(PR): FPPC IMPOSES $1.3 MILLION FINE AGAINST LA COUNTY
AWARD TO BE SHARED WITH HOWARD JARVIS TAXPAYERS FOUNDATION
Today, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association announced that the Fair Political Practices Commission imposed one of the largest fines ever levied by the agency against Los Angeles County for using taxpayer money to fund political ads touting Measure H, a sales tax increase on the ballot in 2017. The action by the FPPC was directly related to a legal action filed by HJTA,
“This is obviously welcome action by the FPPC. We’ve waited a long time for this” said Jon Coupal, President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, which filed the original complaint against the county on March 2, 2017. “As we head into the November election, local governments up and down California are tempted to use taxpayer funds for political advocacy and or fail to report the same as political contributions. This fine by the FPPC will serve as a huge shot across the bow to all government entities in California not to abuse taxpayers by using public funds for political activity.”
Coupal also announced the creation of its new Public Integrity Project which will be run by HJTA’s affiliated 501(c)(3) organization, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Foundation. The project will be funded from HJTA’s half of the fine imposed by the FPPC to which HJTA is entitled for filing the original complaint against the county.
The courts have ruled “use of the public treasury to mount an election campaign which attempts to influence the resolution of issues which our Constitution leaves to the ‘free election’ of the people (see Const., art. II, § 2) … presents a serious threat to the integrity of the electoral process.” Stanson v. Mott (1976) 17 Cal.3d 206, 218.
“The creation of HJTF’s Public Integrity Project will provide an additional enforcement tool against illegal expenditures of public funds and other violations of law that hurt taxpayers and voters” said HJTA President Jon Coupal.