By Rik Keller
I have provided a graphic illustrative of the corrupt local political environment. [Mr. Keller requested that this graphic be displayed during his comments, but unlike a pro-DiSC comment, his graphic was not displayed]. It shows self-promotional information from the local lobbying firm Spafford & Lincoln. In the bottom right corner you can see that they claim credit for deploying and managing 1,000+ operatives. As some of you may be aware, most of their business is done for the biggest special interest in town: real estate developers.
Developers spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on campaigns to try to push their projects down our throats. This money flows through Spafford & Lincoln and then who knows where? There’s no regulation. It’s a dirty money slush fund.
One of their strategies is to pay operatives to call, and to organize other callers who often know nothing about the project, some of whom probably don't even live in Davis. It’s a classic “astroturf” maneuver. Ask yourself: how many times have you experienced these meetings being spammed and being played by these operatives reading from their scripts?
And it provides useful political cover for those of you on the Council who are openly campaigning for this project in spite of being directly told “no” very recently.
Depending on when my comment is played, you have already heard from some of these operatives, or you will shortly. Don’t be fooled.
The Council should be doing its job and actually providing a through review and vetting projects, rather than relying on unrealistic rosy forecasts and empty promises. This is a highway-dependent, polluting dinosaur of a project that the community has already rejected. Ignore the political operatives and do your job.