California makes ruling on rent control marketing

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Real Estate

In recent weeks, activists around the Bay Area sent California regulators multiple complaints about anti-rent control mailers.

On Oct. 26, the state's Fair Political Practices Commission rejected at least one of them.

California's Fair Political Practices Commission found that this anti-rent control mailer… more

The complaints centered around mailers sent by the California Apartment Association Issues Committee that featured the banner of the Legislative Analyst's Office. The mailers were sent to sent to residents of cities with rent control initiatives on their November ballots, including Mountain View, San Mateo and Burlingame.

The Mountain View mailer, referring to a February report by the LAO, stated that "California's Legislative Analyst shows that Measure V hurts renters & Mountain View.

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One rent control activist, Tony Samara, claimed the CAA was "impersonating a state agency," while CAA Senior VP Josh Howard called the complaints a "publicity stunt."

An FPPC letter dated Oct. 27 rejected at least one of the complaints. The letter was addressed to a member of the Mountain View Tenants Coalition, among others, and states the FPPC found no campaign violations related to the mailers and will not pursue the complaint any further.

The letter goes on to explain that the Political Reform Act, which the FPCC enforce, does not cover the content of mailers. The Act does cover disclosure requirements, and the letter states the mailer in question "appears to be properly identified as coming from the California Apartment Association Issues Committee."

Bryce Druzin is economic development reporter at the Silicon Valley Business Journal. His Twitter handle is: @SVBizBryce