Yes on Prop 6 Campaign Files Ethics Complaint with Three Law Enforcement Agencies
In a clear violation of state law in using taxpayer monies to campaign laws Caltrans workers stopped vehicles to pass out campaign literature against the Proposition 6 Gas Tax Repeal, which is on the coming November ballot. Traffic was delayed 18-24 minutes and motorists were furious.
Photos, video, and witness testimony of the incident was released at a press conference by the “Yes on Prop 6 Campaign.” A Criminal Complaint alleging violation of numerous state and local laws have been filed.
The campaign flier passed out clearly contains prohibited “express advocacy” language such as “Vote NO on Prop 6” and the Caltrans work crew member was caught on video admitting he was “working with Caltrans” and “They just told me to hand it out.”
“There is absolutely no grey area here, Caltrans is caught in blatant violation of California law that prohibits the use of taxpayer funds for campaign activities or advocacy,” declared Carl DeMaio, Chairman of Yes on Prop 6 Gas Tax Repeal Initiative, “This proves once again that Caltrans simply cannot be trusted to do what is right with our gas tax funds – they literally are using gas tax funds to support the distribution of campaign materials to raise the gas tax on working families.”
The incident occurred along State Route 78 in San Diego County between Julian and Ramona on Tuesday, August 28, 2018 between 7 am and 3 pm.
Caltrans contract and task order records confirm a road project was scheduled for that very stretch of highway. A Caltrans contractor assigned to the project was photographed at the site along with a Caltrans vehicle and supervisor. California state law prohibits the use of private contractors paid for by taxpayer funds for any political purpose.
While the contribution by a state or local government agency is strictly prohibited under California law and any individual or government agency can be punished for such action, it is also against the law for the No on Prop 6 committee to receive and to fail to report any in-kind contribution from a third party in support of its campaign.
In this case, No on Prop 6 actively provided campaign materials to government agents knowing public funds would be used to cover the salaries of employees distributing the campaign fliers. Through these actions, and failure to disclose the nature of the in-kind value of the contribution, the No on Prop 6 campaign has violated the California Political Reform Act and associated regulations.
“We demand an immediate investigation into this incident, we demand prosecution of the individuals involved, and we insist that the Governor instruct Caltrans to immediately cease any activities that could be interpreted as campaign activities,” DeMaio concluded.
The Criminal Complaint was submitted to the San Diego County District Attorney, California Highway Patrol, and the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC).
The Regulations of the Fair Political Practices Commission, Title 2, Division 6, California Code of Regulations Section 18420 declares: “Reporting Campaign Contributions and Expenditures by State or Local Government Agencies. (a) Any candidate or committee that receives contributions from a state or local government agency must report receipt of those contributions… Nothing in this regulation should be read as condoning or authorizing campaign-related activities by a state or local government agency. Under many circumstances, such activities may be illegal. See Penal Code section 424; Government Code section 54964.”
The Regulations of the Fair Political Practices Commission state: “Disclosure of the Making and Receipt of Contributions. (f) A nonmonetary contribution is “made” by the contributor, and “received” by the candidate or committee, on the earlier of the following dates: (1) The date that funds are expended by the contributor for goods or services, if the specific expenditure is made at the behest of the candidate or committee;.