Sen. Carpenter Fined $2,000 by FPPC on Mailings
State Sen. Paul Carpenter (D-Cypress) has been fined $2,000 by the Fair Political Practices Commission for last-minute mailings last year that were not identified as coming from his campaign committee.
Carpenter, elected to a third term in a closer-than-expected race against muffler shop owner Margaret Vineyard, agreed to pay the fine, but told investigators the Political Reform Act violations were inadvertent, an FPPC spokeswoman said.
The fine was announced Tuesday, after the commission accepted a four-page stipulated agreement between the FPPC staff and Carpenter.
Carpenter, who had signed the agreement Sept. 24, was not available Tuesday for comment.
In a late mail blitz just before the Nov. 6 election, two Carpenter mailings went out without identifying the source. State law requires that campaign committees be identified on political mailings.
One mailer, entitled “Why Has All Law Enforcement Endorsed Senator Carpenter,” touted the Democratic senator’s voting record on law enforcement legislation. The other, entitled “Should We Vote for a Tax Cheat,” attacked Vineyard, charging she had claimed a homeowner exemption on two different properties.
Carpenter, Democratic Caucus chairman in the state Senate, told FPPC investigators that two early proofs of the mailers had the proper identification on them. But he said that the final version was never proofed by anyone from his campaign committee, FPPC spokeswoman Lynn Montgomery said.