February 28, 2019
Last month the Fair Political Practices Commission revealed 34 allegations made since 2015 concerning public agencies misusing taxpayer funds for campaign purposes. Unfortunately, the agency lacks the authority to prosecute misuse of public funds, a power reserved for city and county prosecutors and the state attorney general.
Apparently, no local law enforcement agency has followed through on any of the allegations, prompting the FPPC to ask the state for the power to prosecute in these matters.
Does anyone really believe that a local district attorney or city attorney would prosecute a public agency for raising taxes? FPPC commissioner Brian Hatch calls that “political suicide.”
Both the city of Chico and Chico Area Recreation District continue to spend taxpayer money on consultants who promise to help them pass their separate tax measures. Their consultant, EMC Research, claims “Great campaigns don’t just happen. That’s why we offer a full suite of political research and predictive analytics to help your candidates, organizations, and ballot measures succeed.”
Is this why you pay taxes? To hire people to raise your taxes?
Contact FPPC Chair Alice Germond and tell her you support her efforts to impose stiffer penalties on those public agencies who flaunt the law and continue to undermine voters’ rights across the state. You might also want to contact Chico city council at email@example.com and the CARD board at firstname.lastname@example.org and let them know how you feel about paying for their campaigns to raise your taxes.
— Juanita Sumner, Chico