City attorney clears candidate after complaint about donations

Daily Post Staff Writer

A candidate for San Mateo City Council, Eric Rodriguez, was cleared yesterday by one of the two agencies investigating his campaign donations.

Both the city attorney and the state Fair Political Practices Commission, or FPPC, have been investigating whether he violated a city ordinance that prohibits a candidate from taking more than $1,000 from any one company.

In a letter sent to Rodriguez, City Attorney Shawn Mason said that no violation of the city’s contribution limit has occurred.

Rodriguez, a member of the Planning Commission, leads the seven-candidate field in fundraising. Between his own campaign and independent expenditure committees set up by the National Association of Realtors and the California Apartments Association, $123,216.46 has been raised on his behalf.

Anonymous complaint

An anonymous complaint claimed Rodriguez received $1,000 each from C&P Associates, CLC Associates and Carstens Realty, all with the same address located at 1206 W. Hillsdale Blvd., Suite A.

According to Mason, if there are multiple organizations owned by the same person, each organization can contribute up to $1,000. This means Rodriguez’ campaign did not violate any city code.

The complaint also alleged that C&P Associates was the one that really made the entire $3,000 contribution and that the contributions from Carstens Realty was one and the same with C&P, while C.L.C. Associates is not an active business entity.

Three companies

According to Mason’s letter, C.L.C. Associates is actually C.L.C. Investments, which is a limited partnership registered with the California Secretary of State and is licensed to do business in Belmont.

C&P Associates, according to Mason’s letter, is a limited partnership registered with the Secretary of State and is licensed to do business in Walnut Creek.

Carstens Realty is a California corporation and is licensed to do business in San Mateo, according to Mason.

“Based upon this information, I have determined that the $1,000 contributions made by the three separate organizations do not violate the city’s contribution limits,” Mason wrote in his letter.

The FPPC confirmed to the Post on Oct. 27 that it had opened an investigation into Rodriguez’ campaign. It has yet to make a ruling.