Why PAC’s are BAD

17 Feb

There’s not much surprising in the reports that were just posted from former police chief Mike Maloney’s PAC – Chico Citizens for Accountability. Shocking, yes, disturbing, yes – surprising? No. 

Maloney raised around $50,000 – I didn’t do a formal tally – and spent it on mailers, billboards, radio ads and other support of candidates  Sorensen, Coolidge and Fillmer, as well as a pretty damning mailer with a picture of Scott Gruendl with the UNIVERSAL NO! over his face. I already knew that. I already knew alot of his donors – mostly realtors and construction people. 

What really disgusts me about these reports, beyond the fact that Maloney was allowed to be five days late in filing without being fined, is the amounts single donors are allowed to contribute to PAC’s – way beyond the city’s $900 limit for a single person.  For example, local realtor and developer Doug Guillon gave at least $5,000 in this last campaign. As an individual, like you and me, he would have been limited to $900.

Guillon has always been a big donor to the conservatives, and always gets a lot of consideration from them when he has a project. Years ago, conservatives led by realtor Dan Herbert were going to push forward an extension of Otterson Drive, in Guillon’s business park, meaning, put it ahead of other slated public projects, do it with public money, instead of making Guillon pay for it. People gathered signatures against it, and the council had to reconsider – the project ended up being scrapped. It was so obviously a spoils project for a big donor. 

You got to wonder, what will they try to give Guillon now? 

PACs are bad. We either need a resolution that severely limits PACs, or we need to kick them out of local elections. 

We do have a city clerk, Debbie Presson, who is supposed to keep these PAC’s honest – she has the discretion to fine them when they turn their paperwork in late – $5 a day – but has chosen not to do so, even though the CPOA has been late for a number of filings. It’s a pattern with those guys, and Presson lets them get away with it. The CCAG was five days late, according to the date stamp – I guess that’s  why she wasn’t posting that filing on line, she didn’t want people bitching about it. Well, I am. And the CPOA has yet to file, but she hasn’t fined them either.

We need to change the city charter to elect the city clerk. I know this hasn’t worked out perfect at the county, but I think it helps keep Candy Grubbs honest.  Presson is supposed to be an officer of the public, but she seems to work for the police union instead.

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7 Responses to “Why PAC’s are BAD”

  1. Tell Me No Lies February 20, 2015 at 3:54 pm #

    Perhaps rather than imcompentency, Ms. Presson had a major medical emergency requiring emergency surgery. Perhaps she hasn’t been in the office for weeks.
    But its easier for you to provide a ton of crap rather than an ounce of facts.

    • Juanita Sumner February 20, 2015 at 4:04 pm #

      I heard she had emergency surgery – although, I don’t have any idea what she considers an “emergency”. If she’s incapable of fulfilling her job, she should step down, and get somebody else. I assume that’s the type of situation she must have foreseen when she got Dani Brinkley promoted to a new position – “Deputy Clerk” – along with a substantial raise, letting go of several lesser paid staffers in order to do so.

      We all have “emergencies”. Try paying your taxes or any other bill late, because you’re having “emergency surgery”. When my husband had a medical emergency – appendicitis, is that an emergency? – I still had to meet all our obligations, on time, or face the consequences. When my cousin lost his arm in a farm accident, my mom had to go to work with blood all over her clothes.

      do you happen to have any “facts,” by the way? Any idea why the CPOA is late with their reports?

      • Tell Me No Lies February 20, 2015 at 4:22 pm #

        First, the deadline for filing was Feb. 2nd.
        Second, the limit is $500, not $900.
        Third, the fine is $10 per day, not $5.

        Do you expect that Ms. Presson’s assistant can meet all of the obligations of that office? Something is bound to get dropped. If I remember correctly, all of the statements that were filed on time were on the website the same day. That hasn’t happened in a long time.
        What I heard about the CPOA reports is that they had another change in the person who does the reports and they’re supposed to have it filed soon.

      • Juanita Sumner February 21, 2015 at 6:19 am #

        Well, thanks for the info – but that is different than what I was told by the clerk’s office. I was told Jan 31, which is a Saturday, so I guess that means next working day – Feb 2. She gave them an extension to the fifth, and they missed that too.

        I was not told a limit, which is interesting. I was told $5 a day. Whoa, $10 – oh Lord have mercy! If you are late one day with your prop taxes it’s hundreds of dollars, and compounds every three months.

        Yes, I should expect that Dani can meet the obligations or I’d like to see her out of the job. Something is bound to get dropped? Like I say – try that line on your mortgage carrier sometime. Try handing a line like that to your private sector boss.

        Please, no more lame excuses for the CPOA – if they can’t handle running a PAC correctly, they shouldn’t have one. The law, as they will tell the rest of us, is the law.

  2. bob February 21, 2015 at 6:53 pm #

    “What I heard about the CPOA reports is that they had another change in the person who does the reports and they’re supposed to have it filed soon.”

    So that gets them off the hook? And that justifies them not being fined like anyone else would be?

    CPOA is openly flaunting the law with the aid of these city bureaucrats. If this were a normal tax serf citizen they would have had the screws put to them long ago.

    CPOA is full of bullies who consider themselves above the law and these city bureaucrats aiding and abetting them is disgusting.

  3. bob February 21, 2015 at 6:57 pm #

    What you discovered about these PACs just proves the city council is bought, no doubt about. And nothing being done about the late filing is no surprised. We live in a very corrupt little city.

    • Juanita Sumner February 22, 2015 at 5:51 am #

      I agree Bob, other PAC’s, including Michael Jones’ Chico Politics, filed their reports ahead without any fuss. There’s no excuse, and the delay just makes CPOA,and CCAG, look bad. They can only blame themselves for public perception.

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