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California Apartment Association files complaint over renter-focused flyers in Mountain View City Council race

Original post made on Sep 30, 2020

The California Apartment Association has filed a complaint alleging that Mountain View resident Gary Wesley illegally coordinated with City Council candidates in distributing an election flyer to renters in the city.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, September 30, 2020, 10:17 AM

Comments (30)

Posted by mimo
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 30, 2020 at 10:24 am

mimo is a registered user.

Thank you Gary Wesley for the succinct and informative flyer!


Posted by MV Resident
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 30, 2020 at 11:37 am

MV Resident is a registered user.

Mountain View residents have proven time and again that we see through the attempts by the CAA to co-opt and subvert our democracy. We will not fall for these tasteless and duplicitous tactics now, just as we have not done in the past.

I will vote for who I want to vote for, not who they think will line their pockets.

But I will say this, who the CAA attacks does give me valuable information about who I can trust not to be in the pocket of special interests, and who I cannot. I want my elected representatives to answer to me and our community. We deserve independence in our representation, they should answer to us, not money.

Can anyone tell me who the CAA has donated to in this or past elections? And who have they put out IEs for in the past?


Posted by Gary Wesley
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Sep 30, 2020 at 11:58 am

Gary Wesley is a registered user.

The state (and city) rules on disclosing in mailers and on other election "advertisements" is defined to not include door-to-door flyers perhaps because - as is stated in the 2-sided flyer itself - the United States Supreme Court has held in McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission (1995) 514 U.S. 334, that a state law against even completely anonymous flyers is invalid as violative of the First Amendment. Eavh version of my flyer was not made anonymous because anonymous flyers may not be considered trustworthy. But sometimes a flyer that bucks government or powerful special interests should be anonymous. The California FPPC will not claim that the Act it administers covers door-to-doors flyers - unless the FPPC wants a court to tell it otherwise. Even landlords evidently know about the McIntyre case and the fact that door-to-door flyers cannot be regulated like mass mailers. It appears some landlords currently are distributing to renters an completely anonymous door-to-door flyer headlined "YES ON C. KEEP STREETS SAFE." I will email the Yes on C flyer to the Voice shortly. The headline uses the print-type and colors of the YES ON C signs posted in Mountain View. It apparently is from the Yes on C campaign. Measure C would yes-enact or no-reject an ordinance passed by the Mountain View City Council last year. Its proponents include councilmembers-candidates Margaret Abe-Koga and Lisa Matichat and evidently some landlords who make no money from RV or other street dwellers. The ordinance at issue would prohibit parking "oversized vehicles" on city streets less than 40 feet wide.


Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 30, 2020 at 12:18 pm

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

Gary,

Again I have had my differences with you.

BUT

WAY TO GO, YOU KNOW THAT THE CAA HAS LOST CONTROL AND IS NOW A DONALD TRUMP ORGANIZATION.

I guess there was a poll that the CAA paid for that indicated that MAK, LM, and JG were not looking good for the City Council.

And since they cannot threaten with destruction of rent controlled units due to state laws, and now with the new laws allowing for cities to perhaps fine landlords $2000. a day for "blight" and vacant units. And the new laws allow for NGO and tenant cooperatives first chance for a foreclosed building. The NEW city council is likely going to pass such fines.

The power of the CAA has been shrinking to such a point that even it's members are probably telling them they are not going to renew their membership next year. At the same time many are going out of business due to COVID. Thus the CAA is in severe financial trouble itself.

The CAA is desperate to get ANY news attention, and here it is.


Posted by Gary Wesley
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Sep 30, 2020 at 12:47 pm

Gary Wesley is a registered user.

By the way, my flyer (each version) explains why Google-Waymo employee Paul Roales - who is running for City Council - is not among the candidates I suggest "may be better for renters." Let me add: Mr. Roales has a campaign website that includes a whole category about "fixing housing." The website says nothing about supporting any restrictions on rent increases. Nor did Mr. Roales suggest any such support in his on-line appearance at candidate forum conducted by the Mountain View Mobile Home Park Alliance. I cannot know, until it is reported, what Mr. Roales might be whispering to reporters or editors.


Posted by Bruce Karney
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 30, 2020 at 1:28 pm

Bruce Karney is a registered user.

I don't know Gary Wesley very well on a personal basis, though we've both been frequent attendees and speakers at City Council meetings for more than 25 years. I think he is absolutely within his rights to distribute the flyer described here. The California Apartment Association should be ashamed of filing this complaint. The FPPC will undoubtedly rule against them.


Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 30, 2020 at 1:46 pm

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

Let's send a CLEAR message to any outside Political Action Committee, like the California Apartment Association and the California Association of Realtors.

DO NOT VOTE for THEIR CANDIDATES and NEVER let them be members of the City Council EVER again.

It is time for the Citizens of Mountain View to reject being pawns in their game.

It is OUR choice, WE have the absolute power if WE CHOSE to use it.

The CAA wants to play an unfair game, use their influence over cities and when they mess up, then say their the victim of their own mess.

Just reject anyone with any affiliation with landlords and realtors as city council candidates. That is the Crystal Clear message to these groups, they have no power over us.


Posted by Gladys
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 30, 2020 at 4:52 pm

Gladys is a registered user.

This type a politics, IMHO, comes straight from Lenny Siegel.

We all remember Lenny Siegel"s 30 year close friend of Job Lopez who stole Lenny's Siegel opponents political signs in Lenny's last election. He also wrote vulgar language on top of opponents signs, all in an effort to silence any potential council candidates and keep them off the council and to help Lenny win re-election, which he lost anyway.

Lenny Siegel was voted out of office for a reason, lets not repeat the mistake by putting him back in.


Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 30, 2020 at 5:27 pm

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

In response to Gladys you wrote:

“This type a politics, IMHO, comes straight from Lenny Siegel.”

First, what evidence do you have to support this, Gary himself acted on his own. Just like I did when I osted 3 signs saying that JG, MAK, or LM should not be elected Coty Council ,members because they deceived the people regarding Measure D. You said:

“We all remember Lenny Siegel"s 30 year close friend of Job Lopez who stole Lenny's Siegel opponents political signs in Lenny's last election. He also wrote vulgar language on top of opponents signs, all in an effort to silence any potential council candidates and keep them off the council and to help Lenny win re-election, which he lost anyway.”

Unfortunately, Job Lopez did that and I would not ever defend those acts. However, there was no evidence linking Job Lopez and Lenny Seigel. But in politics a mere accusation can result in this situation where a “crime” was committed. What was happening is that John Inks was losing so bad, he dragged Lenny with him. REMEMBER John Inks came in dead last. You said:

“Lenny Siegel was voted out of office for a reason, lets not repeat the mistake by putting him back in.”

So far no “crime” has happened, and so far no evidence to prove the allegations by the CAA has been presented to the public other than the actual note. From what I see no improper act is present at this time.

OK that is not a lost situation for the City of Mountain View, Alex Nunez, John Lashlee, Sally Leiber and Pat Showalter will make great City Council members and have NO ties with the CAA or the CAR.

To me I would support Lenny Seigel over any candidate supported by the CAA and the CAR simply because he didn’t try to deceive the citizens with Measure D, and as well as succeeded in exiling people from the city like MAK and LM did by destroying their apartments.


Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 30, 2020 at 5:35 pm

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

In Mountain View, sometimes even candidates are fearful of apartment owners. A No Trespass sign for an entire complex is NOT APPLICABLE for people distributing campaign material before an election. City Code allows this expression of Free Speech (the California Constitution version is more expansive than the famous Federal Constitution 1st Amendment). If you are campaign canvasing: read the Code and do your due diligence in getting campaign material to ALL segments of our electorate.
Please and thank you!

Web Link

Sec. 3.50 e. A compelling need exists ..
f. It is therefore the intent of this article to establish a procedure to ensure that residents of multiple-family dwellings be accorded the same rights to receive political information, in both oral and written form, as are persons who reside in single-family detached residences; said procedure being that of granting political canvassers certain corresponding rights to gain access to the common areas of multiple-family residential facilities so as to be able to contact, on a door-to-door basis, the persons residing within such residential facilities.

Love the Rule of Law (this one starts within 60 days of an election)


Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 30, 2020 at 6:02 pm

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

Steven Nelson,

Thank You


Posted by Gladys
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 30, 2020 at 10:52 pm

Gladys is a registered user.

Its been funny watching someone spam posting "like this comment" over and over.

Watching the view counter you see 2 or 3 new views every 2 to 3 minutes, yet you are get blocks of 10 to 15 instant "likes this comment" over and over.

Someone is being really dishonest here.

Would you know who is doing that mimo? Doing 40 likes in just a few minutes is totally not believable, you need at least 40 views to get 40 likes on one comment, and it's not happening.


Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 30, 2020 at 11:08 pm

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

Gladys,

You don't know how to read the following from the Town Square (Web Link):

"California Apartment Association files complaint over renter-focused flyers in Mountain View City Council race

The California Apartment Association has filed a complaint alleging that Mountain View resident Gary Wesley illegally coordinated...

Original post made on Sep. 30, 2020

Last comment by Gladys, 5 minutes ago | 12 comments | 2648 Views


There have been 2648 views since today, so yes the numbers can actually be realistic.

Maybe there are some grass roots people working to make sure their voices are being counted?

Maybe it is so that the like function is not being "hacked" by a group of people working to give the public a false impression of what is "liked".

This has occurred in the past and will continue to do so until there is a requirement that anyone "liking" a comment be registered and there is a trail to who liked what and when?

This behavior simply is allowed as long as the website does no validation. Perhaps you should convince the Mountain View Voice to design it so that can't happen?

Maybe, this function is just worthless under this situation


Posted by Gladys
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 30, 2020 at 11:25 pm

Gladys is a registered user.

@BM,

You are such a dishonest person.

I would say to find someone who is honest and understands English and have them explain my last comment and how it is impossible to have the "likes" go up more on one comment than there are for the total views of the story in 2 minutes, then repeat that over and over in a 10 minute time frame.

Simple explanation: at 11.00pm 2500 views as an example, then at 11.03pm, 5 new views-2505, yet you have 10 to 15 new likes on 1 story. And all the likes happen to all the pro story comments. What a coincidence!

Who knows, maybe you are the one who is doing it. After all, no one every likes your comments, let alone reads them but you had 50, no 60, oh wait another minute and it will be 70 likes.


Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 30, 2020 at 11:35 pm

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

Gladys,

I have what is called a Phone tree.

I call two people, they call two people themselves, my social network is at a count of 150. But that is only my list, others have larger ones.

So yes, what I did is I "requested" them to act noticing that someone was doing the same regarding your postings.

So yes, I "rallied" my "troops" like Donald Trump is setting up the "Proud Boys" by giving them an order to "Stand Back and Stand By" was his words.

Please understand there are more of us than there are of you, we are doing what we are allowed to do.


Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 30, 2020 at 11:37 pm

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

Gladys,

Oh by the way, there are others with more "likes" than me in this story, why point your finger at me?


Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 30, 2020 at 11:41 pm

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

Let's go back to the topic, Gary did nothing wrong. And the CAA is just having a temper tantrum.


Posted by Gary Wesley
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 1, 2020 at 6:54 am

Gary Wesley is a registered user.

I referred in an earlier post (above) to an anonymous flyer calling for YES ON C (outlawing the parking of "oversized" vehicles on most city streets). The flyer corresponds with a google campaign website which includes photos of RVs parked on some streets and advocacy for Measure C. The signs for Measure C posted in the city-authorized sites appear to be from the same group (as explained above). I see online a second campaign website supporting Measure C. What the websites otherwise have in common is that they IDENTIFY NO PERSON OR CANDIDATE OR COMMITTEE OR REGISTERED ORGANIZATION involved. The YES ON C groups appear to have ventured into political "advertisements" that ARE regulated by California's Political Practices Act administered by the CA FPPC. Whether any current city councilmembers who voted for the ordinance involved are part of the campaign(s) to affirm the ordinance is an open question. I am hereby asking. They can post their responses here. Maybe a reporter will follow up.


Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 1, 2020 at 7:49 am

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

Another reason why the CAA is doing what its doing in Mountain View. According to Zumper (Web Link) lets look at the rental rates in Mountain view:

The Studio apartment median rent year change is -17% or down $450 per month

The One Bedroom apartment median rent year change is -38% or down $1440.

The Two Bedroom apartment median rent year change is -36% or down $1750.

The Three Bedroom apartment median rent year change is -14% or down $695.

The local landlords are getting walloped, and they demanded the CAA to do something otherwise they would have NO REASON to maintain membership with the CAA.

Given that the job recovery in the valley will take at least 2 years, so far no assistance in sight for the current jobless, and no end in sight still for COVID, another 830,000 people lost work last week, many local landlords will wind up in bankruptcy.

But so have many businesses, they are not SINGLED out for worse treatment.

The housing bubble is burst, and the CAA's existence is severely threatened.


Posted by WHTCABO
a resident of Castro City
on Oct 1, 2020 at 10:47 am

WHTCABO is a registered user.

Whats stopping the caa from distribution of the same flyers just to try and bring down the opponents. If freedom of information is limited to who can spend the most the we are not a true republic and have lost democracy. Caa and the city council members the are known to be landlords them selves are whats killing the city. Where are all the good blue collar restaurants gone the food was good, plenty and affordable. Like apartments building owners knew they could raise rent as high as they wanted driving good business away. Just like renters were. Please vote out bad council.


Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 1, 2020 at 11:59 am

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

WHTCABO,

You are coorrect.

Please watch this video from Louis Rossman " 90% of restaurants not making rent in NYC - leases can't be renegotiated. Businesses are dying.
" found here (Web Link)

And

TH video titled " NYC real estate keeps crashing - GOOD! found here (Web Link).

The reality is that the area's real estate and residential "landlords" were dependent oi the Tech industry to bail them out. But that group is going to permanent off site work and only having occasional visits. The reality is that these people are driving business out of business. THe increasing empty storefronts on Castro Stree and El Camino Real. The Real Estate bubble is bursting and thus the CAA and the CAR are threatened with either a dramatic reduction of memberships, membership fees, or going out of business.

You are right on target.


Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 1, 2020 at 4:57 pm

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

For all the businesses and landlords:

Here is another video to address this situation from Louis Rossman titled " Schnitzel Haus's eviction process - ft. NY landlord
" (Web Link).

This serious issue is that there are two issues.

First what are landlords financial situations are. There are situations where if it is already become unfeasible to rent out properties because the price drops are below your break even point, then you really should not get sucked into losing even more money. If you don't cut off that toxic asset, it will drag the rest of your business down. So you have the choice to declare bankruptcy or sell out. It is very painful, but it prevents your business to completely collapse. If you only have one property, than you are in effect in no position to recover at all, and any attempt to find a way out, will likely fail.

Second, when the tenants are legally blocked to earn any money, or that their job was destroyed by the economic impact of COVID, eviction is not going to get you in any better place. There are no new customers to take over the properties you lease, and if any does exist, they will not be open to paying you the prices you want. My landlord is having 2 out of 11 units vacant within the next month, and it does not look like he is getting anyone to take the units so far. That is a 18% reduction in cash income. But no cost reduction is forthcoming.

This applies to both commercial and residential properties. The real problem is that people are sometimes too stubborn to prevent larger losses to themselves.


Posted by Rohit
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 2, 2020 at 10:28 am

Rohit is a registered user.

I would like to sincerely thank the California Apartment Association for doing this. Thank you so much for showing us who the candidates who will protect our renter community and stand up to landlords are. The CAA has done the people of Mountain View a great service by selecting this group of candidates to attack, they have highlighted which candidates will be strong allies of the renter community. Alex Nunez and Sally Lieber especially strike me as amazing candidates who we need on council!


Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 2, 2020 at 8:40 pm

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

Just another note,

The recent political advertisement for JG, MAK and LM came from a group called the Mountain View Firefighters PAC FPPC #1229347 is very strange because in the 2018 form 460 only 4 out of 61 of the donors are from Mountain View. They had a cash balance of $24,966 but only ($110.89 + $110.89 + $110.89 + $110.89) = $443.86 is from Mountain View. Out of those donors only 2 are firefighters, the others are engineers. All donors claim to be employed by the City of Mountain View.

So they are employed by the people they are promoting who are their bosses namely MAK and LM. Can you really believe they are promoting these people without any kind of either threats or enticements?

It would appear that this LOCAL group is nothing but a dark money PAC that actually is not really a MOUNTAIN VIEW organization at all. But a FRONT to manipulate the voters. How many PACS are there like this in California?

Don’t buy the claim that only these people will “help up protect Mountain View?”

Everyone knows that all City Council members DO PROTECT MOUNTAIN VIEW no matter WHO they are.

What a joke.


Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 3, 2020 at 9:17 am

Gary is a registered user.

The mailer just received from "Mountain View Firefighters PAC" recommending for city council the 2 incumbents and school board member running for city council (ABE-KOGA. MATICHAT and GUTIERREZ) identities one member of the MV fire department: "Greg Cooper, President Mountain View Firefighters." Mr. Cooper and the same 3 local politicians appeared on mailers from the landlord group in support of the measure on the March ballot to water-down MV's rent control law. (Measure D defeated 2-1). At that time, I noticed that - according to the last report in TRANSPARENT CALIFORNIA.COM -Mr. Cooper had received the second highest amount in compensation of any Mountain View city employee. More than even the city manager. It appears the latest mailer lacks the disclaimers required by the state Political Reform Act. But I am hereby on this Saturday, October 3, giving Mr. Cooper the chance to explain otherwise. Post the explanation right here.


Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 3, 2020 at 10:06 am

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

Gary,

This is what appears to be the best EXAMPLE of a City Council, paying others to in effect endorse their position. Now if this group was funded by ANY other people than the firefighters AND those people had no financial interests in promoting the City Council agenda, maybe it would be a valid "ENDORSEMENT".

It is just that the VOTERS do get CONNED into THINKING that this group is INDEPENDENT and UNBIASED.

This GAME has been played in all levels of POLITICS. Show me any example of a local police or firefighter group that endorsed only challengers that had no relationship with any incumbent, challengers completely disassociated with any decisions regarding the groups employment, or any challenger that did not hold office in the past relating to their employment?

Mountain View City Council politics seems to be so dirty. I am so glad I am not a politician here. Are there any "polls" to give us any clue what the REAL voters are thinking?


Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 6, 2020 at 8:08 pm

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

WOW,

Crickets.


Posted by Gary Wesley
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 7, 2020 at 10:09 pm

Gary Wesley is a registered user.

The FPPC today (October 7) did close the unfounded case create by the "sworn complaint" of Joshua Howard of the California Apartment Association. The claim by Mr. Howard that the renter flyer needed to disclaim that it was not paid for by or otherwise coordinated with candidates was false. Disclaimers are required on advertisements by a campaign "committee " such as the Mountain View Firefighters Political Action Committee (PAC) which just did a mass mailer endorsing its favorite candidates for city council - with no disclaimer of coordination. Moreover, Mr. Howard's claim that the absence of an inapplicable disclaimer suggested coordination with candidates was absurd. I do NOT even infer from the lack of the REQUIRED DISCLAIMER on the Firefighters' PAC mailer that it coordinated with the 3 candidates endorsed. Public employee unions or their PACs endorse candidates they think will "support" them in return.


Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 7, 2020 at 10:15 pm

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

WAY TO GO GARY!

I do wonder what would happen if anyone were to file a complaint regarding the recent postcard for JG, MAK, or LM?

Maybe it simply is not necessary. given the Measure D fiasco.

I hope I wasn't too much of a pain in the ass?


Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 7, 2020 at 10:24 pm

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

By the way, the CAA is simply demonstrating more and more failures to live up to its promises to it's members.

Granted Joshua Howard is paid to do what he did. But it appears it was a frivolous complaint let alone unfounded.

I can imagine he is paid a 6 figure salary by the CAA, but it doesn't look like he is getting any productivity other than maybe being a public nuisance. What credibility does Joshua Howard have in this city at this time? And look at this actions impact on his state-wide reputation?

Why do landlords in Mountain View want to be members of this group?


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