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Oakland Zoo operators under fire for alleged election law violations

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Zoo operators illegally posted campaign signs on public property.Robert Gammon at East Bay Express says the nonprofit East Bay Zoological Society that runs the Oakland Zoo appears to have illegally used taxpayer funds to promote Measure A1, the ballot initiative ostensibly intended to maintain and expand the zoo. The city attorney’s office has acknowledged at least one of them—signs (like the one pictured) posted at the zoo, which is public property, advocating for the measure. Says Gammon:

Public documents also show that the East Bay Zoological Society, which claims that it’s in desperate need of money and will have to discontinue programs for children if voters reject Measure A1, had spent $248,000 to promote the ballot initiative as of September 30, and wrote checks totaling $375,000 to a political committee it established to support the measure. Attendees of a recent political event say that the Zoological Society’s executive director told the audience that his organization plans to spend $1 million of its own funds to promote Measure A1.

Image: East Bay Express

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