Political Action Committees
Posted by Will Gregory and reprinted here from the Benicia Herald
Councilmember Tom Campbell, " ... talked about some of his achievements on the
council so far, including allowing transparent campaign finance laws so people
can know who is funding the candidates."
Well stated, Dr. Campbell.
How many voters realize who has funded Mark Hughes in his two active campaigns
in 2005 and 2009. Well those "transparent campaign finance laws i.e. the public
documents show quite clearly if you are willing to take the time and research the
topic that Mr. Hughes has accepted $12,350 from 13 different PACs all outside our voting jurisdiction.
If you include in this election cycle, Lionel Largaespada and Christina Strawbridge who are all being touted by the Benicia Police Officers Association-the total rises to 16 PACs and the amount totals out to $13, 750. Source: Campaign Disclosure Statements of the candidates.
So far 16 outside PACs have contributed to Hughes, Largaespada, and Strawbridge vs. "0" or none for Patterson, Steve Young and George Oakes.
We have also learned that the BPOA has filed (Sept.29,2016) an Independent Expense Report in support of Mark Hughes. They have raised $20 thousand collected from 27 of their officers. To be clear, Mr. Hughes didnt solicit these funds. This is an independent action of the BPOA. They have thus far used some of this cash to buy lawn signage indicating their support for Mr. Hughes. Can we expect the rest of the money to be used inundating our mail boxes with expensive slick mailers in the days and weeks ahead of our upcoming election?
Being curious about the BPOA I spoke with the Senior Analyst Kim Imbodden of our Human Resources Dept. . I wanted to know how many of our officers actually live here in Benicia. Answer: the bulk i.e. the majority do not live here . So we have a PAC of our police officers who do not live here and who cannot vote in "our election but are trying with cold hard cash to influence (some might say manipulate) our most sacred trust.
Key questions; Why is the BPOA involved in this election? Who is orchestrating this election charade? How many of our citizen-voters have a clue that this is going on in our little city? Will this be a campaign issue going forward?
Outside Political Action Committees are running roughshod over local election process and we still have 5 weeks before the election. It looks like a very bumpy ride ahead. Stay tuned.