Adam Hill using government resources in election bid

June 5, 2012

Adam Hill


San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Adam Hill’s use of his office in his bid for reelection appears to be a violation of Government Codes 54964 and 8314, which ban government officials from using public resources including buildings, computers or phones to discourage or support a ballot measure or political campaign.

On June 1 at about 2 p.m., Hill was forwarding links to a positive and misleading article written by Tribune reporter Bob Cuddy titled “Nastiness increasing in 2 SLO County supervisory campaigns,” using his San Luis Obispo County Supervisor email.

Cuddy’s piece slams Hill’s opponent Ed Waage while praising Hill as the only candidate who had not reported negative issues on radio advertisements or fliers. Cuddy did not include negative campaigning on Hill’s website and instead touted Hill as an opponent of negative advertising.

In what appears to be an attempt to hide his action, Hill sent the emails in a way that the names of recipient are hidden.

While no criminal penalty exists for violating government code 54964, Government Code 1222 makes a willful violation of any of the provisions by a government official a misdemeanor.

Hill did not respond to requests for comment.


This is the trouble with our two-party oligarchy government.

We are trained from primary school that there are two political parties, and you have to vote for one or the other. Oh, they may blah-blah-blah about “independet” or “third party,” but the message we are programmed with is “if you don’t vote for a Democrat or Republican, you are wasting your vote.”

If more voters would ignore what their party recommends, think for themselves, and vote for the candidate they feel will do the best job, we would not have this kind of programmed automatic unethical judgments…where if your own party does it, it is somehow magically okay, but if the other party does it, it is dead wrong, and they need to be investigated and prosecuted–and not necessarily in that order.


Do you even know how many politicians would lose their elections if we simply removed the party affiliation after every candidates name?

Simply remove the (R) and (D) and see how they fare. What? Voters have to actually know which to vote for based on…? Knowledge of the candidate and his/her positions? Gasp! Say it ain’t so!

It’s been a mess ever since the mid 1800’s and is not likely to improve. Sorry to be a downer.

The Gimlet Eye

The “Two-Party System” is a scam and a fraud.

I’m a Libertarian because anybody who would advance the views of Menger, Mises, or Rothbard will get my vote.

Libertarian candidates will, the others won’t (except for Ron Paul, who has run for president on the Libertarian ticket in the past).


Does anybody understand that it isn’t legal to use county property for personal use and especially during an election? Adam Hill is supposed to be utilizing his office and the equipment that the tax payers have provided for tax payer business. Likewise he should be working on his campaign on his own time and on his own dime, not mine. What is it that some of you don’t get about that?

When Tom Bordonaro did this, everybody was up in arms. This isn’t a partisan issue, this is about our elected officials failing to follow the rules and conduct themselves with integrity. It’s that simple.


Cindy: it is always a partisan issue. I wish it weren’t, but just look at how Bush gets hammered for all the stupidity he did, but when Obama doubles-down on it, nothing…

Unfortunately it happens at the local level as well.

Anthony V. Toscano

“Hill did not respond to requests for comment.”

As well he shouldn’t. Responding to this article would require a bit of stooping.

“…Hill was forwarding links to a positive and misleading article written by Tribune reporter Bob Cuddy…”

Ms. Velie, Where does this article attempt to *lead* voters? To an objective assessment of the issues that most affect citizens, or toward a negative assessment of one candidate?

I am neutral when it comes to this particular political contest’s involved personalities. If your “reporting” were as neutral and objective, I’d consider your articles newsworthy.


AVT, the article did not make reference to “lead voters”. It simply referred to the article as being misleading. No use of the word “voters” anywhere. Stoop away!


Anthony, Bob Cuddy wrote a bias article in favor of Adam Hill but worse, he denigrated Ed Waage claiming he was running negative radio adds while holding Adam Hill up as a golden boy who was taking the high road where campaign diplomacy was concerned. To read Cuddy, one would think that all the fact finding reports surrounding Adam Hill were nothing but 100% fabrications. Oh poor Adam Hill.

That is so typical of Bob Cuddy to ignore the facts while running his own negative,one sided slop. Take a look at Adam Hills web site. He has a photo of Waage next to a large photo of KARL ROVE! Hill also had his friends go over to a site called Topix and post the most disparaging untruths about Waage and then Hill posted links to his friends outrageous posts. Check out Topix – “Ed Waage, The Statesmen Down & Dirty”

Adam Hill has ran a dirty and dishonest campaign right from the start and I find it interesting that you don’t have a problem with Hill sending out fraudulent mailers that indicate the Republican Party has endorsed him. Come to think of it, I recall when Bordonaro did the same thing with a Democrat mailer and the libs all raised hell, even I did. But somehow, it’s Ok for Hill to do it. What a bunch of hypocrites


Anthony V. Toscano


First permit to say that it’s a pleasure to speak with you.

I understand your concerns regarding how a candidate — *any* candidate — conducts a campaign. As citizens and voters we need to be concerned about how elected officials conduct themselves.

I’ll choose not to discuss my opinion about what you call “fraudulent mailers” sent out by Mr. Hill, not because I don’t see your point of view and respect the same, but because that isn’t the issue I tried to address today, about this latest article by Karen Velie.

CCN has a section labeled “Opinion.” When Ms. Velie labels Mr. Cuddy’s article “misleading,” she presents he opinion. When she writes, “In what appears to be an attempt to hide his action, Hill set the emails in a way that the names of recipient [sic] are hidden.” she states her opinion. When Karen Velie states that Bob Cuddy’s article “slams” Ed Waage, she states her opinion.

This article should be labeled as “Editorial Opinion” and placed accordingly.

I admit that I am “old school” when it comes to journalistic standards. It makes no difference to me who the reporting writer is, objective reporting is first-page news. Editorials are not.

Although Ms. Velie appropriately uses the words “appears to be a violation” within her article proper, she titles her article as if her allegation were proven fact. I do not consider this type of reporting to be ethical.


If hill is sitting in his office and working on his campaign, even if it is talking to a campaign worker on the phone, he is “…using government resources in reelection bid,” just how the title reads.


Thank You for your reply. I don’t necessarily disagree that this article might have been more appropriate as an op-ed, however I believe this clearly comes down to a matter of the semantics where your demonstrative analogy of opinion verses fact, is concerned.

1). “When Ms. Velie labels Mr. Cuddy’s article “misleading,” she presents her opinion.”

The article is in fact misleading. Mr Cuddy states that Hill is avoiding the unpleasant dirty tactics of running a negative campaign despite the radio adds from the Waage camp. I already pointed out to you that this is not true. Mr Cuddy only needed to look at Adam Hills site to note the attacks on Waage. Especially where the photo of that notorious, manipulative, sycophant, KARL ROVE is pasted next to Waage. Then there is the matter of the nasty Topix links……So I agree that Karen probably has an opinion but it is an opinion about a FACT.

2). “When she writes, “In what appears to be an attempt to hide his action, Hill set the emails in a way that the names of recipient [sic] are hidden.” she states her opinion.”

Yes, well he did hide the action, not that it was inappropriate and utilizing the BBC was certainly the most resourceful means to address a wide audience of private citizens while maintaining the confidentiality of their e-mail addresses. However, again, it is a FACT. He did hide the recipients names and while we know it was intentional and reasonably so, she did say, “in what appears to be an attempt to hide his action”. (please be mindful that I am only addressing your opinion that Karen has posted an opinion rather than a fact based news brief).

3). “When Karen Velie states that Bob Cuddy’s article “slams” Ed Waage, she states her opinion.”

Bob Cuddys article clearly slams Ed Waage. How can you say that it is a matter of opinion? Go read it and come back and tell me that it doesn’t slam Ed Waage. I believe that Karen stated another obvious fact.

Besides, in my opinion, the Tribune deserved it, turn about is fair play, no?


Anthony…. do you follow the guidlines of the Columbia School of Journalism/? What about the peer of American journalism, Walter Lippman ? Too many people don’t even know of Lippman…tragically even writers, reporters and editors. Publishers are just whores for their advertisers.

Anthony V. Toscano

Slowerfaster, I am familiar with both the Columbia guidelines (for journalism as well as for “social media”), although I am not a journalist.

I am, however, a faulted but careful writer. As well, I am a reader who holds journalists to high standards.

I admired Walter Lippman, both as a journalist and as a thinker. One of his main contentions was that journalists oftentimes tended to write about issues and people based on the journalists’ preconceived notions rather than on the facts resulting from their investigations. (NB: facts are not equivalent to “truth.”) This point is, I believe, a poignant one that applies to this discussion of Karen Velie’s article.

Lippman told us that a journalist’s job is to relay facts to the reading public, so that the *public* can form opinions. I agree with Lippman, and I believe that the reporters here at CCN oftentimes display a lack of respect for their readers by “urging” them toward certain opinions, sometimes toward opinions that the reporters themselves most apparently hold dear.

I last night noticed in the “Comments” section of a separate article here on CCN that Karen Velie said, “CCN does not do editorials.” She went on to make a distinction between CCN’s “Opinion” pieces and editorials. I can understand that what Ms. Velie refers to as “Opinion” pieces flow into this site from readers, in much the same way as these comments flow. But when Karen Velie, or any CCN reporter, places an article replete with the reporter’s opinions, on what amounts to this site’s front page, that article is indeed an editorial; and as such that article is inappropriately presented.


The only reason Hill didn’t respond for requests for comment is because because his campaign manager had him wearing a ball-gag.

Just speculating…I can’t think of any other reason for Adam Hill to suddenly stop demonstrating his nincompoopery, in the form of a public statement to the press, at any available moment.


Mary, please move to Wisconsin. You belong there.



You left out the part where this wouldn’t have happened if Sunny Acres was still open. And you also forgot to blame the cops!

I used to enjoy CCN but I have to agree with the majority on this one. Now I mostly read CCN for a laugh.


If you come here for laughs, perhaps you should expand your list of comedy sites:


If Adam were still talking to the press, perhaps he could shed some light on this, namely:

1) How many recipients did he send this to?

2) Did he do it from work?

3) Did he do it with intent to garner votes?

Babak Naficy

who cares about the answer to these questions. It probably took him all of 15 seconds to forward the article to a predefined list of recepients. You are being ridiculously partisan.


If Adam were still talking to the press, no doubt he could clear it up in a heartbeat.



Since when does the length of time it takes to commit a crime have any impact whatsoever on the seriousness of the crime?

It takes less time to commit many crimes, such as committing fraud by snaking personal info from internet accounts. Shooting someone also takes less than 15 seconds.


Mr. Naficy. I can only imagine your reaction to this alleged misuse of public property if the roles were reversed and Mr Hill was challenging an incumbent Waage. You would be foaming at the mouth.


Mr. Naficy NEVER foams at the mouth . . .


I’m with slow (and SLO) on this one. Seems like a stretch, and doubly so on election day.

Cheers for the laugh, though; claiming it was a “misleading article” without showing the slightest bit or irony given the content of the post. Seems like everything lately is a one-way mirror.


“In what appears to be an attempt to hide his action, Hill set the emails in a way that the names of recipient are hidden.”

Bullshit. It is common email courtesy to put the recipient list in the BCC field so as to not disclose the email addresses of other recipients.

You guys are terrible journalists.

Hell, I don’t think you really _are_ journalists.


It will be very difficult to beat the Hill-Cuddy team.


So Hill forwarded an email, and the headline is “using government resources in election bid?” Seems like a pretty big stretch, particularly on election day.

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