Earlier this week, right-wing bloggers George Rebane and Russ Steele grabbed the June newsletter of the county Democrats and poked fun at them. Barry Pruett, the Tea Party supporter who lost the clerk-recorders race but has become more vocal politically, joined in the fun too.
So I decided to peek at highly conservative CABPRO’s July newsletter, which is published online. George and Russ are CABPRO fans, AKA the California Association of Business Property and Resource Owners. The newsletter is here.
All of them preach the need for government accountability and transparency — and the need (in their words) to be a “truth squad of sorts” for the public, elected officials and media. But what about CABPRO? They have membership dues, accept donations and have paid advertising in their newsletter.
CABPRO calls itself a non-profit. But its newsletter reads: “We have deliberately declined the 501c3 status for two reasons. The private corporation designation allows us to keep our membership confidential, and it frees us from unnecessary outside controls.”
That sounds like a double standard in philosophy to me — shining a light on others but not yourself.
CABPRO’s website lists the following under the heading “board of directors.”
Kimberly Janousek, Chair (of B&C Hardware)
Klrk Pharis, Vice Chair
Martin Light, Executive Director
Thom Forsythe, CABPRO Media Productions
Richard Marshall, Corporate Community Outreach
Russell Steele, Science and Perspectives
Russ claims he is not a board member. “I am a freelance writer that has a gig to write for the CANPRO Report. I was asked to consult on AB32 issues given my long term relationship with environmental issues, and I have given some pro-bono advise on the subject. I am not a Board member, not do I plan to be a Board member.”
Though he claims to give “pro-bono advice” on AB32, is Russ paid for the freelance writing gig? I asked that on his blog and George’s blog this week, but got no response.
If Russ is paid, he should disclose that. If Russ is not paid, I think he should disclose his affiliation with CABPRO as the “sciences and perspectives” guy (as stated on the website masthead) on his blog. The readers of Sacramento Connect, sacbee.com’s blogging network, might want to know that too.
On the other hand, CABPRO is not a 5013c, so we cannot review its financial documents for independent confirmation anyway.
We also don’t know what Martin Light is paid as ED or any of the others. We don’t know anything about CABPRO’s financials, as with 5013c’s in our county.
All told, if you preach accountability and transparency, you should lead by example.
CABPRO owes its members and the community some more transparency.