Illegal Use of Gas Tax Funds to Campaign Against Prop 6 Gas Tax Repeal Triggers Federal Investigation

State and Local government employees have been caught campaigning against Prop 6 on government time; email marked “Sensitive” Sought to “Target” Vulnerable Republican Members of Congress Who Back Prop 6

Today, leaders of the Yes on Prop 6 – Gas Tax Repeal Campaign released emails, government documents, videos, photos, and other evidence showing state and local government officials are using taxpayer funds to illegally campaign against the gas tax repeal. A letter from Rep. Ken Calvert demanding an investigation by the Inspector General of the US Department of Transportation was also released.

“There is absolutely no grey area here — state and local government agencies are caught in blatant violation of California law that prohibits the use of taxpayer funds for campaign activities or advocacy,” said Carl DeMaio, Chairman of Yes on Prop 6 Gas Tax Repeal Initiative.

WHAT THE LAW SAYS: California Government Code Section 8314 declares “It is unlawful for any elected state or local officer, including any state or local appointee, employee, or consultant, to use or permit others to use public resources for a campaign activity, or personal or other purposes which are not authorized by law.”

HIGHLIGHTS OF EVIDENCE RELEASED:

  • Email directing a contractor to bill an existing government contract to spend taxpayer funds on an “Educational Program Related to the Potential Gas Tax Repeal” “through Election Day”
  • Proof that state and local employees on government time have been actively supporting the No on Prop 6 campaign efforts
  • Email marked “Confidential” with plan to cut-off funding for Yes on Prop 6 campaign by lobbying key funders to “stand down.” Copy of plan specifies efforts be focused on Republican Members of Congress that “Democratic political operations will target most” for defeat in the November election.
  • Advisory from US Department of Transportation warning Caltrans that the “Your Tax Dollars at Work” SB-1 signs that some argue are campaign props are not compliant with federal regulations.

View the Rep. Calvert letter to DOT OIG
View the evidence

INVESTIGATION: Complaints and evidence will be filed Wednesday, Oct 3 with the District Attorney offices of San Francisco and Sacramento counties – and since federal funds are involved, Rep. Ken Calvert has forwarded the information to the US Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General.

The new evidence of misuse of taxpayer funds in a political campaign comes just weeks after a criminal complaint was filed against Caltrans for openly using contract resources to campaign against Prop 6

“This proves once again that state politicians and bureaucrats simply cannot be trusted to do what is right with our gas tax funds – they literally are using gas tax funds to support the distribution of campaign materials to raise the gas tax on working families,” DeMaio concluded.