It was recently revealed that Chicanos Por La Causa had at one time 3 sitting state lawmakers on its payroll. The lawmakers say everything is above board but the practice has raised questions. We learned more from Ray Stern of the Arizona Republic, who’s been following the story.
“Chicanos Por La Causa is actually one of the largest Latino nonprofit companies in the country and it’s one of the biggest nonprofits in the state. It started 52 years ago, they just had their anniversary, and it was started by Latino activists here in Phoenix…they do affordable housing, childcare, educational services, loans, all kinds of things,” Stern said.
Stern continued that the organization is all about engaging the community and making people more politically empowered. And they decided in this case, “it would be good to hire four lawmakers.”
He said there’s nothing illegal about this but it’s very unusual.
What were the lawmakers hired to do?
“Well, that is…the problem, is the lack of transparency here. Although there is no law that prevents a lawmaker from getting a job with a nonprofit or anywhere…the problem here is that the annual disclosure form that they fill out, it only requires them to list that they’re paying them more than $1,000 per year…we don’t know exactly what they were doing,” Stern said.
Stern mentioned that we don’t know how much they were getting paid nor had their job descriptions either.
“There’s no direct connection to these lawmakers for any particular amount of money that came in, but this is an agency that is down at the legislature frequently with all kinds of business,” Stern said.