Commentary: No You Were Not Sued by Councilmember Carson

Councilmember Dan Carson

By David M. Greenwald
Executive Editor

Davis, CA – There is a lot of confusion about what transpired last week with regard to the ballot language challenge filed by Dan Carson.  Several people have expressed some sort of outrage that a councilmember would “sue” fellow citizens.

Roberta Millstein wrote a piece, “Councilmember Carson sued me for signing a ballot statement.”

She and Alan Pryor followed it up with comments at Tuesday’s council meeting.

Said Pryor during public comment, “Two weeks ago, I, along with five signers of the argument against Measure H ballot statement were sued by Councilmember Dan Carson for allegedly making false and misleading statements in that ballot statement, in the brief filed by Mr. Carson’s LA lawyers.”

MIllstein added, “I watched in horror as the lawsuit filed by Councilmember Dan Carson unfolded before us over the last weeks.  When the dust cleared, the judge required only two very minor changes in the ballot statement.”

She charged, “The timing of this lawsuit and its announcement in the local press suggests that Councilmember Carson’s intentions were never really about changing the ballot language.  It all along was a long shot.”

Instead, she argued this was “what he was really intending, was to put the No on DiSC Campaign in a financial chokehold.”

Actually, Councilmember Carson did not sue the opponents of DiSC.

This may sound a bit like legal-mumbo-jumbo but there is a functional difference between filing a writ to ask a court to step in and change ballot language and suing someone.

It is also important to note that the actual defendants in this case were not the signers of the ballot statement but rather the City and County Clerks in their official capacity.  The five signers plus Alan Pryor were instead named as real parties in interest.

A lawsuit seeks damages.  A writ here seems to cure and correct an error.

This is the process that is laid out in the Election Code.  Section 9295(b)(1), notes,

“During the 10-calendar-day public examination period provided by this section, any voter of the jurisdiction in which the election is being held, or the elections official, himself or herself, may seek a writ of mandate or an injunction requiring any or all of the materials to be amended or deleted.  The writ of mandate or injunction request shall be filed no later than the end of the 10-calendar-day public examination period.”

Section 13314 (a) (1) adds,

“An elector may seek a writ of mandate alleging that an error or omission has occurred, or is about to occur, in the placing of a name on, or in the printing of, a ballot, county voter information guide, state voter information guide, or other official matter, or that any neglect of duty has occurred, or is about to occur.”

Some have suggested another approach to rectifying the problem, but this is the process laid out in the Election Code.

As previously noted in a previous column, it is a high standard to get a judge to change the language—and it should be.

Millstein writes, “And what was the suit about?  Well, perhaps Councilmember Carson thought that he could pull the wool over a judge’s eyes, but the judge found no problems with our contention that DiSC is in violation of the City’s General Plan or our contention that there would be unmitigated greenhouse gases from the project or that there were almost no commitments.”

That’s not how I read the judge’s decision.  It’s not that the judge had no problem with the contentions made by the opposition to Measure H.  It’s that on several occasions he simply did not find the evidence sufficient to order a change.

As noted in my previous column, the judge did rule that since the project necessitates a change to the current General Plan, the “Real Parties in Interest are entitled to express their opinion that the project is incompatible with certain goals and policies in both the current and proposed amended General Plan…”

While I pointed out some problems with this ruling, I do agree that the judge overall believed that they were entitled to express that opinion.  But that’s really the only one that the judge clearly ruled in their favor.

Let’s take one clear example.  When the claim was made that the developer “made almost no binding commitments…” – the judge acknowledges that there were nine, but he reasoned that because they used the qualifier, “almost” that was apparently close enough for him to not find clear and convincing evidence that the argument was false or misleading.

The judge writes: “The qualifier ‘almost’ imports an element of subjectivity or opinion, which brings the statement within the wide ambit of acceptable political speech.”

I don’t disagree with the judge’s ruling here.  But this does not appear to be vindication for the No on Measure H campaign.

To me, if you say almost no binding commitments, I’m thinking one or two, not nine. In the end, while it did not meet the legal standard for the judge to rule against them, I think their ballot arguments are flawed and the judge is not vindicating them.

Hey, it’s just a few words, but as anyone knows, it takes one word to reverse the meaning of an entire sentence.

Can you imagine if I said on here that I wrote almost no articles for the Vanguard this week? Everyone on here would be calling me out, laughing or calling me a liar or. And yet, by the judge’s standards, in this court, it would be permissible and not stricken.

In her concluding remarks, Millstein notes, “The truth is that this was a blatant attempt to curtail the engagement of Davis’s citizens in the Democratic process. It was an attempt to squelch our free speech, by an elected official. Luckily, the judge saw through it.”

I see it as a part of the democratic process.  The supporters of Measure H thought the opposition went too far, they used the available process to attempt to rectify it, and the judge issued a narrow ruling.

“This is a low point for Davis’s politics,” she added.

Michael Coleman points out in a public comment that this is actually not an unusual act.

Coleman reasons there are hundreds of ballot measures during the election cycles, “in virtually every election cycle, some of these end up in court with challenges about election ballot arguments and analysis.  So the recent court case regarding Measure H is not so unique.”

He noted that such process “strengthens our democracy by improving the accuracy of ballot information presented to the voters in official materials.”

Even in Davis, this is not unprecedented.  Millstein apparently forgets the time when Jose Granda challenged the city’s description of the sales tax as “a half-cent sales tax.”

There is a reason why we have a provision in the Election Code that allows for a neutral judge to make the final call on ballot arguments when a dispute like this one arises.

I saw this as a close call and believe that the judge here mostly got it right.  But I’m not exactly clear what alternative the opposition wanted Carson and the Yes on H campaign to pursue—it’s not like they would have voluntarily changed the language.

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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52 Comments

  1. Jim Frame

    Anyone could have filed that writ, there was no reason for an elected official to do it.  Dan’s status as (honorary?) chair of Yes on H didn’t require him to front the legal action, and the optics of it are awful.  I think it was a major blunder on his part.

      1. Bill Marshall

        In retrospect they should have had a regular citizen do it.

        So now you’re getting personal and saying Dan Carson suffers from “irregularity”?  That’s hitting ‘below the belt’…

        This whole thing (both ‘sides’) makes me think in terms of scatological referents.  Maybe just a ‘trope’ I’m using…

        I’ll try another… a lot of the discussion is much akin to arguing how many gremlins/trolls can dance on the head of a pin…

        1. Alan Miller

          Carson and the campaign blew it.

          JF has it right.  The optics are terrible.  Way too cozy.  Carson responding to public comment – not good.

          I have no problem with a City Councilmember having an opinion and expressing it.  Even claiming a project may save the world – I’ll criticize that, but not condemn.  Getting directly involved in a controversial issue/project that the City Council has/had/have/will-have juristiction over, NO.  H*LL NO

          I don’t care if the City attorney said it was OK.  I don’t care if Carson was doing this technically as a citizen.  If you’re on the Council, don’t get directly involved with organizations and people with a financial stake in a highly controversial issue/project while you are in office.

        2. Jim Frame

          a lot of the discussion is much akin to arguing how many gremlins/trolls can dance on the head of a pin

          I might agree were it not for the amount of money involved.  I’ve heard estimates in the $80k range to date, and I’m not sure we’ve seen the last of the expenditures yet.

  2. Keith Olson

    Maybe it’s just me but as I read this article I sadly couldn’t help the feeling that overcame me that the Vanguard ain’t what it used to be.

  3. Alan Pryor

    But I’m not exactly clear what alternative the opposition wanted Carson and the Yes on H campaign to pursue—it’s not like they would have voluntarily changed the language.

    No, we would not have voluntarily deleted the 83 words that the Yes side asked to be deleted in their lawsuit. But had the Yes side even bothered to ask, we would certainly have seriously considered changing what the judge ordered. That is, deleting one word, “only” and changing 54 million pounds to 20,000 metric tons – which changes we actually suggested in our Briefs .

    But the fact that they did not ask and waited until the last minute to file their lawsuit speaks volumes about the true intentions of the Yes side. No matter how you try to spin Ramos’ and Carson’s acts, they simply wanted to put the No side in a political and financial chokehold. It was a hit job, pure and simple.

    Amazing that you can trash Reisig for his partisan ad attacks on Rodriguez as dirty politics but then in the next breath you condone and defend this partisan Yes on H attack on our right to free speech.

    Particularly in light of the fact that you have not even once questioned the accuracy of any of the Yes side’s ballot statements as we have often requested, do you even realize how partisan this makes the Vanguard’s editorial policy appear?

    1. Keith Y Echols

      But had the Yes side even bothered to ask, we would certainly have seriously considered changing what the judge ordered. 

      But that’s not what Carson wanted.  He wanted ALL of those things changed and only got a few things changed.  Getting ALL of the things changed (because by your own words; you wouldn’t have complied) required a legal action.  Some of the legal tactics (timing) may be considered a little shady but certainly not out of bounds.  At this point you’re crying foul over nothing and just trying to claim a win in the court of public opinion….which in itself is unsavory IMO.  Better to stop whining, take your mostly legal victory and proceed with dignity.  You may think playing the victim will win you points with the voting public (and with some it will) but to many others it smells of weak theatrics and undermines your position.  Personally, I don’t trust anyone that leads with weakness.

      1. Alan Miller

        claim a win in the court of public opinion

        I didn’t change my vote because of what the No side said.  I changed my vote the moment I heard Carson was ‘Honorary Chair’.  Carson won it for them (for this particular piece of ‘public opinion’ — and there are others who feel the same way).

        You may think blowing it with Alan Miller and some other people isn’t a big deal. You are wrong – most people are mono-brains who are ‘pro-growth’ or ‘anti-growth’ and have already made up their minds — it’s those of us on the fence who drag the vote over the line one way or the other. Carson blew it for his side.

        1. Keith Y Echols

          people are mono-brains who are ‘pro-growth’ or ‘anti-growth’ and have already made up their minds — it’s those of us on the fence who drag the vote over the line one way or the other. Carson blew it for his side.

          You’re right about the mono-brains having already made up their minds.  I’m on the fence (I’m pro economic growth but against screwing over East Davis with traffic no matter what claims the YES campaign makes)  and I’m offended by the NO campaigns whining.  I think playing the victim because of a situation that required a legal action is unseemly.

        2. Alan Miller

          I agree on the ‘victim’ strategy to a point.  I understand that it must have been quite a blow . . . but ‘sssssssh!’.  Putting out there how damaging it was personally is a poor strategy in winning anything but worthless sympathy from those already on your side.

          Despite what I think of Carson’s tactics, I can’t imagine him saying publicly, ‘It was really hard on me having to take all that time filing these legal procedures (#ahem#) because of the poor language put out by the opposition’  😐

      2. Alan Pryor

        At this point you’re crying foul over nothing and just trying to claim a win in the court of public opinion….which in itself is unsavory IMO

        In light of this comment, I find it strange that you’re not similarly complaining about Ramos’ and Carson’s theatrics prancing around at public events claiming “We won, WE WON!!”

        1. Keith Y Echols

          In light of this comment, I find it strange that you’re not similarly complaining about Ramos’ and Carson’s theatrics prancing around at public events claiming “We won, WE WON!!”

          Because he’s not going on and on whining about his opponent.  Carson is pushing a position of strength (though it appears to be an exaggeration to say the least).  You’re complaining about your opponent….which is weakness.  Life is unfair yet you still won.  Claim your rightful victory and stop whining.  Whining is unseemly.  I’d rather you won the political conflict on the strength of your position (the issues) and not the weakness of your opponent.

    2. David Greenwald

       Amazing that you can trash Reisig for his partisan ad attacks on Rodriguez as dirty politics but then in the next breath you condone and defend this partisan Yes on H attack on our right to free speech.”

      I do need to respond a little here.  Characterizing the filing of a writ to challenge some of your language is not attacking your right to free speech.  that’s why we have a prescribed legal process by which disagreements can be appropriately adjudicated.  That’s why the legal standard for even changing the language is as high as it is.  This is the same problem I have with some of the ballot arguments – you have the right to your opinion, but at times you stretched the facts.  The Judge erred on the side of free speech even when the statements were questionable.

  4. Alan Pryor

    Coleman reasons there are hundreds of ballot measures during the election cycles, “in virtually every election cycle, some of these end up in court with challenges about election ballot arguments and analysis.  So the recent court case regarding Measure H is not so unique.”

    We were told that ballot statement language challenges are common in state initiatives but less so in local Measures. And there is NO precedent that came up when looking for an instance where a sitting City Councilmemeber or even a County Supervisor  filed such a lawsuit against local citizen ballot signers. And the fact that they used Developer money to finance the lawsuit makes this even more suspect? Perhaps you could find something to the contrary…?

    1. Alan Miller

      AP, he wasn’t a City Councilmember, he was acting a citizen who happens to be a City Councilmember.

      I can barely keep a straight face typing that 😐

  5. Rick Entrikin

    So here is David Greenwald’s take when a sitting City council member, acting as ‘honorary chair” of a campaign to make millions of dollars for a deep-pockets developer, fronts a legal attack, paid for by the developer, to bully a group of ordinary citizens and drain their campaign finances:

    I see it as a part of the democratic process.  The supporters of Measure H thought the opposition went too far, they used the available process to attempt to rectify it, and the judge issued a narrow ruling.

     

    Here’s the way I see it.  “Big developer uses City council member as a disposable bit in his powerful drill to screw Davis citizens.”

     

  6. Alan Pryor

    To me, if you say almost no binding commitments, I’m thinking one or two, not nine. In the end, while it did not meet the legal standard for the judge to rule against them, I think their ballot arguments are flawed and the judge is not vindicating them.

    Hey, it’s just a few words, but as anyone knows, it takes one word to reverse the meaning of an entire sentence.

    OK. Juxtapose your reasoning against the Yes side’s claim in the Rebuttal statement that they will,

    “Implement 23 specific transportation improvements to make walking, biking and driving easier in South and East Davis and speed up your commute on Mace Blvd”.

    Hmm..This does not seem to be right in light of the judge’s ruling that there are only 9 specific commitments.

    The judge also ruled that our statement that the project is “non-compliant with the General Plan” is not to be stricken yet the Yes side’s Rebuttal Statement claims,

    YES ON H is fully compliant with the Davis General Plan. It couldn’t be on the ballot otherwise”.

    Hmm…Does there seem to be a problem there also?

    So in addition to exonerating the No’ sides ballot statements in these two instances, the judge’s ruling seems to throw significant shade on the veracity of a number of the Yes side’s ballot statement claims.

    …just sayin’.

    1. David Greenwald

      If you want to go back over what the judge said, he said, ” I’m wondering how that could be deemed even arguably true. If we look at the baseline project features only, which I understand why we might do that. There are a total of nine commitments or promises under transit and roadways.” He limited the scope of what he was looking at there for the sake of argument…

  7. tkeller

    This complaint and the whining article in the Davisite really just hit a button for me… and I know why:

    It’s because my teenage son tries this kind logic all the time when he gets in trouble for something.   “I got in trouble because someone told on me… ”

    I’m raising my sons to know that they have to be ACCOUNTABLE for their actions.  If they make a mistake and they get in trouble, they need to OWN that mistake, learn from it, and be a better person next time.

    So when I hear the complaints about getting sued and the legal costs involved, I have the exact same reaction:   “If you got sued because you signed your name to a ballot statement that contained numerous willful mis-representations of the truth – then you need to recognize the consequence of your action and learn not to be so cavalier with the truth next time”

    I really do hope that this is the lesson that our local opposition learns from this.  Because direct democracy initiatives like this REQUIRE voters to have objective facts to make decisions on ballot measures.   If this is how our ballot initiative process will proceed in the future, then we should abandon that process itself, because right now, its fundamentally broken.

    I did comment at the city council meeting on this topic, and I made a suggestion which I will repeat here:    The city should host a town-hall, or an info session, or maybe a few such sessions around town where people can ask questions from the city staff or commission members that actually have first hand answers to all of these questions.

    Right now, voters are swimming in a sea of dis-information, and unfortunately, the Yes campaign elected to waive their right to the moral high ground when they put out lawn signs that make it sound like measure H is about funding greenbelts… Super dissapointed in that one.

    Either way… Honesty and integrity are IMPORTANT in our civic discourse.   People got all hurt on Nextdoor because I made a thread calling these lies out for being lies…. but you know what?  If you don’t want to be CALLED a liar… The best approach is to just NOT tell any lies….

    Even my teenager is slowly learning that.

    1. Ron Oertel

      “If you got sued because you signed your name to a ballot statement that contained numerous willful mis-representations of the truth – then you need to recognize the consequence of your action and learn not to be so cavalier with the truth next time”.

      I actually “agree” with you.

      Next time, they probably should be more careful regarding the use of the word “only”, as well as the conversion of metric tons to pounds.

      And maybe they can find their own council member to challenge proponents’ claims, next time.

      People got all hurt on Nextdoor because I made a thread calling these lies out for being lies…. but you know what? If you don’t want to be CALLED a liar… The best approach is to just NOT tell any lies….

      So – if they’re calling you that, are you implementing your own suggested “best approach”?

    2. Ron Oertel

      If you got sued

      David said that they weren’t sued. In fact, that’s in the title of this article.

      Maybe a judge somewhere can be asked to weigh-in on that.

    3. Alan Miller

      and unfortunately, the Yes campaign elected to waive their right to the moral high ground when they put out lawn signs that make it sound like measure H is about funding greenbelts…

      I haven’t seen any lawn signs for either side.  What do these signs say?

      I appreciate that you criticize this tactic of the side you support, TK, as it raises my appreciation that you stating your side out of your beliefs and that you are not as intimately connected with the campaign as I had previously believed.

    4. wesleysagewalker

      Tim,

      Some of the lawn signs say “More Greenbelts and Trails.” If approved, DiSC will have 23.2 acres of green space that will include greenbelts, bike and pedestrian paths, and connections to the bike trails running to the east of the property. What is the issue here? There currently are no greenbelts or bike and pedestrian paths on the property. In my mind, that means DiSC objectively creates “More Greenbelts and Trails.” Where is the source of disagreement in your mind here? A broader view would look at the surplus revenues the project is expected to produce which would fund things like greenbelts and bike trails within Davis, but no need to even go there because it seems rather evident to me that DiSC quite clearly creates more greenbelts and trails in Davis. I am confused by your criticism here. Can you clarify?

      1. Keith Olson

        There currently are no greenbelts or bike and pedestrian paths on the property. 

        Oh I don’t know, I think many people believe the property as it is now before construction is all one giant greenbelt.

  8. Sharla Cheney

    I understand the extreme anxiety that can be triggered by receiving any kind of legal documents, but I don’t think there was any personal risk here – financial or otherwise.  It was a petition to have the Court change the text that would appear on a ballot.  It is good to know who funded the petition.  Better than an anonymous “Citizens for…” or “Friends of…” type group or someone from out of town that no one knows.  We should be able to see how much in legal fees the Yes on H campaign and the No on H campaign spent on this in the next campaign filing.

    1. Ron Oertel

      I understand the extreme anxiety that can be triggered by receiving any kind of legal documents, but I don’t think there was any personal risk here – financial or otherwise.

      You are incorrect regarding this claim.

      This “legal action” was launched against individuals.  They were personally responsible for their own legal costs, and potentially – the other side’s costs as well.

      A different issue is whether the “No” side’s funds are sufficient to cover those legal costs, for those who were personally “sued”. (In the same manner that the developer backed up Carson’s costs.) Of course, some of those same individuals are also the ones who donate to the campaign in the first place.

    2. David Greenwald

      “ During the ten-calendar-day public examination period, as discussed in Section 9295, (1) any voter of the jurisdiction in which the election is being held, (2) or the election official, himself or herself, may seek a writ of mandate or an injunction requiring any or all of the materials to be amended or deleted”

      ii. The Parties

      • The elections official must be named as respondent in any cause of action.

      • The person or official who authored the material in question must be named as real party in interest.

      This is all laid out by the law.  The actual respondent are the election officials.

      1. Ron Oertel

        The actual respondent are the election officials.

        That has nothing to do with the legal (attorney) costs, and you know that.  Election officials are not responsible for those costs.

        Why do you keep repeating this type of misleading comment?

        1. Sharla Cheney

          The ballot is a legal document.  If someone uses the only avenue available to correct what they view as incorrect statements on a legal document, you can’t find fault with that.  There is no consideration for what “real parties in interest” should do or are obligated to do in response – hiring lawyers, etc.  That is up to them.  They could have just shown up to defend the accuracy of their statements.

        2. Ron Oertel

          Honestly, I don’t know what happens in that case (e.g., not hiring attorneys in response to the legal challenge). While facing an opponent who does have an attorney.

          I would think that this could be highly risky, regarding having to pay for the developer’s attorney – if they lost (as a result of not having their own attorney).

          Or, if they simply don’t contest the challenge at all. Make all changes that the developer demands?

          Of course, some of them had already made an “investment” in the campaign, prior to that point. Not to the same degree as proponents, of course.

           

      2. Matt Williams

        Sharla, I am going to speak only for myself.  I have no major problem with the legal filing in concept. That is the legal route that is available to all parties with legal standing.

        What I do have a problem with is having an elected representative of all stakeholders in Davis choosing to represent only some of those stakeholders, and simultaneously oppose the express wishes of the 52% of the people who voted “no” in Measure B in November 2020.

        Further, I agree with David Greenwald when he says, “In retrospect they should have had a regular citizen do it.”

        Where Carson’s actions become even more problematic is when compared to the City’s excuses in 2016 when the Roadwaysparcel tax failed. They said that the City can not advocate in support of an election question before the voters. That was their excuse for not “educating” the public on the fiscal needs and realities of roads maintenance in Davis.

        1. Sharla Cheney

          Matt, I hear you.  So people would be more comfortable with someone else filing the request?  Would the outcome be any different?

          The conflict seems personal to the people staffing the campaigns.

        2. Keith Y Echols

          What I do have a problem with is having an elected representative of all stakeholders in Davis choosing to represent only some of those stakeholders, and simultaneously oppose the express wishes of the 52% of the people who voted “no” in Measure B in November 2020.

          But that’s how representative democracy works.  People elect leaders to act on how they see fit.  The elected leaders are not pass through conduits for the voters.  If the voters don’t like the leader’s decisions, then they vote him/her out.  If Carson was a purely anti-growth politician, I can understand how people could feel betrayed. But to my knowledge he isn’t.  In Robb Davis’ own words (in a comment he made here last year); he represented what he believed was best for all of Davis and not just one part or the other.  I’m assuming in Dan Carson’s case, he believes (right or wrong) he’s acting in the city of Davis’ best interests.

        3. Keith Y Echols

          Matt, I hear you.  So people would be more comfortable with someone else filing the request?  Would the outcome be any different?
          The conflict seems personal to the people staffing the campaigns.

          Yeah, it seems to me that these political campaigns are often non-profit organizations that I believe usually have something similar to the “corporate veil” which protects the executives from personal liability from bad business decisions.   I wonder if such a thing exists and if the NO campaign is organized in such a way.

  9. Matt Williams

    That’s not how I read the judge’s decision.  It’s not that the judge had no problem with the contentions made by the opposition to Measure H.  It’s that on several occasions he simply did not find the evidence sufficient to order a change.

    I don’t disagree with the judge’s ruling here.  But this does not appear to be vindication for the No on Measure H campaign.

    I saw this as a close call and believe that the judge here mostly got it right.

    .
    In an article that is about the public comment and the filing of the writ, the above three comments appear to be off-topic.  This is not the first time David has attempted to nit pick the judge’s decision, and I doubt it will be the last such slice and dice effort.

    With that said, I would like to provide David, who is a fan of Saint Louis sports teams with an illustrative example about just how meaningless “close” is.  On January 30, 2000 Super Bowl XXXIV between the St. Louis Rams and the Tennessee Titans ended in the closest possible fashion.  Super Bowl XXXIV is best remembered for its final play, in which the Titans reached St. Louis’ 10-yard line with six seconds remaining, but Tennessee’s wide receiver was tackled less than one foot short of the goal line to prevent a potential game-tying touchdown. That final play became known as “One Yard Short” and “The Tackle.”  Did the closeness of that final play cause the NFL to mandate that St. Louis and Tennessee share the Lombardi Trophy?  No … St. Louis won.

    For me as a Philadelphia Eagles fan, Superbowl LII on February 4, 2018 was similarly close.  New England’s pas on the final play of the game (barely) fell incomplete in the end zone. D id the closeness of that final play (and the whole game for that matter) cause the NFL to mandate that Philadelphia and New England share the Lombardi Trophy?  No … Philadelphia won.

    But if you step back from the individual specifics, I believe Dan Carson asked for 89 of the 300 words in the ballot changed … he got one word changed and an expression like “12 inches” changed into an expression like “one foot.” 

    The change from pounds to metric tons was not because either the number or the units was false, but because the expression “metric tons” is the units of measurement used in the EIR, and therefore more familiar to people than the expression “pounds.”  As I said above that is the same as saying that “12 inches” should not be used instead of “one foot.”

    I think it is time to move on.

  10. Jim Frame

    So people would be more comfortable with someone else filing the request?  Would the outcome be any different?

    If by “outcome” you include the knock-on effects of an elected official spending tens of thousands of dollars (of whose money?) in a curiously-timed legal maneuver in support of a developer’s project, then yes, the outcome would have been different.

    1. Ron Glick

      First its clear that Ramos is picking up the tab so I think we can move on from the dark money argument to the traditional rich developer diatribe.

      Of course this brings us back to measure J where only the rich can play by design because the proponents are on the hook for placing a project on the ballot and running a campaign. In a normal California community all these costs wouldn’t exist unless there was a referendum. When you look at what Ramos has spent on the project hiring a lawyer for some legal work and a day in court, even if he has to pick up the No on H court costs, is a drop in the bucket. The counter argument is that if not for Measure J the No on H side would need to work much harder first hiring lawyers to draft a petition, and then, circulating the petition in a 30 day time window.

      The no side gets many advantages through Measure J. Still they complain about a system they support.

      Finally, can we please get over this last minute filing issue? Grow up. That is how the law works. There is a deadline. If you make the deadline you are compliant. If you don’t you lose your ability to go to court. They made the deadline. There is nothing out of the ordinary for a lawyer to use all the time allowed and filing right before the deadline.

      1. Jim Frame

        The legal action was filed by Dan Carson, not Dan Ramos.  If Dan Ramos paid the bill, is that a campaign contribution?  Or a gift to an elected official? Would either be legal? IMWTK.

        1. Jim Frame

          Since Carson filed it on behalf the campaign

           

          The writ shows Dan as the petitioner, not Dan as representing petitioner Yes on H.  I wonder how the petition reads…

  11. Ron Oertel

    In a normal California community . . . 

    They would have built developments within a few feet of Woodland, by now.

    And into various floodzones.

    And the city would be worse-off, financially.

  12. Ron Oertel

    Because he’s not going on and on whining about his opponent.

    True.  David is the one who does that, every day.

    Whether it’s the slow-growthers, Reisig, the truth . . . .

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