Hat tip to OurTownTustin blogger Jeff Gallagher for this scoop on Tustin Council candidate Allan Bernstein, a Jerry Amante-endorsee with no civic or community experience and little apparent common sense, for using a photo of himself on the Dais of the Tustin City Council with a partial image of the City’s official seal in view on his campaign literature and Facebook page. Clearly, Bernstein is a “wannabe” as in “I wannabe a councilman!” So let’s take a photo of the candidate on the dais to trick voters into thinking “he’s already on the council!” Foolproof, except it isn’t.
How Bernstein was able to get access to the Dais for that kind of professional photo shoot is a question all to itself. As Gallagher reports, “The Tustin City Code does address the use of the seal but only in the context that the City Clerk is the official “keeper of the seal” and it is to be used on all official city documents. The use of the city logo is another matter. The code states specifically the logo may not be used in campaign materials or to promote business or any other purpose unless permission has been given (it is interesting to note that Amante signed this ordinance into law and he appears to be the one advising Bernstein).”
So who gave Bernstein permission to have this photo taken and used? Or is it another instance of Council member Amante, who remembers the attendance record of every council member he served with for eight years, but “forgot” this ordinance like he forgot the threats he made against Council member Deborah Gavello to former Fullerton council member Pam Keller in 2008? Let’s just call Republicans that “I don’t recall” party.
Gallagher points out that Bernstein may be guilty of a state law violation and that he’s reported it to the DA’s office for review. And while we hold our breath for a ruling (and turning blue waiting), the law in question is Section 18304 of the Election Code which states:
(a) Any person who uses or allows to be used any reproduction or facsimile of the seal of the county or the seal of a local government agency in any campaign literature or mass mailing, as defined in Section 82041.5 of the Government Code, with the intent to deceive voters, is guilty of a misdemeanor.