Every Supervisor in the County of San Diego gets a large “slush fund” that has ranged over the years, I believe, from half a million to a million taxpayer dollars. Basically, the Supervisors get to dole this money out to whatever nonprofits or projects they see fit. Over the years Supervisor Pam Slater has spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars subsidizing an arts community that should be self sufficient. It’s not that I don’t support art: I just don’t want to pay for what I don’t like. Further, I’d much rather the county spend its precious resources on more sheriffs, for instance.
The wasting of hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars wasn’t enough though. Slater, who is personally wealthy and makes more than $150,000 a year for her county job, then started taking gifts, in the form of trips and tickets, from the same arts groups she was giving taxpayer money. That’s quite a racket! Give taxpayer money, get good seats, don’t pay!
Well it turns out old Slater didn’t report of bunch of those gifts (actually reporting them would mean it would be pretty easy for county observers to link the taxpayer funded gifts with Slater’s free tickets to the Opera and the Globe Theater). She was investigated, and fined $2,000. Now this morning the Union Tribune (see how easy it is to credit a source, UT?) informs us that instead of paying the fine for taking gifts out of her own purse, like any reasonable person would do, Slater paid the fine out of her campaign funds.
She went to the shows. She enjoyed them personally. This had NOTHING to do with her campaign. Her Chief of Staff John Weil responded, in short, “the state allows it.” What is within the letter of the law, Pam and John, is not always the right thing.