Despite its diligent attempts to serve the people and seek public accountability, the Monterey Peninsula Taxpayers Association has failed to identify a state or local agency that accepts authority for enforcement of California Government Code Section 54964, which prohibits local governments such as parks and recreation districts from using public funds for campaign purposes.
On September 14, 2016, the Monterey Peninsula Taxpayers Association submitted a 12-page letter with 95 pages of almost two dozen exhibits to the Monterey County District Attorney’s office, which is the proper authority to enforce this California law. The package proved that the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District used public funds to influence voters to support Measure E, a tax measure on the November 8 ballot sponsored by the Park District. See the package here:
The District Attorney’s office directed the Monterey Peninsula Taxpayers Association to submit the complaint to the Monterey County Elections Office:
Thank you for your diligence and concern. I believe the best place to lodge these concerns is with the Monterey County Elections Department. They can begin the process of identifying any illegalities and refer the matter to the appropriate law enforcement agency for further investigation if necessary.
The Monterey County Elections Office referred the complaint to the California Fair Political Practices Commission:
Monterey County Elections was forwarded the complaint detailed below. The original complaint was filed by Kevin Dayton, copied on this email, with the District Attorney. The nature of the complaint indicates that the FPPC is the proper authority to review for further action.
This was the California Fair Political Practices Commission response:
I represent the Enforcement Division of the Fair Political Practices Commission. Please note, we do not enforce the code sections listed in your below email. However, we will review your complaint to see if it violates any of the provisions under the Political Reform Act.
“We suspect the buck for enforcing this election law is going to be passed around until after the November 8 election,” says Ron Pasquinelli, President of the Monterey Peninsula Taxpayers Association. “Our organization opposes the Park District tax measure, and yet our own tax money – and the money of all taxpayers in the Park District – was used to influence voters to support the tax.”