Letter: Let the public know where the money comes from
Voters in the City of South Lake Tahoe can best judge candidates for city elected office when they know who is contributing to city election campaigns. I suggest that voters have an inherent right to know.
California law provides a minimum standard for campaign disclosure in cities for our very diverse state with 33.8 million people. The city council has the authority to adopt stronger disclosure and reporting standards for candidates and elected and appointed city officials. The people may also do so by initiative.
I have urged the city council in two recent letters that they discuss and take the following actions before the 2016 municipal election:
1. Enact an ordinance requiring full disclosure of all persons making campaign contributions to candidates for city offices in any amount. Included within this disclosure would be the name of their employer, and the city, county, and state where they reside. The specific residential address would not be required.
2. Establish a cut-off date for political contributions to city government campaigns at least 30 days before the election.
3. Enact an ordinance that requires candidates for elected city offices to file a statement of economic interest at the same time as they file for candidacy.
4. Require full disclosure by elected office holders and designated appointed officials’ ownership of properties, businesses, employer, and investments and the same of spouses and/or domestic partners.
5. Ensure that all information required under the disclosure would be available for inspection by the public.
6. Require all campaign disclosure information and statements of economic interests be available for public access on the city website.
The full-disclosure requirements should also apply to political action committees and committees formed exclusively to support a candidate for public office.
Please join me in encouraging our city council to require full campaign disclosure.
David Jinkens, M.P.A.
Public Policy Advocate
South Lake Tahoe, California