News

Independent spending continues in council race

As the final days of the City Council election approach, the mysterious Neighborhood Empowerment Coalition continues to report spending money in support of council candidates Ellen Kamei, Ken Rosenberg and Pat Showalter. All three have said they have not cooperated with the NEC and that the mailers have photos and information taken from their websites.

The NEC reported another round of mailers in Oct. 23 campaign spending disclosures, increasing its total spending on mailers for each candidate: $31,896 for Rosenberg, $19,603 for Showalter and $23,340 for Kamei. At least one of the mailers includes all three candidates.

The Long Beach-based group claims on its website to be a coalition of community members but has a Long Beach lawyer specializing in campaign finance as its only known member. It has reported receiving funds from Indian tribes, unions representing ship builders and iron workers, a DMV software company and perhaps most notably, the California Apartment Association.

The CAA is a landlord group opposed to rent control Kamei, Rosenberg and Showalter have all posted the CAA's endorsement on their campaign websites and oppose rent control.

PG&E has also funded the NEC. Rosenberg says his campaign is not funded or endorsed by PG&E, but Kamei and Showalter have taken campaign donations from the energy company.

What's local journalism worth to you?

Support Mountain View Online for as little as $5/month.

Learn more

None of the candidates reported spending their own campaign money over the voluntary limit of $22,689 that all the candidates agreed to at the start of the election, though some are coming close. The top spenders as of Oct. 18 are: Kamei, with $21,872; Rosenberg at $21,644; Greg Unangst at $18,896; and Lisa Matichak with $19,128.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

Sign up

Follow Mountain View Voice Online on Twitter @mvvoice, Facebook and on Instagram @mvvoice for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Independent spending continues in council race

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Fri, Oct 31, 2014, 1:47 pm

As the final days of the City Council election approach, the mysterious Neighborhood Empowerment Coalition continues to report spending money in support of council candidates Ellen Kamei, Ken Rosenberg and Pat Showalter. All three have said they have not cooperated with the NEC and that the mailers have photos and information taken from their websites.

The NEC reported another round of mailers in Oct. 23 campaign spending disclosures, increasing its total spending on mailers for each candidate: $31,896 for Rosenberg, $19,603 for Showalter and $23,340 for Kamei. At least one of the mailers includes all three candidates.

The Long Beach-based group claims on its website to be a coalition of community members but has a Long Beach lawyer specializing in campaign finance as its only known member. It has reported receiving funds from Indian tribes, unions representing ship builders and iron workers, a DMV software company and perhaps most notably, the California Apartment Association.

The CAA is a landlord group opposed to rent control Kamei, Rosenberg and Showalter have all posted the CAA's endorsement on their campaign websites and oppose rent control.

PG&E has also funded the NEC. Rosenberg says his campaign is not funded or endorsed by PG&E, but Kamei and Showalter have taken campaign donations from the energy company.

None of the candidates reported spending their own campaign money over the voluntary limit of $22,689 that all the candidates agreed to at the start of the election, though some are coming close. The top spenders as of Oct. 18 are: Kamei, with $21,872; Rosenberg at $21,644; Greg Unangst at $18,896; and Lisa Matichak with $19,128.

Comments

Lilly
Old Mountain View
on Oct 31, 2014 at 3:04 pm
Lilly, Old Mountain View
on Oct 31, 2014 at 3:04 pm
8 people like this

Is just my impression or Daniel DE Bolt and the MV Voice are starting to realize that they give the endorsement to two candidates that are surrounded by a big black cloud of suspected support by a shadowy group?


outraged
Monta Loma
on Oct 31, 2014 at 5:10 pm
outraged, Monta Loma
on Oct 31, 2014 at 5:10 pm
15 people like this

The best way and the ONLY way to speak up is to not vote for the people getting the outside money. That way these outside special interests will know that they can't by us and that their money is the kiss of death for a candidate.


LarryR
Old Mountain View
on Oct 31, 2014 at 6:12 pm
LarryR, Old Mountain View
on Oct 31, 2014 at 6:12 pm
8 people like this

I totally agree with @outraged:
"The best way and the ONLY way to speak up is to not vote for the people getting the outside money."

I feel bad that a candidate of my choice is getting lots of dollars with no apparent impropriety, but so be it.


Council Watcher
Old Mountain View
on Oct 31, 2014 at 7:17 pm
Council Watcher, Old Mountain View
on Oct 31, 2014 at 7:17 pm
10 people like this

This article should have been page one news, not buried in the back of the paper.

The article that was placed on page one as the lead, criticizing Kamei for a questionable traffic projection, is a tempest in a teapot. It's a last-minute effort to diminish Kamei and provide a soapbox for Lenny, as the Voice has done so often in this campaign.

The outside money issue is huge. "The Neighborhood Empowerment Coalition" actually aims to disempower neighborhoods. It seems to exist mainly to conceal the source of campaign money that it shovels in for its favored candidates. We're talking developer money, for candidates that would provide some serious money-making opportunities for major developers.

I won't be voting for Kamei, but it's not for her traffic statement, or even the NEC money. It's because her record on the EPC shows an excessive respect for the power of big money. The NEC donation only confirms it.


hmmm....
Blossom Valley
on Nov 1, 2014 at 5:10 pm
hmmm...., Blossom Valley
on Nov 1, 2014 at 5:10 pm
8 people like this

I think we need to show outside interest groups that Mountain View doesn't tolerate this kind of independent spending and outside influence in our local politics. There is nothing illegal about the independent expenditure, at least as far as I know. But I still don't like it.

Mountain View City Hall should be influenced by mountain view residents not by special interest groups pouring tens of thousands of dollars into one or two candidates. I don't want special interests supporting Mountain View City Council candidates. I'm going to send a message to these outside special interest groups with my vote. I am going to vote for candidates that don't get money from outside of our area.

If we vote for candidates that are supported by special interest group then these groups will continue to pour in money to our city and will continue to have influence over our neighborhoods.

I don't think any of the candidates did anything wrong but I still don't want council members that have received thousands and thousands of dollars of support from outside groups.

Nothing is for free and they will definitely want something later down the road.


hmmm....
Blossom Valley
on Nov 1, 2014 at 5:16 pm
hmmm...., Blossom Valley
on Nov 1, 2014 at 5:16 pm
8 people like this

"I publicly urge all independent expenditure committees...to produce materials that are fact-based, honest, respectful, and positive." This is a direct quote from Ken Rosenberg on Oct 15, 2014 at 11:13 pm.

Well, guess what? The Neighborhood Empowerment Coalition has gone negative in the Santa Clara County Water District race. It's only a matter of time that they will do the same in Mountain View.

We need to keep this group out of our city. The only way to do that is to VOTE NO on Rosenberg, Showalter and Kamei.


Voting Data
Cuernavaca
on Nov 2, 2014 at 1:00 am
Voting Data, Cuernavaca
on Nov 2, 2014 at 1:00 am
5 people like this

The Registrar of Voters posts daily updates of ballots received. As of 11/1/14, 25% of the mailed absentee ballots in Santa Clara County have been returned.

The return rate in Mountain View is 21%; Los Altos is at 29%.

So, for all the talk and seeming interest in this election, MV isn't even at the County average in ballot returns. I hope more people become engaged. It's not too late - absentee ballots can be dropped of at a voting place on Nov 4th.


Christopher Chiang
North Bayshore
on Nov 2, 2014 at 7:04 am
Christopher Chiang, North Bayshore
on Nov 2, 2014 at 7:04 am
7 people like this

The NEC mailers show the urgent need for new laws, and there are people working very hard on solutions.

We almost had one, the biggest reform post Citizens United, our own Senator Jerry Hill drafted SB 52 CA Disclose Act, which he championed pass the Senate, only to die in the Assembly this very summer. Article on who killed it Web Link

SB 52 CA Disclose Act Bill Text Web Link
Summary:
-Lets voters know who really is paying for political ads — on the ads themselves.
-Political ads will have to clearly and prominently list their three largest funders.
-"Follow-the-money" disclosure stops dark money from hiding.
Applies to all kinds of political ads, including TV, radio, print, and websites.

Senator Hill is our state senator, and these shadow campaigns are impacting our city, we all should do whatever we can to help Senator Hill.

Follow the SB 52 CA Disclose Act's Facebook Page:
Web Link

There you find calls to action like: by this Friday they are asking supporters to vote online for the cause in a Bay Area favorite cause contest (funded ironically by [email protected]) to win $10,000 in furtherance of the cause.
Web Link

At the very least, we should let Senator Hill know our appreciation and ask him to keep fighting, his event calendar: Web Link


floored
another community
on Nov 4, 2014 at 12:18 pm
floored, another community
on Nov 4, 2014 at 12:18 pm
3 people like this

i'm disgusted

this is a summary of 2 posts from: NEC finances "toilet water" attack ad in Water District race" Original post made on Nov 3, 2014 www.mv-voice.com/square/2014/11/03/nec-finances-toilet-water-attack-ad-in-water-district-race

- NEC's treasurer Gary Crummitt has 2 violations and 1 warning from the FPPC this year alone! see here: Web Link
- in addition, NEC also paid 5,000 dollars to Barry Wyatt Associates
- Barry Wyatt Associates was until recently (it's still in Google's cache) part of Robinson Communication's team see here: Web Link
- and guess who's running Kremen's water district campaign.... Rich Robinson
- Ellen Kamei also used Robinson. She paid Robinson close to 18,000.00 (according to her campaign)for that awful mailer.
- There is a NEC mailer supporting her regarding traffic and then she sends out that mailer about traffic that was created by essentially the same people.
-Gary Kremen and Ellen Kamie share an office space and are having their election night party together.

This is all making sense.

WOW. This is bad.

Maybe the expenditures are truly independent but what a series of coincidences...


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.