Records Show Opponents to Privacy are Running a Deception Campaign and Have Accrued $108,000 in Debt
While Breaking Campaign Laws
SACRAMENTO, CA — Today Yes on Prop 24 Co-Author and Campaign Treasurer Rick Arney filed a complaint against “California Consumer and Privacy Advocates Against Prop 24” for violating campaign laws and failing to disclose payments for services provided by consultant Marva Diaz of Marva Diaz Strategies, who records show has been working for the opposition campaign since July. Campaign finance reports also show that the opposition campaign is running up debt owed to other consultants with $108,000 in unpaid invoices, even before ballots have been mailed to voters.
“It’s clear that the opponents to consumer privacy have been running a smoke and mirrors campaign to deceive voters,” said Yes on Prop 24 Campaign Treasurer Rick Arney. “They need to be held accountable for the deceptive campaign they’ve been running and for hiding the finances of their campaign. It’s important that voters see what’s behind the opposition curtain — a mismanaged campaign that is in debt and breaking the law.”
Below please find the complaint to the FPPC:
Article 2 of Chapter 4 of the Political Reform Act requires committees to file campaign statements, and each campaign statement is required to disclose information regarding both the contributions received and expenditures made by the committee. Specifically, Government Code section 84211(k) requires the statement to disclose “each person to whom an expenditure of one hundred dollars ($100) or more has been made during the period covered by the campaign statement,” including their full name, street address, the amount of each expenditure, and a brief description of the consideration for which each expenditure has been made. “Expenditure” means “any individual payment or accrued expense.” 2 California Code of Regulations § 18421.6 specifies that accrued expenses “shall be reported as of the date on which the goods or services are received” with the exception of regularly recurring administrative overhead expenses, which are not required to be reported before the payment due date.
As is readily apparent from a review of the included links and attachments to the complaint, Marva Diaz, of Marva Diaz Strategies (https://marvadiazstrategies.com/about), has been providing services to California Consumer and Privacy Advocates Against Prop 24 (“No on 24”), starting as early as July 2020, and has been actively involved in No on 24’s campaign efforts, including distributing numerous press releases and other communications on the committee’s behalf. To date, Ms. Diaz has distributed a total of seven press releases, all of which are available on the No on 24 website (https://noon24ca.org/news-and-resources/), and all of which list her as the contact for the No on 24 campaign, and use her work email.
In addition, a column in the Los Angeles Times which quotes Ms. Diaz refers to her as the No on 24’s “campaign spokeswoman,” which presumably was the title she gave the columnist during her interview, and was the reason the columnist contacted her. (https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2020-08-28/industrys-attack-californias-landmark-privacy-law).
Finally, it is abundantly clear that Ms. Diaz has been very active on social media on behalf of the No on 24, including 9 posts on Facebook from the Marva Diaz Strategies corporate Facebook page (not her personal page); and more than 130 tweets and retweets on Twitter from her corporate Twitter handle (@MarvaDiazStrat).
However, No on 24’s pre-election campaign statement, covering the period 7/16/20 – 9/19/20 (https://cal-access.sos.ca.gov/PDFGen/pdfgen.prg?filingid=2504341&amendid=0), does not disclose any payments made or expenses owed to Ms. Diaz or her consulting business, even though she has provided services that are legally required to be reported, and do not fall within the exception for administrative overhead services.
Ms. Diaz is not providing the services to No on 24 as a volunteer, given that this is her profession, and she performs similar services for a living. Moreover, as discussed above, Ms. Diaz has been using her business address and social media accounts in connection with Proposition 24:
E-mail Address: (https://marvadiazstrategies.com/contact)
Facebook: @MarvaDiazStrategies (https://www.facebook.com/MarvaDiazStrategies/)
Twitter: @MarvaDiazStrat (https://twitter.com/MarvaDiazStrat)
Included as attachments are a memorandum from Ms. Diaz dated July 2020, the seven press releases from No on 24 (all of which include Ms. Diaz as the point of contact), an e-mail she sent recently on behalf of the campaign, and screenshots from Marva Diaz Strategies’ social media accounts advocating against Proposition 24.
These materials make clear that No on 24 has either failed to report payments or accrued expenses owed to Ms. Diaz or Marva Diaz Strategies. It is critical that voters have information not only about who is contributing to a campaign, but also how the campaign is spending its funds and to whom it owes money. I respectfully request that the FPPC investigate this matter to ensure that the voters have access to the information they deserve and to which they are entitled.
Yes on 24 Supporters
The Yes on Prop 24 campaign is proud to have the endorsement of former Presidential candidate Andrew Yang, Los Angeles Times editorial board, Congressman Ro Khanna, California State Controller Betty Yee, Common Sense Media, Consumer Watchdog, AFSCME California, the NAACP of California, California Professional Firefighters, California State Building and Construction Trades Council, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, Local 21 (Bay Area), UA Local 38 Plumbers and Pipefitters, California State Senators Ben Allen, Bill Dodd, Lena Gonzalez, Connie Leyva, Bill Monning, Nancy Skinner, Robert Hertzberg, Scott Wiener, Bob Wieckowski and Jim Beall, California State Assemblymembers Cecilia Aguiar-Curry and David Chiu, John Burton, Former Chair of the California Democratic Party, Alex Rooker and Daraka Larimore Hall, Vice Chairs of the California Democratic Party, Jenny Bach, Secretary of the California Democratic Party, Dr. Lisa Strohman, JD, PhD, and more.
About Prop 24 and the California Privacy Rights Act
The California Privacy Rights Act would:
- Protect your most personal information, by allowing you to prevent businesses from using or sharing sensitive information about your health, finances, race, ethnicity, and precise location;
- Safeguard young people, TRIPLING FINES for violations involving children’s information;
- Put new limits on companies’ collection and use of our personal information;
- Establish an enforcement arm—the California Privacy Protection Agency—to defend these rights and hold companies accountable, and extend enforcement including IMPOSING PENALTIES FOR NEGLIGENCE resulting in theft of consumers’ emails and passwords;
- MAKE IT MUCH HARDER TO WEAKEN PRIVACY in California in the future, by preventing special interests and politicians from undermining Californians’ privacy rights, while allowing the Legislature to amend the law to further the primary goal of strengthening consumer privacy to better protect you and your children, such as opt-in for use of data, further protections for uniquely vulnerable minors, and greater power for individuals to hold violators accountable.
Recent polling by Goodwin Simon Strategic Research (July 27-31) shows that Californians overwhelmingly support Prop 24, as detailed in the November voter guide, with over 81% of likely California voters saying they will support the measure.
About Californians for Consumer Privacy
Californians for Consumer Privacy is the same group that authored the first-in-the-nation California Consumer Privacy Act, which was passed unanimously by the California State Legislature and signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown. Now the group is backing Prop 24, the California Privacy Rights Act on the 2020 ballot, to expand and enshrine privacy rights for all Californians.