Exchange Between Wolk and Aguiar-Curry on Fracking
Both the Senate and Assembly races have seen the push of big money from oil, tobacco, EdVoice and other monied interests. And while Davis Mayor Dan Wolk, running for Assembly, and former Assemblymember Mariko Yamada are not aligned or supporting each other, they released nearly concurrent releases pushing back against the independent expenditure campaigns.
The Wolk 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” 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.”
Corporate Money Trail: How Chevron, Big Tobacco and Corporate Special Interests are Boosting Bill Dodd’s Campaign for CA State Senate
In the meantime, Mariko Yamada, candidate for State Senate fired back against the IE Campaign backing Assemblymember Bill Dodd.
Her campaign writes:
Some of the nation’s largest corporations are working behind the scenes to elect Bill Dodd.
Public documents filed with the Secretary of State’s office reveal the dark money behind Bill Dodd’s main allies and supporters – and the direct contributions to his State Senate campaign.
In less than one month, a shocking $1.4 million has been spent from seven different independent expenditure committees – all funded by corporate special interests, big business, big tobacco and big oil – making the Third State Senate District the top race in California for corporate special interest groups.
1. From April 13, 2016 until May 16, 2016, the “EdVoice” independent expenditure committee – partially funded by JobsPac, which accepted money from the tobacco industry (Phillip Morris), Walmart’s heir and Republican real estate developer William Bloomfield – spent a total of $960,364 supporting Bill Dodd’s campaign.
2. “Californians for Jobs and Strong Economy” – the Chevron-backed IE – has spent a total $206,576.56 supporting Dodd’s campaign.
3. “Alliance To Get California Working Political Action Committee” funded by big tobacco spent $45,077 supporting Dodd on May 12, 2016.
4. “Cooperative of American Physicians” and “Californians Allied for Patient Protection Independent Expenditure Account”, funded by healthcare corporations, together spent over $142,500 to Bill Dodd in just the past two weeks. (Source: electiontrack.com)
5. Groups like Monsanto, bank associations, insurance companies and other corporate interests are donating tens of thousands of dollars to Bill Dodd directly.
Money is funneled from committee to committee, but if you follow the money trail – it all leads back to the corporate titans of big oil, tobacco, pharmaceutical and insurance companies, and leading conservative Republican donors.
It’s clear these companies get what they pay for.
As Chevron, Monsanto, other anti-environmental groups and insurance companies support Assemblyman Bill Dodd, he supports them right back.
* A recipient of multiple contributions from Monsanto, Dodd voted against legislation that would require manufacturers to disclose their ingredients on consumer products. (AB708, Business and Professions Committee)
* A key environmental bill requiring California’s emission standards be set 40% below 1990 levels failed to pass because Assemblymember Dodd and 14 other Senators did not vote. Dodd tells voters he cares about the environment, but when it comes to making a key vote, Dodd takes a walk. (Source: September 9, 2015)
* After the tragic balcony collapse in Berkeley that took the life of a local resident, Dodd walked out on a vote for SB465, which would require increased oversight on contractor claims involving negligence, fraud and incompetence. (http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article27262366.html)
* In both his 2014 Assembly races, Dodd accepted thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from corporations like Walmart and anti-environmental groups like Monsanto, Allied Propane Service and the California Independent Petroleum Association, an arm of big oil. (FPPC filings, 2014-2016)
* And Bill Dodd failed to appear at the most recent State Senate Candidate Debate on May 11 in Dixon – a town in Bill Dodd’s own Assembly District. (Source: The Reporter article, May 12, 2016)
Corporate-backed Bill Dodd is conveniently absent when called to take on the tough fights.
A registered Republican just months before he ran for Assembly, he switched his party affiliation when he realized he couldn’t win as a Republican – so perhaps it’s no surprise that this conservative candidate is receiving support from special corporate interests.
Mariah Noah, Yamada campaign coordinator, said, “Follow the money – and the votes. It’s clear Bill Dodd is in the pockets of corporate special interests. Voters have a very clear choice – side with corporations or support Mariko Yamada’s people-powered campaign. A social worker for over 40 years, Mariko is a principled leader dedicated to serving and strengthening middle class families and taking a stand to protect our environment, water and food supply, seniors, veterans, and the most vulnerable communities. It’s the tale of two campaigns that voters need to hear.”