Union Funnels More than $80,000 to Republican Candidates in OC

Despite a county Republican Party ban on endorsing office seekers who accept political contributions from labor groups, more than $80,000 from the Orange County Employees Association was funneled to Republican candidates through third-party groups, according to The Orange County Register.

Those political action committees or PACs — California Citizens for Fair Government and California Citizens Fighting Government Waste — had a part-time employee of county Supervisor Janet Nguyen, a Republican, as either their treasurer or principal officer, the newspaper reported.

From the Register’s article:

CCFG contributed money in 2010 to county Supervisor Janet Nguyen and her political allies Tony Lam, who was running for Midway Sanitary District, and Matthew Harper, who was running for Huntington Beach City Council, according to campaign finance records. CCFGW’s only donation to a political committee was a $1,800 donation in December 2012 to Nguyen’s campaign for supervisor, records show.

State law requires PACs that receive more than 80 percent of their funding from a single source to identify that source in their name, but CCFG didn’t, despite receiving 81 percent of its funding from OCEA, according to the Register:

Experts say PAC disclosure laws are intended to make it clear when money, such as OCEA’s, is channeled through secondary PACs.

Jessica A. Levinson, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, said the activities of CCFG and CCFGW raise legal questions because both committees had a sole source of funding for whole years at time without proper disclosure.

“Under the language of the code, they qualify as a sponsored committee and they need to adhere to the requirements of the code,” Levinson said.

“They need to identify themselves and include the name of the sponsors in their names.”

Click here to read the full Register story.

You can reach Nick Gerda at [email protected], and follow him on Twitter: @nicholasgerda.