|Politically Exploited Employees?|
(Mod: "Contrary to law." And to think is was the Mayor, their boss, that did this.)
Back to our regularly scheduled program: Yesterday we discussed the highly controversial "Yes On UUT" postcard and how the unfortunate abuse of uniformed Sierra Madre Police and Fire Department personnel found there, and in what was basically a political advertisement for a tax increase ballot initiative, was quite possibly a violation of California election laws.
If you click here you will be taken to a page titled "Police Officer Employee Rights in California." There is a section that deals with "political activity" and what is and isn't permitted by state law. Here is what it says about our topic for today:
A police officer has the right to pursue public office and participate in politics. However, a police officer must be off duty when engaging in political activities in the state of California. In addition, a police officer must be out of uniform before participating in political meetings or functions. A police officer may not wear her uniform while campaigning for public office or while supporting a political candidate.
The people responsible for both this postcard, along with the illegal use of the picture above (among others), is the "Yes On Measure UUT Committee." And who exactly comprises this committee? Would you believe it is headed up by the Mayor of Sierra Madre, Nancy Walsh? Here is this committee's CA Form 410 paperwork:
Since the YES On Measure UUT Committee is headed up by the Mayor of Sierra Madre, who may therefore be required to take her portion of the blame for exploiting our Police and Fire Departments for political purposes, this does put them in a bad position. After all, the perpetrator is also their boss.
My hunch is that the Mayor of Sierra Madre did authorize the use of photos of both Chiefs, and in their uniforms, for a political postcard without even bothering to ask them. Along with all of the other uniformed Police and Fire Department people who appeared on the Yes On UUT postcard.
In other words they were exploited by their rude employer for a political purpose. And in a way that may very well have violated state political campaign laws.
As employees I can't imagine they are feeling too comfortable about this right now.