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Council race: phone survey raises questions

Original post made on Aug 29, 2014

Mountain View voters are being surveyed about how they might vote in the November City Council election, prompting questions about who is gathering such information and how it will be used.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, August 29, 2014, 12:00 AM

Comments (26)

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Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 29, 2014 at 9:11 am

Jim Neal is a registered user.

First, I want to say that I have not received any requests from the Voice to comment on this issue and did not even know about it until I read it online today. As a matter of fact, Daniel Debolt of the Voice was present at the Forum held at Microsoft on Tuesday night, and he could have asked me about this story then when we talked afterward, but he didn't mention it to me.

Second, I had nothing to do with the survey.

Third, this seems like an attack ad on all the other candidates, questioning our integrity. It also draws conclusions that thus far are not supported by facts, or if they are, the facts have not been printed here.

Fourth, if this story is accurate, it does sound like it could be something that is outside the campaign finance limits and something that should be reported to the FPPC and investigated.

Lastly, as someone who has to endure personal attacks all the time because of my race and because of how I choose to dress, I would be the last person to run "attack ads".



Jim Neal
Candidate, Mountain View City Council
Web Link


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Posted by Ron
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 29, 2014 at 10:27 am

I bet the Chamber of Commence knows who is paying for the "survey."


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Posted by Ron
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 29, 2014 at 10:27 am

I bet the Chamber of Commence knows who is paying for the "survey."


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ron
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 29, 2014 at 10:29 am

I bet the Chamber of Commence knows who is paying for the "survey."


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ron
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 29, 2014 at 10:29 am

I bet the Chamber of Commence knows who is paying for the "survey."


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ron
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 29, 2014 at 10:30 am

I bet the Chamber of Commence knows who is paying for the "survey."


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 29, 2014 at 12:13 pm

Jim Neal is a registered user.

First, I want to say that I have not received any requests from the Voice to comment on this issue and did not even know about it until I read it online today. As a matter of fact, Daniel Debolt of the Voice was present at the Forum held at Microsoft on Tuesday night, and he could have asked me about this story then when we talked afterward, but he didn't mention it to me.

Second, I had nothing to do with the survey.

Third, this seems like an attack ad on all the other candidates, questioning our integrity. It also draws conclusions that thus far are not supported by facts, or if they are, the facts have not been printed here.

Fourth, if this story is accurate, it does sound like it could be something that is outside the campaign finance limits and something that should be reported to the FPPC and investigated.

Lastly, as someone who has to endure personal attacks all the time because of my race and because of how I choose to dress, I would be the last person to run "attack ads".



Jim Neal
Candidate, Mountain View City Council
Web Link


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Posted by Sparty
a resident of another community
on Aug 29, 2014 at 2:08 pm

Sparty is a registered user.

That's the way the world works. You can spend money on something like prefab signs for rent a mobs, and other can spend money on phone surveys.

Does the $22K limit cover other campaigning a person is involved with? What if you lead a anti_(insert city council agenda here)___, support of another measure (bond instead tax hike), etc etc.

You put your name out there and become the face of your chosen position... Later you run for office yourself. All the air time and print you get while for speeches and "NO/YES on ____" signs wouldn't count towards your $22K.

But you have effectively campaigned for your cause as well as yourself.


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Posted by Jerry
a resident of North Whisman
on Aug 29, 2014 at 2:20 pm

I do corporate surveys as part of my professional practice. As a general rule, you should always ask who is sponsoring a survey as a condition for participation. Any group who insists on remaining hidden is undoubtedly conducting a questionable survey, and does not deserve your contribution. Any argument about wanting to avoid bias is so much smoke and mirrors. Being open about potential biases is more professional.


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Posted by Night Rider
a resident of Rex Manor
on Aug 29, 2014 at 2:42 pm

So you're saying that if Microsoft wants to conduct a survey comparing itself to other companies products, they should say that they are sponsoring the survey? Don't you think it's possible that a bunch of people that hate Microsoft and love the other guys could sign up or that maybe mostly people that love Microsoft would sign up. How do you filter out that kind of bias?

I've been to a few surveys in San Francisco at Fleischman Field Reserch for new products or services and they NEVER tell you who is sponsoring them until the survey is over. Are they doing it wrong?


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Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 29, 2014 at 3:06 pm

Has anyone besides Alison Hicks been called?


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Posted by Lilly
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 29, 2014 at 3:26 pm

Good question Konrad !
DeBolt in the article states: " with some people contacting the Voice to say that they find the surveys "disturbing" and an intrusion." but only provides one name of the "some" people that sent emails to the voice , how many people hare we talking about exactly ?


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Posted by Linda Curtis
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 29, 2014 at 3:28 pm

I have been called and I participated. I sensed that it was perhaps to help Lenny or someone else running who was searching for an answer as to how badly union support or large developer financial campaign support has hurt or would help them in this race. Other questions allowed me to state my favorite & least favorite candidates, so I believed it to be as least one of the candidates seeking to know how well they are doing so far.

It's been more than a week ago, so I'll try to remember more of the questions as I can.

I know they did work from a list, which had my name & phone #, and they were uninterested in speaking to anyone else in the house, as they said they had to stick to the list only.


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Posted by Chris
a resident of Waverly Park
on Aug 29, 2014 at 3:55 pm

Ken Rosenberg has a "Survey Monkey" survey on his FB , listing candidates names and asking, who would "you" likely vote for , if it was 11/4 today.The link:
(1) for Candidate Survey
Web Link


With 9 candidates, it is not surprising, that they would like to know, how their chances are......


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Posted by Chris
a resident of Waverly Park
on Aug 29, 2014 at 4:04 pm

It is Ken's FB page. The link is not working.


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Posted by Jack C.
a resident of Waverly Park
on Aug 29, 2014 at 4:17 pm

I got two calls (2 registered voters in our household). I recognized them as "push poll" calls. I told the first caller that she was of poor upbringing and had no moral or ethical compass.
Second call from "SSI" - Kept answering that the No. 1 issue to me in local elections was "ending robocalls and telemarketing". This passed completely over the head of the 'surveyer'.
If you want to see my plan for ending robocalls and telemarketing,
google <Cormode> and <robotelestop>.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Alex M
a resident of Willowgate
on Aug 29, 2014 at 5:11 pm

The survey taker who called me was an idiot, asking questions that required a sentence response, and then failing to record the response properly.

It started out something like this:

Q: What do you think is the biggest problem facing Mountain View today?

Me: (waiting for her to continue)

Q: Hello?

Me: I was waiting for you to give me choices. This isn't a multiple choice question?

Q: No. What do you think is the biggest problem facing Mountain View today?

Me: Hmmm... I think it's the unfettered development of rental housing versus ownership housing.

Q: (writing it) "housing", OK. Next question...

Me: No, that's not what I said. I'll put it another way: The City Council never met a development project they didn't like. They're a rubber stamp for more rental housing.

Q: OK, your answer is "housing development".

Me: Are you listening to me? I said the problem is that Mountain View is building too much rental housing.

...and it sort of went downhill from there.


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Posted by Ron
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 29, 2014 at 6:50 pm

I bet the Chamber of Commence knows who is paying for the "survey."


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Posted by Ron
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 29, 2014 at 6:51 pm

I bet the Chamber of Commence knows who is paying for the "survey."


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ken Rosenberg
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 29, 2014 at 7:21 pm

@Chris

The survey monkey link was posted on the Voice's website. I wasn't responsible for developing it. I originally thought because it was on the Voice's website, that they had (hence my FB post). I emailed the editor only to find out it was a private party that posted it. Because it didn't conform to the Voice's standards, the link was removed.

Since then, I've always wondered who created it and what they did with the information!

With respect to the the current phone survey, I have no idea who is behind it. One of my campaign supporters informed me that he had been called a few times and finally he spoke to them. Like Alex, he reported they seemed aloof and not really paying attention to the responses.


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Posted by Jack C
a resident of Waverly Park
on Aug 29, 2014 at 8:15 pm

There were two of these phone calls that came to our house. They were obviously not real surveys, but 'push poll' calls.
I told the first caller that she was of poor upbringing and had no moral or ethical compass.
The second call from SSI, I answered that the No. 1 issue to me in local elections was 'ending robocalls and telemarketing". This passed completely over the head of the 'surveyer'.
If you want to see my way of ending robocalls, google <Cormode> and <robotelestop>.


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Posted by voter
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 30, 2014 at 10:10 am

Problems with article:
1) forwarded emails (from who, where, contents)? Were they verified? Were the authors talked to. Forwarded means not the original author sent it. Was the forwarder interviewed to find their motive.
2) There is not a smear campaign yet. It seems odd the next step was assuming it will happen and then asking all if they are secretly running a smear campaign. Of course, many feel they have to denounce that, but they should ignore such unsubstantiated allegations.
3) the survey company was never contacted. Even to find out if they did the survey, or even to find how much a survey costs. It was probably small, there is only the indication of one receiver of this phone survey. The cost is probably not even close to the 22,000 limit--if one wants to pursue that path of claiming another candidate did it--which is a wrong thing to do in this article.
It seems this article was written to support one candidate by saying someone is secretly planning a campaign to smear them in the future just before the election, so watch out. But the writing is very badly done and the article was badly researched.


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Posted by Ron
a resident of Slater
on Aug 30, 2014 at 11:34 am

Ask the Chamber of Commerce what persons and business entities are involed in this make-believe "survey" of voters.


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Posted by Linda Curtis
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 30, 2014 at 3:56 pm

Alex M.-

I had a more educated paid surveyer apparently than you did. I am long winded, and the poor guy who got stuck with me actually wrote all of everything I said down exactly. I made him read back everything I had answered.

He was very courteous and pleasant. I was glad to get one with a functioning brain for a change. I know that work can be mind numbing to the extreme. And the fact that he spoke English quite well was helpful and surprising.


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Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 30, 2014 at 4:45 pm

@voter,

Yes, Daniel DeBolt writes to support one candidate.
That is why I asked in anyone else besides Alison Hicks been called?

Note that the Voice has this article and the one taht e wrote about Greg Unangst's ballotb designation change.

However, i didn't see much about the League of Women Voters Candidate Forum last Wednesday, August 27. Or did I miss something?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Fidel
a resident of Castro City
on Sep 1, 2014 at 10:05 pm

The Chamber of Commence probably knows who or what business is paying for the political hit job.


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