News

FPPC launches investigation into Mountain View's firefighter PAC

Landlord lobby funnels money into Mountain View City Council race directly and through firefighters

Flyers sent out in Mountain View for local, state and federal races on the Nov. 3 ballot. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

State election officials launched an investigation Thursday into the Mountain View Fire Fighters Political Action Committee (PAC) following a complaint that the organization has been on a spending spree supporting City Council candidates in violation of campaign finance laws. Records show the state's powerful landlord lobby is helping fund the firefighters' campaign spending.

The firefighters PAC has sent mailers and flyers to residents in support of three candidates -- Margaret Abe-Koga, Lisa Matichak and Jose Gutierrez -- throughout October, one of which touts that all three support Measure C and "full funding" for public safety. But the campaign committee has not reported these mailers as large independent expenditures, nor do the mailers themselves disclose that they are being paid for by an independent committee.

The latest campaign filings also reveal that the firefighters PAC has taken money from the California Apartment Association (CAA), a landlord lobbying group, though the exact nature of the contribution is unclear. The assistance from CAA is unusual for the local PAC, which has historically been funded through Mountain View firefighters and supported candidates for state office. It's also the latest in a string of aggressive independent expenditures in Mountain View this election season, with the bulk of outside money being spent on misleading attack ads against candidate and former Assemblywoman Sally Lieber.

Residents have been receiving mailers from the firefighters PAC for weeks under dubious circumstances. In a sworn complaint to the state's Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), Mountain View resident Janet Werkman said that the mass mailers likely cost thousands of dollars, exceeding the threshold requiring immediate disclosure reports for large independent expenditures. Yet even as the mailers were spread throughout the city, the firefighters PAC hadn't filed any reports since 2018.

Recent filings by the PAC revealed that the committee had, in fact, spent $24,436 in support of Abe-Koga, Matichak and Gutierrez between Sept. 27 and Oct. 23, but the spending was listed as "contributions" made out to all three candidates as a single entity -- despite no such committee existing. In most instances, Abe-Koga, Matichak and Gutierrez are listed as recipients residing in Brentwood, California, when all three live in Mountain View.

What's local journalism worth to you?

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

Learn more

Adding to the strange nature of the filings, the firefighter PAC disclosed that it received $5,000 from the California Apartment Association's PAC, but lists it as a "miscellaneous increase" in cash rather than a contribution. The California Apartment Association, on the other hand, listed the $5,000 as a direct monetary contribution on Sept. 22, just days before the firefighters PAC began spending money.

The firefighter PAC's treasurer and main point of contact, Capt. Melton Wong of the Mountain View Fire Department, did not respond to requests for comment.

Joshua Howard, executive vice president of local government affairs for the California Apartment Association, said in a statement that the organization makes political contributions just like any other organization, with a goal of supporting candidates that work to create a favorite climate for its members' interests.

"We do not comment on specific donations our PAC authorizes but it is our goal to support the election of candidates who understand the importance of the rental housing industry and will champion a strong economy," Howard said.

Matichak for years has said that she is OK with independent expenditures so long as they are positive and the organizations behind the political ads are easily identifiable. Abe-Koga did not respond to requests for comment on the firefighter PAC's activities. Candidate and former Councilman Lenny Siegel disputes the claims in the ads -- all of the candidates support public safety -- and accused the apartment association of meddling in the election.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

Sign up

"They have been laundering money for the corporate landlords, whose interest is in undermining rent control and other renter protections," Siegel said.

While the FPPC has launched an investigation into the firefighter PAC's activities, it has not made any determination of wrongdoing, said Galena West, the agency's chief of the enforcement division, in an email Thursday. Opening the investigation does not confirm the validity of the allegations, she said.

Outside of independent expenditures, filings from the California Apartment Association show the organization directly contributed $1,000 to candidate Paul Roales' campaign. Roales said he rejected the association's support, however, and has since returned the check.

Howard disputes the assertion, and said Roales met with PAC officials and agreed to accept campaign contributions and an endorsement from the landlord group. A questionnaire filled out by Roales and provided to the Voice by Howard details that Roales checked boxes agreeing accept money and an endorsement from the association's PAC.

In response, Roales said he had met with a wide range of potential supporters during his campaign including trade unions, landlords and developers -- something he said was important in his effort to to build "as broad of support" for his platform as possible. Roales said he ultimately decided to reject the contribution from the apartment association, however, because of the appearance that it would affect his policy views. He said he mailed back the check on Monday.

Big spending on attack ads

The Silicon Valley Organization, a coalition of Bay Area business leaders and chambers of commerce, has spent a grand total of $44,455 in opposition to Lieber's run for the City Council as of Oct. 21, running ads alleging that she has accepted money from private prisons, payday lenders and companies benefiting from ICE detention facilities.

In one ad, the organization abandons subtlety and outright fixes a picture of Lieber's face next to a picture of President Donald Trump, creating a Venn diagram that implies the two have a connection through anti-progressive special interest groups.

The Silicon Valley Organization's PAC has run the attack ads with the help of money from the California Apartment Association and the California Association of Realtors, which each poured $50,000 in the PAC in recent months.

Paradoxically, Lieber has gained a reputation as a progressive Democrat for years, with a legislative track record in support of immigrants, refugee rights and the rights of inmates. Lieber said she has supported "decarceration" and reduction of "overkill" sentencing. Over the years, she said she has lost endorsements from public safety organizations for her position on criminal justice reform and opposition to Immigrants and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

As for the allegations themselves, Lieber said she couldn't say for sure that she never received money from these groups. As the speaker pro tem of the state Assembly, she said PACs would give her -- and practically every Sacramento lawmaker -- small unsolicited amounts of money. She said she never attempted to solicit money from private prisons and the like, and acted contrary to their interests.

Lieber said the tactics being used by the Silicon Valley Organization are deceptive, and that the true reason she is being targeted is because of her support of rent control and renter protections. She said she wished the apartment association could just be honest during the election season and say outright that they oppose Lieber because of her positions, rather than paint her as an anti-progressive.

"I think they should be upfront with their true motivations," Lieber said. "They should stop trying to use fig leaves and just say what their real intentions are."

Low fundraising, high spending for candidates

Outside of the relatively bloated independent expenditures, council candidates have shifted gears this month by mostly abandoning fundraising efforts and spending big on mailers, flyers and newspaper ads.

The latest round of campaign finance reports, detailing activity from Sept. 20 to Oct. 17, shows that Lieber raised the most money with $6,120, adding up to a cumulative $20,488 in the council race. Her biggest contributors include $600 from the local Service Employees International Union (SEIU), $500 from the Democratic Activists for Women Now and $500 each from Mountain View resident William Boyle and Los Angeles resident Stanley Kandel.

Other notable contributors are state Assemblyman Evan Low ($250) and Mountain View Whisman School District board member Devon Conley ($250). Lieber spent $10,374 over the same period, mostly on printing costs and campaign consulting.

Candidate and former Councilwoman Pat Showalter led the pack in spending during the filing period, reporting she spent $17,798 over the period, mostly on printing costs. She also ramped up her war chest with $3,120 in additional contributions, including $600 from SEIU and $500 from Democratic Activists for Women Now.

Also spending big in the lead-up to the election is Matichak, who raised the most money early in the election season. She only raised $385 between Sept. 20 and Oct. 17, but spent $17,091 on mailers, signs and website ads.

Abe-Koga retained her lead as the top campaign fundraiser this election season, raising $2,556 over the filing period for a grand total of $30,272. Contributions include $2,000 from the California Real Estate Political Action Committee -- financed by the California Association of Realtors -- and $500 from Democratic Activists for Women Now. She received $250 each from Mountain View residents Peter Wang and Hank Dempsey, and $200 from resident Nancy Gee. She also reported receiving a "nonmonetary" contribution from the Mountain View Fire Fighters PAC amounting to $576.

Abe-Koga spent $13,148 during the same period, almost entirely on printing costs.

Siegel raised $1,495 between Sept. 20 and Oct. 17, fueled by larger donations from Mountain View residents Steve Schramm ($350), Carol Rhoads ($300) and Mark Sandler ($300). He spent $14,173 mostly on door hangers, postcards and mailers.

Candidate Alex Nunez raised $2,259 over the same period, receiving $500 from Santa Clara Valley Water District board member Gary Kremen and $350 from Josh Becker, a candidate for state Senate District 13 who made a contribution through his own campaign committee. Nunez spent just over $13,000, primarily on campaign flyers.

John Lashlee, who trailed on campaign fundraising earlier in the year, added another $3,716 to his war chest for a total of $15,958. He received $676 from Cupertino resident Julius Cheng and $500 each from Mountain View residents William Boyle and Scott Haiden. He also received a second donation from Alex Brown, who has given $811 in total to Lashlee's campaign. Lashlee has spent $8,639 over the same period, mostly to pay the salaries of campaign workers and printing costs.

Paul Roales added only $291 in contributions to his campaign, bringing him to $14,706. Though a heavy spender early in the campaign -- much of it on masks -- he had only spent $1,692 during the filing period, mostly on compensation for campaign work and professional services.

All nine candidates agreed to abide by this year's voluntary campaign spending limit of $27,094.

Craving a new voice in Peninsula dining?

Sign up for the Peninsula Foodist newsletter.

Sign up now

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

FPPC launches investigation into Mountain View's firefighter PAC

Landlord lobby funnels money into Mountain View City Council race directly and through firefighters

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Fri, Oct 23, 2020, 1:51 pm

State election officials launched an investigation Thursday into the Mountain View Fire Fighters Political Action Committee (PAC) following a complaint that the organization has been on a spending spree supporting City Council candidates in violation of campaign finance laws. Records show the state's powerful landlord lobby is helping fund the firefighters' campaign spending.

The firefighters PAC has sent mailers and flyers to residents in support of three candidates -- Margaret Abe-Koga, Lisa Matichak and Jose Gutierrez -- throughout October, one of which touts that all three support Measure C and "full funding" for public safety. But the campaign committee has not reported these mailers as large independent expenditures, nor do the mailers themselves disclose that they are being paid for by an independent committee.

The latest campaign filings also reveal that the firefighters PAC has taken money from the California Apartment Association (CAA), a landlord lobbying group, though the exact nature of the contribution is unclear. The assistance from CAA is unusual for the local PAC, which has historically been funded through Mountain View firefighters and supported candidates for state office. It's also the latest in a string of aggressive independent expenditures in Mountain View this election season, with the bulk of outside money being spent on misleading attack ads against candidate and former Assemblywoman Sally Lieber.

Residents have been receiving mailers from the firefighters PAC for weeks under dubious circumstances. In a sworn complaint to the state's Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), Mountain View resident Janet Werkman said that the mass mailers likely cost thousands of dollars, exceeding the threshold requiring immediate disclosure reports for large independent expenditures. Yet even as the mailers were spread throughout the city, the firefighters PAC hadn't filed any reports since 2018.

Recent filings by the PAC revealed that the committee had, in fact, spent $24,436 in support of Abe-Koga, Matichak and Gutierrez between Sept. 27 and Oct. 23, but the spending was listed as "contributions" made out to all three candidates as a single entity -- despite no such committee existing. In most instances, Abe-Koga, Matichak and Gutierrez are listed as recipients residing in Brentwood, California, when all three live in Mountain View.

Adding to the strange nature of the filings, the firefighter PAC disclosed that it received $5,000 from the California Apartment Association's PAC, but lists it as a "miscellaneous increase" in cash rather than a contribution. The California Apartment Association, on the other hand, listed the $5,000 as a direct monetary contribution on Sept. 22, just days before the firefighters PAC began spending money.

The firefighter PAC's treasurer and main point of contact, Capt. Melton Wong of the Mountain View Fire Department, did not respond to requests for comment.

Joshua Howard, executive vice president of local government affairs for the California Apartment Association, said in a statement that the organization makes political contributions just like any other organization, with a goal of supporting candidates that work to create a favorite climate for its members' interests.

"We do not comment on specific donations our PAC authorizes but it is our goal to support the election of candidates who understand the importance of the rental housing industry and will champion a strong economy," Howard said.

Matichak for years has said that she is OK with independent expenditures so long as they are positive and the organizations behind the political ads are easily identifiable. Abe-Koga did not respond to requests for comment on the firefighter PAC's activities. Candidate and former Councilman Lenny Siegel disputes the claims in the ads -- all of the candidates support public safety -- and accused the apartment association of meddling in the election.

"They have been laundering money for the corporate landlords, whose interest is in undermining rent control and other renter protections," Siegel said.

While the FPPC has launched an investigation into the firefighter PAC's activities, it has not made any determination of wrongdoing, said Galena West, the agency's chief of the enforcement division, in an email Thursday. Opening the investigation does not confirm the validity of the allegations, she said.

Outside of independent expenditures, filings from the California Apartment Association show the organization directly contributed $1,000 to candidate Paul Roales' campaign. Roales said he rejected the association's support, however, and has since returned the check.

Howard disputes the assertion, and said Roales met with PAC officials and agreed to accept campaign contributions and an endorsement from the landlord group. A questionnaire filled out by Roales and provided to the Voice by Howard details that Roales checked boxes agreeing accept money and an endorsement from the association's PAC.

In response, Roales said he had met with a wide range of potential supporters during his campaign including trade unions, landlords and developers -- something he said was important in his effort to to build "as broad of support" for his platform as possible. Roales said he ultimately decided to reject the contribution from the apartment association, however, because of the appearance that it would affect his policy views. He said he mailed back the check on Monday.

Big spending on attack ads

The Silicon Valley Organization, a coalition of Bay Area business leaders and chambers of commerce, has spent a grand total of $44,455 in opposition to Lieber's run for the City Council as of Oct. 21, running ads alleging that she has accepted money from private prisons, payday lenders and companies benefiting from ICE detention facilities.

In one ad, the organization abandons subtlety and outright fixes a picture of Lieber's face next to a picture of President Donald Trump, creating a Venn diagram that implies the two have a connection through anti-progressive special interest groups.

The Silicon Valley Organization's PAC has run the attack ads with the help of money from the California Apartment Association and the California Association of Realtors, which each poured $50,000 in the PAC in recent months.

Paradoxically, Lieber has gained a reputation as a progressive Democrat for years, with a legislative track record in support of immigrants, refugee rights and the rights of inmates. Lieber said she has supported "decarceration" and reduction of "overkill" sentencing. Over the years, she said she has lost endorsements from public safety organizations for her position on criminal justice reform and opposition to Immigrants and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

As for the allegations themselves, Lieber said she couldn't say for sure that she never received money from these groups. As the speaker pro tem of the state Assembly, she said PACs would give her -- and practically every Sacramento lawmaker -- small unsolicited amounts of money. She said she never attempted to solicit money from private prisons and the like, and acted contrary to their interests.

Lieber said the tactics being used by the Silicon Valley Organization are deceptive, and that the true reason she is being targeted is because of her support of rent control and renter protections. She said she wished the apartment association could just be honest during the election season and say outright that they oppose Lieber because of her positions, rather than paint her as an anti-progressive.

"I think they should be upfront with their true motivations," Lieber said. "They should stop trying to use fig leaves and just say what their real intentions are."

Low fundraising, high spending for candidates

Outside of the relatively bloated independent expenditures, council candidates have shifted gears this month by mostly abandoning fundraising efforts and spending big on mailers, flyers and newspaper ads.

The latest round of campaign finance reports, detailing activity from Sept. 20 to Oct. 17, shows that Lieber raised the most money with $6,120, adding up to a cumulative $20,488 in the council race. Her biggest contributors include $600 from the local Service Employees International Union (SEIU), $500 from the Democratic Activists for Women Now and $500 each from Mountain View resident William Boyle and Los Angeles resident Stanley Kandel.

Other notable contributors are state Assemblyman Evan Low ($250) and Mountain View Whisman School District board member Devon Conley ($250). Lieber spent $10,374 over the same period, mostly on printing costs and campaign consulting.

Candidate and former Councilwoman Pat Showalter led the pack in spending during the filing period, reporting she spent $17,798 over the period, mostly on printing costs. She also ramped up her war chest with $3,120 in additional contributions, including $600 from SEIU and $500 from Democratic Activists for Women Now.

Also spending big in the lead-up to the election is Matichak, who raised the most money early in the election season. She only raised $385 between Sept. 20 and Oct. 17, but spent $17,091 on mailers, signs and website ads.

Abe-Koga retained her lead as the top campaign fundraiser this election season, raising $2,556 over the filing period for a grand total of $30,272. Contributions include $2,000 from the California Real Estate Political Action Committee -- financed by the California Association of Realtors -- and $500 from Democratic Activists for Women Now. She received $250 each from Mountain View residents Peter Wang and Hank Dempsey, and $200 from resident Nancy Gee. She also reported receiving a "nonmonetary" contribution from the Mountain View Fire Fighters PAC amounting to $576.

Abe-Koga spent $13,148 during the same period, almost entirely on printing costs.

Siegel raised $1,495 between Sept. 20 and Oct. 17, fueled by larger donations from Mountain View residents Steve Schramm ($350), Carol Rhoads ($300) and Mark Sandler ($300). He spent $14,173 mostly on door hangers, postcards and mailers.

Candidate Alex Nunez raised $2,259 over the same period, receiving $500 from Santa Clara Valley Water District board member Gary Kremen and $350 from Josh Becker, a candidate for state Senate District 13 who made a contribution through his own campaign committee. Nunez spent just over $13,000, primarily on campaign flyers.

John Lashlee, who trailed on campaign fundraising earlier in the year, added another $3,716 to his war chest for a total of $15,958. He received $676 from Cupertino resident Julius Cheng and $500 each from Mountain View residents William Boyle and Scott Haiden. He also received a second donation from Alex Brown, who has given $811 in total to Lashlee's campaign. Lashlee has spent $8,639 over the same period, mostly to pay the salaries of campaign workers and printing costs.

Paul Roales added only $291 in contributions to his campaign, bringing him to $14,706. Though a heavy spender early in the campaign -- much of it on masks -- he had only spent $1,692 during the filing period, mostly on compensation for campaign work and professional services.

All nine candidates agreed to abide by this year's voluntary campaign spending limit of $27,094.

Comments

Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 23, 2020 at 2:30 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 23, 2020 at 2:30 pm
953 people like this

All I can say is this is how sneaky the California Apartment Association (CAA) is.

They try to hide their actions by using a proxy.

Should anyone trust any candidate that works with the CAA, or the California Association of Realtors CAR) for that matter?

Talking about "dark money" here is the results of the Supreme Courts decision on Citizens United" you get conspiracies to manipulate voters via hiding the true people involved.

It look like this investigation was not "requested" by anyone, it looks like the evidentiary trail was so easy that the FPPC started the process all by itself.

We REALLY need to not let the CAA or the CAR get any candidate on the City Council EVER again.


Enough
Registered user
Rex Manor
on Oct 23, 2020 at 3:38 pm
Enough , Rex Manor
Registered user
on Oct 23, 2020 at 3:38 pm
488 people like this

Oh Steven, just because you do not agree with someone does not make them sneaky. The California Apartment Association is in business to protect and assist landlords who in turn provide housing and valuable services to tenants. Contributions to any PAC are public knowledge. People give money to PACs who share their values and beliefs. There is nothing sneaky about that. If the firefighters share a common cause it makes sense to support them monetarily. This demonizing of those we don’t agree with has got to stop. It has already divided the community of Mountain View and the country.
Over 800 businesses have left California in the past six months. I for one hope we get some business friendly people in office.


SC Parent
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Oct 23, 2020 at 3:50 pm
SC Parent, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Oct 23, 2020 at 3:50 pm
7 people like this

@Steven Goldstein, if Kevin's reporting is accurate then it's the Firefighters' PAC that's being sneaky and hiding their sources of funds/expenditures, not CAA.


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 23, 2020 at 3:55 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 23, 2020 at 3:55 pm
965 people like this

In response to Enough you wrote:

“Oh Steven, just because you do not agree with someone does not make them sneaky.”

Actually if you bothered to read the statements made by Joshua Howard he said:

“"We do not comment on specific donations our PAC authorizes but it is our goal to support the election of candidates who understand the importance of the rental housing industry and will champion a strong economy," Howard said.”

So in fact, the CAA does this IN SECRET. They got CAUGHT trying to money launder their actions so they APPEARED that the message was coming from the Mountain View Firefighters. That IS SMEAKY You said:

“The California Apartment Association is in business to protect and assist landlords who in turn provide housing and valuable services to tenants.”

NO they are a PRIVATE membership and they make their money by having landlords pay a membership fee. They are NOT a public organization at all, and do not represent ALL landlords, only their members. You wrote:

“Contributions to any PAC are public knowledge.”

Actually it took an investigation to find the money laundering going on here. You wrote:

“People give money to PACs who share their values and beliefs. There is nothing sneaky about that. If the firefighters share a common cause it makes sense to support them monetarily.”

This is a wrong idea, because this is again a form of money laundering. The CAA didn’t want to make the advertisement publicly themselves, so they bought the Firefighters actions as an agent. You know this. You wrote:

“This demonizing of those we don’t agree with has got to stop. It has already divided the community of Mountain View and the country.”

The CAA tried to take away the rights of the Mountain View citizens under the CSFRA either by hving other proxies namely Joe Gutierrez, Margaret Abe Koga and Lisa Matichak make one false representation after another to try to pass Measure D. The CAA seeing that if ailed so badly PULLLED their ballot measure out of the election. So this was their PLAN B. You wrote:

“Over 800 businesses have left California in the past six months. I for one hope we get some business friendly people in office.”

You misrepresent the real issue there, the real cause is COVID and maybe AB5. The facts are these companies were practicing illegal business labor practices under both the Microsoft Case “Vizcaino v. Microsoft” of 1996 (Web Link) in federal court catch Microsoft using improper worker classification (namely trying to call employees contractors). Then cam the Dynamex Case “Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles.” (Web Link) ruled by the California Supreme Court.

Another deceptive claim regarding this topic.


Gary
Registered user
Sylvan Park
on Oct 23, 2020 at 3:59 pm
Gary, Sylvan Park
Registered user
on Oct 23, 2020 at 3:59 pm
1142 people like this

This article should be distributed to voters door-to-door - along with the Voice editorial endorsements for City Council. Most Mountain View voters surely do not (yet) subscribe to the Voice. I bet a third of Mountain View's voters have voted already with more voting everyday. Time is running out.


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 23, 2020 at 4:57 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 23, 2020 at 4:57 pm
1038 people like this

Gary,

Unfortunately, this crisis is making it easy to deceive the voters, given that the MV voice is not printed at all now.

I really hope we don't get a real shock because people got convinced to vote against themselves.


Mark
Registered user
Shoreline West
on Oct 23, 2020 at 5:07 pm
Mark, Shoreline West
Registered user
on Oct 23, 2020 at 5:07 pm
818 people like this

Question I have is, who filed the complaint?

Lenny Siegel made several posts on this site within the past week complaining about those ads.

The way it looks to me, the Voice made their choices to who they would like on the council, this PAC has a different opinion. Yet, the Voice doing their endorsement also brings an enormous amount of FREE advertising dollars promoting their 4 council candidate picks.

People need to question the motifs from the Voice as no one on the editorial board lives in our city. Do they just have a political agenda that they want pushed in our city? Should Mountain View be providing free RV parking and support services for everyone who comes here? Or maybe so the RV's do not go into other cities that the editorial board lives in?

From what I am hearing, most residents do not seem like their votes are going for the Voice Candidates, but instead, the other 3 candidates supported by the Firefighters, and for Paul Roales have the support.

The Voice also endorsed Siegel and Showalter in their re-election to city council last time, but they both were rejected by the voters.

To me, IMHO, I feel the Voice and their endorsed candidate picks know the race is not going in their favor and they are trying to pull out a political smear attack against their opponents.


Randy Guelph
Registered user
Cuernavaca
on Oct 23, 2020 at 5:38 pm
Randy Guelph, Cuernavaca
Registered user
on Oct 23, 2020 at 5:38 pm
1341 people like this

I don't know, Mark. If you ask me, these shady campaigns to support Margaret Abe-Koga, Lisa Matichak, and Jose Gutierrez reek of desperation. Why does Matichak need to have nearly $100K of spending to support her if she's coasting to victory? If she does win, what does the CAA think it's buying?


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 23, 2020 at 7:34 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 23, 2020 at 7:34 pm
1258 people like this

In response to Mark who wrote:

“Question I have is, who filed the complaint?”

A complaint is not necessary, and in fact most actions by the FPPC are done under the “Audit Program” described here (Web Link)

“Audit Program

The Act requires the FPPC to conduct AN ONGOING PROGRAM OF MANDATORY AUDITS. The Act also permits the FPPC to conduct discretionary audits.

Included in each audit are all campaign statements filed by all candidates for elective office, from statewide offices to local jurisdictions, as well as all reports filed by lobbying firms and lobbyist employers. Statements filed by state ballot measure committees and state general purpose committees are also included. THE MAJORITY OF THE AUDITS AUTHORIZED UNDER THE ACT ARE CONDUCTED BY A SPECIAL UNIT OF THE FRANCHISE TAX BOARD (FTB) AND THE FINDINGS, KNOWN AS AUDIT REPORTS, ARE SENT TO THE FPPC. THE FPPC IS RESPONSIBLE FOR AUDITING THE STATEMENTS FILED BY CANDIDATES FOR STATE CONTROLLER, STATE BOARD OF EQUALIZATION, AND THE BOARD OF ADMINISTRATION OF THE PUBLIC EMPLOYEES’ RETIREMENT SYSTEM.

All candidates and committees are required to keep detailed accounts, records, bills, and receipts as necessary to prepare their campaign statements and reports. THESE ARE THE RECORDS THAT WILL BE REQUESTED AND MUST BE PRODUCED IN RESPONSE TO A NOTICE THAT THE FPPC OR FTB IS CONDUCTING AN AUDIT OF YOUR CAMPAIGN. REGULATION 18401 DETAILS THE REQUIRED RECORDKEEPING FOR MOST CAMPAIGNS.

The Selection Process

All candidates for statewide office, supreme court, court of appeal, and Board of Equalization are subject to audit if they have raised or spent $25,000 or more. Additionally, all state ballot measure committees which have spent more than $10,000 and all candidates for the legislature in a special election who have raised or spent $15,000 or more are subject to audit. THE FPPC DETERMINES THE REMAINDER OF THE AUDIT WORKLOAD IN A SERIES OF RANDOM DRAWINGS CONDUCTED SHORTLY AFTER EACH TWO-YEAR ELECTION CYCLE.

Statewide candidates who have raised less and spent less than $25,000: 10% of these candidates are selected for audit.

LOBBYING FIRMS AND LOBBYIST EMPLOYERS: 25% OF THE LOBBYING FIRMS AND 25% OF THE LOBBYIST EMPLOYERS ARE SELECTED FOR AUDIT.

Legislative districts and contested superior court offices: 25% of the senate districts, assembly districts, and contested superior court offices are selected. Candidates who raised or spent $15,000 or more in the selected races are subject to audit.

[Post shortened due to excessive length]


Mark
Registered user
Shoreline West
on Oct 23, 2020 at 8:00 pm
Mark, Shoreline West
Registered user
on Oct 23, 2020 at 8:00 pm
194 people like this

Steven,

How is it possible for you to change what you wrote in your very first post, 5 hours after you posted it? Which you just changed. I think everyone else is allowed 5 minutes to change something after you post something, but not 5 hours later.

Because you first said that the FPPC caught this all by themselves because it was so bad. Which you were wrong when you posted that as the article said that a complaint was made.

Care to explain how this works?


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 23, 2020 at 8:11 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 23, 2020 at 8:11 pm
621 people like this

In response to Mark you wrote:

“How is it possible for you to change what you wrote in your very first post, 5 hours after you posted it? Which you just changed. I think everyone else is allowed 5 minutes to change something after you post something, but not 5 hours later.”

I noticed the MV Voice shortened my previous post, to which I am not responsible.

Please document what I changed? I never did. Perhaps you’re just trying to distract the readers from the “SNEAKY” behavior of the CAA. In any case the story is the point and NOT me. I am not even a political candidate of anything. What I pose is a threat to the CAA and the CAR for which conduct you are trying to protect. Conduct that is inexcusable. You said:

“Because you first said that the FPPC caught this all by themselves because it was so bad. Which you were wrong when you posted that as the article said that a complaint was made.”

What PROOF do you have that I was incorrect? Yes, maybe another agency did the Auditing, but it was done under the instruction and authority of the FPPC and you know it. You can’t claim that the FPPC rule and regulations caused this to be discovered and now being potentially prosecuted? So when you stated:

“Care to explain how this works?”

I just did.


Mark
Registered user
Shoreline West
on Oct 23, 2020 at 8:18 pm
Mark, Shoreline West
Registered user
on Oct 23, 2020 at 8:18 pm
197 people like this

Steven,

So, I guess you figured out a way to manipulate the posts.

Including how to give instant "Like" posting 60, 80, 90 likes instantly.


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 23, 2020 at 8:39 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 23, 2020 at 8:39 pm
652 people like this

Mark,

I cannot edit any text on the website after 5 minutes, and you know it.

Your just trying to distract the readers from the topic.

Please stick to the subject?


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 23, 2020 at 11:27 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 23, 2020 at 11:27 pm
742 people like this

Mark,

If you REALY want to know who filed the complaint, it is on the FPPC website if you have the ability to use it.

It turns out to be someone not affiliated with any politics in the city.

It goes to show how desperate the CAA and CAR is to try to discredit anyone they deem a threat to them.


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 24, 2020 at 12:20 am
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 24, 2020 at 12:20 am
680 people like this

THe CAA has been fined by the FPPC before, but it hardly was much of a penalty. the FPPC needs to charge higher fines.

The report is found here (Web Link)

The supporting documents are found here

(Web Link)

This has been a practice for the CAA for years, maybe now they will finally get the required cost of violating the FPPC standards of practice


Lenny Siegel
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 24, 2020 at 12:59 am
Lenny Siegel, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 24, 2020 at 12:59 am
760 people like this

Josh Howard of the Apartment Association said, "it is our goal to support the election of candidates who understand the importance of the rental housing industry and will champion a strong economy..." Then why don't they fund mailers that mention their real reasons for supporting or opposing candidates? They could say, "We support the MAG slate because they supported Measure D" or "We oppose Sally Lieber because she champions rent control." Instead, they hide behind other groups and other issues.


Jeremy Hoffman
Registered user
Rengstorff Park
on Oct 24, 2020 at 7:47 am
Jeremy Hoffman, Rengstorff Park
Registered user
on Oct 24, 2020 at 7:47 am
803 people like this

Well said, Lenny.

Look, I have mixed feelings on rent control. Tenant protections and affordable housing are vitally important for an inclusive sustainable community, but excessive rent control can do more harm than good, freezing and deteriorating the housing stock and making it harder for people to move around or move in.

So we could have a debate in those issues.

But it takes some gall for the California Apartment Association and the California Association of Realtors to pour money into a new PAC, Silicon Valley Organization, to send out mailers attacking progressive Sally Lieber as being "like Trump" when they actually oppose her for being on the left on the issue of rent control!


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 24, 2020 at 10:49 am
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 24, 2020 at 10:49 am
720 people like this

Lets look at the history of the people and actions behind the California Apartment Association (CAA) and the California Association of Realtors (CAR). They really started action after the introduction of Rent Controls in the state of California in the 1970s. The rent controls were introduced because there was already a severe shortage of available housing..

Then the CAA and CAR collaborated into reducing supply of housing in the state even more, while at the same time lobbying for the state to override local governments. They eventually succeeded in getting Costa Hawkins and the Ellis Acts passed in 1995 under the false impression that the private housing sector would provide adequate levels of all needed housing types.

It is now 25 years later and the proof that the private sector made such a false promise is completely indisputable. In fact the reality is that there are thousands of housing units that exist but are not on the market because the prices are “too low” to justify the Mortgage Backed Securities that investor bought. This has caused an even more critical shortage of housing.

The reality is that the Real Estate industry is at a crisis again. They managed to hold off the investors regarding having to produce the Return On Investments under the 2007-9 recession. BUT COVID has now started to force many investors to start selling their MBS again. This selling off is threatening the “Values” of the housing market units systemically.

On top of this the failures of the Private Housing industry to live up to the promises made in 1995 has done significant damage to the credibility of the CAA and the CAR in these areas. Ad thus the State laws are swinging back to the benefit of the residents of the units and the state and not the industries. And it will continue to do so until the CAA and the CAR can provide proof that they are living up to the promises made for Costa Hawkins and Ellis.

This is why the CAR and the CAA are now “MONEY LAUNDERING” their forces into “SHELL” PACS to prevent the voters from being aware of their actions. Given that the Voter are now starting to outright avoid letting the CAA and the CAR from being put in a position to order the citizens of either the Cities, Counties, or State. The fact that so many stricter housing laws are considered or passed is a sure proof of that.

They have no solutions other than the continuation of the current trajectory of higher prices due to manipulated short supply. Thus, the CAA and the CAR are not in any position to improve the condition, and the voters are seeing it more and more clearly. Even if ballot measures fail, like Prop 10 did in the last election, the state government is putting pressure on them to fix the problem they made.

Is this not a good observation?


Raymond
Registered user
Monta Loma
on Oct 24, 2020 at 11:05 am
Raymond , Monta Loma
Registered user
on Oct 24, 2020 at 11:05 am
5 people like this

Without Citizens United we would be unable to associate and form a corporation to advertise our opposing views. Incumbent advantage, likely supported by media favoring the establishment, would rule us.


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 24, 2020 at 12:59 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 24, 2020 at 12:59 pm
712 people like this

In response to Raymond you wrote:

“Without Citizens United we would be unable to associate and form a corporation to advertise our opposing views.”

So you are in the business of creating an industry of “incorporated” political lobbying. And YES, it is something I agree you have the right to do under the First Amendment. HOWEVER, this action we are seeing here is a corporation the CAA, hiding its First Amendment action by using a third party. WHY NOT make the ADVERTISEMENTS YOURSELF? Oh yes, the voters don’t like you and know you are facilitating a massive kind of corruption. You wrote:

“Incumbent advantage, likely supported by media favoring the establishment, would rule us.”

And like the CAA and the CAR are NOT the establishment? You just made my argument for me. The fact that for more than 40 years these groups have BEEN the establishment. They owned politicians and used them to implement their business agendas. They rewarded their loyalists by constantly funding their campaigns which in effect increased the incumbent reelections.

A perfect example are Mike Kasperzak, John Inks, Margaret Abe Koga, Tom Means, and Lisa Mathichaks funding. The REALITY is that these CORPORATIONS are making a living off of this process, and BIG profits. Joshua Howard must take in a big paycheck working for the CAA, and he gets to travel for free to advocate for them.

Citizens United has been exploited to such an extreme at this time, this practice should be investigated under the RICO laws. What is awesome about RICO is all the assets of said CORPORATIONS can be frozen and taken until PROVEN they were legal or legitimate. Here is an interesting article “ Court Declines to Narrow Scope of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) as House Rewrite Stalls “ found here (Web Link).

Maybe it is finally time to expose this for what it really is? CORRUPTION.


Mark
Registered user
Shoreline West
on Oct 24, 2020 at 1:16 pm
Mark, Shoreline West
Registered user
on Oct 24, 2020 at 1:16 pm
434 people like this

Some of you people need to stop bringing up rent control every 2 years/every election cycle.

The city has rent control, on top of state rent control.

The city council CAN NOT change any rent control law, it has to be changed by the voters.

Did not the apartment association have a ballot measure that was supposed to be on the ballot now to repeal our local rent control? Yes they did, but they withdrew it.

If anyone wants to change/modify any rent control law, gather enough signatures and put it on the ballot and let the people decide.

We have far bigger issues to deal with in our city, including a massive recession, businesses closing, no new jobs.

Any activists council candidates who constantly brings up long ago settled issues every cycle just to keep dividing us should be rejected from serving in public office.

Move on, we have other issues that need to be addressed.


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 24, 2020 at 1:35 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 24, 2020 at 1:35 pm
800 people like this

In response to Mark you wrote:

“Some of you people need to stop bringing up rent control every 2 years/every election cycle.”

Then tell the CAA and the CAR to stop trying to undo the laws or weaen protections. You wrote:

“The city has rent control, on top of state rent control.”

Yes but it needs a revision so it explicitly covers all MOBILE HOMES, and that it also covers any Single Family Units, Duplexes, Triplexes and Quadraplexes as long as a propety owner owns more than 10 of such units. Right? You wrote:

“The city council CAN NOT change any rent control law, it has to be changed by the voters.”

YES, and we should EXPAND it. Make it so that rent controlled units are entitled to a rent reduction under this market situation. The rents are dropping for everyone ecept the rent controlled units. There should be a rent adjustment entitlement for those getting robbed under this situation. You wrote:

“Did not the apartment association have a ballot measure that was supposed to be on the ballot now to repeal our local rent control? Yes they did, but they withdrew it.”

YES because they KNEW it could not pass after the Measure D failure. They are STILL buying candidates and using third party groups to be their PROXIES. They are proven to be enemies of the City of Mountain View and are willing to try to cheat by using another groups identity. You wrote:

“If anyone wants to change/modify any rent control law, gather enough signatures and put it on the ballot and let the people decide.”

YES I AGREE You write:

“We have far bigger issues to deal with in our city, including a massive recession, businesses closing, no new jobs.”

The City Council can do nothing about this. In reality this situation was just waiting to happen ever since the “Tech Boom” started in the 1990s. The area is simply learning it has no special status anymore because the “TECH” industry doesn’t NEED Santa Clara county, Mountain View, or California at all anymore. You wrote:

“Any activists council candidates who constantly brings up long ago settled issues every cycle just to keep dividing us should be rejected from serving in public office.”

The issues are NEVER over, it is the price of freedom if you remember Thomas Jefferson that said:“The Price of Freedom is Eternal Vigilance.”

If we don’t make sure the topic is discussed, the powers behind the curtain will chip at it until it is destroyed. Like the political reforms passed after Nixon resulting in the Citizens United case. You wrote:

“Move on, we have other issues that need to be addressed.”

Aren’t we all good multitaskers, this is just another “ball” to be juggled like all the others?


@Jeremy
Registered user
Shoreline West
on Oct 24, 2020 at 4:36 pm
@Jeremy, Shoreline West
Registered user
on Oct 24, 2020 at 4:36 pm
17 people like this

Rent stabilization (as we have here, not full rent "control") does not make it harder for people to move in; exclusionary zoning makes it harder to move in


Randy Guelph
Registered user
Cuernavaca
on Oct 24, 2020 at 4:47 pm
Randy Guelph, Cuernavaca
Registered user
on Oct 24, 2020 at 4:47 pm
617 people like this

Mark, you raise a great point. Candidates like Margaret Abe-Koga, who filmed ads for the landlord initiative you referred to, and Abe-Koga/Lisa Matichak/Jose Gutierrez who put themselves front-and-center on Measure D to roll back rent control should, as you said "be rejected from serving on public office."

Reject Lisa Matichak, Margaret Abe-Koga, and Jose Gutierrez!


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 24, 2020 at 8:03 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 24, 2020 at 8:03 pm
486 people like this

In response to @Jeremy you wrote:

“Rent stabilization (as we have here, not full rent "control") does not make it harder for people to move in; exclusionary zoning makes it harder to move in.”

And rent stabilization is NOT exclusionary housing policies, lets make this clear. What IS EXCLUSIONARY is the City Council only greenlighting high priced housing projects targeting only the Moderate and Above Moderate income market.

Which is unfortunately what has been happening for the last 20 years, in opposition to the MINORITY members TRYING to increase affordable housing.

The MAJORITY has for the longest time and greatest power have been financed by the CAA and the CAR, while at the same time using their POWER to prevent affordable housing candidates to hold office LONG ENOUGH to fix the problem.

Like LM, MAK and JG.

No matter what I don’t think they are proper representatives of the City of Mountain View citizens, they advocate for the out of town private housing industry.


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 25, 2020 at 1:02 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 25, 2020 at 1:02 pm
440 people like this

Here is an on topic comment:

The CAA and the CAR are confronted with a nightmare situation. Even the White House is saying they cannot control the COVID problem. That story can be found here (Web Link)

Thus, in effect the entire economic structure that we had prior to COVID is long gone. And so many people and businesses are being in effect wiped out. And since the life support for those that lost work because of it is disappearing, the only thing that can be done in the state prior to the end of the year is another Eviction Moratorium that will extend the time, and very likely cut any required payments.

This is not avoidable; the reality is that the President and EVERYONE in government tried to “calm” down the “markets” but this reality is that the system needs a MASSIVE reset.

If for example the City Council does consist of the suggested candidates by the MV Voice, these people will vote for a long-term block on evictions. The landlords will go to court, but the odds are they will not be able to stop this eviction block.

This is why the CAA and the CAR are trying ANYTHING to discredit anyone that opposes them. And this resulted in the mailing that the MVF PAC sent.


Mark
Registered user
Shoreline West
on Oct 25, 2020 at 2:55 pm
Mark, Shoreline West
Registered user
on Oct 25, 2020 at 2:55 pm
175 people like this

OFF Topic Steven,

Everything you said is a lie.

No council member or candidate running said anything to what you are alleging.

Talk about scare tactics, your side must really be desperate to make up stuff like this.


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 25, 2020 at 3:14 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 25, 2020 at 3:14 pm
434 people like this

In response to Mark you wrote:

“Everything you said is a lie.”

Is this a lie? “Even the White House is saying they cannot control the COVID problem. That story can be found here (Web Link) You wrote:

“No council member or candidate running said anything to what you are alleging.”

Your correct, because they did not make the statement. I never said they did. I am only describing the crisis we are in, and the eventual actions that will be necessary if the trajectory the Federal Government and the State Government are not changed. My writing NEVER claimed that the candidates made any “promises” your just trying to deflect from the FPPC and the CAA actions. I will remind the readers:

The CAA has yet to have put out any press release regarding the FPPC investigation. And it looks like the documents filed proves the FPPC case. The CAA clearly “WROTE” the check to “FUND” the mailers sent out from the Mountain View Firefighters Group. And I cannot prove it but it clearly appears that this was done on the request if not orders of Jose Gutierrez, Margaret Abe Koga, and Lisa Matichak. Given they were the beneficiaries. You wrote:

“Talk about scare tactics, your side must really be desperate to make up stuff like this.”

This is not a scare tactic, this is REAL. And those who do their own investigation probably know it is coming. My SIDE doesn’t exist. The people of Mountain View, of Santa Clara County, of the State of California, and of the United States are all in this situation.

I can only imagine what is going to happen to the Residential Mortgage Backed Securities come the beginning of the year. After all the rental properties are going to either have to accept lower earnings, accept permanent vacancies, or prolonged occupation without incomes.

COVID is going to make 2007-2009 look small in comparison, and many economists know it but refuse to say anything.


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 26, 2020 at 12:48 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 26, 2020 at 12:48 pm
351 people like this

I discovered that the FPPC already once issued a warning to the Mountain View FireFighters PAC in 2018.

The FPPC complaint was issued by the California Secretary of State

Thew investigation was opened on 6/26/2018 and closed 01/02/2019

The parties investigated were the MOUNTAIN VIEW PROFESSIONAL FIREFIGHTERS POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE and Melton Wong

The type of complaint was Campaign Non-Filer the and disposition was that A Warning letter issued. The one issed to the MVFF PAC is seen here (Web Link) and the one issued to Melton Wong is seen here (Web Link)

To me this history is not good. The idea is that somehow even though the MVFF PAC was already investigated once and found in violation, they felt that by just getting a warning was a license to continue unethical practices?

If the FPPC does find that the MFF PAC conspired with the CAA then the MVFF PAC could be in VERY serious trouble. Sam e goes for the CAA because they did the same thing in the past and got caught doing a similar action and not filing the proper paperwork in the case of “California Apartment Association Independent Expenditure Committee and David Bauer. The FPPC Case number was 17/606 and the issued disposition can be found here (Web Link) the summary is :

“This matter arose from an audit performed by the Franchise Tax Board’s Political Reform Audit Program. California Apartment Association Independent Expenditure Committee is a state general purpose committee. David Bauer is the Committee’s treasurer. The Committee failed to timely file one pre-election statement cover the reporting period of July 1, 2014 through September 30, 2014, in violation of Government Code Sections 84200.5 and 84200.7 “

Now IDK if the CAA filed the paperwork describing it was going to pay the MVFF PACX any money. But if they did not, that is a sign of consciousness of guilt in my opinion.


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 26, 2020 at 5:09 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 26, 2020 at 5:09 pm
30 people like this

[Post removed due to excessive and repetitive posting.]


Greg Cooper
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 27, 2020 at 9:04 am
Greg Cooper, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 27, 2020 at 9:04 am
4 people like this

I would like to offer some explanations on some of the current discussions taking place around our political mailings in support of our endorsed candidates for the City Council race
Ive been president of the Mountain View Firefighters for the past 8 years and with the department for over 20. Mountain View has been an incredible community to work for and I can assure anyone reading this you have a top notch fire department with personnel that care deeply for the community and want to ensure the level of care and protection is second to none.

With regard to the current FPPC filing on our independent expenditures, yes we made a mistake. We have already initiated contact with the FPPC to correct the issue. Our mail pieces should have disclosed that the candidates we support had no involvement with our mailings and they were independent expenditures, and therefore do not count as part of the campaign finance limits each of the candidates agreed to prior to the election.

Our filing error doesn't take away from the fact that each of the candidates we support are strong supporters of the public’s safety, and in a time when there's much talk over defunding public safety or diverting funds from public safety, we felt it was important to strongly express our support for Margaret Abe Koga, Lisa Matichak and Jose Gutierrez.

Regarding the contribution from the California Apartment Association, those funds were donated without stipulation, which is the only way we would have accepted a donation.

With regard to our support for Measure D, we have, and continue to remain concerned about the financial exposure to City coffers the CSFRA has created since the City is on the hook for paying for any liabilities the Rental Housing Committee is unable to pay for on its own. Our support for measure D came from our interest in closing that loophole and at least give the City some say in how it may limit the loss of taxpayer dollars. As public safety, we do not believe it is prudent to have taxpayer funds exposed by outside entities such as the Rental Housing Committee.

No doubt all of the coverage over our misfiling is because the candidates we support are not in alignment with who the VOICE is supporting. In the current political climate of our country it appears to be about how much one group can discredit another in order to support their candidates. Our mailings are simple and positive. We don't believe in attacking candidates and we will continue to operate under this premise.

Greg Cooper
President
Mountain View Professional Firefighters


Randy Guelph
Registered user
Cuernavaca
on Oct 27, 2020 at 9:41 am
Randy Guelph, Cuernavaca
Registered user
on Oct 27, 2020 at 9:41 am
430 people like this

Greg, why do you think the CAA made a donation to your PAC? You say it was witbout stipulation, but what led up to the donation? Have they done so in the past?


Randy Guelph
Registered user
Cuernavaca
on Oct 27, 2020 at 9:54 am
Randy Guelph, Cuernavaca
Registered user
on Oct 27, 2020 at 9:54 am
448 people like this

Second, Greg, you are showing your political stripes a bit too much. In what conversations about police abuse has anyone suggested "defunding public safety" and included firefighters in that? This sounds like Trumpian rhetoric.

For personnel that "care" about Mointain View so much, why do so few of you live here? You, Melton, and others live out in Brentwood! Are any of you landlords yourselves?


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 27, 2020 at 10:06 am
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 27, 2020 at 10:06 am
400 people like this

In response to Greg Cooper you wrote:

“No doubt all of the coverage over our misfiling is because the candidates we support are not in alignment with who the VOICE is supporting. In the current political climate of our country it appears to be about how much one group can discredit another in order to support their candidates. Our mailings are simple and positive. We don't believe in attacking candidates and we will continue to operate under this premise.”

HOWEVER there is a major fault in your logic here. Your mailer said this specifically: “PLEASE SUPPORT LEADERS WHO WILL HELP US PROTECT MOUNTAIN VIEW” and you listed ONLY Margaret Abe Koga, Jose Gutierrez, and Lisa Matichak. Buy EXCLUDING all others you in effect made it clear the others WOULD NOT protect Mountain View. This selective language is VERY obvious. If you want to clear this up, you better release a public statement saying that all the other candidates are EQUALLY capable of protecting Mountain View.

This really shows how corrupted the politics have become here, especially when so much of false stories have been said about the CSFRA and how you wrote:

“With regard to our support for Measure D, we have, and continue to remain concerned about the financial exposure to City coffers the CSFRA has created since the City is on the hook for paying for any liabilities the Rental Housing Committee is unable to pay for on its own. Our support for measure D came from our interest in closing that loophole and at least give the City some say in how it may limit the loss of taxpayer dollars. As public safety, we do not believe it is prudent to have taxpayer funds exposed by outside entities such as the Rental Housing Committee.”

First the City in so far has not been “on the hook” for liabilities caused by the RHC, those expenses are paid by the Landlord fees, and you know it. Also, the RHC is NOT an outside entity at all, but a part of the City and the City Charter, again a false representation. This again is a representation of how bad the corruption is in the City politics.

Please Mr. Cooper, take corrective action and issue a press release saying that all candidates will protect Mountain View, and retract the false claims regarding the CSFRA?


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 27, 2020 at 12:18 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 27, 2020 at 12:18 pm
423 people like this

Just another FYI:

Per the Indeed website here (Web Link) the average Captains firefighter salary in California is $74K a year. And a Fire Chief is $140k

Greg Cooper is paid $169K base pay with an overtime bonus of $161K, Other Payments of $28K so he took in $358K in one year. His Benefits were$48K and his “Pension Debt” is $56K. His total compensation came to $462K. This came from the website “Transparent California “ found here (Web Link)

Now if you divide $169K by 2000 hours the standard work year his Hourly rate was $84.50 an hour. If he got on the average 1.7 hours paid, since most overtime hours are not holiday, but I take that into account you divide $161K by $143.65, he would have had to work and additional 1120 hours in that year divided by 52 weeks comes to 21 hours. He reported in the Patch story “ Greg Cooper Turns His Childhood Dream Into Reality “ (Web Link), he said:

“Cooper: Forty-eight hours. So we work a 56-hour workweek and that's broken up. We're on for 48 hours and then we're off for 96 and then back on for 48.”

So he says he is working a 56 hour work week, but his overtime reported is 21 hours per week given this calculation.

40 plus 21 hours is 61 hours a week, NOT 56. In effect he got paid more than 5 more hours of overtime pay given the work time he claims. Thus, maybe something funny is going on the City of Mountain View fire Department? It makes you wonder if an audit of the department would have discovered this?

Maybe that’s why he worked with MAK, JG, and LM?


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 28, 2020 at 12:59 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 28, 2020 at 12:59 pm
368 people like this

WOW,

We had another "SUPREME COURT" packing process occurring here in Mountain View regarding the RHC.

What I love to point out is that the RHC does not “require” any “property managers or landlords” to be members of the RHC board.

All you have to do is read this part of the city charter Found here (Web Link):

“Section 1709. - Rental housing committee.

Composition. There shall be in the City of Mountain View an appointed Rental Housing Committee comprised of Mountain View residents as set forth in this Section. The Committee shall consist of five (5) Committee members appointed by the City Council, and an alternate Committee member. The alternate Committee member shall be permitted to attend all Committee meetings and to speak, but not be authorized to vote unless a regular member of the Committee is absent at that meeting or is recused from voting on an agenda item. THERE SHALL BE NO MORE THAN TWO (2) MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE THAT OWN OR MANAGE ANY RENTAL PROPERTY, OR THAT ARE REALTORS OR DEVELOPERS. Anyone nominated to this Committee must be in compliance with this Article and all other local, state and federal laws regulating the provision of housing. Annually, the Committee shall elect one of its members to serve as chairperson.”

Please notice the text only said there SHALL be no more than 2 members that OWN OR MANAGE ANY RENTAL PROPERTY, OR THAT ARE REALTORS OR DEVELOPERS. The language does not MANDATE or REQUIRE there be at least 2 members in those groups.

It is time to see if we can get a CLEAN RHC roster with no one having any “conflict of interest” like we did with Tom Means and Vanessa Honey, who were “ACTIVISTS” in the RHC trying to bend or break the CSFRA requirements. Tom Means outright was paid to work against rent control in another city by a part of the California Association of Realtors called SAMCAR.

This potential must be driving the California Apartment Association and the California Association of Realtors crazy.


Common sense
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 28, 2020 at 2:33 pm
Common sense, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 28, 2020 at 2:33 pm
5 people like this

Three "Steven Goldstein" comments in a row. Like 19 of the 36 comments here so far (and counting, of course). Last one even is a copy of one already posted on another thread. Unbelievable.

Is it perhaps time for more moderator intervention as in the earlier case above?

"[Post removed due to excessive and repetitive posting.]"


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 28, 2020 at 2:48 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 28, 2020 at 2:48 pm
294 people like this

In response to Common sense you wrote:

“Three "Steven Goldstein" comments in a row. Like 19 of the 36 comments here so far (and counting, of course). Last one even is a copy of one already posted on another thread. Unbelievable.”

I have done nothing improper, EVERYONE can write any constructive on topic comment. I was just pointing out that there is a DIRECT connection regarding the information I wrote. The fact is that I just so happen to make the comments, nothing more. Why no one else is writing is out of my hands. You wrote:

“Is it perhaps time for more moderator intervention as in the earlier case above?”

Maybe. But as long as I am having a constructive conversation, I hope the moderator will understand. However, you are not discussing the topic at all. Why?


Victor Bishop
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2020 at 8:10 pm
Victor Bishop, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 28, 2020 at 8:10 pm
6 people like this

"I have done nothing improper, EVERYONE can write any constructive on topic comment. "

I call attention to this post in the following thread:
Web Link

"I just got done watching the documentary called "The Great Hack".

And after my experience with the MV Voice there are a couple of things I need to plead to this Newspaper and website.

I admit I for years posted under the name The Business Man, BUT I never withheld who I was. And I was VERY transparent about it.

I have come to an understanding now that any use of an anonymous identity regarding the discussion of any news article should be prohibited.

As an IT Security Expert, I find the lack of accountability to be the biggest reason.

The idea that people can write what is in effect press releases under the guise of an anonymous fictional person, especially where they have a financial conflict of interest, just cannot be allowed anymore.

The idea that people use a platform to attack people personally, use insults, and make false claims about them requires that anonymity cannot be allowed. The language can inspire real life consequences, like inspire possible criminal acts by others.

If you have a valid argument with solid unbiased evidence to support it, WHY not own your argument?

The idea that someone can use multiple identities on this service is abused.

There should be a means where to register and post one has to provide proof of identity, like having a credit card validated, so that if any issues arise, like cyberstalking is investigated, a proper trail can exist to identify the offender."

So what does the above have to do with Grace Mah-- not on topic IMHO.

Also have the moderators noted the hanky panky that is taking place with the "likes"??


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 28, 2020 at 8:27 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 28, 2020 at 8:27 pm
274 people like this

In response to Victor Bishop,

It has everything to do with the fact that there are so many fictitious posters on this website. And there was a lot of them on that posting. Just like there have been in the history of this forum. It literally applies to EVERY topic.

It still was a CONSTRUCTIVE comment, not making any personal inferences or insults to anyone. It was simply a good observation and nothing more.

So what did I do that was not constructive and not on topic?

Victor you are TRYING to make this a argument about me. The reality is that the CAA has likely done something VERY DIRTY here and got CAUGHT at it. What legal or moral defense can you produce to make this action legitimate? Stick to the subject, pleas, otherwise you can be observed as cyberstalking me?


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

Post a comment

In order to encourage respectful and thoughtful discussion, commenting on stories is available to those who are registered users. If you are already a registered user and the commenting form is not below, you need to log in. If you are not registered, you can do so here.

Please make sure your comments are truthful, on-topic and do not disrespect another poster. Don't be snarky or belittling. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

See our announcement about requiring registration for commenting.