Capitol Alert

Charity co-founded by Assemblyman Jim Frazier opposes his bill

Assemblyman Jim Frazier, D-Oakley, during a joint session in the Assembly chamber in Sacramento on March 11, 2013.
Assemblyman Jim Frazier, D-Oakley, during a joint session in the Assembly chamber in Sacramento on March 11, 2013.

A bill authored by Assemblyman Jim Frazier, D-Oakley, to require nonprofits to provide links from marketing materials to the Attorney General’s website is opposed by more than 200 charities, including an organization he co-founded.

Frazier and his estranged wife, Janet Frazier, started The Network of Care after their oldest daughter, Stephanie, died in a car accident in 2000. The nonprofit puts together bags of food for families watching over loved ones in pediatric wards of community hospitals. The charity reported $84,518 in revenue in 2014, according to data on the California Attorney General’s website.

The Network of Care, which is based in Concord, was among a long list of nonprofits included in an opposition letter the California Association of Nonprofits sent to the Assembly Committee on Privacy and Consumer Protection on Monday.

Assemblyman Frazier is no longer on the board of The Network of Care and can’t explain its opposition, he said in a statement. Janet Frazier, who couldn’t be reached for comment, is listed as the executive director of the organization.

Jim Frazier filed for divorce in January, according to Contra Costa County court records.

Introduced in February, Assembly Bill 2855 originally required nonprofits to disclose overhead costs, and a recent federal tax filing on its website. If nonprofits failed to comply, the state could revoke the organization’s tax exemptions.

Those provisions were recently removed and replaced by one requiring that nonprofits give consumers information about how to research a charity before making a gift, according to an Assembly committee analysis. The link to AG’s website would also give consumers information about their rights and protections.

In a written statement, Assemblyman Frazier said the bill is in response to calls for more transparency about how charities spend money. The bill “simplifies a donor’s access to readily available information regarding the charity of their choice,” he said.

Jan Masaoka, chief executive of the the California Association of Nonprofits, condemned the bill, saying it’s duplicative, unnecessarily burdensome and likens nonprofits to tobacco companies.

“We think that’s completely inappropriate,” Masaoka said. “It’s equivalent to putting up a warning label and that gives the impression that there is a reason people need to be warned. That’s not the case.”

The association’s letter included 11 pages of nonprofits that join in its opposition. AB 2855 will be heard in the privacy committee Tuesday afternoon.

Taryn Luna: 916-326-5545, @TarynLuna