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  1. TopTop #1

    +$55,000 in 10 days from developers/contractors to elect Carrillo

    In the last 10 days, an Independant Expenditure Committee (IE) called "Citizens for Transportation Funding" has mailed out 3 hit-pieces against Rue Furch. I will address some of the more glaring flaws in a later post. But if you think people vote with both their ballot and their checkbook, consider who pumped thousands of dollars to support Carrillo at the last minute:

    Berg Holdings $22,500
    -Skip Berg is the developer who wants to create a commercial complex at Port Sonoma, open a giant gravel mine along the Eel River, developer of the Infineon Raceway, and is a business associate of Doug Bosco.

    Pro Transport $10,000
    -a bit of a mystery;an ambulance/medical transport company, during a time of a pitched battle for the ambulance service franchise in Sonoma County.

    Syar Industries $8,000
    -the last of the big Russian River gravel miners, who got the Board of Supervisors to overturn the Planning Commission shut down of current terrace mining. Rue led the charge on the Commission that led to a 3/2 vote by the Commission to end terrace mining. Syar now wants to expand in-stream gravel mining in addition to continuing terrace mining.

    Sonoma County Alliance PAC $6,000
    -the key business group that includes developers, builders, lenders, real estate, contractors, corporate ag, and so on.

    Doug Bosco $5,000
    Former Congressman, early sponsor of Carrillo, and business associate of Skip Berg in gravel, development, and exporting north bay garbage to Nevada (no joke, comment if you want me to start a seperate thread on that)

    Eric Koenigshofer $2,000
    -political mentor of Carrillo and lobbiest for Preservation Ranch

    North Coast Builders Exchange $1,600
    -self evident

    Nor. Calif. Engineering Contractors $1,600
    -self evident

    Kendall Jackson $1,666

    All this info is public record at the County Elections office. If I can get them scanned, I will post them this evening.

    It is suspected, but not confirmable until Monday, that the +$20K from Skip Berg is the largest single donation from an individual ever pumped into a Sonoma County Supervisorial race in history.

    In an earlier thread, I outlined the political leanings of Robert Bone, who is the Treasurer of this IE Committee. His last big local push was to replace Lynn Woolsey with Mike Martini (former Executive Director of the Son. County Alliance) in 2002 (with the support of many of the names above). He also has consistently supported US Senator James Inhoffe (check Wikipedia for a chilling look at a Red State reactionary).

    Both Rue and Carrillo have got IE Committees working on their behalf, and both run seperately from the campaigns. Rue has strong support from unions and environmentalists; Carrillo has strong support from developers/investors. The two candidates both sound green, but the development money and progressive money knows which was has voted green.

    These groups/organizations have chosen the candidates that best fit their agenda for the future of Sonoma County. So how do individual voters see that choice? If developers/gravel miners/timber are lining up behind one candidate, and unions/environmentalists/human service groups behind another, who would you choose to stand with?
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  2. TopTop #2

    Re: +$55,000 in 10 days from developers/contractors to elect Carrillo

    I do not know either of the candidates personally and am a new Sonoma County resident within the past year. I have met both candidates twice, Mr. Carrillo twice on visits during his neighborhood canvases. I have also met Ms. Furch twice, once we happened to sit next to each other at a concert prior to the primary, and once during her canvas of our neighborhood.

    I have read and studied information about both candidates. Frankly, the charges one side levels at the other could be equally slung vice versa. Both sides appear to be beholden to different real estate developer interests. As an independent and non-biased voter, I am providing my assessment of this race.

    I'll take Ms. Furch first: Although Ms. Furch has a clearly outstanding long-term record as a political activist and strong voice for sustainability, I question her ability to exercise sound judgment. If in fact she planned to eventually run for elective office, such as county supervisor, she would have been well advised to attend to her personal finances. As far as I can tell, she actually compounded the fiasco of not paying property taxes for five years by the following acts:
    1. Borrowing money from a developer, an act that potentially compromises or compromised her as a member of the planning commission.
    2. Apparently conducted substantial improvements on the property at considerable expense during the five year period of non-payment of taxes.
    These three acts combined made me question her judgment and ability to manage the far larger budget associated with the county.

    My mentor once assigned me a task with a seemingly impossibly low budget. However, after assessing available resources, my team was able to accomplish the task. He commented at the time, "If you can't manage a small budget well, you won't be able to manage a larger budget."

    I was also concerned that given the endorsement of the Sonoma County employees union, Ms. Furch would be substantially beholden and unable to do "the right thing" in the likely event of budget cuts, meaning, potentially paring the county payroll.

    I was also concerned that Ms. Furch seemed to address her tax payment issues in a mild and almost dismissive way, acknowledging an oversight on her part, but not really taking responsibility and simply saying, "I made a mistake." During the Democratic primaries, I read an insightful assessment of Hilary Clinton's modus operandi and one of the critiques of her political life to date had been an unwillingness to admit to a mistake. I would have preferred that Ms. Furch humbly and simply state, "I made a mistake." We all have made them. As far as I have heard in monitoring the campaign (and I haven't caught every utterance), she has not actually come forward and done this. If she has, her statement has remained unpublicized.

    Now to Mr. Carrillo: I visited with him twice during the campaign, once during the primary and once in the past month during his canvasses of our neighborhood. Prior to her property tax issues emerging, I had intended to vote for Ms. Furch. However, Mr. Carrillo seemed well prepared by education and experience to step into the Supervisor's role. However, I was struck in his campaign literature and his personal discussions that he was unwilling to actually say where he stood on issues. His primary stance seemed to be that he would "listen to everyone". As I read his campaign literature, I determined that although I did not have a real sense of what he really stood for, I experienced a good personal sense in my brief interchanges with him (ditto for Ms. Furch as well). A few weeks ago, I decided that I would vote for him, despite my reservations.

    I received a piece that other writers in this forum referred to as a "hit piece", the one that looked like a "tabbed" file folder. I honestly did not think it was much of a hit piece as it presented the truth by and large. My careful reading revealed that the only serious critique was that a reference to a judge's decision, apparently cut out of the paper and intended to lend credibility to the report of Ms. Furch's property being seized by the county. I glanced over this at first, but on second reading, noted that this particular reference was completely generic and did not mention whatsoever Ms. Furch. It could have been referring to Joe or Josephine Doakes.

    The recent post about the strong support provided to Mr. Carrillo by interested local developers in terms of donations and two subsequent pieces that seemed far more reactionary from "mystery groups" and attack-oriented have lead me to re-consider my support.

    Although both candidates have pluses and minuses in my book, and either will probably make a good Supervisor, my assessment is that I am going to vote for Rue Furch, despite her severe lapses in judgment. I certainly hope she has learned a valuable lesson from this matter and will be open to do the right thing on behalf of the citizens of the county, not just acting to fulfill a pre-determined political agenda.

    In any event, I encourage anyone who reads this to vote for either Ms. Furch or Mr. Carrillo. No vote, no voice. Thanks.
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