California Treasurer John Chiang has helped award tens of millions in tax credits and bonds over the last decade to a handful of affordable housing developers who contributed to his political campaigns.
A review of their projects by The Sacramento Bee found that Chiang has accepted more than $100,000 from firms that gained tax perks or bond financing from his actions, sometimes within weeks of the votes.
As he prepares to run for governor next year, Chiang has used the companies and projects he supported to help promote himself – at taxpayer expense. He plans to carry a 2018 statewide ballot initiative to address the shortage of affordable housing in California.
A Chiang campaign spokeswoman declined to make him available for an interview. But in a prepared statement, Chiang said the contributions have no influence over his decisions.
Chiang is campaigning on a platform of fiscal responsibility and empowering the public to hold government officials accountable. Experts said the activity could undercut his credibility with voters and give ammunition to his better-known Democratic opponents.