District Attorney Mike Ramos
The release of campaign finance reports for the second half of 2009 did prove something. It proved San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos is above it all.
Yes, above it all. As a matter of fact, I think we should refer to the District Attorney as Lord Ramos.
It seems Lord Ramos went back to the campaign funds for his wife and a really close friend.
Just two months ago, we went through the saga of Lord Ramos giving his wife Gretchen $10,000 from his campaign funds in 2008, and then forgetting to disclose the income to his household on regulatory forms.
A lapse that cost Lord Ramos a whopping $200 fine by the state.
Now we get round two.
The campaign finance disclosure filed by his Lordship shows that Lord Ramos gave his wife and close friend Kelly Snellings $11,000 each. In 2008, Lord Ramos gave his wife $10,000 and Snellings only $5,000.
Looks like Kelly is on equal footing with the wife now.
The State of California has banned politicians from paying spouses out of campaign funds effective January 1, 2010. The law was passed to stop conduct exhibited by politicians like Lord Ramos. So, it looks like Lord Ramos decided to hit the campaign account one more time.
In his 2008 campaign disclosure, Lord Ramos coded the reason for the payments to his wife and Snellings as “Campaign-Related Services”. In 2009, the $22,000 in payments is coded as “Salary”.
No campaign in 2009 though. But who cares, after all we’re talking about Lord Ramos.
Lord Ramos is known for complaining about how underpaid he is. However, it’s unknown how Lord Ramos is going to make-up for no longer being able to use campaign donors to subsidize his household income.
Another issue revealed in Lord Ramos’ campaign disclosure documents is that his Lordship loaned himself money to pay for legal counsel to handle sexual misconduct allegations made against him by an employee. The documents show Lord Ramos paid $8,046.25 to the law firm of Gresham, Savage, Nolan & Tilden. The report goes on to say that Lord Ramos reimbursed the committee for this expenditure after December 31, 2009.
In other words, Lord Ramos basically loaned himself the money. The expenditure was made. The expenditure was questionable. Lord Ramos thought better of it and repaid the money from personal funds, but after the reporting period closed.
But who cares. After all, it’s Lord Ramos.
Finally, Lord Ramos also paid another $10,000 to close friend and political consultant David Ellis, owner of Delta Partners, and $2,000 to his campaign Treasurer Marvin Reiter, during the reporting period. The additional amounts bring Lord Ramos’ payments to campaign staff to $34,000 for six months, with no campaign.
It is definitely nice to be above it all.