State audit finds Hill skirting campaign finance law

July 11, 2014
Adam Hill

Adam Hill


An audit conducted by the California Franchise Tax Board has revealed that San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Adam Hill failed to properly disclose nearly $70,000 in campaign expenditures during his most recent run for office.

The California Political Reform Act, passed by voters in 1974, requires the Franchise Tax Board to audit state and local campaigns to determine whether they maintain compliance with elections regulations. The Franchise Tax Board audits different areas in each election cycle, and it recently completed an audit of the 2012 San Luis Obispo County supervisorial campaigns.

In an April 30 report, a tax board auditor wrote that the campaigns of Frank Meacham, Ed Waage, Debbie Arnold and Jim Patterson prepared financial statements that were substantially accurate and complete. But, the report stated that Hill did not disclose $68,059 in payments that firms made on his behalf.

State law requires candidates to disclose payments of $500 or more made by agents or contractors on behalf of political campaigns. For instance, if a candidate pays an advertising agency to purchase radio and television commercials, the campaign must disclose how the agency spends the money.

In May 2012, Hill reported making payments totaling $60,220 to an advertising and public relations firm to use for television and radio advertising. He did not disclose, though, what advertising the firm purchased on his behalf.

The tax board did not indicate that Hill faces any penalty for the violation. The April 30 report states that the tax board contacted Hill’s treasurer, Sharon McMahan, and she said she would try to report sub-vendor information correctly in the future.

Earlier this year, another state agency also notified Hill that he had violated a campaign finance regulation. In March, the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) issued a warning letter to Hill for misstating the occupation of developer Gary Grossman.

Last year, Grossman donated $1,000 to Hill in the same week that the supervisor attended a groundbreaking for one of Grossman’s Pismo Beach developments. But, Hill listed Grossman, the president of Coastal Community Builders, as retired on a campaign financial statement.


Hmmm, will Adam visit Al in prison?

Ben Daho

forgot he’d get caught? And, here he is.. “bygones”


Yes but isn’t he cute? Just look at those dimples. Must have been how he attracted

Dee Torres.


Has anyone ever tried a kinder approach to Mr Hill? Maybe all this bullying is just making matters worse.. Just saying as I have been bullied almost all my life due to poor parenting skills on my parents behalf.. Over indulgent due to lack of good parenting. happened. I was lucky to survive it all.I think I am going to take a kinder stance on Mr Hill and see if this changes.. I have not heard one kind thing about Mr Hill and others.. Just seems a little unbalanced.


Lack of bad parenting skills .. Whoops.. Reason to edit before you post,

Ben Daho

O.k. I’ll bite. Go ahead. Post something kind. Taps foot waiting.


The other day, Facebook put a suggest post on my feed from Adam Hill about job growth in SLO County, and the only comment on it was from Jan Marx. So I took the opportunity to point out that the only growth they are responsible for is the unending growth of public jobs despite minimal population growth. Rather than respond to my comment, they deleted it and blocked me from the page. Maturity at it’s finest.


LOL……….Same thing with us as we are non supporters of his staunch supporters here in Morro Bay, the mayor Jamie Irons along with Christine Johnson and the Smuckler. They all worship the ground Marx and all the rest of the whack jobs walk on. Waiting for Joey Racano to rescue the orbit.


Is this really news. Adam Hill failed to report, he mislead the public, he lied, he did this, he did that. We all know what he is, yet he is still in office. The criminals are truly in charge anymore.


Look I like to beat up on Adumb Ant as much as the rest, but if you disclose that you paid an ad firm 60K, it is pretty obvious that it is going for political ads.

Kevin Rice

Or payoffs.


Or panga boats


Or medallions


C’mon, folks, lighten up; I have no love for Hill (he is an embarrassment) but this looks like a simple filing error…. Give it a rest, CCN

Kevin Rice

It’s not an error. Is failure to read and understand the rules. Four other candidates did it right. When your campaign is well over one hundred thousand dollars you should especially ensure you have an above average treasurer. Same problem with Caren Ray. Shoddy, below par reporting.

Adam should amend his 2012 reports to disclose the expenditures.


You are almost right, as with people in this camp it is not a filing error, as we have heard before it’s just a “clerical error”. Do Mr. Hill and Ms. Ray use the same clerical staff?