$160,000 for Partisan Office Renovations

The Assembly office that assists Democratic members with press releases and constituent mail recently received $160,000 in new carpet, paint, drywall and other renovations – more than double the original budget of $80,000 for the work.

The Democratic Office of Communications and Outreach, located in the Legislative Office Building across the street from the Capitol, received more than $93,000 for new carpet and $46,000 to repaint the space.

“This is a political operation and they’re spending taxpayer money,” said Jon Coupal of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

John Casey, a spokesman for Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, justified the spending, stating that the carpet was more than 15 years old. “The office was incredibly dated,” Mr. Casey said. “It was incredibly worn.”

Both parties have caucus staff in the Legislative Office Building, responsible for such things as mailing fliers, setting up town halls and drafting press releases. During legislative election campaigns, many of the employees are strongly urged to take time off work to volunteer for campaigns in swing districts. (Source: The Sacramento Bee, August 30.)

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