When is a political campaign neither political nor a campaign?

By Kelly McGee
California law prohibits government officials from using taxpayer dollars “for the purpose of urging the support or defeat of any ballot measure.” But on February 13, in the meeting room of the Santa Ana Unified School District, school officials revealed a political campaign that began with shaping public opinion and will end in November with a district-wide vote on a bond measure that will cost residents hundreds of millions of dollars.

TAGS: school bonds, Stanson v. Mott

Officials Ditch Claim About ‘Benefits’ of High Property Taxes

By Catrin Thorman
Flyers distributed in Capistrano Unified School District schools and the main office promote the district’s upcoming $889 million property tax increase as a benefit to homeowners. That claim would appear to be a political response to criticism of Measure M, the controversial bond on the South Orange County district’s November 8 ballot. Critics have said...

TAGS: Capistrano Unified School District, Kamala Harris, Measure M, Stanson v. Mott

Survey Says! How One City Used a 'Poll' to Raise Taxes

By Andrew Heritage
On Halloween 2014, Stanton, California, city manager James Box wrote to the city’s residents. City officials were at the end of a year-long campaign to stampede residents toward acceptance of Measure GG, creating a one-cent city sales tax, the first of its kind in Orange County. They had warned residents that failure to approve the...

TAGS: California, Stanson v. Mott, Stanton