Kathleen King

Rules to Consider Bill that Limits Nonprofit Political Spending

A gut-and-amend state Senate bill that would restrict nonprofits from spending taxpayer cash for political purposes has elicited opposition from K-12 and community college associations, various local governments—including San Jose—and the nonprofits that get money from them. That and more at Wednesday’s Rules and Open Government Committee meeting.

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Family Health Fiasco: King Broke Law by Asking Campos for Endorsement

The Santa Clara Family Health Foundation was created to help raise money to pay for poor children’s health insurance premiums. In recent years, however, the tax-exempt organization has also acted as a political entity, helping the South Bay Labor Council and Working Partnerships USA fund local tax measures through year-round planning and coordination. While there are some allowances for tax-exempt organizations to get involved in issue campaigns, nonprofits and public agencies cannot play a role in individual candidate campaigns. Kathleen King, executive director of the Health Foundation, has not always followed this rule.

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Family Health Fiasco: Cindy Chavez Wanted to Sue Metro

County supervisor candidate and labor organizer Cindy Chavez has not always been the biggest fan of San Jose Inside and Metro‘s coverage of local politics. In fact, she was so perturbed by a report in March about the political activities of the Santa Clara Family Health Foundation, on which she was previously a board member, that she suggested a lawsuit.

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Family Health Fiasco: Kathleen King Wanted Better Push Polls for Measure A

Push polls are a common occurrence in campaign season. They are designed to leave voters with a more positive or negative reaction to topics and/or individuals after answering questions. Political consultant Rich Robinson recently wrote a column on San Jose Inside about his distate for the leading questions, which are often asked without proper context, he argued. Based on email records obtained through a court order last week, it can be said that Kathleen King, executive director of the Santa Clara Family Health Foundation, does not share this opinion about push polls.

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Family Health Fiasco: Board of Supes President Lets Organized Labor Write His Letters

Kathleen King expressed concern earlier this year to Working Partnerships USA policy director Bob Brownstein that the city of San Jose would stop funding the Children’s Health Initiative (CHI) after Measure A passed in the 2012 election. As executive director of the the Santa Clara Family Health Foundation, King realized this would have an adverse effect on the foundation’s ability to continue operations. A plan was then set in motion to tap trusted elected officials.

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Family Health Fiasco, Part I: Foundation Funded Political Campaigns, Not Kids

A public agency created the Santa Clara Family Health Foundation more than a decade ago to fund the county’s groundbreaking children’s health care initiative, one that would guarantee that every child who needed a doctor’s attention would be seen. For the past three years, however, low income kids’ health insurance premiums have taken a backseat to personal ambition as Health Foundation officers ran for office, funded their $200k annual compensation packages and diverted money to pay for political consultants, mailings, public opinion polls, phone banks and ballot initiatives. All this transpired behind a shroud of secrecy that was lifted last week by Judge Carol Overton, who rejected SCFHF’s hard-fought legal battle to keep its activities out of the public’s view. Documents obtained as a result of last Friday’s superior court ruling show clearly that the Health Foundation repeatedly broke state laws by using a public agency’s funds and property to operate political campaigns in close coordination with local labor leaders.

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Judge Orders County to Release Health Foundation Documents

Metro and San Jose Inside scored a legal victory Friday with Judge Carol Overton’s ruling that the County of Santa Clara must release documents on the political activities of the nonprofit Santa Clara Family Health Foundation. The documents, handed over to Metro on Friday, shed new light on how a recent ballot initiative was passed, and how the South Bay Labor Council interacts with local nonprofits to advance its agenda.

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Nonprofit Executives Respond to Cindy Chavez Conflict Allegations

On March 24, Metro/San Jose Inside reported that Santa Clara Family Health Foundation (SCFHF) executive board member and officer Cindy Chavez participated in a board decision to provide $250,000 in funding to the Yes on A committee, on which she and Kathleen King—CEO of SCFHF—constituted a majority of the three-member committee. The committee subsequently turned over a large portion of the funds to the South Bay Labor Council Issues PAC and Democratic Central Committee’s PAC. Because of Chavez’s obvious conflicts of interest—she headed up the SBLC at the time—and the importance of a countywide sales tax increase, which will be paid by all residents, Metro/San Jose Inside felt this was a matter of public interest.

On Friday, nine nonprofit executives wrote a letter to express their thoughts on recent articles. They worry that investigative reporting could make nonprofits “the target of unfounded accusations and public reproach.” Because we feel this is a useful debate to have, and because we want to give differing points of view the proper attention they deserve, we are running below the letter in full, in addition to its appearance in the comments section where it was submitted. —Editor

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