Aguiar-Curry Responds to Wolk Attack on Fracking and IEs

Cecilia Aguiar-Curry
Cecilia Aguiar-Curry

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,” 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

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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  1. Tia Will

    I can’t decide which is more disgusting to me, the arrival of massive amounts of glossy fliers, or the implication by opponents that the existence of these fliers proves that the candidate is corrupt. From the obvious falsehoods that can be fabricated by presenting distorted information through artful clipping of statements as seen in the Daleiden “investigative journalism” fiasco, I am leaning towards the latter as the greater injustice. Where Dan has strengths, he should be touting them. Making distortions of quotes and unfounded implications should not be part of anyone’s campaign.

  2. Marina Kalugin

    Not a fan of Dan Wolk either…..and if I was not subjected to the infamous push poll I had a better impression of Aguiar….  that is due to fact that the push poll was promoting Aguiar…. AND Dodd….see other comments elsewhere…

    though I like Don, I am voting for Kropp….I am aware of other things on the horizon and why Aguiar is being promoted and supported by EdVoice and others…

    have no docs to share on this latest….but Tia, if you leave a message at my work VM, I will respond with some names of people in that area for you to call, if you wish…   if you can get them to talk to you….

    PS. I was not aware that Daleiden was the daughter of a neighbor and friend of mine back when I lived in East Davis… until I saw the mom’s obit several weeks too late to attend the funeral last year….. And, to tell you I was surprised to find out….she was not enough like her mother…


  3. Don Shor

    These expenditures by the PAC’s are strictly tactical. They’re not trying to buy support, they’re trying to determine who’s in the runoff. It’s very unlikely that they’d support Cecilia in any future race, as she isn’t likely to align with their positions. I find the comments by the Wolk campaign very disturbing.

    1. Misanthrop

      “…as she isn’t likely to align with their positions.”

      How do you know that? Do you even know how the legislature works? What if a bill like SB 350 on global warming  gets out of the Senate and when they do the whip count in the assembly it doesn’t have enough votes. Aguiar-Curry never goes on record opposing the bill just like Dodd didn’t. It then gets watered down until it has enough votes to pass and then what you end up with is weaker legislation but these industry supported candidates can say they supported the bill because they end up voting for the watered down version without ever voting against the stronger version of the bill.

      If you are concerned about oil trains carrying massive amounts of oil through Davis you don’t vote for the candidate supported by Valero, the company that wants to ship massive amounts of oil by rail through Davis on a daily basis, through an IE. Its pretty straight forward.


    2. wdf1

      I find the EdVoice support interesting, troubling, and ignored.  EdVoice has a particular interest in urban school districts, especially LA Unified, and  they have gotten pushback on their agenda in that district.  It is more efficient for EdVoice to circumvent direct action in LA Unified and other urban districts, and instead focus on grooming legislators from more rural districts to support state policy that is favorable to their position.  Aguilar-Curry is an ideal candidate as she can claim certain non-threatening education credentials to her voters (her father was a high school ag teacher in the school for 30 years,  supports quality schools, without a whole lot of controversial specifics), and EdVoice policies are less likely to affect her constituency (more suburban/rural).  She doesn’t have any known strong positions or connections with unions; Dan Wolk and Don Saylor do.  CTA, CFT, and CSEA have all lined up in favor of Wolk.  If she comes in the top two with Schaupp as a likely rival candidate, she stands a good chance of winning in this district.  This was the play that EdVoice tried in supporting Cabaldon against Yamada, but failed.  It is likelier to work here because Wolk and Saylor stand to split the vote from among a normally favorable voting block, much as Krovoza and Wolk did two years ago.

      As Greenwald has reported in the past, EdVoice has connections to Reed Hastings, Eli Broad, and the Walton family, who have been particularly unfriendly to traditional public schools, especially in urban communities.  EdVoice’s agenda isn’t likely of immediate interest to voters in this district, and if the issue were to be raised, the details are quickly likely to cause most voters to lose interest.

        1. wdf1

          TP:  I thnk EdVoice has some money to throw around and are hoping that by donating they gain voice to their agenda.

          I think that’s my point, but you phrase it more gently.  But are they spreading that money around to rival candidates?

          I think they see her as a good bet to win with their hefty financial support.  And if she wins, she will be responding to them personally if they call, and they can definitely make the case that “our support helped you to win your seat.”

          I get that this goes on and has gone on for decades, and that sometimes some groups will do this kind of thing in behalf of causes that I might actually agree with.  In this case I don’t think EdVoice is as interested in affecting a favorable change in education policy in Davis or in much of the rest of this assembly district.  And where they do hope to affect a favorable change in education policy (more urban districts like LA Unified, Oakland, or San Jose Unified), theirs is not the best policy.  In this case I disagree with EdVoice.

        2. The Pugilist

          I think they see her as a good bet to win with their hefty financial support.  And if she wins, she will be responding to them personally if they call, and they can definitely make the case that “our support helped you to win your seat.”

          I completely agree.

  4. SODA

    Agree with comments about Dan; emphasizing negatives about your opponent rather than positives about yourself might be a common practice these days but doesn’t get my vote. And as the article states, Dan’s 2014 campaign was ‘helped’ with IE money so he should be aware of how that works. I believe the taking down of the Facebook discussion adds to the overall poor handling.

  5. Marina Kalugin

    PPS>   I was also suspicious that the same push poll was promoting Wolk….now I am not so sure…though it was definitely on the side of Dodd and Aguiar…and against Don Saylor and Kropp..

    The “independent poll”  ignored the name Mariko at all costs…. her name was purposely not part of the script….as the guy kept telling ME>..

    More full disclosure about me….  I have belonged to ALL parties at some point….I only have switched in recent years when I wanted to vote for someone not in the party I was at the moment in… I tend to vote for people not parties…

    My uncle who passed last year after more than 8 1/2 months of elder abuse by “friends” of his departed wife, was a top exec of Philip Morris for most of his career.   The last thirty years of his career, he was Exec VP of Engineering for Miller Brewing Co..  and ALL beer factories affiliated with Miller worldwide were HIS jobs… he traveled more than 250 days per year…and retired nearly 30 years ago..  after my aunt, who was a lifetime smoker, passed before him a few years ago of COPD and other complications from her smoking habit, he sold, so he told me and he thought,  he got rid of all Philip Morris stock…. I recently found out that was not the case because I have inherited some of that stock and cannot wait to divest…as soon as I finish handling the estate and can start making some changes…

    Again,  there are many things I have learned in my full life….and I know many things about stocks, bonds, financial markets etc….and also many things about Philip Morris…how they work….insider stuff you may consider it…. but it was family business in a way…..





      1. Biddlin

        “Overall, it appeared that negative messages decreased the perceived warmth of the source while simultaneously increasing the perceived competence. Results are discussed by focusing on the importance of implicit measures in political psychology and on the crucial role of perceived competence.

  6. Marina Kalugin

    and, that is why Mariko runs a real solid and clean campaign…she has nothing to hide…and I was so upset that I was ranting…..the proof is not easy to present, unless someone can find a way to get the tapes…I agreed to be taped so there are tapes…

    1. The Pugilist

      I still don’t understand the basis of your support for Mariko and I’ve asked you several times and all I got was a snarky, you haven’t lived here very long if you don’t know why Mariko is so great.  I operate on an evidence-based basis, and you haven’t offered me any.

      1. Marina Kalugin

        I have brought up many things she has accomplished on other threads and you could see HER record for the 3 terms on the Assembly… can also see her record as a GATE parent going back 22 years, and standing up for children of all abilities, furthermore you could also see that she held public office in the city and county previously…..our paths have crossed numerous times…. we fought together on the prior 2 times when Deanne Quinn was given a pink slip….we pushed through choice in traditional math versus fuzzy math aka the pink book versus the red algebra book…. at all stages of her life here in Davis, she has spoken out for and stood up for rights for all….interestingly one day I found that she and I shared the same hairdresser….. a wonderful gay man Robbie Nelson, RIP……she fought for his rights and she fought for his medical rights when he was sick…and she came back to run for Senate because of so many things she learned with him, with caring for her elderly parents, with the horrific elder abuse of a family member that I was dealing with last year…. Robbie told me – get Mariko on it…that she will help…

        it is interesting that she just obtained the Healthcare Workers Union endorsement.

        In the assembly she was working on some bills that oddly enough was to help the healthcare workers, and instead this union was opposed initially….

        Against many odds, she wrote and rewrote the bill which makes assisted suicide legal in CA…..

        I have mentioned much of this before – and why should I repeat myself – in various threads over the last days…..when you could truly do a duckduckgo and find out whatever you are demanding of me….

        Go to her campaign headquarters, get on her list…she has a shoe string budget but massive support and many volunteers walking…

        I don’t really have the time to engage in repeating myself when you could just as well have searched on your own…

        “show proof”….that is an old and very tired behavior on these kinds of forums… by lazy people who could do their own research

        1. The Pugilist

          I’m simply not impressed.  That’s a pretty thin record for six years.  I don’t believe she wrote the assisted suicide bill either – and I opposed it.

  7. Marina Kalugin

    but, sometimes the people unearth the dirty tactics…and expose them…

    I was trying to….. but at a standstill…  have to get to meetings….cya

  8. Misanthrop

    At least Dan took down the out of context clip when confronted. Aguiar-Curry has never repudiated all these IE’s.

    One other point regarding Aguiar -Curry. I have never seen her at any anti-oil train events. Has she spoken out on the record at any anti oil train rally or hearing?

    1. Barack Palin

      I’ll take Aguiar-Curry over Dan Wolk all day long.  In fact I’ll take anyone over Dan Wolk.  I lost all respect for Dan Wolk when I watched him mumble and fall all over himself trying to defend one of his pro firefighter union votes during a council meeting.

  9. Marina Kalugin

    most candidates will not put themselves that far out on a line..during election months…..unless they feel that it will truly garner support…

    that is why sometimes those who don’t have much of a record can hide their true feelings…..

    not so easy when one has already been on a council and spoken or in the Assembly for 3 terms…and so forth…

    those records one can find and see…

  10. Marina Kalugin

    It is not my job to try to convince anyone of anything pugi…have a good day…heading to more meetings….and truly, do I CARE what you think that you don’t think someone sponsored a bill,   now YOU can prove what you just said… you can find it if you look…..

    PS>  the Davis boys will split the difference and the EdVoice and others are counting on it being Aguiar and Kropp….I like Saylor, but I like Kropp also….voting for Kropp……..

    1. wdf1

      MK:  the Davis boys will split the difference and the EdVoice and others are counting on it being Aguiar and Kropp….I like Saylor, but I like Kropp also….voting for Kropp……..

      Kropp??  I thought that the anticipated scenario EdVoice was hoping for was Schaupp and Aguiar-Curry. (source)

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