News

State Senate candidate faces allegations she violated 'non-coordination' rule with real estate political-action committee

FPPC has asked Annie Oliva to respond before it decides whether to investigate

The California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) has confirmed it will follow up on a complaint it received Jan. 30 raising suspicions that state Senate candidate Annie Oliva has collaborated with an independent expenditure committee supporting her run to represent California's District 13. If she has, it would be in violation of campaign rules set forth in the Political Reform Act.

Oliva has received $423,158 so far in support of her campaign via independent expenditures from one committee: the California Real Estate Independent Expenditure Committee — California Association of Realtors.

There are no limits on how much a third party can spend in support of a candidate, so long as that money is not given directly to the candidate's campaign committee, no coordination occurs with the candidate and the source of the spending is properly disclosed, according to state rules for campaign finance.

Oliva called the complaint baseless, false and politically motivated and said that the complaint lacks information to support the allegations.

"I am running a campaign demanding change — and challenging the status quo on homelessness, housing and how government works. The establishment is pushing back — and we expected that," she said in an email.

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The complaint filed with the FPPC comes from Dan Stegink of Pacifica, who is a founding member of the Peninsula Progressives and one-time candidate for the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors. He alleges that photos of Oliva in mailers sent by the independent expenditure committee look suspiciously similar to those in other materials produced by the Oliva campaign, even using the same models, and that none of the photos are publicly available for downloading on her campaign website. This news organization confirmed one of the mailer photos is not on her website.

In his complaint, Stegink alleges that the independent committee's mailers are the sole mailers being sent to support Oliva's campaign. Part of his suspicion, he said, comes from the outsized role these mailers appear to be playing in Oliva's campaign.

"She has literally done nothing other than these mailers," he said in an interview. "She skipped an awful lot of debates other people were involved in."

Meanwhile, he noted, the independent expenditure committee, which represents Realtor interests statewide, has put more money into supporting Oliva than it has any other campaign in the state.

What's more, he said, Oliva is in frequent contact at political and social events with two leaders of the San Mateo County Association of Realtors. That group is a member of the California Association of Realtors (CAR) and National Association of Realtors organizations. As of Feb. 11, Oliva's LinkedIn page listed her as a current director at the San Mateo County Association of Realtors and as president of the organization in 2011.

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When asked about it, Oliva said that she left the San Mateo County Association of Realtors board in December 2012 and did not update her LinkedIn page.

"Never have I said I am currently on the board in any of my campaign literature, website or any other place. It was an oversight not to update my LinkedIn profile," she said in an email.

San Mateo County Association of Realtors endorsed Oliva in an announcement on the organization's website on Jan. 28 but did not mention her connection to the organization.

At a Feb. 5 forum of the candidates hosted by this news organization, Oliva was asked about the potential influence of the Realtors' group on her as a legislator, given the financial campaign support.

"I had no idea they would be doing this. It's an independent expenditure," she said. "I've been very involved in San Mateo County Association of Realtors and CAR. I'm humbled and very honored they noticed my work. ... I'm grateful for their support.

"That one group is doing whatever they're doing, and I have no clue what's next — if anything is next," she said.

The enforcement division of the FPPC has asked Oliva to respond to the allegations with information and documents by Monday, Feb. 17. After that, it will determine if it will investigate the allegations.

In addition to the Realtors' independent expenditure funds, the California Real Estate Political Action Committee has donated $9,300 to Oliva's campaign committee, the maximum amount permitted through a small contributor committee. Candidates may accept no more than $4,700 from individuals or $9,300 from small contributors committees through their official campaign committees.

Oliva is one of seven candidates for Senate District 13, which includes Mountain View and covers the territory from South San Francisco to Sunnyvale and on the coast from north of Pacifica to Año Nuevo State Park and includes about 1 million residents. Democrats Josh Becker, Michael Brownrigg, Sally Lieber, Shelly Masur, Republican Alex Glew and Libertarian John Webster are also competing in the March 3 primary election.

Read our profiles of each candidate, alongside videotaped interviews with six of the seven contenders, on our Atavist page.

Candidates debate

The seven candidates for state Senate District 13 faced off in a debate on Feb. 5. Read our debate recap here. A video from the event is available on our YouTube channel.

Related content:

Oil tax? Wealth tax? Prop. 13 reform? Senate candidates debate how to pay for new programs for state's youngest residents

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State Senate candidate faces allegations she violated 'non-coordination' rule with real estate political-action committee

FPPC has asked Annie Oliva to respond before it decides whether to investigate

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Thu, Feb 13, 2020, 10:48 am

The California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) has confirmed it will follow up on a complaint it received Jan. 30 raising suspicions that state Senate candidate Annie Oliva has collaborated with an independent expenditure committee supporting her run to represent California's District 13. If she has, it would be in violation of campaign rules set forth in the Political Reform Act.

Oliva has received $423,158 so far in support of her campaign via independent expenditures from one committee: the California Real Estate Independent Expenditure Committee — California Association of Realtors.

There are no limits on how much a third party can spend in support of a candidate, so long as that money is not given directly to the candidate's campaign committee, no coordination occurs with the candidate and the source of the spending is properly disclosed, according to state rules for campaign finance.

Oliva called the complaint baseless, false and politically motivated and said that the complaint lacks information to support the allegations.

"I am running a campaign demanding change — and challenging the status quo on homelessness, housing and how government works. The establishment is pushing back — and we expected that," she said in an email.

The complaint filed with the FPPC comes from Dan Stegink of Pacifica, who is a founding member of the Peninsula Progressives and one-time candidate for the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors. He alleges that photos of Oliva in mailers sent by the independent expenditure committee look suspiciously similar to those in other materials produced by the Oliva campaign, even using the same models, and that none of the photos are publicly available for downloading on her campaign website. This news organization confirmed one of the mailer photos is not on her website.

In his complaint, Stegink alleges that the independent committee's mailers are the sole mailers being sent to support Oliva's campaign. Part of his suspicion, he said, comes from the outsized role these mailers appear to be playing in Oliva's campaign.

"She has literally done nothing other than these mailers," he said in an interview. "She skipped an awful lot of debates other people were involved in."

Meanwhile, he noted, the independent expenditure committee, which represents Realtor interests statewide, has put more money into supporting Oliva than it has any other campaign in the state.

What's more, he said, Oliva is in frequent contact at political and social events with two leaders of the San Mateo County Association of Realtors. That group is a member of the California Association of Realtors (CAR) and National Association of Realtors organizations. As of Feb. 11, Oliva's LinkedIn page listed her as a current director at the San Mateo County Association of Realtors and as president of the organization in 2011.

When asked about it, Oliva said that she left the San Mateo County Association of Realtors board in December 2012 and did not update her LinkedIn page.

"Never have I said I am currently on the board in any of my campaign literature, website or any other place. It was an oversight not to update my LinkedIn profile," she said in an email.

San Mateo County Association of Realtors endorsed Oliva in an announcement on the organization's website on Jan. 28 but did not mention her connection to the organization.

At a Feb. 5 forum of the candidates hosted by this news organization, Oliva was asked about the potential influence of the Realtors' group on her as a legislator, given the financial campaign support.

"I had no idea they would be doing this. It's an independent expenditure," she said. "I've been very involved in San Mateo County Association of Realtors and CAR. I'm humbled and very honored they noticed my work. ... I'm grateful for their support.

"That one group is doing whatever they're doing, and I have no clue what's next — if anything is next," she said.

The enforcement division of the FPPC has asked Oliva to respond to the allegations with information and documents by Monday, Feb. 17. After that, it will determine if it will investigate the allegations.

In addition to the Realtors' independent expenditure funds, the California Real Estate Political Action Committee has donated $9,300 to Oliva's campaign committee, the maximum amount permitted through a small contributor committee. Candidates may accept no more than $4,700 from individuals or $9,300 from small contributors committees through their official campaign committees.

Oliva is one of seven candidates for Senate District 13, which includes Mountain View and covers the territory from South San Francisco to Sunnyvale and on the coast from north of Pacifica to Año Nuevo State Park and includes about 1 million residents. Democrats Josh Becker, Michael Brownrigg, Sally Lieber, Shelly Masur, Republican Alex Glew and Libertarian John Webster are also competing in the March 3 primary election.

Read our profiles of each candidate, alongside videotaped interviews with six of the seven contenders, on our Atavist page.

Candidates debate

The seven candidates for state Senate District 13 faced off in a debate on Feb. 5. Read our debate recap here. A video from the event is available on our YouTube channel.

Related content:

Oil tax? Wealth tax? Prop. 13 reform? Senate candidates debate how to pay for new programs for state's youngest residents

Comments

Gladys
Old Mountain View
on Feb 13, 2020 at 7:34 pm
Gladys, Old Mountain View
on Feb 13, 2020 at 7:34 pm
23 people like this

Annie Oliva has my vote.

We can not keep doing the same old same old, again and again, and not learn anything from failed polices.

Time for a change.


Oliva lost broker license
Castro City
on Feb 13, 2020 at 7:54 pm
Oliva lost broker license, Castro City
on Feb 13, 2020 at 7:54 pm
18 people like this

Another newspaper reported that Anne Oliva lost her real estate broker license in 2018 for misconduct and was allowed a only a restricted, supervised "sales person" license. You can check real estate licenses online at the CA Department of Real Estate. There, the reporting is confirmed.


Joel Lachter
North Whisman
on Feb 13, 2020 at 8:34 pm
Joel Lachter, North Whisman
on Feb 13, 2020 at 8:34 pm
5 people like this

@Gladys: I know very little about this race. The article says very little except to imply that Oliva is in the pocket of Real Estate interests, but I don't know what Real Estate interests are in favor of (building more so there are more houses to sell? Building less so that houses are worth more?). Your response also doesn't give me much of a hint (even if you think the current policies are bad, "change" could mean going further in the wrong direction). Would you care to say something about what you think is wrong currently and what policies Oliva is proposing that you would view as an improvement?


The Business Man
Castro City
on Feb 13, 2020 at 10:17 pm
The Business Man, Castro City
on Feb 13, 2020 at 10:17 pm
3 people like this

In response to Gladys you said:

“We can not keep doing the same old same old, again and again, and not learn anything from failed polices.

Time for a change.”

What evidence do you have that will establish that Annie will be any different? It is so well known that the California Associoation of Realtors has corrupted the state government for years. In fact it was documented in one story found here “Everyone Agrees California Has a Housing Crisis. Trying to Fix It Has Become a Battle.”(Web Link), this story documented:

“Wiener’s detractors also point to his ties to the real estate and construction industries. The Action Center on Race and the Economy recently published a report that found that California’s real estate industry spent $110 million on lobbying and campaign spending since 2008. Some of the biggest spenders—the California Building Industry Association, the California Apartment Association, and the California Association of Realtors—have spent heavily against tenant protection measures and have also contributed to Wiener’s campaigns. “That’s part of the broader context,” said Dueñas. “The affordable housing organizations aren’t on a level playing field; we don’t have the money to lobby as much as market rate developers.” Wiener claims the donations don’t affect how he votes. Real estate and developers “contribute to a lot of members of the legislature, including members who aren’t supporting the bill,” he notes.”

In fact what is occurring is the the California Association of Realtors are facing a serious problem in the near future if you read the next report called “Housing Bubble in Silicon Valley & San Francisco Bay Area Turns to Bust Despite Low Mortgage Rates & Startup Millionaires” (Web Link. It stated:

“In Santa Clara County, the southern part of Silicon Valley and the most populous county in the Bay Area, the median house price dropped 2.0% year-over-year, to $1.22 million, which is down 15.8% from the peak in April 2018 and just below where it had first been in October 2017.

The 12-MMA dropped 5.6% year-over-year, the fifth month in a row of ever larger year-over-year declines. The county includes San Jose, and ranges from Palo Alto in the north to Gilroy in the south. In mid-2018, the 12-MMA had still surged at rates of over 20%”

In effect, the CAR is in effect confronted with a very bad situation, and they are using any means necessary to protect themselves.


It's a hit piece
Castro City
on Feb 13, 2020 at 11:09 pm
It's a hit piece, Castro City
on Feb 13, 2020 at 11:09 pm
19 people like this

What I have learned over the years is, if the Voice writes a hit piece on someone like this, I will support that person.

Just like when the Voice will write their hit piece against the city council candidates that go against their agenda, I will vote against their candidates who they will endorse. Like Lenny Siegel-Pat ShoWalther.


The Business Man
Castro City
on Feb 14, 2020 at 12:52 pm
The Business Man, Castro City
on Feb 14, 2020 at 12:52 pm
2 people like this

Response to It's a hit piece you said:

“What I have learned over the years is, if the Voice writes a hit piece on someone like this, I will support that person.”

As a registered independent voter, I understand that both the Dems and the Reps are equally corrupt. Especially in California. I would expect good enforcement of the FPPC requirements on all candidates, It doesn’t matter who they are. IF YOU’RE CAUGHT YOU’RE CAUGHT. You said:

“Just like when the Voice will write their hit piece against the city council candidates that go against their agenda, I will vote against their candidates who they will endorse. Like Lenny Siegel-Pat ShoWalther.”

Please provide some evidence that those you just targeted were also committing the same acts? Then I am all for your opinion.


Fritz
North Bayshore
on Feb 15, 2020 at 7:24 am
Fritz, North Bayshore
on Feb 15, 2020 at 7:24 am
7 people like this

Annie seems to have problems with rules and attention to details.. This is not uncommon for a salespeson who is focused solely on the transaction. "always be closing" - right?

Annie lost her brokers license because she dipped into customers trust accounts - that's sloppy and incompetent. It's alleged here, that despite claims to the contrary, Annie coordinated with the realtors association for which she herself serves as president in violation of campaign rules - that's believable and wouldn't be surprising. Almost all the money flowing into Annie's campaign comes from the Real Estate Industry, including perennial legislative hating Essex Property Trust and it's founders.

We don't need transactional, middlemen in state offices - we have one in the White House. And like Trump in the White House, Annie inherited her real estate business from her father.

We are in the midst of a housing crisis. It would be great if the free market had a hand in fixing that problem - but the NIMBY's inhibit that market. The government has a role to balance the scales - but the Real Estate industry seeks to cut off the government's role - it is for this reason, we cannot have a Real Estate person in the state senate.


Fritz1212
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2020 at 7:27 am
Fritz1212, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2020 at 7:27 am
1 person likes this

Annie seems to have problems with rules and attention to details.. This is not uncommon for a salespeson who is focused solely on the transaction. "always be closing" - right?

Annie lost her brokers license because she dipped into customers trust accounts - that's sloppy and incompetent. It's alleged here, that despite claims to the contrary, Annie coordinated with the realtors association for which she herself serves as president in violation of campaign rules - that's believable and wouldn't be surprising.

We don't need transactional, real estate people in state offices - we have one in the White House. And like Trump, Annie inherited her real estate business from her father.

We are in the midst of a housing crisis. It would be great if the free market had a hand in fixing that problem - but the NIMBY's inhibit that market. The government has a role to balance the scales - but the Real Estate industry seeks to cut off the government's role - it is for this reason, we cannot have a Real Estate person in the state senate.


The Business Man
Castro City
on Feb 15, 2020 at 4:53 pm
The Business Man, Castro City
on Feb 15, 2020 at 4:53 pm
1 person likes this

What really is incredible is how corrupt the government is in California,

Given that this candidate was in effect convicted in court for breaking Real estate broker laws the story can be found here (Web Link). It states:

“A Millbrae Councilwoman and real estate agent who is running to replace termed out state Sen. Jerry Hill lost her brokers license, records show.

Anne Oliva also has a restricted sales license as a result of an audit by the state’s Real Estate Bureau in September 2016.

During an April 2018 trial regarding the issues that the bureau found, Sen. Hill sent the court a message supporting Oliva. Hill wrote that he has known Oliva and her family “for years,” and that Oliva does a “good job of representing her constituents as a council member.”

The audit came after an anonymous complaint was lodged with the bureau, claiming that Oliva’s bookkeeper inflated the costs of work done in the office, and pocketed the change. The bureau found no wrongdoing by Oliva’s employee, but found other problems during the audit.

The main issue was that funds from her bank accounts containing money Oliva had collected for her clients were transferred into her business’ account. According to documents related to the bureau’s inquiry into Oliva, the transfers occurred because of an overdraft in her business’ account, and her clients’ money was transferred to settle the overdrafts.”

She claimed she did this by mistake because she was not competently managing here real estate business. She said:

“At the trial, Oliva “took responsibility for her conduct and admitted that she had been careless and made mistakes when she authorized the four transfers of the trust funds into the bank account,” a proposed decision by Judge Regina Brown says.

Oliva said at the hearing that she has five bank accounts and only asked the bank if she had enough money to cover the overdraft.

She did not instruct the bank tellers which accounts to transfer the money from.

Oliva “attributed her carelessness, in part, to her preoccupation with her adult son’s addiction rehabilitation. When she was contacted by the bank manager about the overdrafts, she was in either Texas or Southern California visiting her son in treatment. Her carelessness was not intentional; she was distracted and under stress, and not paying attention to her duties in an optimal manner,” records from the trial state.”

Should the people trust anyone that in effect puts the blame of here misconduct on their children? Carelessness is a serious problem, and our government cannot be led by those that put the blame on their mistakes on others. And then we see that she is misusing funds again. This person doesn’t deserve to manage the people’s money in California.


Did Josh Becker Lie?
another community
on Feb 15, 2020 at 5:54 pm
Did Josh Becker Lie?, another community
on Feb 15, 2020 at 5:54 pm
3 people like this

Did Josh Becker really put "Educator" as his profession on the ballot, as was reported in another paper?

He is a businessman, with an MBA from Stanford, who spent the last 9 years as the CEO of a company sold to Lexis/Nexis (here's his LinkedIn: Web Link). He apparently is embarrassed by all that, since he never mentions it.

He got away with calling himself an "Educator" because of a one-time gig teaching a class at a community college. That's kind of insulting to real educators. Did he get the job on purpose just so he could list himself as a teacher on the ballot??

If he'll lie about who he is (and to me, someone with this background calling himself an "Educator" amounts to a lie), what won't he lie about? This alone seems disqualifying.


Gary
Sylvan Park
on Feb 15, 2020 at 8:07 pm
Gary, Sylvan Park
on Feb 15, 2020 at 8:07 pm
3 people like this

The ballot lists Josh Becker as an "Educator/County Commissioner." His official candidate statement discusses his background in education and says he is a "Community College Adjunct Professor" which probably means he teaches a course. Counties have lots of commissions. Someone could search the rosters of such commissions in San Mateo County and probably find his name. Basically, it appears Mr. Becker is 50, rich and not working for money. Good for him.


Ethically challenged
Monta Loma
on Feb 15, 2020 at 8:50 pm
Ethically challenged , Monta Loma
on Feb 15, 2020 at 8:50 pm
9 people like this

Looks like Olivia is also being investigated by the FPPC for campaign irregularities. I asked , on her Facebook ads, to explain the license issue. They ended up blocking me. I emailed her for information and did not receive a reply.
Sounds like she is a shady character who is ethically challenged.


Gary
Sylvan Park
on Feb 16, 2020 at 12:15 am
Gary, Sylvan Park
on Feb 16, 2020 at 12:15 am
7 people like this

Look up Anne Oliva's "license issue" on the CA Dept. of Real Estate website - "license lookup." It is there.


The Business Man
Castro City
on Feb 16, 2020 at 11:16 am
The Business Man, Castro City
on Feb 16, 2020 at 11:16 am
1 person likes this

This is the report that was written on the www.ca.gov real estate record:

“The Commissioner of the California Bureau of Real Estate (Bureau) caused an investigation to be made of the activities of MARSHALL REALTY and ANNE ELIZABETH OLIVA ("OLIVA"). Based on that investigation, the Commissioner has determined that MARSHALL REALTY and OLIVA have engaged in, are engaging in, or are attempting to engage in, acts or practices which constitute violations of the California Business and Professions Code (Code) and/or Title 10, Chapter 6, California Code of Regulations (Regulations), including the business of, acting in the capacity of, and/or advertising or assuming to act as, a real estate broker in the State of California within the meaning of Sections 10131(a) (assist others with the purchase and sale of real property) and/or 10159.5 (failing to obtain authorization from the Bureau before using a fictitious business name) of the Code. Furthermore, based on the investigation, the Commissioner hereby issues the following Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Desist and Refrain Order under the authority of Section 10086 of the Code. “

It goes on to say:

“FINDINGS OF FACT

1. At all relevant times, OLIVA has been licensed by the Bureau as a real estate broker. At no time mentioned, has MARSHALL REALTY been a registered fictitious business name under OLIVA's real estate broker license.”

“Does this mean that she was operating her business illegaly? It goes on to say:

“2. At no time mentioned has MARSHALL REALTY been licensed by the Bureau in any capacity.”

Does this mean there was no license to operate as a FAMILY business prior to her work? It goes on to say:

“3. Robert Alfred Marshall is a former real estate broker who operated his real estate business under his registered fictitious business name MARSHALL REALTY. Robert Alfred Marshall passed away in 2012 and his daughter, OLIVA, took over his real estate business. Thereafter, OLIVA operated under the name MARSHALL REALTY. For instance, MARSHALL REALTY appears on OLIVA's business cards, on broker-salesperson relationship agreements between OLIVA and her agents, on property management agreements entered into between OLIVA and property owners, on OLIVA's monthly owner statements to property owners, and on the bank statements and checks for the property management trust account.”

So does this mean she is guilty of FRAUD because she passed herself off as the owner of a now DEAD business. When her father did, the business died with him. It goes on to say:

“4. At no time mentioned, has MARSHALL REALTY been a registered fictitious business name under OLIVA's real estate broker license.”

Again, isn’t this FRAUD? Being that she clearly knew that she was required to register her business. What kind of person is this? The record goes on to say:

“ CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

“5. Based on the findings of fact contained in paragraphs 1 through 4, MARSHALL REALTY solicited, negotiated, and/or participated in property management activities which require a real estate license under Code Sections 10130 and 10131(b) during a period of time when MARSHALL REALTY was not licensed by the Bureau in any capacity.”

WOW, and you want this kind of person in our government? It goes on to say:

“6. Based on the findings of fact contained in paragraphs 1 through 4, OLIVA conducted real estate activities using the fictitious business name "Marshall Realty" without first registering this fictitious business name with the Bureau as required by Section 10159.5 of the Code and Section 2731 of the Regulations.”

She was trying to run an illegal business, trying to operate under the cover of a dead man. Why should we listen to this person? It goes on to say:

“DESIST AND REFRAIN ORDER

Based on the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law stated herein, MARSHALL REALTY, whether doing business under your own name, or any other name or a fictitious name, IS HEREBY ORDERED to immediately desist and refrain from performing any acts within the State of California for which a real estate broker license is required, and, in particular, to immediately Desist and Refrain from soliciting, providing or participating in property management services for others, for compensation, or in the expectation of compensation, unless an appropriate license is issued by the Bureau.

Based on the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law stated herein, ANNE ELIZABETH OLIVA, whether doing business under your own name, or any other name or fictitious name, ARE HEREBY ORDERED to immediately desist and refrain from conducting real estate activities using the fictitious business name "MARSHALL REALTY" without first registering this fictitious business name with the Bureau as required by Section 10159.5 of the Code and Section 2731 of the Regulations.”

THERE WAS NOTICE OF APPEAL ISSUED IN 2018, BUT NO APPEAL WAS FILED

Again WHY VOTE FOR THIS PERSON?


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