Vanguard Analysis: Where is the No On I Campaign?

measure-i-banners

This past week, the Vanguard wrote an analysis questioning the results of a poll released by the Yes on Measure I campaign, which showed the surface water project passing by a wide margin of 63-11%, with about 26% undecided.

As we wrote on Saturday, that is not to argue that Measure I is not ahead – it may well be.  Nor is there indication it will not prevail – and may even prevail by large margins.  What I will argue is that 11% opposition is too low and that we should take these results with a healthy degree of skepticism.  Because of the limited release, we only have circumstantial evidence here, but we have the school tax election results and the 2011 polling by the district on voter priorities that suggest that number is far too low.

That being said, the No on Measure I campaign is largely nowhere to be seen.  The opposition to the surface water project has conceded from the start that they would be resource-challenged.

Indeed, the proponents of the water project have the business community, developers and the building trades unions, that could all contribute money if needed.

But, as we have noted in the last two election cycles, campaign expenses have gone down and not up.  To date, there is little to indicate large expenditures by the Measure I campaign.

What we have seen is an effective use of a social media and communications strategy.  None of this costs money, and all of this could be done quickly and easily.

The “Clean Water For Davis” page on Facebook has received 405 likes already.  The Facebook page has daily posts with articles and recruitment information for volunteers.

For example, on Sunday, the page shared a link to the op-ed by members of the Citizens’ Water Advisory Committee in support of Measure I, quoting from it, “To delay is to ignore community consensus and the facts, endangering our future water supply for generations to come.”

Earlier in the week, they quoted from Alf Brandt in the Vanguard article, “The Davis-Woodland Water Supply project ensures that Davis for decades to come will have a clean, safe, and sustainable water supply.”

The Measure I campaign has sent out a number of press releases. Last week, the campaign got a lot of mileage out of their press release on the poll.

One article that the Vanguard did not print was the endorsement by Tuleyome.

“Supplying our city’s water by mining groundwater is not sustainable or environmentally responsible. It is bad for the residents, can result in permanent damage to our ground water aquifers, and the discharge harms our surface waters,” commented Tuleyome President Andrew Fulks. “Jointly using our surface and groundwater supplies maximizes our long term water security. Decreased city use of groundwater also helps with long term security of the groundwater our farmers need to grow our food.”

Tuleyome appreciates recent efforts by the City to ensure that the costs of the program are shared among citizens in the most equitable manner. “It is expensive, but we must act now,” commented Bob Schneider, Tuleyome’s Senior Policy Director.

“Opponents of Measure I argue we can delay the City’s program because the City now has rights to Sacramento River water,” added Mr. Schneider. “This is a foolish conclusion, based on a lack of understanding about the current context of water in California. Water rights are tighter than ever. Right-holders who do not use their water rights risk losing them forever. We will have to compete with thirsty cities in the south for our water if we don’t move forward.”

In a modern campaign, the use of free media and social media is essential to mobilizing a movement, recruiting volunteers, and spreading the word with a minimal expenditure of time or money.

But a lot of the opponents of the project have not engaged in the debate over the project in the comment center of the Vanguard.  These articles are being widely spread and widely discussed.  However, for the most part, the Yes on Measure I side has dominated the discussion.

The No on Measure I side may well be utilizing more traditional grassroots efforts such as precinct walking and literature drops, but ceding the internet and social networking realm is not a recipe for success.  The best way to reach younger voters is now through the internet and social networking cites like Twitter and Facebook.

An effective campaign would not only be cheap and relatively labor unintensive, but it would be effective.

In the meantime, we are starting to see the more traditional campaign complaints.

measure-i-sign

For example, on Monday, the Vanguard received a complaint from the Measure I campaign that the opposition was placing their signs in public right of ways and other restricted areas such as the sign pictured in a photo sent from the campaign.

measure-i-education-forum-flier

On the other hand, the No on Measure I side complained that on January 27 at the Davis Senior Center there will be an educational forum where the surface water project will be discussed.

The invitation mentions, “Join water advisory committee chairwoman Elaine Roberts Musser, who is also a member of the ‘yes’ on Measure i campaign.  She will explain Measure I, the issues surrounding it, and answer any questions you may have.”

As the campaign notes, No on I was not given notice of this, and not invited.  The Senior Center is city property and this is tantamount to a campaign event on city property without both sides being included.

“This is worse than anything that the Yes on Measure X committee every tried to do,” the campaign complained.

We still have two weeks before the ballots go out, but the opposition clearly needs to become far more visible if they have any notion of defeating the measure.

—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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32 Comments

  1. DT Businessman

    Keeping in mind that this is an op ed and not a report, I’m rather surprised by your comments, David. The main thrust of the op ed is to urge the No On I campaign to mount a more effective campaign. To what end and what’s your motivation? Are you hoping for a closer, more exciting election? Or do you wish for the No On I campaign to prevail? Other?

    -Michael Bisch

  2. Will Arnold

    The Yes on Measure I committee paid for use of the Senior Center. It is available for groups to rent. If any other group would like to rent the facility, they can do so.

  3. Ryan Kelly

    So the event at the senior center is not a city- sponsored event, but a private event paid for by the Yes on Measure I campaign. David, please correct your article.

    Are the misplaced signs going to be taken down or moved by the No on I campaign, now that they’ve been made aware of them?

    When is the No on I campaign going to host their own educational forum?

  4. David M. Greenwald

    In addition, the flyer does not identify this as a Measure I sponsored event, rather it was advertised as a water information event that would portray both sides (or one, if only Elaine showed up)… As such, it is certainly deceiving the intent.

  5. Michael Harrington

    The Yes on I tried the same thing with the Rancho Yolo Association, and they forcefully told Yes on I “No way” unless it was a balanced forum with No on I present.

    Again, Yes on Measure X years ago never tried this kind of stuff.

    It shows the desperation of the JPA project proponents.

  6. Michael Harrington

    David: thanks for the article. All I can say is we are outnumbered, outspent, up against a 5/0 CC vote, up against the local Democractic Machine.

    That said, Yes on I might still have a chance with this bloated pig of a porky project filled with goodies for all of the special interests, that is too expensive, too soon, and too large.

  7. Michael Harrington

    David: are you going to run an article about the debacle where Yes on I tried to get the Sierra Club endorsement? Cleverly, Yes on I stacked the local board with project proponents last year, then got a 5/2 vote to support the project (Pam Neiberg and Stan Forbes courageously stood up to them and voted NO). We took it to the Sacramento regional board, and it said HECK NO to the Yes on I endorsement and reversed the local pro-project group. Sue Greenwald gave a rousing speech to the Sacramento regional board and helped turn it around.

    Again, more tricky stuff from the Yes on I that bit them in their water bucket.

  8. Ryan Kelly

    [quote]“This is worse than anything that the Yes on Measure X committee every tried to do,” the campaign complained[/quote]

    You mean that Mike Harrington complained about this. This is not a Measure J vote on a proposed development. It is not the same issue, nor the same group of people. In fact the developers of Covell Village seem to be absent in this campaign.

    Mike is again attempting to confuse the voters by making false allegations about unethical campaign activities. I would say that this is only the beginning of a dirty campaign waged by Mike. The Yes folks have been available to answer questions and explain their reasoning in supporting the project. Mike has only spread rumors, false allegations, demonized his neighbors, etc. He cites instances of democratic process in our community, which don’t go his way as evidence of malfeasance. He clearly feels that the democratic process is only good when things go his way.

    Why he is the mouthpiece for the No on I campaign is a wonder. However, it makes things easy. Whenever the Vanguard says ” ‘The No on I’ campaigned complained…,” I can just insert “Mike H” and disregard. If someone else on the “No on I” committee has a issue with something, I suggest that you say their names. I would listen to what Bill Kopper, Holly Bishop or others have to say. That’s what it has come down to for me, personally.

  9. David M. Greenwald

    “David: are you going to run an article about the debacle where Yes on I tried to get the Sierra Club endorsement? “

    How can I do that, when no one has talked to me about what happened?

  10. Mr.Toad

    Mike said “David: thanks for the article. All I can say is we are outnumbered, outspent, up against a 5/0 CC vote, up against the local Democractic Machine.”

    I think outnumbered is the key here. Ultimately in an election it is all that matters.

    When i talk to my friends most of them are voting yes. What they care more about than the cost is the quality and people think the quality of river water is better than well water.

    As for Tuleyome, a group I support financially, I think they should stick to issues regarding open space.

  11. Matt Williams

    Michael Harrington said . . .

    “That said, Yes on I might still have a chance with this bloated pig of a porky project filled with goodies for all of the special interests, that is too expensive, too soon, and too large.”

    Michael, “too expensive, too soon, and too large” makes for a very catchy campaign sound bite, but is it supported by the facts?

    Too expensive . . . where are the additional savings that you see happening? One possibility is interest costs, but any interest cost savings are going to happen regardless. There is no question that there is considerable effort being expended to get the lowest interest rates possible. Pipeline costs? Water treatment costs? Raw water pipeline costs? Local Davis distribution system costs? Where is the bloated pig fat? By going down from 40 mgd to 30 mgd, we identified all the low hanging fruit and effected savings on them. Where do your engineers say there is any additional meaningful savings that can be accomplished?

    Too soon . . . in 2017 our “dripout” shortfall is 3 mgd. Given the fact that it takes 3 years to build a plant, covering the 2017 shortfall requires the three years of 2014, 2015, 2016 for construction. How can you argue that making a decision in mid-2013 to start that three year process in six months is too soon?

    Too big . . . as noted in prior thread, based on 1) 0.5% annual population growth (Mr. Katehi’s enrollment growth plan will exceed that in renters alone), and 2) 20% incremental consumption reduction due to conservation, our “dripout” exposure (the water equivalent of an electrical brownout will be:

    No summer “dripouts” from 2013 to 2016
    3 mgd “dripouts” from 2017 to 2019
    8 mgd “dripouts” in 2020
    10 mgd (or more) “dripouts” from 2020 onward

    As the graph below shows, “dripouts” are most likely to occur when you are standing in the shower in the morning, when the majority of irrigation systems across the city kick into action.
    [img]http://i1104.photobucket.com/albums/h321/mwill47/PeakingFactorGraphic_zps3f40fc3a.jpg[/img]

  12. Will Arnold

    The Yes on Measure I campaign has scheduled a number of events intended to reach out to voters in an informative way. If the “no” campaign would like to schedule similar events, they are free to do so. The one time a venue indicated they would prefer to have a “debate” that included both sides, we immediately obliged by extending an invitation to the “no” campaign.

    We have no expectation to be invited to every event the “no” side organizes, nor should they have that expectation of us.

  13. Rifkin

    A side issue to the Davis vote — one which I think is without merit — is that the fiscal troubles of the City of Woodland (which are not really all that different from our City’s fiscal troubles) will somehow make it impossible for Woodland property owners to afford higher water rates and as a consequence, this argument goes, Woodland ratepayers will not cover their share of the water project’s debt.

    A new factor which makes that argument even more spurious is that [b]home prices in our region (including Woodland) have been going up over the last 12 months and are expected to continue to climb ([url]http://lexicondaily.blogspot.com/2013/01/sacramento-area-home-values-to-rise.html[/url])[/b]. The result of higher home prices will be greater tax revenues and lower rates of unemployment. I doubt that new tax income to Woodland will be high enough (without massive labor contract reform) to avoid civic insolvency. However, a more prosperous economy makes public infrastructure development, paid for by ratepayers, more feasible.

  14. Rifkin

    [b]DG:[/b] [i]”The Senior Center is city property and this is tantamount to a campaign event on city property without both sides being included.”[/i]

    [b]DG:[/b] [i]”I never said it was a city-sponsored event.”[/i]

    I don’t get why you think this is “tantamount” to a controversy. If the City had sponsored it, the City would have (or certainly should have) invited reps from both side. But since the City did not sponsor it, the people who paid the money for the hall have no responsibility to invite speakers whose views are not their own.

    Perhaps your larger point is that the City should never lease its facilities to groups whose views are controversial. But that would be quite a slippery slope. The Senior Center and the Veterans Memorial Center, for example, are very often rented to religious groups for their events when their normal facilities are too small. Since some religions hold controversial views on various topics, should those groups be required, when they have an event, to include speakers who want to debate them? Or should the City never allow a religious group to hold an event at one of its halls. For example, are you saying that the Jewish Fellowship of Davis, which, until it purchased its larger property on Anderson Road regularly used city-owned halls for the High Holidays and a community Seder, should have been banned?

  15. alanpryor

    Re: Peaking Factor and Drip-Outs

    The NRC has recommended that smart water meters be installed in all residences as our existing mechanical meters reach their useful lifetime and are replaced over the course of the next several years. With smart meters, time-of-use rates could be established which place a premium price on use of water during the 4-7 AM peak hours. Doing so could have a huge impact on water conservation during that critical period by shifting use to other low flow times of time thus flattening out the water usage curve over the course of a 24-hour day. This one step could eliminate drip-outs without adding any additional expensive treatment/delivery capacity or storage facilities. It is what the electical utilities have been doing for many years now to flatten the peak summer AC loads.

  16. Michael Harrington

    Ryan: There you go again, attacking me. You have been dead-set for the project for a long time, and it has nothing to do with me.

    “If you cannot win on the facts and law, attack the messenger.” It’s what you and Don Shor specialize in.

  17. Michael Harrington

    Alan: the smart meters may really change some things, and I am looking forward to further study of them and how they might improve water supply and reduce costs. I know the time of use billing by PG&E has a large effect on electricity demand curves. I was on the first PG&E Consumer Energy Panel back in the early 1980s, and learned a lot from that.

  18. Ryan Kelly

    No, Mike H, I am complaining about you. This is different than attacking you. I am sharing an opinion that you are not a credible source for information about the project, because you insist on repeating false allegations, and lies about just about everyone and everything. If your allegations were based on facts and law, then possibly you could claim that complaints about you were “messenger shooting,” but they clearly are not.

    I have never stated how I am going to vote on this project. I am not working for the Yes on I campaign. I have never attended a Yes on I event. I have never given money to either side. I haven’t signed petitions or referendums. I did send in my postcard protesting the rate increases. Yet you continue to claim that I am part of some evil group, or represent some faction that you oppose. You have even claimed that I would benefit financially from this project. I am a voter and you clearly don’t care about my vote. You are running a campaign and I clearly don’t care for how you are running it.

  19. Rifkin

    [img]http://ionetheurbandaily.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/r-kelly-1-thumb-460×300.jpg[/img]

    R Kelly: [i]”I am complaining about you (Mike Harrington).”[/i]

    This is not complaining, Ryan? [quote] … You are not a credible source for information about the project … You insist on repeating false allegations and lies about just about everyone and everything. … You are running a campaign and I clearly don’t care for how you are running it.”[/i] Those are compliments?

  20. Don Shor

    R. Rifkin:

    [i]R Kelly: “I am complaining about you (Mike Harrington).”
    R. Rifkin: “This is not complaining, Ryan?”[/i]

    He said he was complaining. Not attacking. Mike Harrington has tried to make it sound as though the objections Ryan and I and many others have raised are just [i]personal[/i] attacks, thereby trivializing the nature and content of our comments. We aren’t talking about Mike’s personality or character. We are talking about his behavior.
    It is such a consistent pattern of obfuscation and distortion and innuendo that it appears in nearly every thread he participates in.
    Today: [i]”Cleverly, Yes on I stacked the local board with project proponents last year…”[/i]
    Really? “Yes on I” didn’t exist last year. Nobody is named as having perpetrated this latest nefarious subterfuge. No individuals on the local Sierra Club are identified as being project proponents, nor is it clear exactly how one goes about ‘stacking’ a local Sierra Club board. Just hint, suggest, imply some sort of conduct by “Yes on I” — whoever that is. Yesterday it was some unnamed consultant hiring unnamed students somewhere, he “heard.” It happens daily. It is amazing. Point it out, you’re somehow attacking him personally.

  21. Ryan Kelly

    [quote]Mike H said: “Ryan: There you go again, attacking me. You have been dead-set for the project for a long time, and it has nothing to do with me. “If you cannot win on the facts and law, attack the messenger.” It’s what you and Don Shor specialize in.” [/quote]

    Rich, I said “No, Mike H, I am complaining about you. This is different than attacking you.”

  22. Rifkin

    [i]”He said he was complaining.”[/i]

    Yeeesh. My bad. I need to start complaining about my reading comprehension. Sorry for my 4:22 post, Ryan.

    I feel like, now, I can no longer complain about Trapped In the Closet ([url]http://www.sing365.com/music/lyric.nsf/Trapped-In-The-Closet-full-Version-lyrics-R-Kelly/BA2299DB23A359F2482570340027DBA0[/url]): [quote]I’m stretchin’ and yawnin’
    In a bed that don’t belong to me
    And a voice yells, “Good morning, darlin”, from the bathroom
    Then she comes out and kisses me
    And to my surprise, she ain’t you
    Now I’ve got this dumb look on my face
    Like, what have I done?
    How could I be so stupid to be have laid here til the morning sun?
    [/quote] He is a terrible songwriter, no?

  23. JustSaying

    [quote]“The Senior Center is city property and this is tantamount to a campaign event on city property without both sides being included. ‘This is worse than anything that the Yes on Measure X committee every tried to do’….”[/quote] But, then, the “no” side long since has co-opted the [i]Vanguard[/i] coverage about the measure.

    Over and over, we see questioning of the “yes” basic information, level of support and tactics. But, almost nothing questioning or calling for Michael Harrington to support any of his claims and tactics, even the most outrageous and nasty ones.

    We shouldn’t have to wait until February 2 to get the two sides fairly reported by the [i]Vanguard[/i].

    Instead, the [i]Vanguard[/i] offers up a daily (or twice daily), barrage of odd questions and comments that provide Michael Harrington yet another forum for constant, unsupported generalizations and insults.

    Will you or Michael ever respond to a previous question: [quote]“Michael, given the evidence provided by Don Shor re. Sacramento River water quality and Davis Enophile’s geography lesson, why do you keep insisting that: ‘We believe strongly it’s (‘that dirty river water’ is) an issue, and will remain an issue’. ??????”[/quote]Will you go into some detail about the purpose of today’s “analysis,” or, at least, consider Rich’s simple observation? [quote]“I don’t get why you think this is ‘tantamount’ to a controversy.”[/quote] Those damn “Yes on I” folks just keep violating our nation’s separation of church and state!

  24. DT Businessman

    Thank you Just Saying for stating the obvious. I keep waiting, to no avail, for the Vanguard to list and debunk all the spurious accusations, false charges, false statements, contradictions, etc. made by Harrington. Keep in mind, Harrington is the de facto No Campaign and/or spokesman for the No Campaign, not just some troll stirring the pot. Indeed, I question whether the Vanguard itself has morphed into the troll.

    -Michael Bisch

  25. Michael Harrington

    You guys/gals crack me up!

    The No on I views the DV as basically co-opted by the Yes on I. So, since we feel that way, and some of the Yes on I think the DV is a mouthpiece for No on I, David, my friend, I think you have struck the right balance!

    I am going to be so glad when this Measure I is past us.

    Whoever wins or loses, the 2011 rate referendum forced the timeout that led to savings to ratepayers of well over $135 million of our money.

  26. Michael Harrington

    All of you know I have tried to avoid all of this political conflict. I have several young kids and a job that demands way too many hours. Only the Yes on I group make money off this project, or the political fight. Most of them are paid political operators, or stand to gain benefits from support dollars and contracts and grants or personnel to assist with future campaigns. If these Yes on I politicos deny this, they are naive or worse.

    But I will be darned if I am going to stand back and let the likes of Saylor, Souza, the land speculators and developers who want to pave between here and Woodland up Road 102, and our crop of young wanna-be professional and well paid local politicians harm all of the poor and middle class and renters in Davis just to get this water plant that is unnecessary for now, too soon, too large, and way way too expensive.

    And, the CC on a 5/0 vote stripped the rates from the March 5th ballot, depriving the public of what they wanted and demanded via the fall 2011 water rate referendum. Maybe they will get away with this attack on local direct democratic political participation, but it won’t be because I, Pam Neiberg, Nancy Price, Mark Siegler, Sue Greenwald, Bill Kopper, Holly Bishop, John Munn, Ernie Head, Walt Sadler, Michael Bartolic, Dan Cornford, Les Portello, John Pamperin, and many others whom most of you know and trust have stood back and watched the CC and JPA advocates force this awful project and screwed up rates on our little community.

  27. JustSaying

    MH: But, why do you say the things you do? For example, you still haven’t answered this old question: [quote]“Michael, given the evidence provided by Don Shor re. Sacramento River water quality and Davis Enophile’s geography lesson, why do you keep insisting that: ‘We believe strongly it’s (‘that dirty river water’ is) an issue, and will remain an issue’. ??????”[/quote]

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