Monday Morning Commentary: Campaign Spending Overkill by Measure A Campaign

Precinct-Walking

In 2010, Joe Krovoza, a relative newcomer to Davis politics, was able to win all but one precinct while spending less than $30,000.  He did this with a robust network of volunteers who were able to canvass the city.  Since then, winning candidates have been able to get the word out and win for sometimes as little as $15,000 to $20,000.

In this cycle, the three likely winners have raised between $15 and $20 thousand apiece (although Will Arnold has for reasons unclear dumped in $26,000 of his own money).  Matt Williams has only raised about $4000 but has also dumped in $22,000 of his own money.

Those numbers align well with the $18,000 spent by No on Measure A.  But the Yes on Measure A campaign has dumped in a whopping $300,000 – and while that pales in comparison to what the Yes on X campaign spent a decade ago, it still appears to be overkill.

While developers may have a point in criticizing the Davis Measure R system for dramatically increasing the costs of development – in this case, some of that is a self-inflicted wound.

One huge area of spending was the $77,000 given to Spafford & Lincoln.  They in turn have hired somewhere around 20 canvassers and precinct walkers.  These are mostly young people being paid to walk precincts, and perhaps make phone calls as well.  In one sense this effort has paid off, as sources tell the Vanguard that the campaign has identified a sizable number of voters who will be voting yes in the election that they can then turn out to the polls.

On the other hand, even some supporters of the Nishi Gateway project have questioned the value that the campaign is getting for their money.  Several told the Vanguard that the canvassers and precinct walkers are not well informed about Davis issues and some have been ignorant of knowledge even about Measure R.

Moreover, instead of creating a community-based grassroots campaign, the strategic tactics here have utilized their monetary advantage – paying canvassers, several mass mailings, etc.  But these tactics are a double-edged sword.  While the campaign has the clear ability to identify voters and get them out to vote come Election Day, they fall into the trap of becoming a developer-driven campaign rather than a community-based process.

At the same time, the No on Measure A campaign has ironically fallen into a similar trap.  While they have $19,000 at their disposal – the same amount as the council candidates for the most part, with a solid grassroots effort that amount might be more than enough to combat even the high spending campaign.

But the No on Measure A campaign hardly resembles a broad grassroots effort either.  Only 16 individuals have contributed to the No on Measure A campaign since April 1.  That includes $7500 from Michael Harrington, $2200 from James Edlund, owner of Redrum Burger, and $1000 each from Alan Pryor, Don and Nancy Price, Pam Nieberg, Bob Milbrodt and Eileen Samitz.  In other words, the core six of the campaign contributed $12,500 and, with Mr. Edlund, seven people contributed $14,700 of the nearly $19,000 raised.

Both campaigns have received money from a total of 18 sources.  If Measure R was supposed to bring forth a community-based decision-making process, in this sense it has failed.  We have a campaign comprised of the developer spending $300,000 against a campaign of 16 individuals – and really seven – who have put up their own nearly $19,000 to counter that effort.

Just how deep do the campaigns actually go?  Looking at letters to the editor and op-eds, there have been some of each – but not the heavy barrage that we would normally see.

While a fair share of campaign signs are certainly up, I was struck driving around a few neighborhoods by the complete lack, or near lack, of signs.  Some of these neighborhoods in the past had large amounts of signs everywhere – is that a sign of the changing neighborhoods or a sign of a lack of reach of the campaigns? It’s hard to know.

Earlier this week, the Yes on Measure A campaign sent out a press release that boasted that they had reached 1000 endorsements – that is a tremendous accomplishment.  These include all five sitting city councilmembers along with 11 former mayors and councilmembers.

The disappointing part of the campaign is that they were not able to or did not attempt to turn those 1000 endorsements into 100 neighborhood precinct captains.

One can run a professional and expensive grassroots campaign that utilizes scores of volunteers.  I know, because 18 years ago, I was part of one as a volunteer.  In 1997, Congressman Walter Capps died suddenly, less than a year after winning a hard fought race to represent a district that included San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara.  A special election was called for early February, forcing a compressed campaign timeline that included the holidays.  His widow, Lois Capps, would enter the race.

The campaign utilized one of the most sophisticated vote by mail efforts ever seen up until that point, whereby hundreds of volunteers would phonebank and precinct walk to identify voters, they would send them vote by mail cards, get them to fill them out and return them, and then vote.  It was an amazing effort – there was professional staff running the operations, but the bulk of the work was performed by volunteers.  Lois Capps, ended up winning, in part because her campaign out-organized the opposition.

Measure A may well pass – I still think it’s a coin flip and will be close either way – but, by going this route, I think they have made it far more difficult than mobilizing people who live in the neighborhoods to do the outreach.  On the other hand, the No on A side did not do this either, in stark contrast to the effort put up a decade ago against Measure X.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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53 thoughts on “Monday Morning Commentary: Campaign Spending Overkill by Measure A Campaign”

  1. Misanthrop

    Whichever side wins will be geniuses. At least you are starting to recognize and articulate some of the many problems with Measure R.

  2. hpierce

    David… you have seemed to have missed an opportunity to answer a question from a poster from another thread…

    Why are so many of the No on A contributions listed as loans? How do these people hope to recover the funds?

    You make reference to the “contributions”, but neglect the “(loan)” question.  Like Misanthrope, am curious as to the distinction…

    1. Matt Williams

      hpierce, at the heart of that question are the vagaries of the rules enforced by the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC).  If you go to my campaign’s FPPC filings, you will find that I have “loaned” my campaign much of the money that has been spent.  By identifying the dollars as loans, FPPC rules leave open the possibility that future contributions may come in that allow the candidate/committee to repay the loaned amount.

      That FPPC policy supports active, participative democracy by allowing campaigns to have sufficient cash flow in the early parts of the campaign, prior to the receipt of individual “contributions” from people other than the candidate.

    2. David Greenwald Post author

      My guess is because they are principals in the campaign, whatever money they use in the campaign gets spent and the rest gets returned to the principals rather than having to be disposed of in a charitable manner as straight contribution would have to.

  3. South of Davis

    I noticed that many No on A people have made “loans” to the campaign.

    If these “loans” are not paid back can the “bad debt” be written off on a tax return (unlike political “donations” that can not be written of on a personal tax return)?

    1. Matt Williams

      Good question SOD.  The simple accounting answer is that it doesn’t matter because on their Tax return, the candidate would have a loss from the “forgiveness” of the loan (the technical FPPC terminology) and an equal and offsetting gain from having the outstanding loan “forgiven.” The net effect would be $0.00.

  4. Jim Frame

    If these “loans” are not paid back can the “bad debt” be written off on a tax return (unlike political “donations” that can not be written of on a personal tax return)?

    Nope.  In the eyes of the IRS, those loans are contributions.

  5. Michael Harrington

    Not sure if it applies here, but professional campaign consultants often get paid a percentage of what they spend.  So there is strong incentive to spend way too much.

     

  6. ryankelly

    I know that students are being paid to work for the campaign. I support this.  I’ve seen campaigns use student volunteers in the past and it hasn’t been good.  These students are knowledgable and seem to genuinely support the project.  They are working hard – walking precincts, holding forums and educational seminars on campus and in the community. They can answer questions.  This is unlike professional signature gatherers that Harrington hired in the past who could only spout the list of falsehoods that they were quickly provided.

  7. nameless

    While the campaign has the clear ability to identify voters and get them out to vote come Election Day, they fall into the trap of becoming a developer driven campaign rather than a community-based process.

    How is Measure A not a community-based process?  Many citizens have volunteered time to canvas, participate in community forums, table at Farmer’s Market on behalf of Measure A.  Voters will ultimately decide “yes” or “no” on the project itself.

  8. Matt Williams

    Understood Ryan, but I believe you could make the same point even more effectively if you did not personalize it.  Make it impersonal.  Perhaps you could have said it as follows:

    “I have a concern about people who fail to pay their property taxes on time each year, and then use the money from those unpaid property taxes to give thousands of dollars to a political campaign.  Is this a responsible use of personal money?  Is this a responsible use of taxpayer money?”

  9. Tia Will

    David

    is that a sign of the changing neighborhoods or a sign of a lack of reach of the campaigns – hard to know.”


    I would optimistically present a third possibility. I would hope that this might signify an overall change to campaign strategies from simple name recognition to one of ideas. You have sited the campaign of Joe Krovoza as an atypical campaign in which the largest factor was the “on the ground” support team. I would add by name the campaigns of Robb Davis and Brett Lee which I believe to have been won through the same mechanism. I am hoping that there will come a tipping point at which, at least at the local level, it is not money or name recognition that wins the seat but honest conversations about the issues.

    1. darelldd

      >> I would hope that this might signify an overall change to campaign strategies from simple name recognition to one of ideas… it is not money or name recognition that wins the seat but honest conversations about the issues. <<

      I so love your optimism! And wish (on several levels) that I could share it. Time will tell.

  10. cornford

     
    It is surely no mystery why proponents of Measure A have raised so much money.  To be sure, there are proponents who genuinely believe in the objective virtues and benefits of the project and who do  not have any financial stake in the outcome.  However, there are a lot of people and  several entities that made, by local standards, large contributions from which they stand directly or indirectly to gain HUGELY financially.  I mean does one really have to spell out the very obvious reasons why.  Anyone who knows anything about Davis politics and developer local politics in general should not be in the least bit surprised by the size of the Measure A contributions and the sources they come from.  I recall when I was a core member of the committee fighting Measure X (Covell Village) and we were outspent, if memory recalls me rightly, 20-1 and that was 2004 with probably less at stake to a  much  smaller range of people or interests.  And, as I again recall, did not proponents of Covell Village spent circa the same amount as the advocates of Measure A?  Not hard to dig this info up. 
     
    Vanguard readers, I don’t want to patronize, but this is developer politics, or much of local politics as it is all over the country except in a few places like Davis  the fight is more intense and expensive because we have the right to vote on such matters by referendum or the ballot.  Writ large this is how American democracy “works” and why, you’ll be amazed to know, that I  supported and voted for Bernie Sanders. 
     
    In the context of Nishi one has to ask several questions:  1) Do the many direct and indirect “stakeholders”   in the outcome of the election really have an interest in presenting an honest  and objective case, and of critically reading the EIR (or summaries thereof)  supporting Nishi;  2)  Do not the economic stakes involved in the outcome not account for the extreme and unfair vitriol that has been directed at the No on A proponents.  Any answer but yes to these two questions defies credulity, but then that is what we opponents of Nishi have been dealing with all along. 
     
    But big spending in Davis politics is not confined to ballot/referendum issues.  As I  recall the DV has righty be bemoaned the number of people willing to run for CC especially in recent years.  We know theta it has cost some people well over $30,000 to run for CC—for example Lamar Heystek (Sp.?)—and that hits has left winners and losers with big campaign debts.  Thus,  the huge fundraising that is necessary to run for the CC can only deter some good prospective candidates and favors the rich ion well off and those catering to certain economic interests who will find a way to bundle their contributions, as we have seen in the past.  Yet, I do not recall one existing council member, or any of the new candidates,  calling for any reforms of the system as they are either well off, or supported by significant economic interests and generally well entrenched. 
     
    The DV has, and is, remarking on the above, and it has complained of firefighter “bundling,” but it has not proposed, as far as I am aware, any concrete reforms such as limitations on the total money that can be spent on a ballot measure.  And God forbid, the obvious solution to getting  more people to run for city council, as I, and few others  (Sue Greenwald, Bob Dunning, to take a couple) have argued,  district elections.  Most people of all political stripes for reasons that baffle me, largely, have rejected this while larger and smaller cities that still had some vestige of genuinely democratic politics left  (Take Corvallis, Oregon as on example of a city of roughly  similar size that has district elections) have embraced district elections. 
     
    In sum, the outcome of  the vote on Measure A is in grave danger of being largely determined by big money and people with direct or indirect economic self-interest that  goes far  beyond notions of general social and economic benefits to the community. With so much money on hand,  it is no wonder at all  that Measure A proponents have made some truly absurd claims and done all they can to obscure and besmirch the arguments of the No on Nishi proponents.  Now knowing the politics and share perversity of some DV readers I expect to read several posts as to why a small core of people have donated $1,000 or more of their own money  (or loans that will likely never be repaid) to the effect that they are either crazy or somehow they have an economic stake in defeating Nishi. 
     
    The views that the core people fighting Nishi might actually care for the environmental future and general welfare of this city will be dismissed out of hand by all too many.  IMHO, these individuals, while not taking an identical stance on all issues in Davis politics have on Nishi , and other issues, taken a passionate, economically disinterested,  and objective stance on several key ballot measures because of their passionate desire to preserve the social, economic, and environmental integrity and welfare of Davis.  For that they should all be applauded.  Finally, they, like me, feel that no development proposal is so potentially negative in its impacts (going back as far as you want)  on Davis as Nishi. Please vote No on A.
     

    1. The Pugilist

      “It is surely no mystery why proponents of Measure A have raised so much money.  To be sure, there are proponents who genuinely believe in the objective virtues and benefits of the project and who do  not have any financial stake in the outcome.  However, there are a lot of people and  several entities that made, by local standards, large contributions from which they stand directly or indirectly to gain HUGELY financially.”

      Overall a good post by Mr. Cornford, however, I would point out that Measure A hasn’t raised campaign money.  The expenditures by the campaign have been money from Nishi Gateway itself and not from outside contributions.  I don’t know that that makes anything better, but at the very least it’s investor driven rather than outside interest driven with the exception of the union money (which is less than 10 percent of the total).

    2. Michael Harrington

      I put money into No on Nishi because this is the worst proposed development I have ever seen in Davis, with the sole exception being that bio lab proposal from UCD

      Nishi’s traffic will overwhelm the entire southern approach corridor to our little city  Their proposed “fixes” are completely bogus and in fact the Nishi developers are actually only contributing a small fraction of the costs of the Richards Olive changes.

       

      Looking at the other end of the Nishi traffic gridlock, the city gave them over $11.0 million in benefits due under the Affordable Housing Ordinance to pay for the RR undercrossing to UCD.  Nishi will take this money from housing for the poor and middle class in our town

      If you are not sure after reading all those color glossy mailers with children playing in Nishi, vote NO on Nishi, NO on Measure A

  11. darelldd

    If Nishi doesn’t win by at least 300:18, then I’m going to have to consider it a loss.

    As usual, this type of discussion just makes my skin crawl. We pretend to talk about the ability to get the information out there. What we’re really talking about is who can buy the most votes.

    1. The Pugilist

      I’m not clear on your point of disgust.  Is it that you believe that the yes side is buying votes or that they have a better ability to get their message out there?  I’m far from convinced that these days campaign money is going to buy votes – I think voters are actually fairly sophisticated and in Davis just as likely to be turned off by an overly slick presentation.

      1. darelldd

        Make no mistake, my disgust isn’t just about this one campaign, and it certainly isn’t just about one side of Nishi. It is all of the campaigns from city councils all the way to the POTUS. We just happen to be pointing out the absurdity of $300,000 for Yes on Nishi in this article.

        I’ll agree with your claim of sophistication just as soon as the spending and front-page reporting of “war chests” stops. Campaigns will not raise and spend tons of money if it does no good. Yet… the campaigns are still spending tons of money right here in Davis, so I can only assume that money still works. A sophisticated electorate doesn’t use yard signs, does it? And somebody *truly* needs to tell Dodd about the Davis sophistication before I can build an entire tree from his multiple, daily mailings.

  12. Tia Will

    ryankelly

    I know that students are being paid to work for the campaign”

    I have mixed feelings about the use of paid students. On the pro side, I believe that paying the students is certainly good for the individual student and as many are not wealthy, I support their employment. I also think that it is good for students to become more aware of local/social/economic issues before at an early stage of their development.

    However, there is a downside. I would agree with your statement that some of the students were well informed. Others were not and were making false statements especially early in the campaign. The other objection that I have to this strategy is the false impression that is given by packing forums and the Yes table with college students. This gives the false impression that these are students who are so passionate about their housing needs that they are willing to give their time for the cause. They were universally honest when directly asked “Are you being paid to be here ?” but never offered this information spontaneously. This gives the false impression that providing this housing is an act of altruism on the part of the developer, which of course is not the case.

    This to me is no better than the impression that some Nishi opponents are trying to give that theirs is the only possible position for “caring” Davis residents.

    My wish is that we could drop the moral posturing on both sides and simply state our points objectively and let the voters decide based on their own values and understanding of the issues rather than on the basis of emotional manipulation.

  13. darelldd

    >> My wish is that we could drop the moral posturing on both sides and simply state our points objectively and let the voters decide based on their own values and understanding of the issues rather than on the basis of emotional manipulation. <<

    Or as is so often the case, “financial manipulation.” Again, I wish I had your optimism, Tia!

    How about we pool all the campaign money from both sides, and hire a neutral advertising firm that would disseminate *all* of the known information. The good and the bad, the pros and the cons, the benefits and the negatives, (the redundancies and the repeats). And then, THEN, maybe we could let an informed voter base actually decide on the issues, instead of on the number of yard signs, or emotional visions.

    Paying people to canvass to only tell one side of the story is… buying votes. (different, of course, from having candidates show up at your door to discuss their own positions and policies.)

    1. Tia Will

      darelldd

      How about we pool all the campaign money from both sides, and hire a neutral advertising firm that would disseminate *all* of the known information. The good and the bad, the pros and the cons, the benefits and the negatives, (the redundancies and the repeats). And then, THEN, maybe we could let an informed voter base actually decide on the issues, instead of on the number of yard signs, or emotional visions.”

      Now there is an idea that I could support. I would even canvas for this change  ; )

       

    2. Frankly

      So, we can all be Spock and make logical determinations on the data and not be swayed by emotions?

      If we could do that then plastic grocery bags would still be in use.

  14. nameless

    cornford: “IMHO, these individuals, while not taking an identical stance on all issues in Davis politics have on Nishi , and other issues, taken a passionate, economically disinterested,  and objective stance on several key ballot measures because of their passionate desire to preserve the social, economic, and environmental integrity and welfare of Davis.

    The problem is that these individuals often stoop to less than savory tactics to get their way, e.g. disrupting public meetings, filings frivolous lawsuits, disrupting tabling at the Farmer’s Market, etc.  I have no problem with anyone taking a passionate stance on any particular issue, but I do have a problem with outright obstructionism using less than kosher battle tactics.

      1. Alan Pryor

        …disrupting public meetings, filings frivolous lawsuits, disrupting tabling at the Farmer’s Market, etc

        Nameless – Repeatedly claiming that the No on Nishi side has used these tactics without any supporting proof or factual evidence is about as unsavory as you can get – all while hiding behind your anonymity. Please provide any instance and details where No on Nishi has disrupted any public meetings or interfered with any tabling. You can’t because they did not occur. These allegations are akin to asking “When did you stop beating your wife?”…Unsavory, at best.

        As far as frivolous lawsuits, the the developer or the City all could have filed to have a lawsuit thrown out as frivolous yet choose to not do so. Why? Because the almost certain rejection of this claim would have worked against their campaign interests. It is much easier to claim something is a frivolous lawsuit than risk actually going to court to try to prove it and then have it backfire in your face.

        1. nameless

          Reread the quote and my response – it refers to “identical stance on ALL DAVIS ISSUES”. As for the city’s stance on lawsuits, and how they have handled them in the past, don’t even get me started…

      2. hpierce

        Pick any State proposition over the last 20 years, that you strongly opposed… an initiative… if the opposition of that proposition, who are in agreement with you, outspent the supporters of the measure by 300:18, would you complain?

  15. Tia Will

    cornford

    The views that the core people fighting Nishi might actually care for the environmental future and general welfare of this city will be dismissed out of hand by all too many”

    I fully agree that most, if not all of the “No on Nishi” folks care deeply about the environment and well being of the city. What I take exception to is the dismissive way that the “No on Nishi” folks tend to dismiss the similar concerns of those who favor Nishi as you have done with your one liner:

    To be sure, there are proponents who genuinely believe in the objective virtues and benefits of the project and who do  not have any financial stake in the outcome. “

    Followed by a diatribe about the corrupting influence of money. Yes, this is a developer driven project. However, it is based on real community need and represents some real benefits as well as potential detrimental aspects to the community. It is the weighing of these potential benefits and downsides that should drive people’s vote, not who is making what.

    Both sides have participated in this “greed shaming” holier than thou approach. Neither side has refrained from attacking the other on the basis of “vested interest” whether it is “making millions of dollars” by imperiling vulnerable populations on the “No” side or accusations of slum lord profiteering thrown out by the “Yes” side. I think that we can do better than this.

     

     

  16. cornford

    Tia,

    With all due respect, and I do appreciate some of your DV posts: 1)  You are a member of the DV editorial board; 2) Relatedly, the DV has been a strong proponent of Yes on A, even if it like the DE, it has given space to voices on both sides; 3) On the DV weeks, if not months ago, you made clear that you were supporting  Measure A.

    In the light of the above, and without time to go into a detailed analysis, you take a typical relativistic or false equivalency position.  I will not say that no-one on the No on Nishi campaign has ever made an exaggeration or an inaccurate statement, but by comparison with the Yes on A proponents, their argument have been accurate and temperate.

    And, relatedly in your liberal relativism, you seem blissfully unconcerned or dismissive of the very notion   (“a diatribe about the corrupting influence of money”) that monetary stakes and gain could influence the tone and content of the Measure on A proponents’ arguments.

    Let me put it another way Tia, quite simply: do you or do you not believe that large amounts of money spent in politics, be it at the local, state or federal level, is potentially corrupting???  At least implicitly in his article today David appears to concede this possibility  (Correct me if I am wrong David).

    If you (Tia) , as a person who has made some good, if  not excellent posts, in the past are not even prepared to concede this then we on the No on Nishi side have even more to contend with than I thought, and I fear even more for the future of Davis than I did a few hours ago.

     

     

    1. Tia Will

      cornford

      1)  You are a member of the DV editorial board; 2) Relatedly, the DV has been a strong proponent of Yes on A, even if it like the DE, it has given space to voices on both sides; 3) On the DV weeks, if not months ago, you made clear that you were supporting  Measure A.

      First, a question. What does my being a member of the DV editorial board have to do with anything ? I have repeatedly stated that unless, I specify otherwise, I am speaking only for myself and not as a member of the editorial board which is in no way in unanimity about any issue of which I am aware. There seems to be a misunderstanding about the function of the DV editorial board, which is not now and never has been to present a uniform voice for positions taken by David.

      Now to your actual question regarding the issue.

      2. “do you or do you not believe that large amounts of money spent in politics, be it at the local, state or federal level, is potentially corrupting??? “

      I absolutely agree that large amounts of money spent in politics are potentially corrupting. Did you read the exchanges between darelldd and I earlier on this thread ? I do not believe that I have ever posted anything that would contradict this position. I have actually argued on the Vanguard a number of times for publicly funded campaigns and caps on expenditures. It would seem to me that you may have overlooked these posts. I am a little surprised about the nature of what I see as a very loaded question that you put to me personally :

      If you (Tia) , as a person who has made some good, if  not excellent posts, in the past are not even prepared to concede this then we on the No on Nishi side have even more to contend with than I thought.

      “Not even prepared to concede…..”

      Really !!??

      When I have been consistent in my position against the use of “big money” and reliance on it or “big influence” in these sense of name recognition alone instead of focusing on the issues, it seems very ironic to me that you would imply that I have anything to “concede”.

       

  17. HouseFlipper

    David, I think your undercounting the amount being spent on the Spafford + Lincoln “Field Operatives” the majority of the individuals listed in your early article on campaign spending are easily identifiable through internet searches as being employed by Spafford + Lincoln. The total is actually over $100,000.

    I have to wonder if these direct payments from the campaign to the S+L staff is done to avoid payroll taxes.

      1. HouseFlipper

        I see what your saying now that I see the actual form, but it actually makes it more apparent that you are undercounting how much went to, or through Spafford. Each payment listed on these forms is a separate payment.

         

  18. cornford

     
    Tia I do not doubt that on some issues you have differed, as other members have, with the DV editorial board, but I question, and I leave other readers to judge whether or not you are influenced by this ambience on such an important ago that bordered on sinister saying that we needed to be “nullified.”  Pity I can’t word search the DV to find it.)  And, are there one, or maybe even, two people on the DV editorial board that opposed the Nishi project? If so, please supply their names.
     
     
     
    You make much of your exchange with darelldd above.  Appearing to make some concessions to the role of money in the campaign darelldd writes the following: ““How about we pool all the campaign money from both sides, and hire a neutral advertising firm that would disseminate *all* of the known information. The good and the bad, the pros and the cons, the benefits and the negatives, (the redundancies and the repeats).”  And this proposal gets your immediate and full endorsement.
     
     
     
     Now when it comes to unpractical and unimplementable solutions this really takes the cake.  As someone who claims to have thought and written a lot about this issue of money in politics, is this the best you can do?  If not, please make your suggestions.
     
     
     
    How about a limit on the amount that can be spent on a ballot/referendum campaign in the way that, in theory at least, we cap the contributions that an individual can make in CC campaigns or is that too revolutionary for you?
     
     
     
    But more to my central point.  You write:  “Both sides have participated in this “greed shaming” holier than thou approach. Neither side has refrained from attacking the other on the basis of “vested interest” whether it is “making millions of dollars” by imperiling vulnerable populations on the “No” side or accusations of slum lord profiteering thrown out by the “Yes” side.”
     
     
     
    Here are just the kind of false equivalencies that I accuse you and many Measure A proponents of engaging in.  To equate the hyper rhetoric of the No on Nishi advocates with the Yes on  A proponents is not only untrue, at variance with the facts, it is simply preposterous.  It is so for several reasons and the most important of which is that a significant number of core Yes on A supporters stand to gain financially from the passage of Measure A.  Isn’t that why $300,000 has been raised to support Measure A???  Isn’t that part of the reason  why posts on the Vanguard in favor of A outnumber posts against it by a margin, if I had to guess of 5 or 7 to 1?
     
     
     
    And what of the motives of the No on A people who have spent thousands out of their own pockets to raise a mere $18,000 to fight Measure A.  Are they a bunch of nasty misguided NIMBYS that want to destroy Davis, and who will falsify anything and everything in their efforts to do so?  Don’t you credit any one of them with the virtues I ascribe to them; as people who for many years have been concerned in many campaigns about the unfettered and uncontrolled growth of Davis by very powerful economic interest?  And people who give not only their money but literally hundreds of hours to  fight measures like A, just as I, and some others did when it came to Covell Village.
     
     
     
    But what really gets to me, Tia, is that having pointed out the vested economic interests and the amount of money behind A, and having tried to write a post that made constructive observations about the role of money and politics in Davis (and elsewhere), you have the gall to describe or characterize my first post as “a diatribe”  about the corrupting influence of money.”  IN DOING SO YOU BOTH NEGATE AND CONTRADICT YOUR ASSERTIONS IN SEVERAL POSTS AS TO THE POTENTIALLY CORRUPTING INFLUENCE OF MONEY ON POLITICS.
     
     
     
    I mean is it really fair to describe my contribution on this subject as a diatribe? No it is not, and in doing so you engage in precisely the same kind of hyper negative lofty rhetoric that supporters of Measure A have employed, yet again  negating one of the high  moral principles you have virtuously staked out in these posts and on frequent occasions. Tia, you are simply all over the map, and especially on this one.
     
     
     
     
     

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      “And, are there one, or maybe even, two people on the DV editorial board that opposed the Nishi project? ”

      Hey Dan, I know this might blow your mind, but I don’t actually know the answer to that. We’ve never discussed our views on Nishi.

    2. South of Davis

      cornford wrote:

      > posts on the Vanguard in favor of A outnumber posts against

      > it by a margin, if I had to guess of 5 or 7 to 1?

      I don’t think the ratio is quite so big, but I’m thinking that posts from people like me who don’t care at all if measure A passes or fails (I flipped a coin before voting and mailing in my ballot) that have a hard time with the (multiple times a day) No on A lies may count as “in favor” of measure A.

  19. Yes on A Fan

    David, who is on the Vanguard editorial board?   I would be shocked if there was anybody who was “pro-development” or pro growth vs. measured, reasonable growth to meet internal needs or anybody who favors peripheral development over smart infill…

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      Current board: Tia Will, Bob Fung, Leanna Sweha, Alan Hirsch, Jerika Heinze, Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald, (two vacancies)

      1. Roberta Millstein

        On a semi-related note, David, a few days ago you said that you were going to fix that top banner for Yes on A to make it clear that it was an advertisement, not an endorsement… but that hasn’t happened.  Is it going to happen in time for the election?

        1. Roberta Millstein

          I see.  The graphic could simply have added to it, in small letters at the bottom, “Paid for by “Yes on Measure A”” (or whatever they call themselves).  No need for a fancy technical solution.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            News to me – glad to see however. It was one of those issues that we hadn’t thought of because this is the first election since this site was built.

      2. Michael Harrington

        Alan Hirsch said he would sit out Yes on A, but here he is, hugely working for it.    So there are two members of the DV Board pushing Yes on A.  And many of the articles, and the editorial comments, appear well over the line towards YES.  (I hear it’s partially the fabulous jobs from the R and D space …. but then the DV never covers all the EMPTY commercial rental space and the many EMPTY lots zoned for such jobs.  So there is a serious question whether that R and D space will ever be built, or even in ten years.)

        With all due respects, Tia’s Yes comments don’t make sense, and she fails to go to the documents and pull out and cite to the information.  She makes lofty statements about this and that, “let’s all make honey and roses together and pass out daffodils,” and how No on A makes numerous wild and false allegations …. but does not quote them, and does not cite the sources of her lofty generalist statements.

        I also have heard that there are people in certain neighborhoods who should know better who are pushing a Yes vote, in the hopes that putting junky dense housing on Nishi will lessen the pressure for the CC to start putting in much denser housing in these other neighborhoods.  Sort of like:  screw your neighbor to protect your own fence line.  In fact, screw everyone who uses Richards!

        Doubt me?  Look at Mr. Sherman’s email from Rancho Yolo to his neighbors:  Vote for YES, and maybe the CC wont approve Sterling.  Delusional.   (David, you should post that email.)

         

        There are a couple more neighborhoods where this type of sentiment is being encouraged by YES advocates.  But I don’t want to burn bridges so I wont publish the emails people send to me.

         

        The YES side is pitting neighbors against neighbors, desperately looking for a few more votes.

         

        7 more days of dealing with this junky project.

         

        1. Yes on A Fan

          Insert No on Nishi lawn sign on crappy rental here “Unaffordable”.  I remember a recent post where M H said we don’t need housing at Nishi, we have MUCH better locations;  such as Sterling. That seems to be a common theme. Maybe David fired the 2 previous board members who are Yes on A who are still listed on the editorial board link: Michelle Millet and Joe Krovoza.  David, I agree, you should post all the Yes on Measure A emails that are coming from all Davis neighborhoods. Maybe there is a story there: Preserve Our Neighborhoods; Vote Yes on Measure A

        2. Matt Williams

          Mike said . . . “Alan Hirsch said he would sit out Yes on A, but here he is, hugely working for it.”

          Mike, I’m not sure where you got the facts to support your statement “here he is, hugely working for it,”  but in the last two weeks, Alan Hirsch has posted exactly once here in the Vanguard, and the rather passive content of that comment is as follows.  I think you will need a more compelling “whipping boy” than Alan.

          aaahirsch8
          2016/05/20 at 7:54 am

          Did anyone note that it more dangerous for kids to live in Rural and suburban areas than in a urbanized city, despite of dirtier air plus crime, etc:  The risk of dying in a traffic accident out weights that of all those other risk factors.

          What is the risk of forcing student to commute to UCD vs risk of air quality for those in that will live in these buildings… Maybe Susan missed the hearing before council when this was discussed.

          Oh, is anyone working to close down Solano Park grad housing with the identical air quality conditions, and we all wanted to save the un-air conditioned/unfiltered HVAC system of the “the domes” that are located right near freeway?

          And is their a move afoot to close down Willet Elementary School..and park…..which backs up to a freeway?

          Sorry, I don’t believe the epidemiology risk out weight benefits of Nishi without which our neighborhoods will be destroyed by conversion of homes to minidorm.

          All risk is relative.

          Red Herring alert.

           

           

           

  20. Tia Will

    comford

    Oh my goodness. Where even to begin.

    1. “Tia I do not doubt that on some issues you have differed, as other members have, with the DV editorial board, but I question, and I leave other readers to judge whether or not you are influenced by this ambience on such an important ago that bordered on sinister saying that we needed to be “nullified.”  Pity I can’t word search the DV to find it.)  And, are there one, or maybe even, two people on the DV editorial board that opposed the Nishi project? If so, please supply their names.

    I feel the need to explain that the Vanguard editorial board does not formulate options as a group. So there is no “editorial board opinion” with which to agree or disagree. I have no idea how other members of the editorial board feel about Nishi, except David who has said he is conflicted.

    As for anything being “nullified” I simply do not have any idea what you are talking about. If you can find it, I will address this issue, but as it stands now, I am clueless.

    2. I am not making “much” of my exchange with darelldd. Perhaps you took it much more seriously than I did, or did not notice my emoticon.

    3. “ Now when it comes to unpractical and unimplementable solutions this really takes the cake. “

    I honestly do not know why pooling of funds in order to publish a compilation of factual data should be such an outrageous idea. I do not see why, as a society, we must be wedded to adversarial approaches to problem solving. True, neither of us spelled out any details, but I do not see an alternative and more objective mechanism as an impossibility, and I certainly would see it as an improvement over the manipulative approach ( both financial and emotional) that we have now.

    4. “Are they a bunch of nasty misguided NIMBYS that want to destroy Davis, and who will falsify anything and everything in their efforts to do so? “

    I have never made any such claim. I have expressed repeatedly my dislike for name calling by anyone at any time. I believe that this is well documented by my posts on the Vanguard so I consider this egregious in a post directed at me.

     5. “IN DOING SO YOU BOTH NEGATE AND CONTRADICT YOUR ASSERTIONS IN SEVERAL POSTS AS TO THE POTENTIALLY CORRUPTING INFLUENCE OF MONEY ON POLITICS.”

    Others may disagree, but I consider electronic shouting as the equivalent of a “diatribe”. This has reinforced my opinion rather than lessening it. And this has nothing at all to do with “fairness”. I have called out actions, comments, and tactics on both sides that I do not like. I do not expect you to agree, but I would rather not be attacked personally simply because you do not agree with one of my posts. And yes, I do have the “gall” to call it as I see it. 

  21. nameless

    corn ford: “I will not say that no-one on the No on Nishi campaign has ever made an exaggeration or an inaccurate statement, but by comparison with the Yes on A proponents, their argument have been accurate and temperate.”

    And of course we know you are not biased against Measure A and are making this assessment on which campaign is prone to more exaggeration?  LOL  As an advocate of Measure A who used to be opposed to Nishi, I would say the “no” on Measure A folks certainly reinforced in my eyes their overt no-growth agenda!

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