The public relations and tax revenue fixated OC Children and Families Commission needs oversight. How do I know? Because of the amount of money these people pay to PR types and lobbyists – who just happen to be pals of Commission members. Hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, in fact.
Last year the Riverside County Board of Supervisors addressed the same issue when their “First 5″ Commission members were busted for distributing grants to their own organizations. Here’s a 2009 article from The Riverside Press-Telegram that talks about the problem. The solution proposed by the Riverside BOS was to subsume their “First Five” Commission into the County government structure.
Whether or not this sort of thing has been going on in OC is not known without a complete shakeout. But what is known is that the Commission has been paying for things like toothbrush distribution and facebook editing at a rate of $200 per hour – to a Matthew Cunningham, a pal of the current Commission Chairman, and a running board occupant of the John Lewis political machine.
Then there’s the small matter of the hundreds of thousands contracted for lobbying services to Phil Isenberg as well as our own local big-government gold digger – Anaheim Mayor for Hire, Curt Pringle.
It’s high time to place this Commission in a chain of command that puts ultimate responsibility in the hands of elected representatives – people who will have to account for grants and contracts awarded to political operatives, and to decide what sort of political lobbying, if any, is appropriate. And that would be the County Board of Supervisors.