A quick perusal of Mrs. Linda Ackerman’s resume discovers her touting her “non-profit” experience. Well, we were a little curious what that might be, and boy were we somewhat surprised. It turns out that Mrs. Ackerman is co-founder and board member of something called the Pacific Policy Research Foundation located in Folsom, California, a corporation organized under the 501(c)(3) provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. Check it out here. “Purpose: promote common good and welfare of community.”
The sole evident purpose of this entity with the lofty-sounding title is to solicit donations from big industry and union lobbyists to pay for a week-long retreat in Hawaii for state legislators and those very same lobbyists who support the “Foundation.” The politicians pay their way out of their excess campaign funds, and once there, are the captive audience of the selfsame parasites they see at Spataro for lunch every day of the week. The “conference” is little more than a perfunctory morning schmooze fest with afternoons off for good behavior.
In 2007 then Senator Dick Ackerman made the arduous fact-finding trek to Maui, and we wonder whether Linda went, and if so whether she paid her own way, if Dick’s campaign foot her bill, or if maybe the Foundation picked up her tab as a board member. In this Sac Bee article (search for Ackerman) we read, in response to criticism about that junket:
“…Senate Republican leader Dick Ackerman of Irvine, who is attending the conference, said it provides top-notch panel discussions on energy, health care, water and other key issues.
“It’s extremely valuable,” Ackerman said.
Uh, yeah, right Dick. Whatever you say.
Well, Hawaii is in the Pacific. Other than that there seems to be zero relationship between the name of the group and the activity. There is no research (except, perhaps researching ways the lobbyists can stay under their gift allowances per legislator), and no charitable purpose at all. Their only other accomplishment seems to have been “updating” their website. Wow! What a busy year for the Foundation!
To add insult to injury, a 2007 LA Times article describes how the other co-founder, Sharon Leonard, wife of BOE member Bill Leonard, and Leonard’s BOE Deputy, Barbara Alby, actually got paid, and paid a lot, to ”organize” the annual Hawaii outings.
In the Sac Bee article the history of the Hawaiian luau of lobbyist love is outlined. Apparently the junket used to be a gig run by the fine gentlemen of the state prison guard union - until that racket was cut off; only to be taken over in 2005 by the apparently more subtle founders of the Pacific Policy Research Foundation operation. Well you have to give Mrs. Ackerman and her cohorts credit – they didn’t miss a trick.
We have to wonder just when the IRS is going to get wise and shut down this little philanthropic enterprise.
Too bad the people of the California and the 72nd wouldn’t get the kind of attention from Mrs. Ackerman that the lobbyists do. It’s a real cozy, incestuous, culture that the Ackermans are used to up there in Sacramento. Business as usual, in fact.