Joe Simitian takes exception with the notion that he isn’t transparent. But on Tuesday, the recidivist county supervisor waxed pedantic, crashing the Finance and Government Operations Committee meeting to argue that the county could get sunburned by a new policy of publishing county officials’ calendars. Unlike his supervisor colleagues Ken Yeager and Dave Cortese, who support the idea, Simitian lamented the suddenly fashionable sunshine movement. After having his state Assembly and Senate calendars cloaked the last dozen years, Simitian says he thinks having the people who pay his salary (the public) know how he’s spending his time could hamper his ability to consort with community stakeholders, as well as reveal his political playbook to special interests. Or, could it have something to do with Simitian’s perpetual fundraising? After easily winning last year’s District 5 June primary, Simitian traversed the peninsula to raise funds for his officeholder account, which—unlike candidate campaigns—has no monetary restrictions. In just the last three months of 2012, Simitian took in more than $46,000 and spent $58,064. Some of his more interesting payouts went to: the Santa Clara County Democratic Central Committee’s United Democratic Campaign ($2,500), which is coordinating with the Cindy Chavez campaign and bankrolling mailers calling Democrat Teresa Alvarado a Republican darling; President and Fellows of Harvard College ($5,000); the “Simitian for County Central Committee 2016” ($7,500); and an assortment of plane tickets and dinner tabs in December. With aspirations to run someday for U.S. Congress, current county rules would allow Simitian to take whatever money is in his officeholder account and apply it to a different campaign committee in the future. That could be why he refused an appointment to the county’s Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO), which restricts its members from raising more than $250 from people who have business with the board.
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