By Anne Krueger
Monday, November 23, 2009 at 4:24 p.m.
Oct. 1: Assemblyman's campaign fund transactions raising questions
Oct. 8: Inquiry opens in Anderson finances
Nov. 18: GOP official quits over Anderson transactions
Nov. 21: La Mesa lawmaker’s mailer targets rival
Assemblyman Joel Anderson has broken his silence.
In an interview before Sunday’s Mother Goose Parade in El Cajon, the La Mesa Republican defended sending a campaign-style mailer at taxpayer expense. The pamphlet was about a bill he introduced prohibiting an elected county official from “making a gift of public funds or property to any person.” Some say the mailer was targeted at Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone, who was at the center of a controversy over allowing his sister Lori Stone, a volunteer in his office, to have full-time use of a county-owned car.
Stone is running for the Republican nomination in the 36th state Senate District, and Anderson has interest in the Senate seat as well.
Anderson said he hasn’t decided yet whether he’ll run for the Senate. He has until February to make his decision.
“I’m not even in the race and already I’m being ripped - for what? Doing my job as an assemblyman,” he said.
Anderson has refused to talk to The San Diego Union-Tribune
since September, when the newspaper began looking into a questionable pattern of campaign fund transactions that are now the focus of an investigation by the state Fair Political Practices Commission. He said he could not comment on the matter until the FPPC investigation is completed.
However, Anderson talked freely about the mailer and his legislation, which was the subject of a Union-Tribune
He said the bill was not targeted at Stone, although he could not cite any other public officials who have faced similar accusations.
“None of these people have done anything wrong,” he said of the officials who would be affected by the bill. “There’s no law against what they’re doing. I’m changing that.”
Anderson said his bill introduced in May had 21 co-sponsors, including seven Democrats. He said the mailer is one of numerous mailers he has sent to constituents about legislation, and all must be approved by the Assembly Rules Committee.
“All of the mailers are approved by the Legislature. I can’t do it myself,” he said.