings. She is only listing a payroll company.
The company Smith is using to pay the salaries is Method Campaign Services.
The FEC shows Smith has been paying Method Campaign Services tens of thousands of dollars in salary payments since November 2019. However, the $270,000 in salary payments have not identified who on her staff received a payroll check, as required by the FEC.
Pursuant to the FEC, once a payroll company is paid over $200, the salary payments must be itemized.
What this means back in California is that we have no idea who is working for Christy Smith’s congressional campaign, in addition to violating the FEC rule.
Smart politician, and current CA-25 Rep. Mike Garcia responded to the article at that time, alluding to Smith’s casual relationship in reporting the truth.
Liberal politician @ChristyforCA25 is no stranger to lying to #CA25 voters. She lied about voting for $3B in tax hikes. She lied about her signature bill #AB5 crushing CA jobs. Now it appears she's even been violating FEC rules to deceive Californians.https://t.co/9lmsg3vAWR
— Mike Garcia (@ElectMikeGarcia) November 3, 2020
According to recent tweets by Rob Pyers of California Target Book, Smith appears to be skirting the FEC in amending her filings, despite getting multiple letters requesting she take care of it.
In an update to this tweet, the FEC sent multiple letters to #CA25 Democrat Christy Smith's campaign this week directing them to amend their reports to include the missing information.https://t.co/CjpqHQvBZN https://t.co/dbqhAN9RQG pic.twitter.com/eUzPSRn8wP
— Rob Pyers (@rpyers) April 18, 2021
The common issue in all five warnings was the failure to disclose the names of individuals being paid a campaign salary. The same issue was present on Smith's Q1 '21 FEC report this week, and will probably result in a sixth letter somewhere down the line. pic.twitter.com/kMfAXSDFPn
— Rob Pyers (@rpyers) April 18, 2021
According to the letters, Smith has until May 20, 2021, to respond.
Method Campaign Services is more than a mere payroll processor. It is a service to manage, on the ground, field work for local and national campaigns and petition efforts. Brandon Zavala, her campaign manager for both her losing CD-25 campaigns, used to be an employee of Method Campaign Services. According to his LinkedIn Profile, Zavala had various roles at the company over 2 years and 9 months:
In the past, Smith has hired employees with questionable ethics, as in the case of her District Director and former campaign manager for her Assembly District 38 campaigns, Ryan Valencia:
Her own District Director and State Assembly campaign manager Ryan Valencia was convicted on an enhanced DUI charge in 2017, which came after he crashed into a house, severely damaging it, and pictures surfaced showing him drinking while on probation for that charge, which he was explicitly prohibited from doing. Chatter in a Simi Valley candidates Facebook group gives indication that this may still be an issue. Candidate associations matter, as will be further explored.
Ryan Valencia, candidate for #Simi City Council & district director for 38th Assembly District, just conceded to me that his 2017 #DUI arrest involved him colliding with a garage in Simi. He didn't mention the collision earlier this week when admitting the #DUI in a statement. pic.twitter.com/4C5bEXUjCT
— Mike Harris (@Mike___Harris) October 9, 2020
Is Christy Smith hiding something? Time will tell. Why she would not quickly amend those filings is questionable, and could potentially tank her chances to try to wrest the CD-25 seat away from Garcia in 2022.
Someone else is feeling the same thing:
Christy Smith wants to lose for a third time.
— Michael Low (@mlow29) April 18, 2021