It's the Fair Political Practices Commission's job to investigate if a candidate is suspected of misusing or failing to report campaign funds. In the past, the details of those investigations were only revealed through a public records request, or when the FPPC rules on the case. That was often long after the elections were over. But FPPC Chairman Dan Schnur says as of this week that information will be posted on the commission's website.
"It's very clear to me that a fine, even a very substantial fine leveled in the months after an election is much less of a deterrent than a headline that appears in the local newspaper in the weeks before that election takes place."
Schnur says politicians often spend millions of dollars on campaigns these days. He says a fine of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars by the FPPC isn't much of a threat. Schnur also points out that just because someone is being investigated does not mean they are guilty.