Maybe Mayor Lee Brand needs to find another seafood restaurant to dine at.
Dave Fansler, the proprietor of Pismo’s Coastal Grill and other restaurants, has filed a claim against the city claiming an unfair use of code enforcement. A lawsuit will follow, his lawyer said.
Another suit is planned against the state Alcoholic Beverage Control department, attorney Warren Paboojian announced.
“We will also ask the State Attorney General’s office to investigate the actions of ABC, the Fresno City Council and the Fresno City Attorney’s Office regarding their targeted use of Code Enforcement to punish Mr. David Fansler for exercising his First Amendment rights,” Paboojian said in a news release.
“This is the first step toward pursuing a civil lawsuit, before a jury, against the City for these unlawful acts.”
According to the city, Fansler has received warning notices but no citations for operating indoor dining when it has been restricted.
Also in Politics 101:
- Fansler frustrated with city and state leaders.
- Bredefeld probably didn’t break the law filming endorsement.
- School board member busted for being tardy.
- More politics for your TV.
Fansler Frustrated With City, State
Fansler has been battling the city over reopening his eateries. An attempt to open up indoor seating next to open windows has been thwarted by local authorities. In March, shortly after the city declared a COVID-19 emergency with restrictions on business openings, Fansler received a cease and desist letter from the city.
Pismo’s has since operated using tents and patios, but not indoor dining.
Fansler has been very public with his frustrations and criticisms of state and city leaders.
“Now we have this stupid color coded situation going on,” Fansler said at a City Hall rally yesterday. “He’s (Newsom) got his hand around our throat and will choke us until we’re dead. And that’s exactly what’s going on.”
Copy of Claim
This is a copy of the claim Fansler filed with the city. There are four other similar claims filed, each on behalf of his restaurants Pismo’s Coastal Grill, Westwoods BBQ, Yosemite Ranch and the Fansler Restaurant Group, Inc.
City Attorney: Bredefeld Unlikely to Violate Election Code
It is true that Fresno City Councilman Garry Bredefeld recorded, in his City Hall office, an endorsement video for Clovis Unified school board candidate Jonathan Holt.
Despite a complaint filed with the city, it is unlikely a violation of law.
Dee Barnes, a labor leader, city employee and Bredefeld critic, emailed officials asking for an investigation. She said using city resources for a political message violated city and state codes.
Bredefeld tells Politics 101 that when informed his actions may have broken the law, he reached out to City Attorney Douglas Sloan.
Sloan responded, examining the relevant parts of the state law banning the use of public resources for campaigning. He cited the state government code that incidental and minimal use, such as filming inside an office, does not meet the definition of campaign activity.
“However, despite there being no violation and to avoid any appearance of impropriety, I asked the candidate to remove the video, which he immediately did,” Bredefeld said.
File Those Papers
A warning to all those running for office and current elected members — file your papers on time or you will be fined.
The Fair Political Practices Commission announced a $400 fine against Fresno Unified school board president Keshia Thomas for not filing her initial statement of economic interests on time.
The next deadline for current candidates to file their campaign fundraising paperwork is Thursday.
More Politics Coming on TV
I’m a big fan of Sunday Morning Matters that airs 8 a.m. Sundays on KSEE-24 — and a day or so earlier in podcast form when his staff hustles. I hear the feeling is mutual.
Host Alexan Balekian announced a half-hour daily show covering local politics starts Wednesday, from 3:30 p.m. to 4.
Need more politics in your life? Of course you do! Starting tomorrow, I’m hosting a new daily @KSEE24 @LocalElectionHQ 30-minute show through election day. M-F 3:30pm. Then #SundayMorningMatters right after @MeetThePress @chucktodd 8am pic.twitter.com/BtaKzAyc1a
— Alexan Balekian (@RealALEXAN) September 22, 2020