When Elected Officials Violate State Laws

| September 5, 2018 | 0 Comments

Yes on Prop 6 Campaign Files Ethics Complaint with Three Law Enforcement Agencies

And we wonder why people don’t trust politicians.

On the morning of Tuesday, August 28 a Caltrans work crew was caught stopping cars (and creating a traffic jam) along State Highway 78 and Sutherland Dan Road (between Ramona and Julian) in San Diego County. Caltrans-funded work was being performed by Manhole Adjusting Inc. (truck and staff uniforms had the company logo on them) with supervision of a Caltrans supervisor in a Caltrans-branded truck. A review of Caltrans contracts shows Manhole Adjusting Inc. was awarded a contract to perform road repair work along this stretch of roadway. This Caltrans work crew used a traffic stop sign to slow vehicles down and then handed out “No on Prop 6” campaign literature to each driver. From 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Google traffic analytics captured a backup in traffic along SR 78 reflecting the bottleneck of traffic causing 15-25 minute delays due to the distribution of the campaign literature. Photos captured the Caltrans work crew-member actually handing the materials out, captured the content of the fliers that contain “express advocacy” statements such as “Vote NO on Prop 6,” and admitted on video they were told to pass out the fliers by a Caltrans supervisor.

So, explain to me what is correct about this scenario? And, why would anyone think that demanding paid contractors to act in this manner would not be breaking the law?

I shake my head in disbelief that this type of action is even occurring in our county today. However, it is because we have elected officials, starting with those in Sacramento…need I name who they are, who think this is acceptable behavior.

It’s not.

Fortunately, we do have people like Carl DeMaio who has been the driving force to change the status of politics and demand that we no longer be at the “whim” of our elected officials who decide to break the law and act without consideration of the consequences.

As Carl DeMaio stated, “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. 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. 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.”

Government Code Section 8314 declares “It is unlawful for any elected state or local officer, including any state or local appointee, employee, or consultant, to use or permit others to use public resources for a campaign activity, or personal or other purposes which are not authorized by law.”

Here are facts about the why the Gas Tax Repeal Initiative is so important:
• Voting Yes on Prop 6 will repeal the car and gas tax, and ensures that any future car and gas taxes must be approved by the voters
• On Nov 1, 2017, Californians became subject to an additional tax of 12.5 cents more per gallon (20 cents more for diesel)
• Estimates suggest it will cost an average family of four $700 or more per family, per year
• The tax also hits business owners who rely on transporting goods, raising the cost of everything from apples to bread, and everything in between
• Vehicle license fees (car tax) will increase as much as $175 a year – striking the wallets of hard-working families across the state
• The tax revenue goes into the state’s General Fund, meaning there’s zero guarantee the money will be used to actually fund the transportation “fixes” they claim will happen
• Nearly 1 million signatures were collected to qualify the measure on the November ballot; just over 550,000 were required

My position on this initiative is that “our” government (“of the people, for the people”), acted without consideration and respect of those who elect them, and then bragged about it. The Gas Tax effort was done as a blatant force by government without any consideration of its affect on you the taxpayer, and local businesses, that are heavily impacted by its existence.

If we allow our elected officials to force their agendas in this manner, we no longer have a voice in the way our world functions. That’s not how democracy works.

For more information, visit www.GasTaxRepeal.org.

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