Other county supervisors say Foley’s actions took funds away from her own constituents.
Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley was recently criticized by all four other supervisors for using county resources to promote her name ID at concerts and booths in the cities of Costa Mesa and Newport Beach, which are areas she does not represent.
The matter was brought up at an April 26 board of supervisors meeting, where Supervisors Andrew Do and Don Wagner said Foley is strategically using taxpayer resources in District 5, where she is running for election in, instead of District 2, which she currently represents.
“Your tax dollars should go to help you, in your district, where you are represented. And should not be allowed outside of the district – perhaps to campaign for an office,” Wagner said at the board meeting, according to Voice of OC, while noting that county staff, paid for by taxpayers, helped organize and attend events in both Newport Beach and Costa Mesa, which are District 5 cities, on behalf of Foley.
“That’s an abuse,” he added.
Supervisor Do added onto Wagner’s point, saying that using taxpayer dollars for county events is a necessary process for supervisors to reach out to their constituents, though it is inappropriate to use public funds to promote one’s name in the district a supervisor is running for right before an election.
“And when we do events within our own district, it’s easy. There’s no question there,” Do said. “The people we speak to are by definition our constituents. But when we do events that reach [out] to residents in cities that do not touch our district, then it leans more in the direction of self-promotion. And in an election cycle, maybe even campaigning.”
Foley is running for a different district than she is currently representing after district lines changed earlier this year, which was decided by the Board of Supervisors.
In front of the board, Foley argued that it was not campaigning, though the bipartisan board rebuked her, saying there would be no reason to spend resources on events outside of her own district if not to campaign and promote her own name.
“Each of us spends resources in our districts for the benefit of the residents of our districts. She is NOT spending resources in her district (D2) for the benefit of the residents of her district,” Wagner said in a text message to Voice of OC.
“She is spending them in D5 only because she is running for election there. So the residents of D5 get extra county resources while the residents of D2 get fewer.”
Wagner said Foley was effectively “short changing” her current constitutions by giving her district’s resources away for her own benefit.