Recall Brian Dawson Ad May Have Violated Advertisement Rules

Discovery Bay is in the midst of a recall battle started by a concerned group of citizens seeking to replace Brian Dawson based off an Aug. 27 incident. Now, the gloves appear to be coming off with a recent advertisement being placed in last week’s edition of the Discovery Bay Press.

If there is one thing I hate, it’s observing that a fair fight is not being fought because a campaign advertisement violation likely occurred as the advertisement in question failed to state who purchased the ad. The ad was placed as a sticker on the Discovery Bay Press last week which urged support to recall Brian Dawson.

Mr. Dawson, now apparently is in a fight with not only his petitioners, but also a ghost as well.

These shadow games are very dangerous because if Mr. Dawson was to complain or file a complaint, it would make him out to look like a cry baby complaining over rules—more importantly, who could he even file a complaint against?

Whether this was blatant, or an oversight, it really doesn’t matter because a violation likely occurred (below I have included a couple of rules). The Discovery Bay Press is not to fault because they are a business simply trying to make money by selling ad space, it’s not their job to ensure all ethics rules are being followed—that is the job of the person/group  purchasing the ad space.

Since there is no name on the ad, this looks like the Press sponsors the recall—a highly unlikely scenario. Without a name, it could even be someone on the CSD Board who called for Dawsons resignation but does not want to be tied to recall talk. Or, it could be someone from outside Discovery Bay. It could be anyone, leaving it up to guesses is not appropriate.

The people of Discovery Bay deserve to know who placed the ad. Mr. Dawson needs to have an opportunity to respond to these “ghosts”.

In all likelihood, but cannot confirm, this ad was purchased by the petitioners which include: Don Flint, Evadene Kirkpatrict, Angeline Digiusto, John Emerson, Eric Item, Jeff Barber, Patricia Schroeder, Nadine Kelly, Mark Doran, Tom Alacon.

It’s pretty tragic, as well as hypocritical, that this sticker claims they support “responsible behavior” when whoever placed this ad fails to follow the rules. Whoever is behind this ad seems to believe responsible behavior should only apply to Mr. Dawson, but seem to think the rules do not apply to them.

Going a step further than the sticker, I did visited the website listed on the sticker.

The website is just as bad as it fails to list any information on the group behind the petition while cherry picking information on Dawson, which by the way, wouldn’t surprise me if it’s taken out of context. Overall, it’s just poorly done.

If I had a vote on this issue, at this present time I would laugh in the face of anyone asking me to sign the petition because I do not know much about the individuals asking for my signature.

Yes, Mr. Dawson likely made a poor choice on the night in question, but taking what happened to the extreme when the information has not even been released is irresponsible. The reality is maybe it’s time to look at this group who filed the petition and see what their background is.

After all, if something as simple as a campaign advertisement violation likely occurred, it makes me question what else they may be violating. It’s worth investigating and I hope someone does.

Below is a copy of the ad as well as rules below:


Any paid political advertisement that refers to an election or to any candidate for state or local elective office and that is contained in or distributed with a newspaper, shall bear on each surface or page thereof, in type of lettering at least half as large as the type or lettering of the advertisement or in 10-point Roman type (whichever is larger), the words “Paid Political Advertisement.” The words shall be set apart from any other printed matter.

As used in this section, “paid political advertisement” shall mean and shall be limited to published statements paid for by advertisers for purposes of supporting or defeating any person who has filed for an elective state or local office.

Regulations of the Fair Political Practices Commission, Title 2, Division 6, California Code of Regulations § 18450.5. Amended Advertising Disclosure.

(a) Advertisement Amendments: Advertisement disclosures must be amended when a new person qualifies as a disclosable contributor under Sections 84503 or 84506, or when the committee’s name changes pursuant to Section 84504 and Regulations 18402 or 18450.3.

(b) Timing of Advertisement Amendments:

(1) Broadcast or electronic media advertisement disclosures must be amended within 5 calendar days after a new person qualifies as a disclosable contributor or a committee’s name changes. A committee shall be deemed to have complied with this paragraph if the amended advertisement is delivered, containing a request that the advertisement immediately be replaced, to all affected broadcast stations or other location where the advertisement is placed no later than the fifth day.

(2) Print media advertisement disclosures, including billboards, must be amended to reflect accurate disclosure information every time an order to reproduce the advertisement is placed.

(3) Tangible items disclosure statements must be amended to reflect accurate disclosure information every time an order to reproduce the items is placed.

Note: Authority cited: Section 83112, Government Code. Reference: Sections 84503, 84504, 84506 and 84509, Government Code.


About burkforoakley

I call it like I see it . I love my city, I love my community and I want what is best for the people around me. Do the right thing, I will support you. Do the wrong thing, I will oppose you!
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3 Responses to Recall Brian Dawson Ad May Have Violated Advertisement Rules

  1. alex says: is authored and edited by someone named don flint. That information isn’t hidden, as far as I can tell.

    Nice “investigative blogging,” there…

    • you are correct… it says the site has been edited many times by Don Flint if you go to the very bottom and click recent activity. The question is whether or not his is a personal website, a group website, organization website? Its not clear who’s website this is.

      Just because a site is “edited” by someone, does not mean it is their own–especially in something political like a recall.

  2. Rick Lemyre says:

    You’re right, the ad should have included the phrase “Paid political advertisement.” A correction of the oversight is on the front page this week. As you surmised, neither the ad, nor the recall, is sponsored by The Press.

    However, the name(s) of who paid for the ad is not required. That’s only for federal elections (as is the requirement that such ads indicate whether or not a candidate has approved the ad). The required disclosure does not solve the “ghost” problem you speak of. Some newspapers around the country have adopted the federal regulations as a matter of internal policy applying to local elections, however, and we are considering doing so as well.

    You also may be right about the Web site, as well as a Web site against the recall. Recent changes in the law now apply express advocacy disclosures to Internet publication as well.

    Rick Lemyre
    Press editor

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