The wheels of justice may grind slowly, but we sometimes wonder whether the wheels of the state Fair Political Practices Commission are spinning at all. Case in point: Three years ago, Ernie Dalidio filed a complaint with the FPPC, alleging election code violations in connection with the campaign against Measure J.
Dalidio claimed the group that provided the bulk of financing for the anti-J campaign — Responsible County Government LLC — violated election law when it failed to reveal the names of its members and also neglected to disclose the true purpose of a $220,944 loan it made to the “No on J” committee.
At its meeting next month, the FPPC is expected to levy fines and publicly release names of the Responsible County Government members.
We were tempted to lob a brickbat at the FPPC for lackadaisicalness. However, the agency is making an effort to deal with its backlog of cases and also to become more transparent. For example, it’s now posting the cases that it’s investigating on its website, www.fppc.ca.gov.
So we’ll drop the brickbat and toss a late-blooming bouquet to the FPPC. It took a while, but we’re glad to see the commission is requiring public disclosure of the identities of those who helped bankroll the campaign against Measure J. Not that they don’t have a right to contribute to a political campaign — we just believe the public has a right to know who they are.
Flowers for new First 5 center
We’re delivering a kid-friendly bouquet to the First 5 center that recently opened in Paso Robles. The center unites several programs — including a preschool, family support services and a library study center open to all ages — at a single site on the city’s west side.
First 5 is a statewide program funded by a 50-cent tax on packages of cigarettes, approved by voters in 1998.
Other programs and agencies also were involved in the Paso project, including the county Office of Education, the Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County and the Paso Robles Redevelopment Agency. Private donors contributed as well.
It’s been shown time and again that investments in early childhood education pay huge dividends in the future, and we’re glad to see local and state organizations joining together to ensure the youngest residents of Paso Robles will be off to a good start.
Kudos to Pismo for higher grade
In these days of grade inflation, a “C” generally isn’t something to brag about. Yet we were pleased to see that Pismo Beach at least got a passing grade of “C” on this year’s water quality report card issued by Heal the Bay. Pismo, as you may recall, has been plagued by high bacteria counts in water samples taken near the pier. A recent study linked the contamination to pigeons or, more precisely, to pigeon poop.
Last year, Pismo got a “D” in the annual Heal the Bay survey, so the “C” is an improvement, and for that, Pismo earns a beach-grass bouquet.