John Hrabe of the Flash Report reports that a shady group calling itself the “California Republican Taxpayers Association” has been sending slate mailers that actually support tax hikes to registered Republican voters in the state. The group, which Hrabe says may be operating in violation of state law, purports to oppose taxes but–for the right price–misleads Republican voters by backing candidates and ballot measures that will raise taxes.
The “Astroturf” (i.e. fake grass-roots) organization is hard at work in 2014, taking in hundreds of thousands of dollars from political candidates this election cycle, Hrabe writes, despite being exposed in 2006 by journalist Steven Greenhut as being essentially non-existent.
The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers’ Association, the state’s most prestigious anti-tax group, says that the supposedly Republican group “has no bona fides as a legitimate taxpayer association.”
Hrabe’s investigation reveals questionable practices by the California Republican Taxpayers Association: “One of the few state laws governing slate mailers still on the books is a mandatory disclaimer….Multiple slate mailer samples published on the California Republican Taxpayers Association’s website show a substantially shorter disclaimer- just 52 words.” The group has also filed late campaign finance disclosure reports, Hrabe says.
Apparently, the California Republican Taxpayers Association actually sells its support, according to Hrabe: “On its website, it assures the public that the candidates and campaigns that pay for space on the mailer comply with its low-tax, Republican ideology….For the low price of $237, the “taxpayer” group sold its support for Measure F, a half-cent sales tax increase in Gilroy.”
Hrabe includes many other examples of the group selling its support.
Senior Editor-at-Large Joel B. Pollak edits Breitbart California and is the author of the new ebook, Wacko Birds: The Fall (and Rise) of the Tea Party, available for Amazon Kindle.
Follow Joel on Twitter: @joelpollak