Granda Makes Deceptive Claims Regarding Taxes, 460 Form

Jose Granda
Jose Granda

In the Vanguard’s Monday Morning Thoughts piece we took exception to school board candidate Jose Granda’s unprovoked attack on fellow candidates Barbara Archer and Madhavi Sunder.

At the end of the of the article, we noted, “We have often criticized Jose Granda for his lack of fiscal understanding. But he has consistently accused the school district of fiscal mismanagement and has written, ‘I have excellent qualifications in education and fiscal responsibility.’”

He wrote, “The School Board has not been fiscally responsible to the taxpayers. It has wasted money and run the budget into a deficit. It cannot manage the 76 million dollar budget of the district. That needs to change.”

But is Mr. Granda the candidate to do that? While he accuses the school district of fiscal mismanagement, the Vanguard has learned that he owes more than $3200 in back taxes on two properties that are owned in his name in Davis.

Earlier we had reported he had not filed a 460 form for the Fair Political Practices Commission.

Mr. Granda wrote a response that was sent late on Monday night – and the Vanguard published it, per its policies.

In it, Mr. Granda writes, “In our lovely town there are those who call themselves ‘liberals,’ ‘progressives,’ but contrary to what those words convey, they are the most intolerant people if you disagree with them. That seems to be the case with some of your readers. I am surprised that Mr. David Greenwald will go down the same wrong path.”

He then writes, “For the record, I have filed my campaign Form 460 and contrary to what he says, I do not owe back taxes.”

It is very unfortunate that Mr. Granda has decided to go with this approach. The Vanguard did not randomly decide to publish these claims. In late September and early October, the Vanguard was tipped off that Mr. Granda owed back taxes on his properties in Davis.

Upon receiving that information, the Vanguard looked up Mr. Granda’s properties and determined on the Yolo County Assessor’s website that Mr. Granda owed about $3200 on two properties in his name.

I took screenshots of these properties, and, while the Vanguard would normally redact the addresses, given that Mr. Granda has denied these claims, we have no choice but to publish them for full disclosure.

Granda-Tax-2

Granda-Tax-1

At that time, we decided that, given the relatively small amount of money at issue, there really was not a story here – other than perhaps to illustrate that Mr. Granda’s claim that the school district’s failure to manage its money was a bit of the pot calling the kettle black.

When Mr. Granda decided to go negative on two of his opponents, that seemed the appropriate time to call him out on this.

The real story here is not the $3700 (we did make an error, he owed $3700, not $3200) that he owed, but rather his claim: “For the record, I have filed my campaign Form 460 and contrary to what he says, I do not owe back taxes.”

On Tuesday, following his charge that the Vanguard had its information incorrect, I called the County Assessor’s Office. I would learn that, in fact, Mr. Granda was correct, he did not owe back taxes. However, I would also learn that the reason he did not owe back taxes is that on Monday, October 27, he paid the amount he owed on both properties.

So, when the Vanguard reported that Mr. Granda owed back taxes, he, in fact, owed back taxes. It was only after the disclosure came to light that Mr. Granda paid his taxes.

Mr. Granda, of course, did not acknowledge this. He acted as though the Vanguard erred. This is, of course, blatant dishonesty. What Mr. Granda could have said is that he had not realized he was in arrears on his taxes and that, once he realized he was, he immediately paid it off. That would have been an acknowledgement of error and a correction.

Had he done that, this would have been a non-story. Instead, he implied the Vanguard was in error when he stated, “for the record” and “contrary to what he says.” This is not only dishonesty but a futile and sloppy attempt to cover up his own transgressions.

This is a man who wishes to be in public office.

Of course, the story is not done yet. Next, the Vanguard called the County Elections Office to find out if he filed the Form 460 to disclose his campaign finance statements. Sure enough, he had. Once again on Monday, October 27 AFTER the Vanguard published its story.

Mr. Granda has raised a total of $2652, including $1972.50 this reporting period. $1752 of that is from the candidate himself and another $4600 from Imelda Granda, with $100 contributions from John Smith and James Stevens, and $50 donations from Carolyn Pfanner and John Voss.

The Election’s Office told the Vanguard that he signed a waiver acknowledging that the report was turned in late.

Under normal circumstances, it would not be a big deal for a candidate to file a Form 460 four days after the due date. The problem here is that Mr. Granda did not state that he had filed the form late, or that, at the time of publication, the Vanguard was correct. Instead, he tried to suggest in his column that we were in error.

This is from the guy who is running on a platform that the school district has mismanaged the taxpayer money and that only he can oversee their finances and hold them accountable.

—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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34 Comments

    1. David Greenwald

      As reported, I acted on a specific tip. It’s not our general policy to check tax records. The issue here is not even the tax records as the attempt to deceive the public in his column yesterday.

  1. PhilColeman

    Using this example illustratively, but speaking globally, folks in the public eye repeatedly fail to note the truism that stares them in the face. If you screw-up: Admit it. Apologize. Fix it. Then, promise you’ll never do it again.

    We are a forgiving society, maybe a little too forgiving. But anybody, everybody, can relate to a screw-up because we have all had numerous personal experiences on same. When you do the formula above, the crime goes away.

    The worst possible reaction by public eye personalities is to deny or alter the accurate disclosure of misbehavior, or–in this case–use deceit to try and conceal it. Mr. Granada must surely have expected that his public denial would be checked, and the circumstances immediately disclosed. Now, we have forgotten the crime and now focus on the far more damaging character value of deliberate deceit in a very public setting.

    As Peter, Paul, and Mary implored, ” . . . when will they ever learn?”

    1. Biddlin

      ” If you screw-up: Admit it. Apologize. Fix it. Then, promise you’ll never do it again.”

      Assumes character qualities (humility and wisdom) not in evidence ( in most bureaucrats and politicians.)

      ;>)/

    2. SODA

      How true Phil….several prominent examples come to mind.

      The other is that folks in power seem to think the laws do not apply to them….and once they do,  that honesty is not required….

  2. Tia Will

    BP

    Has the Vanguard checked into the tax records of all of the candidates, or just the conservative’s one?”

    1. Just the one who chose to go negative on two other candidates.

    2. Just the one who is basing much of his campaign on his fiscal responsibility.

     

  3. ryankelly

    Good job, Vanguard.   I can empathize with mistakes and oversights, but not downright dishonesty in our representatives.  He was never going to win.  This certainly assures that.

    However, why didn’t Granda just email you and request that this personal financial information regarding his delinquent taxes be removed from this blog?  You’ve done that in the past for another.

    This was done at the request of another politician when I mentioned his severe delinquent status in several comments.   The delinquent tax payer was running a public campaign for a measure, was accusing the City and everyone involved in the water project of financial malfeasance and then involved in suing the City over water rates .  I was even email by blog editors that personal financial regarding delinquent property tax information was off base and that it would be removed if I mentioned it again.

     

    1. Davis Progressive

      i thought it was explained that harrington wasn’t running for office, granda is.  harrington’s tax record had nothing to do with the water issue.  granda’s personal mismanagement of his finance does.

    2. David Greenwald

      Ryan: In one case, the individual was a private citizen who was involved in an issue campaign. In this case, it was a candidate seeking public office. I see a big difference in the level of privacy in the latter versus the former.

      1. ryankelly

        His campaign rhetoric included many, many accusations of financial malfeasance by City Staff and the City Council and citizens.  He only resolved his severe delinquent status in the weeks after the City paid him money in a settlement to get him to stop.   He was not a mere participant in a campaign issue.  He designed the campaign, chaired it and was the spokesperson for it, filed a lawsuit and benefited financially from it.   Did he really deserve the privacy that you granted him – more than someone like Granda?

    1. hpierce

      God forbid he should discharge his debt!  How heinous!

      At the time Granda said his taxes were paid, they were. That is a fact, not a lie.  He did NOT say that he had paid his taxes ON TIME.  He did NOT say, “I paid my taxes yesterday”.  I believe that latter statement may well be construed as a “lie of omission”.  Under the circumstances, Mr Granda did conceal that he only ‘made things right’ after it was reported that they were delinquent.

      Can’t tell you how many times David and others have used language that implies one thing, which is proven wrong, then point out the precise language used to “show” that they were not wrong, and someone had ‘read something into it’.

      The “leak” to David was likely by a political operative who opposes Granda’s views.  We’ll never know, as David will “defend his sources”, and probably deny that a political operative was involved, while hiding behind ‘protection of sources’ and provide no concrete evidence that his denial is plausible/provable.  There is a coward out there who will never admit that they provided the “leak”.

      Granda behaved badly, in my opinion, in this, but there are many posters on this blog who similarly bend the truth.  The lone elected Board member has arguably done so during the Peterson “affair”.

      Will I withhold my vote from Granda?  Yes.  Will I get sanctimonious about his actions,or lack thereof? No.

      1. Matt Williams

        Will I withhold my vote from Granda? Yes. Will I get sanctimonious about his actions,or lack thereof? No.

        I couldn’t have said it better myself.

        With that said, I do think there is a real chance that Granda will end up capturing one of the top three places in the election. The reason I believe that is that the other six candidates are largely the same. Their differences are “around the edges.” As a result they will split votes six ways. Granda is the only candidate who is substantially different, and he may get enough “bullet votes” to lift him as high as third place. The lower the voter turnout, the greater his chances become.

        1. David Greenwald

          http://www.davisvanguard.org/vanguard-analysis-the-race-for-third-for-school-board/

          When I did the analysis a few weeks ago, it didn’t appear very likely that Granda would finish third. Two years ago, he finished about where the also-rans that were non-competitive finished and importantly polled far below the number of votes that the No on Measure E received, and even if he had polled at that time what Measure E received, he would have fallen short.

          While there appears to be seven people for three seats, it appears that the top four are by far the strongest and therefore, it’s a four person race for three spots.

          Bottom line, I don’t think there is enough latent support for Granda’s positions and even if there were, I don’t think the split is going to dilute the vote totals of the top four as much as you might think.

      2. Barack Palin

        Well said Hpierce.  Do we really know why Granda was late on his taxes?  He might be having financial difficulties or some other plausible reason.  Maybe there’s a perfectly good explanantion, we don’t know.  You liberals usually bend over backwards to give someone the benefit of the doubt, unless of course it’s someone who you don’t agree with over their politics.

        1. Davis Progressive

          and if he said, sorry i was late paying my taxes, i think most people would be like, okay, no biggie.  it’s the “contrary to what he says” part that buries him because it implies that david was wrong.  that part is a lie.

  4. Barack Palin

    On Tuesday, following his charge that the Vanguard had its information incorrect, I called the County Assessor’s Office. I would learn that, in fact, Mr. Granda was correct, he did not owe back taxes. However, I would also learn that the reason he did not owe back taxes is that on Monday, October 27, he paid the amount he owed on both properties.

    David, would you share who you talked to at the County Assessor’s Office?  If I called the County Assessor’s office would I be given info over the phone on someone’s taxes including the date they paid them?  Should it matter to the assessor’s office that the person I was asking this information about was running for office?

    1. David Greenwald

      Sure. So first, I looked up what properties were owned by him. Then I went to the Assessor’s Office online and looked up those properties. That’s where the screen shots came from. I called the assessor’s office yesterday and was transferred to the tax division. I gave them the parcel numbers and they told me that everything was up to date. I asked when they were paid, and they said October 27.

  5. Michelle Millet

    It seems that the thread started earlier today by South of Davis has been removed along with the comments I made about the post. I want it on the record that I think the comment was way out of line, offensive, and posts like it have no place on the VG.

  6. South of Davis

    The reason that David deleted my post was because I caught him in a lie.

    You can’t just go and look up what properties people own.

    if someone lied on this blog I don’t see that as a reason to post their home address

    1. Don Shor

      [moderator] No, it was deleted because you used a very offensive comparison. You are welcome to repost the other parts of it. I have it if you need the links.

    2. Matt Williams

      You can’t just go and look up what properties people own.

      South of Davis, I know from personal experience that you absolutely can do precisely that at the County Administration Building. Simply go down to the basement and in the room at the east end of the building (the Clerk/Recorder’s office I believe) enter the person’s name in a query at one of the terminals that are on the back wall. Every officially recorded document that contains that name will be returned to the screen. Then you can look at each document individually. It is all public record information.

      1. South of Davis

        If David had driven to  Woodland he would have had all the information he needed. If members  of the machine that run things in this County gave him the info he would have had to look the property up on line.

        1. Matt Williams

          No one would have had to give David (or anyone else) anything other than a person’s name, which David (and everyone else) clearly already had.  “The machine that runs things in this County” has no involvement in any way.  The public records computer system’s primary data field is the Person named in each recorded Public Record.  To put that openness/transparency into context, the public records system is used day-in, day-out by Title Insurance companies to research land ownership questions and provide title insurance to anyone buying a property/house/business.

        2. South of Davis

          David wrote:

          > the Vanguard was tipped off that Mr. Granda owed

          > back taxes on his properties in Davis.

          Then Matt wrote:

          > The machine that runs things in this County” has no

          > involvement in any way

          The only way Matt could say this is he knows who “tipped” David off.  I’m not saying it didn’t happen, but when was the last time you heard about some detailed oposition research that took a lot of digging that was found by someone AND THEN PASSED ON TO THE PRESS who was not involved in politics and who had no interest in the outcome of an election…

          1. Matt Williams

            The “machine” I was referring to was the people who man the counters and computers at the County Administration Building … the gears and cogs. Since I had not read David’s article, I had missed his comment about being “tipped.”

  7. Davis Progressive

    this notion that david got caught in a lie is bs.  property ownership is a public record.  it would not have been difficult to find out which properties granda owns and then look it up.  south of davis, you made an inappropriate comment yesterday regarding a 12 year old girl, instead of apologizing, you have also doubled-down by calling david a liar.  you sir are a disgrace as well.

    1. South of Davis

      The  fact remains that David’s story does not make sense, since if he went to Woodland he would not have had to look anything up on line .

      let ‘a see if David tells us when he drove to Woodland and who he talked with and also swears that no one gave him the address of  Granda’s homes.

      it is hard to believe that a political operative hoping for a hit piece (that they ended up getting)  would make David drive to Woodland.

        1. South of Davis

          David wrote:

          > So first, I looked up what properties were owned by him. 

          Then

          > I did not drive to Woodland.

          Yolo County won’t let you “look up what properties are owned by people” without driving to Woodland so it sounds like David may have been less than honest when he wrote “I looked up” the properties (if a political operative gave me a couple address that their opposition research group tracked down I would not say “I looked them up”…

           

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