Two days after the Wolk campaign sent out a press release accusing “oil giants” of spending hundreds of thousands in independent expenditures in support of his opponent, Winters Mayor Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, her campaign is firing back. In addition to the IEs, Ms. Aguiar-Curry is accused of saying “the jury’s still out” on the issue of fracking and its impact on the environment.
Cecilia Aguiar-Curry in a release on Wednesday responds, “I have said in multiple endorsement surveys and forums that I support a moratorium on fracking, as very serious issues have been raised about the effect of this practice on the environment.”
Once again, she claims that her words have been taken out of context, stating that her quote to the Sierra Club in March was actually, “I believe that a moratorium on fracking would be prudent so we can study its overall impacts to our environment.”
She states, “That continues to be my position, despite efforts on the part of my opponent to lead voters to believe otherwise.”
She also responds on the issue of independent expenditures, saying, “I have not accepted personal contributions from oil companies or the tobacco industry. My campaign contributions are overwhelmingly from family, friends and long-time business associates that I have known for years.”
Reiterating what she told the Vanguard, “In fact, I returned the one contribution that was sent to me directly by one of the oil companies. “
“While there are independent expenditure campaigns being waged in the district, some of which are funded by oil companies, I did not solicit them nor do I have control of – or knowledge of – what they are doing or when. My opponent is familiar with this process, as they have been directly involved with IE monies in previous elections,” she pointed out.
She also noted the irony in Dan Wolk’s attack: “My opponent has tried to make an issue of these independent expenditures, while simultaneously supporting Bill Dodd’s campaign for Senate – who is being supported by the same independent expenditure committees.”
Cecilia Aguiar-Curry adds, “I believe the basis of support I have received in this campaign is deeply rooted in my track record of being a leader who ‘gets things done.’ As the Mayor of a thriving community, farmer and businesswoman, I am the candidate that best reflects the six counties of District 4.”
Last week, Davis Enterprise columnist Bob Dunning implied that both Bill Dodd and Cecilia Aguiar-Curry were coordinating with the independent expenditure groups – which would be in violation of election laws.
He wrote that each “fancy brochure I’ve received from either Bill Dodd or Cecilia Aguiar-Curry carries (a) disclaimer” which is required under California election law: “This advertisement was not authorized or paid for by a candidate for this office or a committee controlled by a candidate for this office.”
He writes, “How Chevron and Valero got their hands on those long-ago pictures of Cecilia’s family is anybody’s guess, but someone should tell them their favorite candidate is actually standing in an almond orchard, not the family walnut farm. But maybe she was lost that day.
“Who knows, maybe Chevron stole the family album. Or maybe they hired an undercover guy to follow Cecilia around Winters, snapping photos every time she approached a walnut tree or a piece of fruit.”
On Monday, Dan Wolk’s Assembly campaign released a statement, “Oil giants, including Chevron, Valero and Tesoro have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in support of Cecilia Aguiar-Curry’s bid for Assembly District 4 over the last two weeks, according to state campaign finance filings. These independent expenditures came as Aguiar-Curry said at a League of Women Voters forum in Woodland that the ‘jury’s still out’ on the practice of fracking.”
The statement continues, “The Coalition To Restore California’s Middle Class has spent $325,000, mostly on cable television advertising in the 4th Assembly District. The group is funded entirely by large oil companies. Overall, outside groups, including groups largely funded by big oil and tobacco companies, have spent over $1 million supporting Aguiar-Curry. A full list of the expenditures and funders can be found below.
“The oil companies’ expenditures for Aguiar-Curry began on May 5, the day after she said at a League of Women Voters forum in Woodland that she felt ‘the jury is still out’ on fracking. Oil companies have heavily lobbied the legislature for relaxed regulations on the practice of fracking, which many scientists believe is environmentally dangerous.”
Davis Mayor Dan Wolk immediately criticized Aguiar-Curry’s statement about fracking at the forum and pointed out the dangers for our state and region. “A video of the exchange can be found at www.danwolk.org/bigoil,” his campaign claims.
“Big oil is trying to buy a seat in the Assembly for their chosen candidate, Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, because she has shown she will not resist their attempts to hurt our environment. I won’t stand for that,” said Dan Wolk in a statement. “I have spent my career taking on special interests like big oil and I will continue to fight for our environment in the Assembly.”
Mr. Wolk, the release states, “also supports an oil severance tax as a means of funding important state programs, like transportation, schools and health care. California is the only major oil-producing state in the country without such a tax. He has built a strong environmental record as Mayor of Davis, which earned him the endorsement of the California League of Conservation Voters, the environmental movement’s political arm, and environmental leaders like Senator Fran Pavley.”
However, Cecilia Aguiar-Curry immediately shot back, stating, “I responded directly to my opponent regarding an edited video posted on his Facebook page about my position on fracking. I’ve included a snapshot of that comment, as it was taken down by his campaign after it was well received by the public and supporters.”
The screen shot indicates, “The brief, edited clip you reference above is not an accurate representation of my feelings about fracking.”
Ms. Aguiar-Curry notes that “the jury is still out” statement was in fact “in reference to finding more information in regard to this practice.”
She says, “As I have stated in multiple endorsement surveys, and in other forums where you were present, I support a moratorium on fracking because of serious concerns that have been raised about the impact on the environment.”
She states that her direct quote to the Sierra Club in March was, “I believe that a moratorium on fracking would be prudent so we can study its overall impacts to our environment.”
—David M. Greenwald reporting