Adam Hill won’t address campaign finance irregularities
February 25, 2016
By CCN STAFF
San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Adam Hill has responded with insults and claims of harassment to questions about his latest campaign filing report.
In his 460 report for the last six months of 2015, Hill reported $2,461.72 paid for Facebook advertising through his personal account as a “non-monetary expense.”
While a candidate can donate as much as they like to their campaign, they must put that money into their campaign account first, and purchase the advertising from there, according to campaign finance laws.
In addition, Hill reported a non-monetary donation of $30 for whiskey, snacks and CDs for a raffle.
Jay Wierenga, communications director with the Fair Political Practices Commission, was asked this week about claiming payments for advertising as a non-monetary expense. Wierenga said that generally the candidate would “either have to pay the credit card bill from campaign funds or the candidate would have to put personal funds into the campaign bank account and then pay the bill.”
“The bill should not be paid for from personal funds directly,” Wierenga wrote in an email. “Generally speaking, all campaign expenditures should be paid for by and with campaign funds.”
Last week, activist Ron Crawford sent Sharon McMahan, Hill’s campaign treasurer, an email asking if Hill’s donations to his campaign “are correctly listed in the ‘non-monetary contributions received.’ ”
McMahan did not respond to the email. Instead, Hill pronounced Crawford’s questions as annoying his campaign — and then refused to answer those questions.
“Please stop bothering my campaign staff,” Hill responded on Feb. 22 from his county email address.
In response to CalCoastNews questions about the Facebook ads and donation from the SLO County Democratic Party, Hill castigated a reporter in a string of increasingly contentious emails. Last year, Phillips 66 made a $5,000 donation and PG&E made a $6,000 donation to the SLO County Democratic Party during a filing period the only candidate the party provide a donation to was Hill.
Again Hill declined to answer the questions. Hill instead repeats a false assertion he and an affiliate often make — that a reporter has a history of mental illness.
In one email Karen Velie asks, “Both PG&E and Philips 66 gave more than $5,000 to the central committee and the only candidate the central committee gave money to is you. Also please
explain the Facebook ads. The requirements for disclosure are to provide transparency.”
Hill responds with untrue claims that Velie crawled under a table in a creative writing class Hill taught more than 10 years ago.
“Certainly I am at the center of all your crazed conspiracies,” Hill wrote. “Let me know if we can help you find some mental healthcare; you’ve needed it for a long time now, ever since you fell apart in my class and you crawled under the table crying. Who knows what your life would be like had you gotten the help you need.”
Hill has had issues with his financial disclosures in the past.
In Feb. 2015, Hill was fined $2,500 for failing to properly maintain campaign records during his 2012 bid for the District 3 seat, according to the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC).
A random audit conducted by the California Franchise Tax Board on all 2012 San Luis Obispo County Supervisor candidates revealed that Hill failed to timely report fifteen payments of $500 or more, totaling $68,058.73 and that the other four candidates had prepared financial statements that were substantially accurate and complete.