Exposes “Up from the Ashes” as a Conspiracy to Deceive Legislators and the Public
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 3, 2018
Contact: Hunter Stern 415-517-0318
SACRAMENTO – Today, in a complaint filed with the California Fair Political Practice Commission, IBEW 1245 exposed a recently formed organization called “Up from the Ashes” as a front group designed to obscure the identities and lobbying activities of trial lawyers and present themselves as representing thousands of fire victims when their sole purpose is to persuade the government to let them keep billions of dollars in legal fees.
In an email obtained by IBEW 1245, “Up from the Ashes” Lobbyist Patrick McCallum admits that he has “been hired by a group funded by the consumer attorneys to oppose PG&E…The name of the group is Up from the Ashes.” Furthermore, the group’s public filing contradicts Mr. McCallum’s testimony that they represent “thousands of wildfire victims.” In reality, the group is 100% funded by trial lawyers trying to maximize their profits in the wake of disaster.
This stunning revelation led IBEW 1245 to file a formal complaint with the Fair Political Practices Commission and call on the FPPC to launch an investigation. Furthermore, IBEW 1245 placed a full-page ad in the Sacramento Bee calling out this front group’s activity.
“Now that we know the true nature of this group, it’s clear trial lawyers and their allies will do anything to profit off of the tragic wildfires,” said IBEW 1245 Business Manager Tom Dalzell. “Up from the Ashes” has been designed solely to deceive the legislature, and the public at large, through a misinformation campaign that obscures the identities of those who stand to profit most. We call on the FPPC to protect the public’s rights, investigate “Up from the Ashes,” force them to disclose their backers and disavow the misrepresentations they’ve made in their attempts to lobby the Legislature.”
The legal complaint, written by the law firm of attorney Steven Merksamer states:
“Unknown law firms seeking to influence the people and government of California have concocted UFTA as a front organization to conceal themselves from the public scrutiny the law was designed to enable.”
“By requiring Up from the Ashes to fully disclose the identity of the trial lawyers purporting to be a group of fire victims and the true source of its funding, or forcing UFTA to disavow the misrepresentations made in the course of its lobbying, the FPPC will help the public understand and evaluate the driving force behind the organization’s messages.”
Click links below to view:
- The full FPPC complaint
- Up from the Ashes’ FPPC form 605 filing
- IBEW 1245’s Sacramento Bee ad
- Audio testimony and an email from Patrick McCallum
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