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Dark Money Once Again Involves La Mirada Councilman Andrew Sarega’s Campaign

 

By Brian Hews

June 5, 2022~Dark money has once again entered the La Mirada City Council race courtesy of current Councilman Andrew Sarega, who is running in District Two.

This is not the first time Sarega has been involved in questionable campaign donations. This past February, he was fined $1,700 by California’s election watchdog, the Fair Political Practices Commission; an HMG-CN article triggered the investigation.

Dark Money 1: Representatives of Sarega delivered a letter to District Two residents with a disclosure on the bottom reading “PAID FOR BY ANDREW SAREGA.”

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The Sarega letter he passed out to “only 199 homes” on La Mirada letterhead, unprecedented in any City Council campaigns. He lies about the allegations, calls the city’s newspaper fake news, and criticizes the Fair Poitical Practices Commission for investigating “the lies.” Click on image to see larger document.

 

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But in a recent inquiry, the La Mirada City Clerk told HMG-CN Sarega said, “I have not spent more than $2,000 on the campaign and therefore, I am not opening a campaign committee.”

The letter delivered to residents was written on La Mirada City letterhead giving the impression the city tacitly approved its contents.

Many residents received the letter; under FPPC rules, if it was delivered to more than 200 homes, it is a violation and subject to fines. Sarega told HMG-CN “we delivered 199.”

Dark Money 2: A full color, die-cut, printed on two sides door-hangar was delivered to District Two homes touting Sarega, without a paid-for by disclosure.

Sarega told HMG-CN the printing and delivery were only $800, so he did not have to print the paid-for by disclosure.

Dark Money 3: a Sarega campaign text message was sent out to La Mirada residents’ cell phones on May 27 at 10 in the morning. The text was “paid for by AA Victory Political Action Committee (PAC), Top Funder Joseph Sanberg.”

A quick internet search of Sanberg shows that he is the exact opposite on the political spectrum of Councilman Sarega.

Sanberg is a tree hugger and likes to help the needy, while residents have complained to the Lamplighter about the “ten cars Sarega has parked on his driveway and grass.”

Sarega has denied any knowledge of the text, but the text itself had very personal information about Sarega, including his campaign email.

Lies in the Text?

And a check for any AA Victory PAC late contribution reports related to Sarega, which the PAC must file within twenty-four hours, was not found on the Secretary of State’s website, placing into question the origin of the text.

Dark Money 4: Just yesterday, an email was sent out to residents once again paid for by Sanberg. Like the text, the email had very personal information about Councilman Sarega.

The email was sent out June 1 at 12:06 p.m. meaning the filing should have been on the SOS website; a check on June 2 did not show any late contribution reports for AA Victory PAC.

Late expenditures for AA Victory PAC show zero expenditures for Sarega.

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