Based on a review of campaign filings by Petaluma City Council candidates submitted on October 5, through the end of September a total of $59,174 has been raised through a combination of out-of-town contributions, in-town contributions and debt. The funding was dominated by contributions from outside interests and supported by debt.
- The largest source of funding was Out-Of-Town Contributions. These contributions represented 41% of total funding.
- Debt played a significant role in keeping two candidates, Healy and Miller competitive. Renee also relied heavily on debt. Overall, debt represents 25% of total candidate funding. 99% of the debt was concentrated in three candidates, Healy, Miller and Renee. Herries and Kearney have no debt and Davies only 1% of the total.
- Less than a third, 32%, of campaign funding came from Petaluma residents and businesses. Only Davies and Herries received a majority of their funding from local sources.
- Kearney received 79% from outside interests;
– Only 18% of Healy’s funding came from Petaluma contributors
- Just over a quarter, 25.8% of Miller’s funding came from Petaluma
– Under a quarter, 23% of Renee’s funding came from Petaluma
Read the full report
The Prominence of Non-Voter, Out-of-Town and Developer Interests
During the 2010 campaign candidates for Petaluma City Council raised, through their campaigns approximately $150,000. Chris Albertson’s campaign, one of eight, raised $17, 518 which ended up equaling, appropriately enough, 1/8th of the total.
His campaign total was just under the average (however, it is worth noting that the average was heavily skewed by the monies of the Harris campaign which spent over $58,000). When independent expenditures are included the total raised on his behalf was $19,288 – a bit more than the average including IE money for all candidates.
While there is nothing particularly noteworthy about the monies raised, Albertson was third behind Harris and Johnson and just ahead of Barrett in dollars, the source of his monies is concerning and leaves little doubt as to how he might be expected to vote on developer related issues. A review of his campaign contributions reveals the following:
- Albertson’s campaign was dominated by out-of-town and business money. Only about a third of the campaign money used to elect Alberston came from Petaluma Voters.2
- Developer Interests dominated as the largest single source of money. Over 40 percent came from this one special interest group.
For additional information see the full report.
As part of Petaluma Tomorrow’s commitment to open government we examine and report on the source of contributions to the campaigns of candidates for mayor and city council. Research indicates that people contribute to a given candidate for two reasons. Not surprisingly, people contribute to candidates with whom they share like views. Also, not surprisingly, contributors see their contributions as a way of having influence on the candidate. In that context a review of contributions to a given candidate provides insights into their views on issues and, those who will seek to influence their decisions.
Separate reports will be prepared on each candidate beginning with those most recently elected, then with appointee Kearny, other sitting council members and finally, non elected candidates with contributions of over $2500.
Shamrock Requests Release from Dutra Asphalt Plant Lawsuit
The following was released to the press today concerning the Dutra Asphalt Plant:
Shamrock has filed a demurrer in Sonoma County Superior Court, arguing that they are not a real party of interest in the Dutra Petaluma Asphalt Plant case, got no approvals from the county to do anything on their land, and should be dismissed from the case.
They argue that Shamrock and Corto Meno Sand & Gravel in fact never agreed to be a part of Dutra’s project, have no agreement to do so, and that any such inclusion in the Dutra project is incorrect.
Shamrock’s claim shows that the County’s EIR and Dutra Asphalt Plant Project approvals are patently inadequate because Shamrock never agreed to the Dutra Project that the County approved.
The conditions of approval require that Dutra’s Asphalt Plant Project must be built on a portion of Shamrock’s property which must be conveyed to Dutra’s ownership, destroying wetlands required to be created as mitigation for the Shamrock project, and require Shamrock to be Dutra’s exclusive supplier of rock and aggregate barged up the Petaluma River.
Dutra’s original project design depended on barged deliveries of aggregate to Dutra’s own river-frontage site. However, the barge and tug operations and mooring facilities were found to block the river’s federally dredged channel, and impair navigational safety. Dutra’s river-front barge landing site was also discovered by us to be located directly over two PG&E high-pressure 12″ gas lines and PG&E easements, which are not buildable. Dutra had to find another solution to remaining a barge-accessed project and avoid truck-only deliveries. Their proposal, ultimately approved and mandated by Sonoma County’s conditions of approval and CEQA conclusions, was to deliver all Dutra’s aggregate through the adjacent Shamrock property and barge landing site, and deliver it to Dutra’s site via a conveyor belt system that would cross directly through Shamrock’s previous wetlands mitigation site.
When the Supervisors asked county staff if there was an agreement between Dutra and Shamrock, they – erroneously – assured the Supervisors and the public that there was, or would be an agreement between Dutra and Shamrock to use Shamrock’s facilities as part of the project, including a transfer of property to Dutra for the conveyor belt system and construction, and wetland mitigations for the conveyor belt. Shamrock registered no objections to the Supervisors’ final approvals in December 2010.
Either Shamrock isn’t a participant in the Dutra Project despite the County’s requirements and assurances, or Shamrock will need to have a full environmental review of the alterations to its site, operations, permit and wetlands in order for the Dutra Project to proceed. Either way, the Dutra project should finally come to a complete stop.