Complaints filed with the city and the state’s political watchdog group allege that mayoral candidate Sam Liccardo solicited donations before he could legally start fundraising and failed to record in-kind contributions.
Steve Kline, who unsuccessfully ran against District 6 Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio in 2012, logged the complaints, one with San Jose’s Elections Commission and the other with the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission.
In the FPPC complaint, Kline says Liccardo violated the “one bank account rule” by spending personal funds without first depositing them into his campaign account. He says the candidate and downtown councilman failed to disclose personal contributions and in-kind donations from event hosts.
Citing a San Jose Inside article, Kline suggests that Liccardo failed to properly report discounts from the restaurant where he held his campaign kickoff as in-kind donations.
The city hired San Francisco-based law firm Hanson Bridgett to investigate the complaint.
Liccardo campaign manager Ragan Henninger brushed off the complaints as petty.
“I think it’s a frivolous complaint that’s sadly become the norm in San Jose politics,” she said. “But they’re unsustainable, very baseless complaints. Labor interests have filed similar complaints against Mayor [Chuck] Reed and the chamber of commerce.”