Skip to comments.CA: Documents show Shelley aides told about consultants' activities
Posted on 09/25/2004 8:41:53 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
SAN FRANCISCO - Top deputies to Secretary of State Kevin Shelley were informed that consultants hired to do nonpartisan voter education work were attending Democratic events on his behalf and attempting to boost his public image, according to documents obtained by a newspaper.
Memos titled "Week-Ahead Reports" show that top officials in Shelley's office were routinely informed of the contractors' upcoming schedules and plans, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
A "Democratic Club" luncheon and efforts to "get exposure for KS (Kevin Shelley) in Southern California" were among activities mentioned in the memos.
The newspaper's report is the latest revelation in an inquiry about how California's top voting official used funds from the federal Help America Vote Act. State and federal authorities are investigating.
Separately, the beleaguered secretary of state also faces local, state and federal probes into allegations that money from a state grant was illegally funneled into his 2002 campaign for office.
In the voter-funds case, Shelley and senior secretary of state officials have tried to distance themselves from the actions of the consultants who were hired with the money, which was intended to educate voters and improve polling places.
They have said a management vacuum allowed some of them to engage in inappropriate activities.
Fred Hamdun, a former deputy secretary of state, told the newspaper he forwarded the memos to Shelley once a week and said the secretary of state did not raise concerns about the consultants' activities.
Hamdun handled some of the "Week-Ahead Reports," although not the specific ones obtained by the Chronicle.
The reports "were given to the secretary, per his request," Hamdun told the newspaper.
A spokesman for Shelley, John Patchner, said the memos were not produced consistently and did not give a complete picture of the consultants' activities.
"While they do provide a snapshot, it's a highly selective snapshot," Patchner said. "If all the contractors provided records like this and they ended up in the hands of a central HAVA (Help America Vote Act) director, these kinds of (activities) would not have happened."
Records of the consultants' activities show that they attended Democratic Party events, including fund-raisers, the Chronicle said. They also attended nonpartisan events, distributed voter guides and registration cards and conducted informational meetings at colleges and community forums.
One report by consultant Primitivo Castro said one of his goals for the next week was to "attend community events, get exposure for KS (Kevin Shelley) in Southern California."
Another consultant reported Feb. 5 that he planned to meet with television station representatives about the possibility of a program "featuring KS for Asian American audience."
Shelley announced Friday that he was terminating the contracts of 19 consultants and improving controls on how federal voter funds are spent in California.
He said the changes included establishing new reporting procedures and more detailed rules to ensure that election consultants' activities are proper.
"There have been a number of problems associated with HAVA, and it is my responsibility to take immediate action to address these problems," Shelley said in a statement. "I am the secretary of state and the chief elections officer for the state of California, and the buck stops here."
fyi -- the link for the article is incorrect.. I am at sea and am having some difficulty grabbing the URL. This article is available off the Monterey Herald if anyone complains about the link.
I hope the folks in California are reading this, and give Mr. Shelley a long vacation from public life.
"I hope the folks in California are reading this, and give Mr. Shelley a long vacation from public life."
It is a long road, rid one Dem at a time. It is helpful with Arnold as Gov., he needs to get on the stump with Bill Jones and dump Boxer.... I would keep Shelley for a BBoxer loss.