The fight over Measure D - KUSI News - San Diego, CA

The fight over Measure D

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SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — On Friday, Chargers were leveled against the County Taxpayers Association, an opponent of Measure D, for attempting to deceive the public.

Speaking in support of Measure D, Donna Frye of California's Aware said the Taxpayers Association, in its campaign ads, failed to disclose who paid for the ads and improperly filed disclosure statements.

On Friday's Good Morning San Diego, Frye charged these were violations run afoul of the city's campaign disclosure rules.

Related Link: Former San Diego city council member Donna Frye speaks on Measure D

This includes radio ads the Taxpayers Association is running to defeat Measure C, which includes a 5 percent increase in the hotel tax that allows for an off-site expansion of the Convention Center if the hoteliers fund it, but no money for a stadium.

Frye charges it's not the Taxpayers Association PAC that's funding the ads, but hoteliers.

"We just learned whose paying for them we have the campaign filings that over $100 thousand has been spent by the hoteliers to defeat Measure D, and they haven't properly disclosed who paying for it," Frye said.

The problem is there was no officials PAC listed against Measure D on the city's website or the Secretary of State's website.

"My PAC treasurer reached out to the ethics commission long before, weeks before we began any campaign activity to solicit some guidance and she followed that guidance," said Haney Hong of the Taxpayers Association.

The guidance came from the Ethics Commission and related to filing disclosure statements. The Association, a county committee PAC, mistakenly believed it had to file with the county only, not the city, which is required.

The Ethics Commission, through its due diligence, caught the error which has been corrected.

"I think that the proponents of Measure D want to focus on the process because they want to distract from the substance of Measure D and Measure D is dangerous, Measure D is bait and switch that promises a number of  of things but actually hide other problems with the measure," Hong said.

Frye sees all of this as a lack of transparency.

"The public has a right to know whose funding these smear campaigns and they have a right to expect that if the San Diego County Taxpayers Association is going to be funding these and taking hotelier contributions to run false and misleading ads that they disclose it," Frye said.

As of the last filing period ending October 22, proponents of Measure D had 922,000 collected. There were no disclosure statements from the Taxpayers Association.

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