Emails Show California Agency’s Cozy Ties To Gas Tax Backers

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – As the battle to overturn California’s gas tax increase intensified, emails obtained by The Associated Press show the State Transportation Agency coordinated frequently with the public affairs firm working to block the repeal. The agency and the Sacramento-based firm organized news conferences supporting legislation to raise the tax to fund road and bridge repairs. They continued planning events after the bill passed, while opponents gathered signatures for repeal. Proposition 6 qualified for the ballot in June. The AP obtained more than 200 emails between the agency and PR firm from 2017 and the first half of 2018. Loyola Law School Professor Jessica Levinson says their relationship appears too close. But she and two other ethical experts interviewed by the AP say they saw no clear legal violation in the emails.

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