County Assessor David Butler, who last March used the public email system to announce his campaign for the seat to employees, is now — three weeks from the election — taking credit for public funds being donated to charity.
Butler sent an official county press release this morning, proudly announcing “his” donation of $10,000 to the Polinsky Children’s Center, although the monies are public funds generated by his office for the sale of photos taken during marriage ceremonies. A worthy contribution maybe, but not “his” when it comes to public funds.
The County of San Diego has in place a policy, at least for the Board of Supervisors, making it clear that any “community enhancement” contributions to non-profit organizations must be noted as coming from the county, at the request of the individual supervisor. The supervisors’ “slush funds” have been under scrutiny in recent months, at least part of the reason the pool of monies has been reduced and tighter grant policies are now in place.
Timing is everything, especially for a guy running for office, on the ballot in a few weeks and requesting voters consider him for a seat to which he was appointed by the Supervisors. Butler faces Ernie Dronenberg in the November 2 run-off election.
The emailed press release was sent to all Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk employees, over 400, this morning just after 8:00 a.m., and likely was sent to the media at the same time.