California's Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) has rejected a complaint from the state's Republican Party alleging that current Governor Gavin Newsom had failed to report over $3.7 million in interests.
On Thursday, the California GOP filed a complaint to the FPCC in which the party claimed he had failed to improperly report his $3.7 million home in Fair Oaks - which is near Sacramento - in his campaign filings.
Using a document known as Form 700, candidates are required to declare personal financial interests and ownerships.
"This is the latest example of Newsom's lack of adherence to the law," the California GOP said in a statement. "Voters deserve transparency from elected officials, and the California Republican Party has requested during the FPPC open an investigation into this matter."
In response, however, the FPPC dismissed the complaint. In a letter, the watchdog said that it had previously investigated a similar complaint that had been filed anonymously in July.
"Because the allegations have been disproven, we are closing this matter without further action", the assistant chief of the FFPC's enforcement division, wrote in a letter obtained by the Sacramento Bee.
The letter added that the commission had "determined that the subject real property transactions did not give rise to any reportable interests."
An LPO source with ties to the California GOP said that he wasn't surprised at the decision.
"It seems like it was a bit of a long shot," the source said. "It doesn't change the fact that he often acts as if the rules don't apply to him. As CA Republican Party chairwoman Jessica [Millan] Patterson has said, he's both incompetent and arrogant."
The legal complaint comes just weeks after the California GOP announced a decision to not endorse any of the candidates vying to replace Newsom in the upcoming recall election.
The party had been set to choose between four candidates: Larry Elder, Kevin Faulconer, Kevin Kiley and Doug Ose.
California Republican Party chairwoman Jessica Millan Patterson said that the decision "speaks to the strength of our field of candidates and the outstanding position our party is in going into the recall election."
"We are squarely focused on putting California back on track by recalling the worst governor in California history," she added. "Gavin Newsom is arrogant, incompetent and a desperate politician who has failed Californians in every way possible."
A second LPO source close to the Republican Party in California said the decision helped the party avoid internal splits ahead of the recall election.
"The GOP has been pretty clear about this. We can't have folks decide to not vote because their guy didn't get the endorsement," the source said. "That would cause fractures that we don't need."
Among those who have supported the move is candidate Kevin Faulconer, who said in an email to supporters in early August that the state's Republican Party should "unit toward the sole goal of driving support for this historic recall."
While a recent CBS news poll showed that 57% of Californians still approve of Newsom's performance, many observers people the outcome of the recall is still too close to call.
"I think it's probably closer than polling suggests," the LPO source said. "We'll have to wait and see."
In a recent interview, California Democratic Senator Alex Padilla said that the recall election in the state was a "power grab" by Republicans.
"I believe the recall is a blatant power grab by Republicans. In some states it's voter suppression laws. In some states it's sham election audits. In California it's a recall election," be told LPO.
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