Do you have an extra $50,000 sitting around? Yeah, me neither. But apparently the Plumbers & Pipefitters Union Local 422 does. California law requires that all political organization that collect contributions file form 460 to indicate the sources of their funding. Stay Sacramento's 460 was filed this week, and the information it contains is telling.
Stay Sacramento's total monetary contributions for the covered period were $79,422. Of that amount, $50,000 came from the single union donation. That means that 62% of the funding for this "grassroots effort with little funds to defeat the Arden-Arcade cityhood proposal*" who are "up against a well-funded campaign of special outside interests who are trying to buy their way into fat contracts with a new city*" comes from a labor union. Now I'm sure that this union isn't coughing up 50 large out of altruistic motivations.
(*quoted from the Stay Sacramento web site, October 9, 2010)
So how about the other 29 grand? Well, a few thousand of that comes from lobbyists, including lobyists representing the mobile home, pharmaceutical and liquor industries. These are the folks who are fighting special interests?! Folks, these are the special interests! Lord knows we don't have enough mobile home parks and liquor stores here.
I think my personal favorite is the $500 from Jeffrey Raimundo, principal in the consulting firm of Townsend, Raimundo, Besler & Usher. Mr. Raimundo does not live in the proposed city limits, but apparently feels that what happens here can affect him. I'm sure that the checks totalling $17,910 that his firm, who also represented Kevin Johnson's '08 mayoral campaign, received from Stay Sacramento were just a coincidence.
So who else is involved in thie grassroots effort? Well, let's see... there's former Sheriff Lou Blanas, who also happens to be an owner in the new casino/card room up on Auburn Blvd. at the Marconi curve. If you look at a map of the proposed city boundaries, you'll see a little chunk notched into the northwest corner. That's where the card room resides, outside of Sac city and Arden Arcade. But if we do incorporate, that area will fall within our sphere of influence, meaning we will have some degree of say in what goes on there.
And let's not forget Tim Cahill, who inherited and married into a ton of real estate along Fulton Avenue, including at least one property rented by a massage parlor. Mr Cahill assured everyone at the recent Sierrs Oaks homeowner's meeting that this facilty was thoroughly checked out and supervised by the county before opening. So I'm sure it's just accidental that the place has a locked door, white blinds covering all the windows, and a video camera over the door. After all, a legitimate business can't be too sure these days.
The more we learn about Stay Sacramento, the more we see evidence of what we've always known - these people will do anything, including lying to your face - to stop incorporation. Why? I think the answer comes from the television piece I was in for News 10 earlier this week. In it, Doug Elmets, another rich Stay Sac supporter, stated the truth so plainly it was funny. Sierra Oaks, Arden Oaks, and Arden Park want to remain their own little elitist enclaves. They don't want to be associated with the likes you you and me. But there aren't enough of them to make Measure D fail. So they will make up lies and distort facts just to keep from being considered part of the community.
Keep in mind that for the past several years Stay Sacramento has been telling us they are the little guys, trying to fight the power of special interests that funded the incorporation campaign. Who were these special interests? They were the local parks districts, who knew they could improve services in their own facilities by partnering with the new city. They were other cities in Sacramento County, who knew we represented a real chance to make sure our "regional voice" wasn't centered between H and I streets downtown. And they were hundreds of people just like you and me, the special interests who wanted life to be better for our kids. Who wanted to see the hookers and gangs that have moved into the area sent packing. Who want to feel safe when they walk down our streets.
That's my special interest, and I hope it's yours too.