Carroll Wills is communications director for the California Professional Firefighters.

League of CA Cities “Institute” Masks Political Activity; Reporting Urged

Carroll Wills

Backers of campaign finance reform legislation today called on would-be legislative candidates participating in a League of California Cities candidate recruitment “institute” to disclose who is paying their way, where the money is coming from and whether or not any gifts are being properly reported to the Fair Political Practices Commission.

This Thursday at the California Chamber of Commerce headquarters in Sacramento, a group of legislative hopefuls are scheduled to participate in the final day of the California Civic Leadership Institute, a three-day event explicitly targeting candidates looking to run for the Legislature – basically a candidate-recruitment fest masquerading as an “educational program.”

Are Tax Dollars Paying for Statewide Ballot Campaigns?

 and wound up in the hands of the No on 30/Yes on 32 campaign?

Well, for the last decade, a similar game of hide-and-seek has been going on with some homegrown Super PACs. Only this time, the secret deep pocket may actually be the taxpayers.

Since 2003, more than $17 million of campaign money has been funneled through “non-public funds” — anonymous accounts run by taxpayer-financed non-profits like the League of California Cities. The League alone has spent more than $12 million out of these secret accounts.

No FPPC number. No donor reporting. Nothing but the cryptic “non-public funds”.

Drawing the Lines in the Attack on Labor

Firefighters throughout California took satisfaction in seeing so many of their brothers and sisters right there on the front lines during the collective bargaining fight in Wisconsin. Gov. Scott Walker, you’ll recall, sought to divide labor by carving public safety out of his “kill the unions” legislation.

Wisconsin firefighters weren’t falling for it. They stood with their union brothers in the Capitol protests, and continue to work hard in the recall efforts.