So, an Orange County PAC Wants a Popular Vote on a Large Business Subsidy!

When I say I’m blogging less over the next month, in some cases it only means that I’m blogging shorter.  For example, I just read this item in Scott Lay’s Around the Capital from yesterday, which I hadn’t yet seen:

SECRETS:PAC pushes Sacramento arena vote but won’t say where its getting its money [] – “A conservative Orange County political action committee that’s pushing a public vote on Sacramento’s proposed NBA arena has refused to disclose its donors or say why it’s involved in the effort. . .

Pretty transparently, I’d say, some secretive OC PAC is trying to require a vote by Sacramento’s citizens before a big old expenditure of money can be used to build a stadium to keep the Sacramento Kings in town.  Why would they care?  My guess is that it’s because if Sacramento can’t build a stadium, it would be easier to lure the Kings to OC (presumably in the Honda Center.)

So — anybody know much about these people, Representatives of Taxpayers for Safer Neighborhoods of San Juan Capistrano and/or its Treasurer, Barrett Garcia, who told the Sacramento Bee that he was resigning?  Here’s what else they have to say:

A conservative Orange County political action committee that’s pushing a public vote on Sacramento’s proposed NBA arena has refused to disclose its donors or say why it’s involved in the effort.

Representatives of Taxpayers for Safer Neighborhoods, which historically has run Republican campaigns, denied a series of Sacramento Bee requests this week seeking the group’s recent fundraising records.

The Orange County PAC is working alongside a group of Sacramento activists gathering signatures for a ballot measure that would require voters to approve public subsidies for sports facilities. Proponents are aiming for the June 2014 ballot.

Both a spokesman for the petition drive and a political consultant working on the campaign said they did not know where the Southern California group is getting its money. An Orange County consultant identified as the committee’s political strategist on the Sacramento arena campaign did not return a phone message and email seeking comment.

I’m especially interested in this because of the underlying principle that the electorate should vote before a city makes a large expenditure that will largely lead to private profits.  It’s a compelling principle in theory, but one that is very very opposed to the apparently reigning philosophy of the Orange County Republican Party, which (with some honorable exceptions) seems to relish the opportunity to shovel public funds at all sorts of entities that will make them happy and give them donations.  (Why, I can think of several examples in Anaheim alone!)

So, can anyone from the group say when shoveling public money in the wealthy private coffers is OK and when it isn’t?  Because it looks to me like the idea is that it’s OK in LA and not OK in Sacramento — which seems a little inconsistent.


About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Corrupt party hacks hate him. He's OK with that too. He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)