Hertzberg to Romer -- Release the Names
Just recieved a letter from Bob Hertzberg to Superintendent Roy Romer over Romer's secret slush fund (I think it is about to get hot in the kitchen):
RE: PUBLIC RELEASE OF "FRIENDS OF L.A. SCHOOLS" DONORS AND CONTRIBUTIONS
Dear Superintendent Romer:
I am writing to urge you to comply with the spirit of the state
Political Reform Act and the Los Angeles City Ethics ordinances by
immediately releasing to the public information with respect to donors and contributions made to Friends of L.A. Schools, Inc.
As you are aware, state law requires the disclosure of contributions
made at the behest of candidates and elected officials because the
public has a right to know who is trying to influence decision-makers(1).
Although the government code specifically requires candidates and
elected officeholders to disclose information on contributions made at their behest, a recent FPPC decision clearly set the standard of
requiring a public official with decision-making authority over public money to do the same.
In May, the Fair Political Practices Commission reached a $95,000
civil settlement with University of California Regent Ward Connerly
and his non-profit American Civil Rights Coalition for failure to make public contributions made to the non-profit corporation. I am
attaching a copy of the judgment and stipulation for your review.
In this new political era, where allegations of pay-to-play politics
have dominated the public debate, the taxpayers of Los Angeles and the parents of LAUSD children deserve to know who is contributing to a newly-created public relations committee headed by you, the
superintendent. Specifically, the people deserve to know whether
contributors to Friends of L.A. Schools are current contractors with
the District, or whether your contributors are seeking contracts with
I urge you to follow the inspired lead of our new mayor of Los
Angeles, who set the high ethical standard by requiring that
contributions made to the L.A.'s BEST after-school program during his
inaugural celebration be made public, despite no specific statutory
obligation to do so.
(1) Government Code Section 82015 (B)(3) requires the disclosure to include following information: name of payor, address of payor, amount of the payment, date or dates the payment or payments were made, the name and address of the payee, a brief description of the goods or services provided or purchased, if any, and a description of the specific purpose or event for which the payment or payments were made.