Entries categorized "Politics"

Laundered Campaign Contributions Appear to Have Been Made to the Yes on Measure L Campaign by West Davis Active Adult Community

Money-launderingby Alan Pryor, Treasurer and Principal Officer of No on Measure L

INTRODUCTION

In previous articles pertaining to the financial disclosures of the Yes on Measure L/West Davis Active Adult Community campaign on the November 2018 ballot in Davis, I provided evidence showing:

  1. About $70,000 of campaign expenditures that were made by the Yes on Measure L campaign for attorney’s fees were probably illegal under FPPC campaign finance regulations as set forth in the FPPC Disclosure Manuals that provide guidance and requirements for such campaign expenditures.
  2. The Davis Vanguard ran daily ads from the inception of the campaign until voting day and for a substantial period beforehand. The payment for these ads is not disclosed on any financial statements filed by the Yes on Measure L campaign which may be a violation of FPPC regulations.
  3. A disclosed financial filing expenditure of $3,000 was made to "Froggy's" for food service for a Vanguard fundraising event. This is probably not an allowable campaign expense for the Yes on Measure L campaign under FPPC guidelines.
  4. Over $64,000 of non-monetary contributions to the Yes on Measure L campaign for “salaries” have been disclosed in campaign filings but the recipients of these salaries have been kept secret. Further, it is not known if these payments were for personal gain, which is prohibited by FPPC regulations, or may be otherwise disallowed under FPPC guidelines.

This information is more fully disclosed in the BACKGROUND section attached to the end of this article and referenced in previous articles I have written as disclosed therein.

In this article I report how the primary financial contributor to the Yes on Measure L campaign is the West Davis Active Adult Community entity itself, totaling $164,500. In 2017, West Davis Active Adult Community was formed as a Fictitious Business Name business under the charter of Doug Arnold Real Estate Inc. Doug Arnold Real Estate Inc was a California Domestic Stock Corporation whose Agent for Service of Process was David Taormino. However, Doug Arnold Real Estate Inc was dissolved in 2018, thus apparently rendering West Davis Active Adult Community as an orphan company without legal status in California.

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Requesting investigation into WDAAC and Yes on L allegations

Justice2The following was emailed to CityCouncilMembers@cityofdavis.org this morning

Dear Members of the Davis City Council,

I am writing to request formally that the Davis City Council send a letter to the Yolo County District Attorney and California Fair Political Practices Committee (FPPC) requesting investigations into the allegations against the West Davis Active Adult Community (WDAAC) and the Yes on L campaign, as described in the following article by Alan Pryor:

https://www.davisite.org/2019/02/yes-on-measure-l-campaign-violates-fppc-disclosure-laws-by-failing-to-report-davis-vanguard-ad-expen.html

(Or please click here if that link wraps).

Specifically, the article alleges:

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Yes on Measure L Campaign Violates FPPC Disclosure Laws by Failing to Report Davis Vanguard Ad Expenditures and Providing Inadequate Disclosure of other “Non-Monetary” Contributions and Expenditures

PileofmoneyBy Alan Pryor, Treasurer and Principal Officer of the No on Measure L campaign.

In an article I authored and published on February 12th in both the Davisite and Davis Vanguard, I vehemently disagreed with and disputed allegations that the No on Measure L campaign committed expenditure or finance reporting violations (see Background below). I noted, to the contrary, that California election law specifically disallows campaign monies to be used for these type of litigation expenses.

Further, I also disclosed that about $70,000 of campaign expenditures which were made by the Yes on Measure L campaign for attorney fees were illegal under FPPC campaign finance regulations as written in the FPPC Disclosure Manuals that provide guidance and requirements for such campaign expenditures.

In the course of investigating such expenditures and in recent commentary on-line by different observers, it was noticed that there were other areas of campaign expenditures that are inconsistent with financial disclosure standards of the FPPC. In particular, the Davis Vanguard ran daily ads since the inception of the campaign until voting day and for a substantial period beforehand. The payment for these ads is not disclosed on any financial statements filed by the Yes on Measure L campaign which is a violation of FPPC regulations

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The Yes on Measure L Campaign has “Unclean Hands” when Alleging Improper Financial Disclosures by the No on Measure L Campaign

Dirtyhandby Alan Pryor, Treasurer and Principal Officer of the No on Measure L campaign.

INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

The “unclean hands” legal doctrine is where one party in a legal dispute argues the other party is not entitled to obtain an equitable remedy because the other party is acting unethically or has acted in bad faith with respect to the subject of the complaint—that is, with "unclean hands”.

David Taormino is the principal promoter of the West Davis Active Adult Community (WDAAC) which was recently approved by the voters of Davis on the November 2018 ballot as Measure L. During the course of this campaign, a federal lawsuit was filed by the well-known Sacramento civil rights attorney, Mark Merin, against David Taormino and the City of Davis. This lawsuit alleged that a preferential “Davis-Based Buyers Program” in the Development Agreement signed between the Davis City Council and David Taormino was discriminatory and exclusionary in nature. Thus, it was illegal because it favored Davis residents or people connected to Davis who are predominantly white. However, this Development Agreement was NOT part of the ballot measure put before the Davis voters and the lawsuit was unrelated to the issues before the voters on the ballot.

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Vote for your delegates to the CA Democratic Party: Check out Workers & Students for AD4

Screen Shot 2018-12-27 at 7.32.11 PMOn Sunday, January 13 from 10 AM-12:30 PM at Davis Veterans Memorial, you have the opportunity to vote for Assembly District 4 Delegates for the CA Democratic Party.  To vote, you just need to be a registered Democrat and live in the region pictured at the left.  (Dates and locations to vote in other regions varies; see this page for details).

Wondering what an Assembly District Delegate for the CA Democratic party does?  According to the CA Dem website we are electing:

 

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Yes on L lawn sign impropriety on Election Day

Yes-on-L-signThe sign to the left greeted me this morning as I went to vote at my polling place at the VMC.  It is, in my opinion, an example of improper electioneering.

Electioneering is not permitted within 100 feet of a polling place. Electioneering is defined by the California Election Code Section 319.5 as “the visible display or audible dissemination of information that advocates for or against any candidate or measure on the ballot within 100 feet of a polling place, an elections official’s office, or a satellite location.”

Although someone cut the "Yes" part of the sign out, it's clear that this sign is advocating for the WDAAC project and is thus prohibited.

You have to wonder about the real merits of a project when its proponents will stoop this low to promote it.


Two election-day letters in support of Murphy

This letter is to encourage voters to elect David Murphy to the Area 2 position on the Yolo County Board of Education. I have known and respected David for nearly 20 years, meeting him through school related activities our daughters participated in.

David led efforts in the past to improve Davis schools, including the creation of Da Vinci School, initiating our local Montessori magnet program, and introducing advanced placement (AP) science programs.

David Murphy’s career eventually led him to serve in a consulting capacity for school districts in the region, focusing on program improvements while maintaining fiscal prudence and seeding available outside funding to keep budgets in line with resources.

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What Are Davis Residents Saying Against Measure L?

Luxury sprawlBy Rik Keller

The Yes on Measure L/West Davis Active Adult Community (WDAAC) campaign has been saying that opponents of the project are "against seniors" and has been making unsubstantiated claims that the No On WDAAC campaign arguments are "lies" [see: https://www.davisite.org/2018/10/uncivil-discourse-at-the-civenergy-forum.html]. In the added context of the Yes on L campaign spending about $250,000 in this election cycle compared to about $7,500 for the opposition (as of reports filed 10/20/2018), this kind of messaging from deep-pocketed special interest groups who stand to make millions from cynical voter manipulation is offensive.

The following is a sampling of some Davis citizen comments against the Measure L/WDAAC project from social media posts that demonstrate that Davis residents are seeing through the blizzard of marketing money and the false charges of the project proponents. To my knowledge, none of these are from anyone working/volunteering on the No On WDAAC campaign, nor were they solicited by the campaign. It is notable that a significant number of the comments were posted on the Yes On L campaign's own Facebook page posts/advertisements.

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Pancakes and Politics Voter Guide

PPVGNov2018_final_Page_01Every election a group of Davis residents meets to eat pancakes, discuss the upcoming election, and put out a whimsical Politics and Pancakes Voter Guide.  You can find the voter guide for this year's election on the Davis Wiki .  Check it out -- there are many interesting thoughts there -- and please vote!  In-person voting is tomorrow, Tuesday, November 6.


What YES Does

ERC residents
Residents of Eleanor Roosevelt Circle regularly meet with their on site Social Services Coordinator

By David Thompson

With your YES vote for Measure L, these low income seniors will get to stay and live in Davis. Otherwise, there are few places for them to go.

Davis Low Income Seniors are People by the Numbers

How many low income seniors will get a home in Davis?

This energy flowing through my senior years comes directly from the Davis Community through the Eleanor Roosevelt Circle, thank you. Davis is a uniquely qualified community to establish new models of senior housing. Please vote yes on Proposition L to house more seniors.”

Diane C. Evans, Davis

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Disrespectful redface Halloween costume from the Yes on L/Yes on WDAAC campaign

Pocahontas
Yesterday, Jason Taormino posted the photo at the left from their setup in downtown for the Halloween walk, showing one of their volunteers dressed as Pocahontas.  Most people have heard of “blackface”, especially since Megyn Kelly recently had her NBC show cancelled over defending blackface as being “ok so long as you were dressing, like, as a character.”  So why does the Yes on L campaign think that it’s ok to dress in redface as Pocahontas? 

People have been rightly and roundly criticized for dressing in redface before.  A student at Oklahoma university was pilloried for dressing in redface, with the recognition that a costume like that is “deeply disrespectful to the Native American community.”  Stephanie Fryberg, a Professor of Psychology and American Indian Studies at the University of Washington, as quoted in an article from Indian Country Today, asks, “Why are issues for Native people taken as less serious in the domain of bias and stereotyping and prejudice than for African Americans, why is there this difference?”

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Much of WDAAC will be on “Prime Farm Land” as Classified under the Yolo County Agricultural Conservation and Mitigation Program

Another “Untruth” by the Yes on Measure L Campaign

By Alan Pryor and Pam Nieberg

INTRODUCTION

The Yes on Measure L campaign has been falsely characterizing the soils on which the WDAAC project is to be built as “unproductive” or “low quality alkaline soils solely used for winter animal feed crops”. Their most recent mailer contained the following graphic:

Wdaac-soils-1

These claims are demonstrably untrue. In fact, the soil is suitable for a variety of human crops as characterized by the Yolo Co Agricultural Conservation and Mitigation Program. In summary, according to the EIR certified by the City Council, the lower approximately 50% (36.2 acres) of the site is Brentwood clay loam. Approximately a third of the soils (26.75 acres ) on the site directly above the Brentwood soils are Marvin silty clay. Above that are Willows clay (11.44 acres), and only a tiny piece (0.56 acres) in the upper north west piece of the site is Pescadero silty clay/saline-alkaline.

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Send the West Davis Active Adult Community Plan Back to the Drawing Board.

WestdavisLet’s Meet the City’s Real Internal Housing Needs, Including for Low-Income Seniors

By Nancy and Don Price

In October 2002, the City Council appointed a subcommittee to study housing needs in Davis. In particular, the Council wanted to consider providing housing opportunities for the local workforce as the primary reason for city residential growth.

In this context, the phrase “internal housing need”  was incorporated in City policy framework, documents, and studies to refer primarily to low and moderate income workforce housing. Indeed, work force housing is the only category of housing specifically mentioned as “internal needs” in the City’s General Plan and for which specific policies have been crafted to meet the need.

For instance, Measure J (voter approved in 2000) and Measure R (voter approved in 2010) as an update of Measure J was intended to “further” and “implement” meeting this “internal housing need” based on local employment growth, UCD growth, and “natural” growth. Indeed, meeting this “internal housing need” is the only justification provided in Measures J/R for converting agricultural lands on the periphery of the city.

Unfortunately, the Yes on Measure L campaign has erroneously misappropriated the term, “internal housing needs,” to otherwise claim the WDAAC project, providing low-income subsidized senior housing and much larger and expensive homes  for senior purchase, meets these needs and thus should be approved by voters. This is a false claim and is not supported anywhere in City documents.

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Making America Blue Again Has Never Been So Important. Can You Help?

Blue-waveBy Dan Cornford

A couple of weeks ago after many of us in were in despair at the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh and asking what we could do, I suggested that we could help get out the vote (GOTV) in one of the Congressional districts relatively nearby where the race was close. I also mentioned that one such place is CD10 (broadly Stanislaus County and Modesto). CD10 has for the last few elections been narrowly won by Republican Jeff Denham, and in 2016 HRC got more votes than Trump in this district. [See Dan's comment on Roberta Millstein's article].

In the midterms, Democrat Josh Harder is challenging Denham (as you may have picked up for the TV ads saturating us). The race is rated as a “toss-up” with JH holding a very narrow lead in most polls. Without taking any corporate donations, JH has raised almost $7 million (at two different house fund raising parties a Berkeley friend of mine raised almost $100,000 for him). JH was endorsed by the Modesto Bee in late September but it is going to be a brutally close race.

Volunteers are badly needed to help get out the vote, phone bank, and do office work (and yes, you are given a choice as to what kind of work you want to do, as well as appropriate training where needed). Because of my personal connections (I lived in Berkeley 1980-2000), I am working with Indivisible Berkeley (IB). IB is focusing on Tracy as they think that is where the most swing votes are. For well over a year they have been canvassing Tracy with busloads of people going there every weekend. So with the Tracy Democrats they have laid the groundwork well.

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Letter of Support for David Murphy, Candidate YCBOE

I support and endorse David Murphy for Yolo County Board of Education, Trustee Area 2, and I hope you will too.

I encourage you to vote for David Murphy, as the YCBOE, Trustee Area 2, as he has been involved in education, in a variety of ways, for a very long time.  David is a resident of Davis who has many years of cumulative service, in and out of Davis, ranging from being the principal of Davis Senior High School to being the superintendent of Davis Joint Unified School District.

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Letter of Endorsement: Four for November

I am delighted to endorse David Murphy for the Yolo County Board of Education, Trustee Area 2. We hired David as superintendent of the Davis schools in 1998, at the end of my first year on the school board.

Under his outstanding leadership, we passed a construction bond, built three schools (Harper, Montgomery and Korematsu), opened the Montessori program at Birch Lane, and received a grant from the Gates Foundation to open Da Vinci High School. He will bring his considerable skills and insights to support the County Office of Education and its programs, including education at the juvenile hall, Headstart and programs for high school kids expelled from local districts.

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The “West Davis Active Adult Community” Naming is Misguided and Probably Illegal

By the No on Measure L Campaign

Introduction

A letter received from the Fair Housing Council of Orange County, posted yesterday on the Davisite, advises the City of Davis of the wrongful naming of the West Davis Active Adult Community senior housing project:

“the term ‘active adult community’ is very much misguided and needs to be changed...rather than moving forward with a name that readily implies that the community is not welcoming of individuals who have a right to choose to live within in its borders.”(excerpted from letter)

Eric Gelber, a Davis resident with 26 years experience as an attorney with disability rights advocacy experience - including fair housing advocacy - made the following statement in response to this letter:

The Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 (FHAA) added disability and families with children as protected classes under the federal Fair Housing Act. A concession to seniors was also enacted to allow for senior housing developments, which could continue to utilize age restrictions if specified conditions were met. One of the conditions is that 20 percent of the housing in such developments must not be age-restricted, and must be available to younger households, including families with children.

Some of the earliest cases under the FHAA focused on advertising for developments, which marketed themselves as communities for “active adults.” Such advertising was determined to be a not so subtle way of discriminating against people with disabilities who were not traditionally “active.” Similarly, advertising a senior housing development as an “adult” community, gives the impression that families with children are not welcome in even the 20 percent of homes that are not age-restricted.(emphasis added)

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Letter from Orange County Fair Housing Council expresses concern about WDAAC

The Davisite was forwarded the following letter from the Orange County Fair Housing Council (OCFHC), a private 501(c)(3) non-profit located in Santa Ana, California. The OCFHC raises concerns about the project's use of the term  ‘active adult.'  With respect to the term 'adult,' the letter states that "fair housing and related civil rights laws...do not recognize or sanction adult-only or otherwise age restricted housing within California that falls outside of the specific definition of what constitutes senior housing" and "may give the impression that families with children are not welcome to live in that community."  They also raise the concern that the use of the term 'active' "may tend imply that, even for the properly age restricted portion of the project, people with disabilities may not be welcome."  The letter appears in its entirety below.

 

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