AO sent me this letter today. It is signed by him and the Grants, a charming elderly couple who are political activists in Riverside. I guess they will get fair gamed now!
Francois Choquette June 7, 2011
Gary and Thelma Grant
RCUC-Riverside County United Communities
P. O. Box 2057
Sun City, CA 92586
Fair Political Practices Commission
428 J Street, Suite 620
Sacramento, California 95814
Subject: Request for expanded review of Jeffrey E. Stone’s 2010 California Senate campaign contributions and current “Jeff Stone for Riverside County Supervisor” campaign contributions, due to the appearance of impropriety.
1) Mr. Jeffrey E. Stone was an unsuccessful candidate for the California State Assembly, 66th District in the March 7, 2000 primary election. During this campaign, Mr. Stone failed to maintain original source documentation for a $40,000 loan and violated section 84104. For this Mr. Stone was fined $2,000 through FPPC action: DECISION AND ORDER FPPC NO. 02/1065
2) Mr. Jeffery E. Stone was an unsuccessful candidate for the California State Senate in the June 8, 2010 Primary Election, representing the 36th District. During this campaign Mr. Stone violated the requirements of the Political Reform Act (the “Act”)1 by failing to file online campaign reports disclosing contributions of $1,000 or more during the 90 day period before an election. For this Mr. Stone was fined $16,000 through FPPC action: DECISION AND ORDER
FPPC NO. 10/552
The Riverside County United Communities Watchdog Group (RCUC or Community Watchdogs) monitors government activities in Riverside County. Particular attention is given to the Riverside Board of Supervisors. We were extremely vigilant during the local and state elections by monitoring the Registrar of Voters website on a daily basis and meeting with the Registrar and staff on several occasions when questions arose.
Some allegedly serious offences by Riverside Supervisor Jeffrey E. Stone were not detected by our observant monitors simply because the data was not available to the public, as required by law. During the June 8, 2010 California Senate elections, crucially important data was produced and filed approximately two months late by Supervisor Stone, but was only displayed on the Registrar’s Website in December 2010 and on March 23 2011, almost 10 months after the elections took place.
The Riverside County Registrar’s procedures and internal controls need to be audited or reviewed. When Supervisor Jeff Stone’s campaign accountant filed these contributions late on June 2 and June 4, 2010, we believe that the Registrar’s office should have immediately notified the candidate and the authorities given oversight of elections of a probable breach of election laws and immediately put this important data up on their website for public review. Instead they delayed relaying this information to the public for up to 10 months after the election was over.
We believe there are additionally much more disturbing issues regarding Mr. Jeffrey E. Stone’s Senate 2010 campaign: A disproportional amount of these late filings and subsequent posting on the Registrar website come from members of special interest group, the Church of Scientology, a cult group that has a long history of criminal convictions in the US and other countries, including the largest infiltration of the US Federal government. You may be aware of the following history:
Operation Snow White was the Church of Scientology's name for a conspiracy during the 1970s to purge unfavorable records about Scientology and its founder L. Ron Hubbard. This project included a series of infiltrations and thefts from 136 government agencies, foreign embassies and consulates, as well as private organizations critical of Scientology, carried out by Church members, in more than 30 countries; the single largest infiltration of the United States government in history with up to 5,000 covert agents.
The current behavior of the Scientology organization in the US and other countries has not appreciably changed, as evidenced by their 2009 conviction for criminal activity in France, resulting in close to $1,000,000 in fines.
While a Riverside County Supervisor, Mr. Stone has been a steadfast supporter of the special interest group, the cult called the Church of Scientology, as indicated by his actions in introducing an ordinance as requested by Scientology’s staff (Riv. Co. Ordinance 884). The intended purpose of this ordinance being to restrict lawful picketing by former Scientology members and other human rights activists near their armed, fortified, highly guarded 520 acre international headquarters compound located in San Jacinto, by claiming it as a “residence”, rather than acknowledging that it is in actuality their corporate headquarters.
The wording of this ordinance was written with active participation of Scientology attorney Samuel Alhadeff, a heavy contributor to Supervisor Jeff Stone’s campaigns. Lawyer Samuel Alhadeff has additionally, on behalf of the cult, made multiple requests for the closure of Highway 79 (Gilman Springs Rd), a public highway with daily traffic of 17,000 cars, which happens to now pass through the cult’s compound in San Jacinto since the cult brought property on both sides of the road. Each subsequent request had been denied by County staff, for the public benefit.
A main concern of ours is that Supervisor Jeff Stone appears to have effectively created a stealth Political Action Committee (PAC) in collusion with the cult of Scientology, which is wealthy and seeks local political, business and social influence (often using front groups which are not readily identified as being part of the Scientology cult) wherever it operates, following the written policies of its leadership. Our understanding is that churches and “religions” (so identified by the IRS) are not allowed to participate in PACs. This needs to be thoroughly investigated, as according to our calculations, a minimum total of $50,027 was provided by known Scientology cult members, made up of a mixture of wealthy public members, members of the Sea Org (Scientology’s paramilitary group) who are paid a below poverty wage as they are considered to have taken a vow of poverty, and Scientology’s hired lawyers. Many of these contributors reside outside the County or out of state.
This looks suspiciously like an illegal “religious” special interest group constituting a de facto PAC which contributes to election campaigns, and gives the appearance of possible money laundering of campaign contributions and undue influence by Scientology leadership. The appearance of wrong-doing is that possibly some of these people, who have no other known connection to Mr. Stone or to Riverside County other than Scientology, were ordered/compelled to donate to his campaign by their cult leader, Mr. David Miscavige, who operates from Scientology’s international headquarters here in Riverside County at the San Jacinto cult compound, as a means of flowing money and power to Mr. Jeff Stone’s political campaigns in order to buy influence from him.
Consequently, we request a full investigation into the following:
• Approximately 34 high ranking Scientologists, living out of County and out of State, contributed a total of $50,027 to Mr. Jeffrey E. Stone’s California Senate 2010 campaign. Does this constitute an illegal church sponsored PAC?
• Mr. Jeff Stone received a contribution of $3,900 from Fausto’s Bail Bonds operated by Mr. Fausto Atilano. This donation has now disappeared from the Registrar’s contribution spreadsheet. It is our understanding of the law that bail bond officers are forbidden to contribute to law enforcement and local government officials.
• Mr. Jeffrey E. Stone received a contribution of from Mellisa Lippert, Fausto Atilano’s partner in his Bail Bond business. This contribution has stayed on the books. Ms. Lippert has also donated to the Riverside Sheriff’s election $1,000, which we also believe is also another illegal campaign contribution.
• Scientology attorney Samuel Alhadeff made several contributions via different organizations: through Buchanan, Ingersol and Rooney (his law firm in Pennsylvania) and through the “Committee for Effective State Government”, also from the same zip code in Pennsylvania, in addition to his donating personally. The total contribution is well above the required limit of $3,900. This has the appearance of wrong-doing. Does this constitute money laundering?
• Mr. Jeffery E. Stone also received contributions from the Larry Minor family, for which charges of possible money laundering were levied, showing a potential pattern and practice of wrongdoing.
• A total of $39,000 were provided by the Foutz family and CPA/PEHL, FOUTZ, FOUTZ, & TEEGARDEN, and Mr. AARON HEPLER all of which are associated together in some way.
Mr. Stone has received contributions from approximately 500 individuals and corporations. We request that they all be carefully reviewed, particularly the out of county and out of state contributions for both his Senate 2010 election as well as the current “Jeff Stone for Supervisor” campaign.
We believe that these large sums of money have influenced Mr. Stone to favor special interest groups, specifically the cult of Scientology, and additionally to enact ordinances specifically tailored to benefit the Church of Scientology and it’s members, and possibly other groups and corporations.
Members of our RCUC group have addressed the Riverside Board of Supervisors on many occasions regarding this improper Church State entanglement. On Tuesday, June 7, 2011, we also addressed the Board regarding the specific issues raised in this letter. You may watch an excerpt of the proceedings here:
We, the Riverside County United Communities Watchdog group respectfully request that you conduct an expanded review of Jeffrey E. Stone’s California Senate 2010 campaign and the current “Jeff Stone for Riverside County Supervisor” campaign contributions.
Francois Choquette, Gary and Thelma Grant
Francois Choquette, Gary and Thelma Grant for
Riverside County United Communities Watchdog group