Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Reed pays for memberships with taypayer money

The San Jose Mercury News is reporting that:

Since joining the San Jose City Council six years ago, Chuck Reed has charged city taxpayers for such things as his life membership in veterans organizations, donations to tsunami relief and cancer walks, and even his contributions to two political committees.

Examples of these expenses can be found here, and include:

Dec. 15, 2005: Wildlife Center Silicon Valley membership, $100

Nov. 3, 2005: Italian American Heritage Foundation membership, $100

Nov. 3, 2005: Outnow for AIDS benefit, $250

Aug. 17, 2005: Ad in El Observador newspaper for Mariachi Festival, $75

June 15, 2005: KTEH membership, $75

May 25, 2005: Juneteenth Sponsorship ad in program, $350

Jan. 23, 2005: Donation to Friends of Lan Nguyen for school board inaugural, $50

Jan. 14, 2005: Donation to Rotary Club Endowment for Tsunami Relief, $100

Nov. 23, 2004: Donation to Greenbelt Alliance, $500

Oct. 25, 2004: Councilwoman Pat Dando retirement dinner, $55

June 3, 2004: Gay Pride Parade program ad, $160

March 30, 2004: Donation to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, $100

Feb. 26, 2004: Ad in program for San Jose Fire Department 150th anniversary celebration, $500

Jan. 21, 2004: Donation to Tet Festival organizing committee, $500

Jan. 6, 2004: Donation to Equal Rights Advocates, $100

So, Reed is charging taxpayers for his KTEH membership? Making political donations on taxpayer money? How "honest" is it to do use taxpayer money for political donations and memberships to PBS?

Oh, and remember that Reed claimed that Chavez was a "freeloader?" Seems he missed the mark on that one too:

Reed last week accused Chavez of ``freeloading'' by attending such events without paying for them, but Schall said Chavez has checkbook records showing more than $13,000 in personal payments for such events and donations since she joined the council in 1999, a figure that doesn't include two years for which her checkbook register was stolen.

How do other councilmembers handle these expenses? They pay for them out of their personal accounts:

Council members have wide discretion over how they spend money from their office accounts. They must provide documentation for any expenses to the city clerk, who processes the payments. City Clerk Lee Price said the standard for expenses is that the funds must be used ``for official city business and/or in support of city business.'' But deciding what falls under that category generally is left to council members.

Based on interviews with some of Reed's council colleagues and their aides Monday night, it appears that his practice is unusual.

At least four council members say they only use their personal funds or officeholder accounts, which are funded by private donations.

``I'm real concerned that he has done that,'' said councilwoman Nora Campos, a Chavez supporter. ``I think it sets a bad tone and example.''

Councilwoman Judy Chirco said, ``My practice is I pay for it personally.''

Councilman Ken Yeager said he would ``never use city funds'' to pay for such items.

Councilman Forrest Williams said he uses personal funds for all memberships. But he only uses his city expense account for such purposes as a business trip or dinner that is related to his council duties.

It seems that Reed, when left to his own discretion, finds a justification to charge taxpayers for his personal memberships to organizations and donations to political campaigns. How "honest" are these actions? (especially given that he seems to be the only councilmember charging taxpayers for these items)

Just pointing out, once again, that "honesty" is more about actions then words.


At 8:37 AM, Anonymous ex-reed volunteer said...

Those definitely are powerful pieces of evidence.

Just wait for kid spinster Eric Anthony to waste away his day (and Reed's campaign resources) by writing anonymous comments all over your site. He'll explain it all away!

At 9:06 AM, Anonymous concerned dem said...

The best part of this scandal is that he used city funds for political gain. He made donations to Lan Nguyen and then was reimbursed. He then was endorsed by Nguyen and boasted of that endorsement at a press conference.

You scratch my back? I'll scratch yours.

Reed hammers away at ethics. But his hands are dirtier than anybody else's.

Did he really resist releasing his financial records for "policy considerations"? Come on! He knew how ridiculous his record is.

This is the same guy who claimed that he tries not to be a mooch or a freeloader off the city!

At the end of the day, he used city funds FOR POLITICAL GAIN.

At 9:40 AM, Anonymous concerned dem said...

an unrelated note: watch clinton spank fox news correspondant chris wallace here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPyQ4Ae6Ei0

check the video before fox news takes it down!

At 10:15 AM, Anonymous d.h.k. said...

Any posting on the "Cindy Letter" yet? I noticed that in the wake of the negative news about their golden boy, that was the only thing SJI could think of to write about.

As the election progresses, we're getting a clearer understanding of who Chuck is.

He knew about Norcal before anybody else vis a vis his backroom conversations with CWS et al. Yet he told nobody else. Why? So that he had an opportunity to grandstand and take a holier than thou attitude with respect to the rest of City Hall.

Now after claiming he opposes mooching and freeloading, we see that he has used city funds to garner political support.

He says one thing. Does another. Pretends to be ethical.

But you're right. Actions speak louder than words. This guy's a joke!

At 10:18 AM, Anonymous jessica1 said...

remember abt a month ago when sv411 posted abt councilmembers eating free food and lavishly enjoying the grand prix?

where's their article hitting chuck for the same conduct? hypocrisy at its finest.

At 11:35 AM, Anonymous larry hughes said...

This is awful news for the Reed campaign.

Even if he finds that Cindy did the same thing, he still looks to be in very bad shape. Cindy didn't do anything but defend herself. Chuck did the finger pointing. Chuck was the one preaching about freeloaders.

At 11:46 AM, Anonymous fed up said...

I don't care about Chavez but Reed just lost my vote.

At 2:14 PM, Anonymous George M said...

Reed should remember the old saying:

"Don't throw stones if you live in a glass house."

At 2:15 PM, Anonymous d.h.k. said...

I'm actually kind of curious how Chuck will try to sneak his way out of this one.

I still love the look on his face when he lied in the ABC interview claiming that he did not know about the conflict of interest prior to voting to approve alcohol sales at gas stations. He lies with a straight face.

What's the story this time???

At 2:27 PM, Anonymous almaden dad said...

Mr Reed:




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