Off-Topic Column – The Pimentel-Petrovich Connection; The End of the Road For David Crane and Newt Gingrich?

Share:
Crane-Protest.jpgThe End of the Road for David Crane – the Would-Be UC Regent

One thing that has become clear in the aftermath of the pepper-spraying incident at UC Davis is the need for new voices on the UC Board of Regents.  In his final appointment, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger named David Crane.

Immediately, fierce opposition led University of California students, faculty and workers.  A year later, David Crane has failed Senate confirmation to the UC Board of Regents.

While he has served as a Regent throughout 2011, state law requires that he be confirmed by the Senate within one year of his appointment in order to serve the remainder of a 12-year term. Next week, the 365-day clock for Senate confirmation will run out for Mr. Crane.

What made Mr. Crane so controversial was his advocacy of the tactics of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, by questioning collective bargaining rights for California’s public sector workers, including teachers, nurses, firefighters and university employees.

The opposition was led by the University of California Student Association (UCSA) and several public employee unions, who immediately began a campaign to ensure Crane was not confirmed and not able to serve a full term on the Board of Regents.

The UC Student Association said: “Particularly at a time when collective bargaining rights are under attack around the country, students find it disturbing that Mr. Crane would choose this time to raise questions about this fundamental and essential right for public employees.”

Nelson Cortez, a UC Santa Cruz student and board member of the UCSA added, “It is deeply troubling that students were not informed before this decision. The needs and views of students and workers must be prioritized in the appointment of UC Regents. That clearly was not done with Regent Crane’s appointment, and therefore UC students are opposed to his confirmation.”

Senator Leland Yee, a frequent critic of the University of California, also led the charge against this appointee.

“Students deserve to have someone who will fight for them and ensure their needs are addressed,” said Senator Yee. “Considering recent efforts to privatize the University of California, yet another millionaire investor for a Regent is the last thing students need to protect their public university. I am looking forward to Governor Brown’s appointment to this important post.”

Mr. Crane’s final day with the UC Board of Regents is Tuesday.

Reported the LA Times earlier this week, Mr. Crane “has been a burr under the saddle to legislators, criticizing them for inaction on pension reform and making cuts in state funding to universities, which have forced large increases in tuition.”

Mr. Crane argued, “It’s virtually impossible for anyone to get confirmed if they keep pointing out that the legislature is privatizing UC.”

Supervisor Campaign – Art Pimentel and Paul Petrovich

We will have more on the new challenge by Woodland Mayor Art Pimentel to Supervisor Duane Chamberlain tomorrow.  But Dino Gay, who co-publishes the Woodland Record, posted some interesting comments about Mayor Pimentel and his connections to developer Paul Petrovich.

Mayor Pimentel cited Mr. Chamberlain’s opposition to the Gateway I and Gateway II projects.

“Both of those he’s opposed continuously,” he said, “I feel that that is the wrong approach especially when he’s representing such a large portion of the city of Woodland.”

However, the Woodland Record notes that, on December 22, Mayor Pimentel took the “lead in clearing a path for Petrovich projects.”

Writes Mr. Gay in the Woodland Record:

“2010 proved to be no fluke, as it was business-as-usual in 2011 for our council led by Art Pimentel (the council-appointed honorary mayor). Pimentel and fellow council members Skip Davies and Martie Dote made sure that their previous work was not in vain as Petrovich gained advantages for his Third and Main multiplex project and gained approval for his Gateway II annexation with the Pimentel/Davies/Dote vote.”

“A January 18 Woodland Record article describes how his property – known only as AP 057-170-04 in closed session agendas – is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Petrovich projects in Woodland. Woodland Record readers are reminded in the article that Pimentel received a disproportionate amount of contributions for his 2008 city council campaign from Petrovich – under four different LLC aliases – and his employees.”

It is worth noting that Davis has struggled with a development from Mr. Petrovich, as well.

In July the Vanguard reported that four businesses at Oakshade Plaza in South Davis have either closed or moved in recent months.

The Vanguard spoke to David Robert, who owns the Davis Creamery and also sits on the Business and Economic Development Commission (BEDC).

Mr. Robert told the Vanguard that his lease over at Oakshade was costing him $5800 per month for a 1200-square-foot space, and in South Davis it simply did not have the foot traffic for him to be able to turn a profit.

“It was absolutely ridiculous,” he said.  “It’s not like it was Bourbon Street in New Orleans.”

“He [Paul Petrovich] was very unwilling to work with anyone even during the economic downturn,” he said.  “He didn’t care because he had a signed contract and it’s just business.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Gay posted on the Vanguard that because of gerrymandering, the district largely “excludes full rural representation.”

Mr. Gay writes, “Duane [Chamberlain] has been aced out of the district for which he campaigned to represent.”

“The former 5th District included Winters and about 40% of Woodland. The BOS voted to diminish rural interests and the interests of Duane. Duane now represents about 70% of Woodland,” Mr. Gay notes, “but I can tell you that Duane will still have support from Woodlanders who still see the town as an agricultural community.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Gay added, “Pimentel has consistently shown that he favors Petrovich and his development projects, both in the heart of the historic downtown and in the massive and unnecessary Gateway annexations.”

He continues: “Pimentel and his two cronies on the council ignored a thousand supporters of what would have been the locally-developed State Theatre Renovation and Expansion project in favor of Petrovich’s multiplex project in the redevelopment area. I believe you are correct when you characterize Pimentel as disingenuous to his constituents. He has proven he doesn’t listen to community members, only a developer named Petrovich.”

Presidential Candidate Gingrich Blows His Own Foot Off

We knew as soon as Newt Gingrich ended up near the top of the polls for the Republican Presidential Nomination that he would act quickly to shoot himself in the foot.  What we did not know is how quickly or thoroughly he would be able to do so.

It turns out little has changed since Mr. Gingrich imploded back in 1996 – he is still perfectly capable of being a one-man circular firing squad.

In early December, nearly every national poll showed Mr. Gingrich leading the Republicans by a double-digit margin over his nearest competitor Mitt Romney.  Almost overnight that lead is gone.

The worse news is that people just do not like Mr. Gingrich.  A Harris Poll released yesterday show that almost half of the voters do not like Mr. Gingrich personally, another 43 percent said they do not like his record as speaker of the House (1995-99) and 43 percent disagree with his political opinions.

Those are pretty astonishing figures and difficult to overcome.

At the center of the fall is Mr. Gingrich’s own missteps.  One of the most notable missteps was when he told Face the Nation that “judges who make a decision that a president believes violates civil liberties should be reviewed and possibly dismissed by the other two branches.”

“I’m suggesting that when there are decisions … in which they’re literally risking putting civil liberty rules in battlefields, it’s utterly irrational for the Supreme Court to take on its shoulders the defense of the United States,” he said. “It’s a violation of the Constitution.”

He would later attempt to brush off concerns such as those raised by Michael Mukasey, a former federal judge and attorney general in the administration of President George W. Bush, who during an interview with Fox News called Gingrich’s plan “dangerous, ridiculous, totally irresponsible, outrageous, off-the-wall and would reduce the entire judicial system to a spectacle.”

“I think many lawyers will find this a very frightening idea,” Mr. Gingrich said. “They’ve had this run of 50 years of pretending judges are supreme, that they can’t be challenged.”

Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the UC Irvine School of Law, in an LA Times Op-ed noted that, while there is really nothing new here, “bashing ‘liberal’ judges has been a staple for Republican presidential candidates at least since Richard Nixon ran in 1968 with a campaign against the Warren court. It is ironic that conservatives continue with such attacks even as there is a conservative majority on the Supreme Court and its rulings overall are far more to the liking of conservatives than liberals.”

But he added, “There is a difference to this year’s political rhetoric about the courts: It is more mean-spirited and it shows a stunning ignorance of the Constitution and American history.”

“Perhaps these attacks on the federal judiciary are just part of the exceptionally poisonous rhetoric of these divisive times. But it is scary to think of the possibility of a president who largely rejects judicial review, gives no apparent importance to judicial independence, pledges to defy Supreme Court rulings or wants to remove federal judges based on disagreement with their rulings. And yet these are changes that candidate after candidate in the Republican race has been talking about,” he added.

It is perhaps not a coincidence that, after making a series of such utterances, Mr. Gingrich would plummet in the polls.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

btn_fbk_160 btn_twit_160

Share:

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.

Related posts

33 thoughts on “Off-Topic Column – The Pimentel-Petrovich Connection; The End of the Road For David Crane and Newt Gingrich?”

  1. Mr.Toad

    It seems lots of people I know shop at Costco in Woodland and we went to Target there until they opened in Davis. So it seems that it could be that this rant is more about your view of the world than that of Woodland’s population and business decisions.

    I see it differently as well, the incumbent representing the old white landed established no growth scene that is so popular with elements of the Davis no growth scene. After all, they both represent the same territorial behavior of not letting anyone else in after you. The challenger representing the moving on up pro=business latino scene in Woodland. I’m not surprised but I am disappointed to find you on the wrong side of this choice.

  2. Dino

    Mr. Toad,

    I don’t see how you consider David’s article a rant, and it seems from his previous article that he is favorable toward Pimentel.

    I shop at Costco, too. That doesn’t mean it was a wise business or planning decision to allow it to go where it is. Costco could have easily gone across the freeway next to Walmart or next to The Home Depot. And I’m not sure where you’re going with the “old white” comment since Petrovich is white.

    While you’re analyzing the Gateway I decision by Pimentel and council, why don’t you mention that Pimentel and city hall negotiated a $2.5 million gift to Petrovich to purchase Gateway I land for the I-5 onramp. That’s right, the City of Woodland paid Petrovich $2.5 million for a strip of ag land to be used as a road. That doesn’t even include the taxpayer’s burden to construct the Road 102 overpass that became necessary because of Gateway I (which, by the way, has no LEED certified buildings).

  3. medwoman

    Mr.Toad

    “I see it differently as well, the incumbent representing the old white landed established no growth scene that is so popular with elements of the Davis no growth scene. After all, they both represent the same territorial behavior of not letting anyone else in after you. The challenger representing the moving on up pro=business latino scene in Woodland. I’m not surprised but I am disappointed to find you on the wrong side of this choice.”

    I definitely do not want to misrepresent your position, but I find a couple of issues you have raised troubling.
    1) I am not sure how ethnicity has anything at all to do with whether or not one is pro growth or anti growth.
    The bigger issue to me is whether one favors growth via “big box” stores and national chains of all types,
    or whether one favors development of small, local businesses and down town areas with preservation of the
    surrounding rural areas. I was treated to a graphic example of the impact of the homogenization of business
    and its effects last weekend. While passing through Vacaville, my son and I fell victim to a GPS error and while
    seeking a JCrew, where misdirected to the down town area. Now there is no JCrew in downtown Vacaville. But
    that is irrelevant. What is relevant is that on a weekend afternoon, there were also no shoppers. As far as we
    could see in the downtown area, there were four other people. I don’t mean four people with whom we had
    interactions, I mean four people total. Contrast with the outlet stores where we were about 10 minutes later
    where one could hardly walk due to the density of the crowds. Before I would blame desire to preserve the
    nature of existing towns on ethnicity, I would look at the impact of the large chains on local merchants and
    other businesses for why they might not be so welcoming of the impersonal chains.
    2) I am not sure how you are using the word “wrong” in the phrase “the wrong side of this choice”.
    If you are using this to mean the opposite side from your preferred choice, fair enough. If you are using it to
    imply that there is some moral high ground possessed by those who wish to develop for their personal financial
    benefit, I would have to disagree. This is a matter of people on both sides of the issue wanting to promote what
    they see as in their best interest. I am what you have in previous posts called a “slow” or potentially “no growth”
    advocate. My reason however, is not to impede any change. I just don’t want to accept growth that I see as
    detrimental to the community such as yet another car dependent upper middle class suburban development.
    I would have no problem with a truly innovative project such as an updated version of Village Homes, or
    a truly affordable housing project. I believe that there is now a thought developing that smaller can be better
    and that endless sprawl does not have to be the model for every community. There is certainly plenty of that
    to choose from between Vallejo and Sacramento. There are some of us who feel that it is nice to have another
    model from which to choose in this area.

  4. Mr.Toad

    Let me break it down for you. I don’t think there has ever been a latino on the Yolo County Board of Supervisors even though 30% of the county is latino. Certainly there hasn’t been one in the time I have lived here.

  5. Robin W

    Mr. Toad, do you seriously believe that all concerns expressed about the Pimentel-Petrovich connection stem from racism? Regarding the absence of Latinos on the Bd of Supervisors, can you please remind me which Latino candidates have run for positions on the BOS?

  6. Mr.Toad

    Who knows, its probably that he is not seeing the forest for the trees. If David is more concerned about Costco than than having a Latino voice on the B of S he really needs to get over all his concerns about civil rights.

  7. Mr.Toad

    When Arturo ran for Woodland City Council a latino I work with was excited when he won. Certainly there is an identity issue here that David seems to be missing. As for the lack of latino candidates over time I think you might be starting to understand the institutional oppression that lack of representation perpetuates.

    Let me give you just one example. If latinos had representation at the county level it might of been harder to purge David Serrano from the Yolo County Housing Authority.

  8. medwoman

    Merry Christmas !

    Now with regard to representation. Do I think it would be more inclusive for there to be a latino on the BOS?
    Absolutely. But being latino is not sufficient in and of itself. Simply being latino does not mean that someone will be an effective representative for the majority of that population even if it were the case that there were an agreed upon “best interest” for the group.

    I think that this points out a fallacy in considering the impact of race and ethnicity in politics. While I think it is very important for groups to have role models to see what is possible ( for example when I was growing up, I did not realize it was possible for a woman to be a doctor. I only became aware of the possibility as a young adult.) This does not mean that just possessing the relevant ethnic background will make a particular candidate a good representative.I certainly do not feel that George W Bush was a good representative of my interests even though we are both white. Nor do I feel that Obama’s mixed racial background has made him a great representative of my point of view.

  9. Mr.Toad

    Hilary Clinton or Sarah Palin? Only one might excite you. So I get your drift. But in this Supervisor race supporting Pimentel is the best choice unless you are more concerned about holding the status quo than social justice.

  10. Don Shor

    @ Mr. Toad: the population of Yolo County is 30% Hispanic. The population of Woodland is 47% HIspanic. Art Pimentel could arguably do more for social justice as a city councilman than as a supervisor.

  11. Mr.Toad

    Nonsense Don, go ahead and arguably make that case. Supervisors represent more people and larger areas. They also have more influence county wide and regionally. They vote on larger budgets. Finally, the Yolo B of S has been a stepping stone to higher office for the last 18 years.

  12. Frankly

    Gingrich appeals to self-driven people fed up with our current system of governance and eager for needed change. The problem they understand is that the majority of voters are risk-averse reactionaries who prefer to scream about any proposed bold change as having the potential for making bad things happen, then they watch as their decision to do nothing creates a bigger mess, and then they quickly look for someone rather than themselves to blame.

    The exception to this aversion to change is any change that clearly provides them more free and easy stuff from the government.

    Knowing all this, those that support Gingrich are still motivated by his bright and bold ideas and his direct style… but as each day passes they see him having less and less of a chance to win against Obama because the majority meek and timid will be too frightened by him. They see Romney as being at least a partial RINO, but they see him as more electable than Gingrich because he can better surf the middle ground… combined with the fear of another four years of Obama… he looks almost perfect by comparison.

    Another four years of Obama will result in another four years of America in decline. Republicans and many moderates know this and care about this more than they do electing their favorite candidate. We will hold our nose a bit just to get rid of the much bigger stink in Washington.

  13. Matt Williams

    Mr. Toad, I’m afraid my honeymoon with you (garnered by the radio tower debate) is likely to be short lived. Bottom-line, in this particular Supervisorial District we are going to have a choice between having the only farmer on the BOS or the only Hispanic on the BOS. It would be nice to have both, but the choice between the two declared candidates isn’t going to afford us to cover both with a single choice. Given the considerable commitment of this County to Agriculture and Agricultural Education, my choice is very clearly on the side of the farmers. Bottom-line, the chances of an active working farmer representing any of the other four BOS Districts is extremeely remote.

  14. Don Shor

    In most agricultural counties one of the biggest issues is the urbanization of farmland. In Solano County that problem has been solved by means of a county growth initiative. What, Mr. Toad, has prevented urbanization of farmland in Yolo County?

  15. Mr.Toad

    The Williamson Act, Conservation easements, Farm Subsidy crop supports, Crop Insurance, Cheap Water, UC Ag extension, Seed Companies, The pass through agreement, climate, crop diversity, high value crops, class 1 soils, the farm bureau, low interest rates, the housing bust, zoning restrictions.

  16. Mr.Toad

    But you guys seem to be arguing that without Chamberlain ag will lose its voice in this County. Isn’t this a naivete position? Do you think that the other Supervisors are not sensitive to the economic and cultural importance of ag in this county? I have had other members of the board tell me about how important it is to preserve our class 1 soils for food production. Its not all or none.

  17. Don Shor

    Williamson Act subvention funds are gone, if I recall.
    Conservation easements? Where near any local cities?
    What do farm subsidy crop supports or crop insurance have to do with anything when land development is at issue?
    I’ll ignore the irrelevancies of “UC Ag extension, Seed Companies, climate, the farm bureau,” etc. The pass-through agreement is only three votes away from abrogation.
    Class 1 soils get built on all the time. Parts of Wildhorse are Class 1 soil.
    Zoning restrictions might be important near Davis, but nowhere else (which is why I think Yolo County would be well-served by the kind of initiative that protects land in Solano County).

    The point is, having a councilmember who [i]always[/i] supports the development projects of one of Yolo County’s most active commercial developers on the board of supervisors does not bode well for the protection of the county’s agricultural land.
    Yes, without Chamberlain Ag will lose an important voice in this county. Particularly if that is replaced by an ambitious pro-development councilmember who “received a disproportionate amount of contributions for his 2008 city council campaign from Petrovich – under four different LLC aliases – and his employees.”

  18. Matt Williams

    Mr.Toad said . . .

    [i]”But you guys seem to be arguing that without Chamberlain ag will lose its voice in this County. Isn’t this a naive position? Do you think that the other Supervisors are not sensitive to the economic and cultural importance of ag in this county? I have had other members of the board tell me about how important it is to preserve our class 1 soils for food production. [b]Its not all or none.[/b]”[/i]

    There is a difference between having dirt under one’s fingernails and not having such. Mike McGowan would very quickly tell you that while he is very sympathetic to (sensitive to) the issues that his Clarksburg constituents have, that those same constituents have forgotten more about farming than he will ever know. Further, he isn’t going to be spending a lot of time up in Capay Valley pounding the pavement meeting with Yolo County residents who aren’t in his District.

    While the constituents (and Districts) are different, the same can be said for Matt Rexroad, Jim Provenza and Don Saylor. Sypathetic, yes . . . having a working knowledge of farming, not really. If Chamberlain is replaced by Pimental, who is going to proactively be the voice for farming?

    All of the above doesn’t make Mr. Pimental a bad choice or a bad man, just lacking in valuable experience and insight in an area that is absolutely core to the continued well being of Yolo County.

    With respect to your final sentence, you are right “Its not all or none.” What it is is one or none.

  19. David M. Greenwald

    “If David is more concerned about Costco than than having a Latino voice on the B of S he really needs to get over all his concerns about civil rights.”

    I find this an interesting comment since I have not weighed in with my own view on this, I simply posted Dino’s view as the counterweight to Pimentel’s view on Friday.

  20. David M. Greenwald

    You miss the point here: The “hit piece” as you call it represents someone else’s view and their perspective on Pimentel’s relationship with Petrovich. That’s not necessarily my position, but it is a position in the community. Just as I printed largely verbatim and without editorial Pimentel’s views on Chamberlain.

  21. rusty49

    “Woodland Record readers are reminded in the article that Pimentel received a disproportionate amount of contributions for his 2008 city council campaign from Petrovich – under four different LLC aliases – and his employees.”

    “Mr. Gay added, “Pimentel has consistently shown that he favors Petrovich and his development projects, both in the heart of the historic downtown and in the massive and unnecessary Gateway annexations.”

    “Pimentel and his two cronies on the council ignored a thousand supporters of what would have been the locally-developed State Theatre Renovation and Expansion project in favor of Petrovich’s multiplex project in the redevelopment area. I believe you are correct when you characterize Pimentel as disingenuous to his constituents. He has proven he doesn’t listen to community members, only a developer named Petrovich.”

    Why would anyone want to vote for this guy?

  22. Dino

    Woodland Record, Dec. 19, 2009

    Downtown multiplex process scrutinized: Ties to Pimentel campaign

    http://woodlandrecord.com/downtown-multiplex-process-scrutinized-ties-to-pimentel-campaign-p1076-1.htm

    Since November 30, 2007, the Woodland Journal/Woodland Record has produced are over 350 articles that connect the dots to questionable city planning that revolves around the Pimentel/Petrovich partnership. Of course, it’s not all Pimentel… you can trace favoritism back to city manager Richard Kirkwood and council members David Flory and Matt Rexroad (Pimentel’s mentor and author of the Urban Limit Line). If you want to dig deeper, opponents of the Urban Limit Line clearly saw into the crystal ball as the ULL became the Grow-To Line. Petrovich’s Gateway I and Gateway II are the results of that manifest destiny. Pimentel made sure of that.

  23. hpierce

    David… your “tag-line”, “David Greenwald, reporting”, is so disingenuous… most of the time, you should say, “opinionating”, or “commentating”…you do good on this blog, but you are definitely NOT an unbiased reporter… IMO

  24. Dino

    Mr. Toad,

    Your comments are very similar to those of a Woodland Journal blogger who went by the handle of “ricardo flores magon.” By chance, did you apply to fill the Woodland City Council vacancy left by Jeff Monroe?

  25. Mr.Toad

    The things that you discount Don are important, where would the tomato industry or the walnut or grape industries be without UC Davis. You think Katehi could raise all this wine industry money without UC innovation. You think ag would be as competitive without Pioneer or Seminis? The economic advantage of farming here will support farming for a long time and if it doesn’t government subsidies will help maintain it. Will every inch be preserved, no, nor should it be. That could be the characterization of the debate and lack of diversifying economic development is a fools errand.

  26. medwoman

    Mr. Toad

    “That could be the characterization of the debate and lack of diversifying economic development is a fools errand.”

    This rationale is part of what led to the virtual obliteration of the orange groves and strawberry fields that used to be prevalent in Orange County and Los Angeles which are now virtual wastelands of paved over cultural homogeneity and bedroom community sprawl. I know because I lived there while it was happening. I do not see this as improvement. I see this favoring of car dependent, nine Targets within a 30 minute driving distance as what is more ” protective of the status quo” these days than is an attempt to preserve ag land.

  27. Mr.Toad

    ” I do not see this as improvement. I see this favoring of car dependent, nine Targets within a 30 minute driving distance as what is more ” protective of the status quo” these days than is an attempt to preserve ag land. “

    You do realize that Target has a distribution warehouse in Woodland.

  28. David M. Greenwald

    “David… your “tag-line”, “David Greenwald, reporting”, is so disingenuous… most of the time, you should say, “opinionating”, or “commentating”…you do good on this blog, but you are definitely NOT an unbiased reporter… IMO “

    This is clearly labeled as a column not a news story. There are different types of reporting. I’ve never claimed to be an unbaised reporter. But that doesn’t mean I’m not reporting.

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for