League of Cities abuse of taxpayer funds

Orange Punch post of Oct 4, 2006
Thanks to Steve Greenhut for this important report. Larry Gilbert

Norby: OC league’s possibly illegal campaign event

From Steven Greenhut:

Orange County Supervisor Chris Norby called my attention to a very troubling event sponsored by the Orange County Division of the League of California Cities. On Oct. 12, the local league is having a dinner featuring a speech by John Shirey, executive director of the California Redevelopment Association, titled: “Prop. 90: The Taxpayer Trap.” As Norby points out, league events are paid for by taxpayer dollars, and taxpayer-funded organizations are not allowed to hold campaign events. This is clearly an anti-90 event. Even the title of the speech is taken from the “no” on 90 campaign.

Prop. 90 would stop governments from using eminent domain to take private homes and businesses in order to give them to developers. It would also force cities to pay compensation for some types of takings. CRA and the league are organizations of government officials who are terribly afraid of 90 because they are the ones condemning property, subsidizing developers and abusing property rights. Their members have every right to oppose it, and these groups have funded the “no” campaign through their PACs, but they are not allowed to run transparently campaign-related events on taxpayer dime. Talk about a taxpayer trap!

Norby’s concerns are legitimate. The local league ought to provide a forum with both sides of the issue or stop using their forum to aid a political campaign.

Gilbert PS: This reminds me of OCTA’s early mailings advocating, rather than educating us, on Measure M. Everyone pushes the window to see how much they can get away with.

Furthermore, we the taxpayers pay for our elected officials and city staff to attend these dinner meetings. Having attended some League meetings as a private citizen I can tell you that they attempt to discourage us by not providing seating at our city tables and charging excessive sums.

I am glad that our (Mission Viejo) city council majority support Prop 90. The members are getting lot of heat from various lobbyists.
Larry Gilbert

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