It’s no great surprise to me—especially in a state that in now governed by one political party—that taxpayer money is being spent to try to raise taxes. Last week, a coordinated campaign flyer was sent throughout Sacramento County to promote passage of Measure B—the sales tax increase for transportation.
Depending on where you live, it was paid for by various local governments. In the Rosemont area, it was paid for by the County of Sacramento. Where I live, it was paid for by the City of Elk Grove. I’m trying to get information on which other local governments were part of this coordinated effort. I’m sure Rancho Cordova and Citrus Heights were in on it too. The flyer is made by the same publisher with some tweaks to target various parts of the county.
Besides being paid for with taxpayer money, the flyers did not have any campaign identification on them. The required committee disclosures and I.D. numbers were not on them. The flyer clearly promoted passage of the tax increase and directed people to the yes on B website.
So why is that a big deal you might ask? Because they were sent not on the basis of utility bills or tax rolls or other relationships to local government, they were sent to registered voters.
My proof is simply. The flyer sent to my house was not sent to my wife and me. All county and city utilities are in our name except for the one that is in the name of my deceased mother-in-law. No, the flyer was sent to my adult stepchildren. Their only tie to our house is voter registration. My stepson is in the Air Force and lives outside of California. The only government records with his name and our address on them is his voter registration. My stepdaughter’s only government records with her name on them are one motor vehicle, and her voter registration. No insurance, cell phones, utilities or anything else is in their names now or at any time in the past.
Voter registration records can legally only be used for political purposes.
Therefore for a political flyer to be sent to registered voters without being reported as a political expenditure is a clear violation of campaign finance law.
So we have two violations of the law in play:
1. Taxpayer money used to pay for a political mailer that is not identified as such
2. The flyer is sent to people on the basis of being registered voters
This is the second time that I am aware that the City of Elk Grove has funded a political flyer in favor of the tax increase. Clearly the elected officials at city hall are either in on this abuse of taxpayer money or not minding the store; either way is not good for citizens or the rule of law.
I’m encouraging the Sith Lord to file a formal complaint with the Fair Political Practices Committee (FPPC). Any action they take—which is a questionable proposition—would be long after the election in November. However, it might be grounds to get the tax increase challenged in court should it pass.