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Ferry tells state he may have broken law

Councilman: 'I'm not hiding anything."

Posted: March 22, 2008 12:50 a.m.
Updated: May 23, 2008 5:02 a.m.
Santa Clarita City Councilman Frank Ferry reported to the state this week that he may have violated state law by using his campaign funds to pay for mailers supporting Mayor Bob Kellar and Parks and Recreation Commissioner Laurie Ender.

Ferry said Friday he had been unaware of the state law that prohibits candidates, including all office holders, to make an independent expenditure through their controlled committee to support or oppose another candidate.

"I'm not hiding anything," he said. "There was no intent. ... You work really hard at raising funds. I would have saved my money."

Kellar and Ender are running for two open City Council seats in the April 8 election.

Through the Frank Ferry Committee, the councilman paid about $12,000 to send mailers to 29,000 households promoting U.S. Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon's endorsement of Kellar and Ender.

Bruce McFarland, a Democrat in the race for the state Senate, responded this week by creating, a Web site pointing out the state's regulations on the matter.

Ferry called the creation of the Web site "just politics" and self-reported the possible violation to the California Fair Political Practices Commission on Wednesday.

Ferry said he sent the commission the mailer along with a statement explaining the possible violation.
The commission can assess fines of up to $5,000 per violation, said FPPC spokesman Roman Porter.

"It's up to the prosecutorial discretion of the enforcement division in determining what the appropriate action would be," Porter said.

"I didn't think twice," Ferry said. "I really truly believed that it's a Frank Ferry Committee and I controlled the committee."

He said had made plans to send the mailer on his own and that Kellar and Ender had not authorized it.
Ferry said he halted plans to send out automated phone calls promoting Kellar and Ender's McKeon endorsement.

Ferry said that in prior campaigns, he received an endorsement from the congressman and Ferry sent out his own mailers advertising the endorsement.

"There are so many FPPC rules," he said. "You generally don't know you're breaking a rule until the FPPC tells you."


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