Back a few weeks ago, when Santa Ana Assistant City Manager Cindy Nelson announced her retirement, Councilman Sal Tinajero spoke to the Voice of OC about the transition. He described the departures of Nelson and City Attorney James Fletcher as part of the ushering in of a new era in Santa Ana city government, one that, he said, will be marked by transparency and more council authority. Interesting that he said that because we’ve heard this all before. We heard it back in 2006 when Tinajero took office for his first term on the Santa Ana City Council.
For Sal Tinajero however, transparency government doesn’t extend to his campaign finance reporting. Back on October 7, 2010 I wrote about Tinajero’s reporting problems in my story Santa Ana’s Councilman Tinajero breaks another law. At that time Councilman Tinajero had failed to file his required campaign finance report as required, ultimately submittingÂ it two days past due. Being a teacher and all, you would think that Tinajero could learn from his mistakes. Nope, not Sal.
The year end campaign finance reports were due to the Santa Ana City Clerk on Monday, January 31, 2011. On Monday afternoon February 7th Tinajero’s report was still unavailable and the City Clerk was unresponsive to my request as to when it might be available. We just received Tinajero’s report, it was stamped in at the Clerk’s ooffice at 4:17 pm, seven days late. So for the last two required campaign report filings, Sal Tinajero has been late with his homework. Homework, which is key to election campaign finance transparency. If I though it would do any good, I would suggest we send Tinajero to detention after class.
So let’s recap: Tinajero claimed in 2006 the it was a new day of change and transparency in Santa Ana government. Four years later he claims the same thing even though the record of the city, and Tinajero himself, seems to indicate that not much has changed since 2006. So far, I think we can set Tinajero’s grade for Transparency Class at “F.”
Looks like Sal’s got some more homework to do. I wonder if he’ll turn it in on time?