Using his personal stationery with the California state seal and his title, the attorney general sent a recruitment letter to local families last month on behalf of the Oakland School for the Arts.
Someone who received the letter sent a copy to us and asked if political officials were allowed to use their titles to promote a personal (though not necessarily financial) interest.
I called the California Fair Political Practices Commission. For questions regarding the use of political titles, seals and/or resources, commission spokesman Roman Porter told me, “I would typically refer folks to the attorney general’s office.”
Not surprisingly, Gareth Lacy, a spokesman at the attorney general’s office, said Brown had every right to help recruit students for the charter school.
“It is acceptable for Jerry Brown to send out mail on personal letterhead,” Lacy said, adding, “The bottom line is that he thinks the Oakland School for the Arts is a great school and it’s helping to revitalize downtown Oakland.”