City Beat

Sacramento Labor Council, leader Camp agree to $15,500 fine

Sacramento labor leader Bill Camp and the Central Labor Council have agreed to pay a $15,500 fine for accepting donations and making contributions to political candidates above the state-mandated limit in 2010.
Sacramento labor leader Bill Camp and the Central Labor Council have agreed to pay a $15,500 fine for accepting donations and making contributions to political candidates above the state-mandated limit in 2010. mcrisostomo@sacbee.com

Labor leader Bill Camp and the Sacramento Central Labor Council have agreed to pay a $15,500 fine for accepting donations and making contributions to political candidates above the state limit in 2010.

The state Fair Political Practices Commission charged in a complaint filed this week that the labor council accepted three donations totaling $45,500 from the United Food and Commercial Workers 8, Golden State Political Action Committee in 2010. As a “general purpose” committee, the labor council was permitted to accept donations up to $6,500 per year from a single source, according to the FPPC.

The labor council then made five donations to state candidates in 2010 above the allowed cap, according to the FPPC complaint: two contributions totaling $12,900 to Dave Jones for insurance commissioner; two contributions totaling $7,800 to Kevin McCarty for Assembly; and one contribution of $12,900 to Gavin Newsom for lieutenant governor.

Camp was the treasurer of the Central Labor Council at the time of the alleged infractions. He is the executive secretary of the labor organization but is stepping down from the post at the end of the year after 15 years.

Camp declined to comment on the FPPC complaint. The commission’s members will rule on whether to accept the recommended fine at their meeting Nov. 20.

In August, Camp was ousted as the head of the Central Labor Council amid internal strife in the region’s labor community.

Camp and his supporters said the removal stemmed from Camp’s opposition to Measure L, the strong-mayor ballot measure proposed by Mayor Kevin Johnson that was defeated in the November election. While Camp had been a vocal opponent of the plan for years, many labor groups – including those representing public safety officers and construction workers at the downtown sports arena – supported Measure L.

Camp was reinstated in September after AFL-CIO officials determined the Central Labor Council had not followed personnel protocols in his removal. Camp immediately announced after his reinstatement that he intended to retire at the end of the year.

Camp said Wednesday he would remain active in the local labor movement after his retirement, including pushing for an increase in the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour. He said he would also advocate for the adoption of an independent commission tasked with drawing new City Council districts every 10 years and for an ethics commission with “some meaningful enforcement” authority.

Call The Bee’s Ryan Lillis, (916) 321-1085. Read his City Beat blog at www.sacbee.com/citybeat.

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