Thursday, September 28, 2006

Mr. Reed you have some explaining to do

Today, buried in this Mercury story, we find that:

Among the questionable spending practices Reed has engaged in was his request to the city last February for $80 in $1 dollar cash increments so he could put them in red envelopes and hand them to children at the Vietnamese Tet Festival.

Reed said such use of public money was appropriate because it was part of a ``cultural activity. I'm there as a representative of the city.'"

So, Reed gave out dollar bills at a Tet Festival and somehow those who received the money were supposed to "know" that the taxpayers and NOT Reed have provided the funds? I highly doubt that anyone who received the money from Reed felt obligated to thank the taxpayers of San Jose.

Giving out dollar bills wasn't the only questionable expense Reed billed taxpayers for, memberships were high on his list as well, including lifetime memberships. Yes, those of us who are in the private sector do get reimbursed for some work related memberships in professional groups. For example, if you are a Public Relations professional one could expect their employer to pay for membership to Public Relations Society of America. However, one might also be a member of Rotary, maybe Toastmasters, and a number of other organizations that would provide for personal as well as business contacts. Would employers cover all of these memberships? No, they would not. And as Reed's employer, we the taxpayers, have the right to determine what is and is not related to his job, and Reed, as our employee, has the responsibility to not abuse how he spends our money.

And one has to wonder how honest Reed is when he tells us that he only became a member of the Berryessa Advisory Council when he was elected council member, especially given that he has been involved with them for 30 years. Additionally, maybe someone can explain to me how as taxpayers we are supposed to pay for Reed's KTEH membership.

In looking at the pdf's of Reed's reimbursements we can see that many of the invitations and requests for donations were sent to Reed's home address, and then Reed wrote personal checks out, checks that had both his name and his wife's name, yet Reed sought reimbursements from the taxpayers of San Jose. Did Reed ever note to the organziations that it the funds were being provided by the taxpayers of San Jose?

Further, a number of the events he attended were purely political, and if you view the pdf's of his reimbursements there is no question that the money raised from the event was going to political fundraising.

You can view all of Reed's reimbursements in an excel sheet here (, a site that the Chavez for Mayor campaign has put up).

In his "job" as council member no citizen would expect Reed to go broke attending community functions and events, at the same time all of the city council members are allowed to raise private funds to pay for items such as admission to events and ads in programs. Reed, at the very least, should have shown some restraint in how he sought reimbursement from taxpayers. Instead of restraint Reed choose to use our money for his own political gain, never once noting that it was taxpayer money, not his, that was funding his memberships, donations and advertising.

As I have previously posted, Reed's actions are nothing short of deceptive, a far cry from his "honest" campaign spin.


At 9:26 PM, Anonymous l. fitzy said...

Sounds like he bought quite a number of votes...



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