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Outside money pours into the Mountain View City Council race

Original post made on Oct 15, 2020

A wave of independent expenditures is pouring into the race for the Mountain View City Council, with three groups recently dropping large sums of money to support or oppose candidates.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, October 15, 2020, 1:49 PM

Comments (22)

358 people like this
Posted by Big outside real estate interests
a resident of another community
on Oct 15, 2020 at 2:13 pm

Big outside real estate interests is a registered user.

Big, outside real estate interests want Matichak and Abe-Koga. You know what to do, Mountain View! Vote the MV Voice’s endorsed candidates: Lieber, Showalter, Nunez, and Siegel!


173 people like this
Posted by Gladys
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 15, 2020 at 2:37 pm

Gladys is a registered user.

What I find most offensive about the actions from any council candidate is when they threaten a private/public citizen for speaking out against the candidate past record as a council person.

Lenny Siegel and Pat Showalter were voted out of office. Voters rejected Siegel last time he was on the council and view him, IMHO, in a negative/offensive manor. He did not seem to care about residents opinions if it was not his own opinion. He openly mocked past and present council members, and public citizens from the Dias. Siegel came in 5th out of 6 candidates in his last council race.

His position on not enforcing the existing laws for people living in their vehicle's has lead to the ever growing number of RV's coming here. The city of Sunnyvale police were handing out flyers at one time to RV'ers telling them to come to Mtn. View. Tent cities will most likely be next for us if Lenny is returned to council. Lenny Siegel is part of the group that gathered signatures to put on the ballot, Measure C, to overturn the narrow street parking ban on streets less than 40 feet wide for RV's.
Having LARGE RV's parking on narrow streets is a safety issue to me, and if a candidate does not see that, IMO they should not be sitting on the council

Lenny Siegel was voted OUT of office for a reason, lets not make the mistake of voting him back in only to regret it and have to wait another 4 years before we can vote him out.

I have one other reason to not vote Siegel back in, Lenny threatened me with a libel suit, as I interpret it, if I do not stop talking about his record. He also controls a group called the "Mountain View Housing Coalition" He wants to know who I am, why you ask? Maybe because he wants his members to come and talk with me?

IMO, it is wrong for any council member to be sitting on the Dias and have their members, 20-30-40 members from their organization to come and speak out on issues that he wants passed or voted down on. It smells like a conflict of interest to me. Several of those people speaking out in the Mountain View council chambers do not even live in our city.

Here is Lenny Siegel's post in which he is addressing me in his comment.

Posted by Lenny Siegel
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 11, 2020 at 12:11 pm
Lenny Siegel is a registered user.

@Gladys
I have no problem debating Measure C or any other city policy, but I am politely asking you now to desist from your continuing libel of me and secondly, to identify yourself so people can consider why you are so obsessed with this unfortunate episode.


341 people like this
Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 15, 2020 at 3:22 pm

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

In response to Gladys you said:

“What I find most offensive about the actions from any council candidate is when they threaten a private/public citizen for speaking out against the candidate past record as a council person.”

Please provide proof of such a threat. So far Your making up stories. No one threatened you physically, mentally, or emotionally. You said:

“Lenny Siegel and Pat Showalter were voted out of office. Voters rejected Siegel last time he was on the council and view him, IMHO, in a negative/offensive manor. He did not seem to care about residents opinions if it was not his own opinion. He openly mocked past and present council members, and public citizens from the Dias. Siegel came in 5th out of 6 candidates in his last council race.”

Yes, true but John Inks came in last, you said:

“His position on not enforcing the existing laws for people living in their vehicle's has lead to the ever growing number of RV's coming here. The city of Sunnyvale police were handing out flyers at one time to RV'ers telling them to come to Mtn. View. Tent cities will most likely be next for us if Lenny is returned to council. Lenny Siegel is part of the group that gathered signatures to put on the ballot, Measure C, to overturn the narrow street parking ban on streets less than 40 feet wide for RV's.

Having LARGE RV's parking on narrow streets is a safety issue to me, and if a candidate does not see that, IMO they should not be sitting on the council”

The CURRENT laws during his membership on the board ALLOWED RVs to park if the registered with the city Police. But did you even know that? The RV Ban came afterwards and he campaigned for the Ballot Measure C so that the citizens can make the decision to enforce the City Councils current approach, that’s all. You said:

“I have one other reason to not vote Siegel back in, Lenny threatened me with a libel suit, as I interpret it, if I do not stop talking about his record. He also controls a group called the "Mountain View Housing Coalition" He wants to know who I am, why you ask? Maybe because he wants his members to come and talk with me?”

You are guilty of libel if you PUBLISH FALSE STATEMENTS, and you should know it. It applies to EVERYONE. So if I were to libel you, I would be in the same position, right, You are not special here. You said:

“IMO, it is wrong for any council member to be sitting on the Dias and have their members, 20-30-40 members from their organization to come and speak out on issues that he wants passed or voted down on. It smells like a conflict of interest to me. Several of those people speaking out in the Mountain View council chambers do not even live in our city.”

Those 20-30-40 members ARE CITY CITIZENS using the FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS. What you don’t like is the CAR and the CAA driving in INTERCity citizens expressing their voices being completely out counted the INTRACity citizens. And what is important is the City Charter and the Oath of Office of a City Council member purports that the City Citizens interests outweigh private outside interests. But this is not singling out you or your friends for unfair treatment. This is just the way it will always be.

I just think your trying to play the victim of abuse, when you and your friends can be argued to be abusing anyone you can?


7 people like this
Posted by Polomom
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 15, 2020 at 3:44 pm

Polomom is a registered user.

@Kevin, a mention of the record outside involvement ( $ 85 000) in a previous election would be warranted. Especially since a current candidate was involved. But it is always easier to make the candidates you don't support look bad.


11 people like this
Posted by Kevin Forestieri
Mountain View Voice Staff Writer
on Oct 15, 2020 at 3:57 pm

Kevin Forestieri is a registered user.

@Polomom

Thanks for the tip! That information is in our 2014 and 2015 coverage (linked in the story), but I added it here as well.


8 people like this
Posted by badgolfer
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 15, 2020 at 4:25 pm

badgolfer is a registered user.

Go ahead, spend your money and give the USPO some work. I recycle your mailers as fast as I get them because I already voted against the incumbents because they are anti-democratic. Just don't dare to call or text me or show up knocking on my door.


243 people like this
Posted by Gladys
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 15, 2020 at 6:55 pm

Gladys is a registered user.

@Kevin Forestieri
Mountain View Voice Staff Writer,

There should be a way for the Voice to "lock out" in some way, members here who abuse this forum by "spam posting the Likes"

The BM-Steven Goldstein, has been spam posting thousands of "Likes" these past 10 days. 200 likes in 4 hours just on this thread. Ridicules.


430 people like this
Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 15, 2020 at 6:59 pm

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

Gladys,

My friends simply outperform yours.

You did the exact same thing to boost your likes to over 80

Just admit the LIKE function is a joke, not scientific, nor is it even any votes?

This is just any "Social Network" and it functions the way it is programmed.

I agree the like function is of no value, let's just get rid of it?


457 people like this
Posted by Lenny Siegel
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 15, 2020 at 8:14 pm

Lenny Siegel is a registered user.

These "independent" expenditures raise three issues:
1) Are they truly independent? Materials prepared by the Realtors and the Housing Justice Coalition contain statements that they were not authorized by a campaign. The Apartment Association complained that Gary Wesley's photocopies did not contain such a statement. Likewise, none of the Firefighters' materials contain such a statement.
2) As in 2014, large independent expenditures make a mockery of Mountain View's Voluntary Expenditure Limit. All nine candidates promised to spend no more than $27,000. What good does that do if other parties spend more than that?
3) What do the "independent" committees expect in return for their campaign spending?


322 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 15, 2020 at 8:50 pm

Gary is a registered user.

Not enough voters read the Voice to carry the day. Mountain View has some 35,000 registered voters. 80% may vote. Voting is underway. As I suggested previously, all the 4 candidates endorsed by the Voice editorial board need to do to win the 4 seats is to get the entire Voice endorsement editorial to every voter. Candidate flyers and mailers are cute - but self-serving and imprecise. The Voice editorial is an independent account many voters will appreciate. I see two main joint literate drops. Abe-Koga, Matichak and Gutierrez - the candidates endorsed by the firefighters' union (PAC) - and the 4 candidates endorsed by the Voice editorial board. The fab-4, I'll call them, did not include the editorial in their joint drops this past weekend. The election is slipping away from them.


2 people like this
Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 16, 2020 at 7:32 am

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

[Post removed due to being off-topic]


192 people like this
Posted by SRB
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Oct 16, 2020 at 12:33 pm

SRB is a registered user.

"Generally speaking, she (Lisa Matichak) said she is okay with groups making independent expenditures so long as they are positive and support a candidate or a measure."

The just blasted hit piece on Sally Lieber by the California Apartment Association and California Association of Realtor is disgusting and certainly not positive.

Does Lisa Matichak continue to be "generally ok" with the behavior of these out-of-town lobbying groups?


169 people like this
Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 16, 2020 at 2:12 pm

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

In response to SRB,

The reality is that JG, MAK, and LM have had BIG money used to attack the opposing candidates, as well and people on this website. This is called "Astroturfing".

These people are PAID to do this work.

I come clean to say I have done my commentary with NO COMPENSATION from any CANDIDATE, PARTY, POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE, or COMMUNITY GROUPS.

Just look at the insanity of the LIKES on this topic.

Just look at all the personal attacks engaged by those that want to discredit peoples point of view with no evidence to support them?

The reality is that this has been going on for much longer than anyone could perceive, as far back as the Nixon Administration.

There will be critics that will attack me very shortly, but the history is there.


182 people like this
Posted by Lenny Siegel
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 17, 2020 at 9:47 am

Lenny Siegel is a registered user.

Last night the Realtors reported spending another $7,000 on behalf of Lisa Matichak. The SVO made another $29,000 filing to oppose Sally Lieber, but it may be essentially a repeat of the earlier report about funding the hit piece aimed at Sally.


65 people like this
Posted by Gladys
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 17, 2020 at 12:18 pm

Gladys is a registered user.

@Lenny Siegel,


You also have liberal Billionaires and Millionaires giving hundreds of Millions of dollars to elect Biden and a majority Democrat to the Senate. You got a problem with that as well?

If you got a problem with election laws, then lobby to get that changed.

It seems everyone is following the laws,this story points out who is getting the money.

[Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]



126 people like this
Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 17, 2020 at 12:57 pm

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

Frank,

She is a "Astroturfer" paid to post any possible words to discredit anyone that her BOSSES target.

The term "Astroturf" means :"Astroturfing is the practice of masking the sponsors of a message or organization (e.g., political, advertising, religious or public relations) to make it appear as though it originates from and is supported by grassroots participants.

It is a practice intended to give the statements or organizations credibility by withholding information about the source's financial connection.

The term astroturfing is derived from AstroTurf, a brand of synthetic carpeting designed to resemble natural grass, as a play on the word "grassroots". The implication behind the use of the term is that instead of a "true" or "natural" grassroots effort behind the activity in question, there is a "fake" or "artificial" appearance of support."

She is not disclosing her real identity, nor that she has a conflict of interest. Her Identity is defined as:

“In political science, it is defined as the process of seeking electoral victory or legislative relief for grievances by helping political actors find and mobilize a sympathetic public, and is designed to create the image of public consensus where there is none.[1][2]

Astroturfing is the use of fake grassroots efforts that primarily focus on influencing public opinion and typically are funded by corporations and governmental entities to form opinions.[3]

On the Internet, astroturfers use software to mask their identity. Sometimes one individual operates through many personas to give the impression of widespread support for their client's agenda.[4][5]

Some studies suggest astroturfing can alter public viewpoints and create enough doubt to inhibit action.[6][7]

In the first systematic study of astroturfing in the United States, Oxford Professor Philip N. Howard argued that the internet was making it much easier for powerful lobbyists and political movements to activate small groups of aggrieved citizens to have an exaggerated importance in public policy debates.[2]”

Unlike Lenny and I that are not hiding under a pseudonym, we are transparent. Gladys and her friends target their “opposition” with personal attacks and insults, and when called on it, they say THEY are threatened.


132 people like this
Posted by Lenny Siegel
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 17, 2020 at 1:31 pm

Lenny Siegel is a registered user.

Today I received a second mailer, paid for by the California Apartment Association and California Association of Realtors, attacking Sally Lieber. It implies that she supports the Trump Administration’s "far-right” violations of human rights.

It is despicable and dishonest.

Where were the corporate landlords and realtors when Sally and I organized Black Lives Matter demonstrations at the corner of Castro and El Camino?

They don’t oppose Sally because of contributions to her past campaigns. They oppose her because they want to re-elect and elect Mountain View Council Members who will again appoint Rental Housing Committee members willing to undermine Mountain View’s rent control law.

Lenny


139 people like this
Posted by drslb
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Oct 17, 2020 at 4:03 pm

drslb is a registered user.

Silicon Valley Organization PAC is a business oriented PAC supporting local candidates that support business interests. So of course they are against Sally Lieber. What bothers me is that they can send lies and distortions through the mail and not be taken to account. They don’t discuss their real backers and issues.


127 people like this
Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 17, 2020 at 8:52 pm

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

By the way, the latest mailing regarding Sally Lieber was paid for from MAJOR funding from the California Association of Realtors and the California Apartment Association.

The groups really must be frightened of having a purged City Council roster with only perhaps 2 out of 7 have any ties with them.

I really hope we get rid of them for good, and make for a model for the rest of the state.

Wouldn't it be great if only the citizens interests would actually be the foremost practices?

This was such a desperate act, especially when they had no resources to back up the claims made on it. They only resourced the California Secretary of State office, but NOT ONE DOCUMENT, they just said they READ the page on September 28,2020. Why not have any official documents to reference? They could have made a free copy and or provided a link to the original on the California Secretary of State website, but they didn't. Perhaps because I looked and couldn't find any. To me this was nothing but another stunt.

It really must be a nightmare for the CAR and the CAA now.


34 people like this
Posted by SRB
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Oct 28, 2020 at 4:47 pm

SRB is a registered user.

The SVO's negativity seems to have gone too far this year. It put its CEO on administrative leave after posting a racist image on its website (as part of yet another attack campaign)

Web Link


54 people like this
Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 28, 2020 at 11:55 pm

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

Here is the reason why so much money coming from the California Apartment Association (CAA) and the California Association of Realtors (CAR). Please watch the Video from Luis Rossman titled “NYC commercial mortgage backed securities are going to crash” found here (Web Link)

The City is going to be forced into a major land value reassessment, primarily because of COVID but as strong as the AB5 change in workers.

Both the Residential Mortgage Backed Securities (RMBS) and Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities (CMBS) that the prices are being locked for the short-term regarding leases or rentals.

BUT.

The workforce is relocating, the offices are being depopulated, and the businesses are turning to Work From Home.

Now in order to renegotiate the RMBS and the CMBS you need to get the investors to agree. But they say NO WAY. So, you have vacant Residential and Commercial space not used, CREATING an ARTIFICIAL shortage.

But that process is a PHANTOM value, and if enough spaces become not used, that company is going to get BANKRUPT because they can’t afford to keep the property. Which will cause those RMBS and the CMBS will become worthless. The investors will file for claims on their “INSURANCE” they bought to invest in the investment, (IF THEY DID). There will be a run in the insurance company like AIG experienced in 2007-2009 again.

The current stock market has been used to protect losses, but the Fed just said they can’t keep the stock market up anymore. And if no one puts any more safety nets during this crisis in place, WATCH OUT.

The reality is that the CAA and the CAR are completely exposed to this problem, and the City is going to get crushed when all of the property owners go belly up. So, they need to have their friends be in the City Council to find a way to prevent the crush, or bail them out.

This is why so much out of town money is in our politics now.


32 people like this
Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
6 hours ago

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

What is driving the California Apartment Association (CAA) even more crazy, which is why they are forced to pull so many stunts like the one with the Mountain Vie Firefighters PAC (MVFPAC) is their biggest CLIENTS are losing so much money right now.

CNBC recently published a report titled “Earnings for apartment owners show the pain of urban flight” Found here (Web Link). The report indicated the NO ON 21 funders are in real trouble now.

These groups are Essex Property Trust and Affiliated Entities; Equity Residential; and AvalonBay Communities.

In the report Equity Residential was reported to be like this:

“Equity Residential, whose portfolio consists mostly of mid- to high-rise buildings on the East and West coasts, saw a particularly bleak third quarter. Its stock is down about 43% year to date. Occupancy and average rent rates fell and will likely drop further in the coming quarters.

Nearly a quarter of its holdings are in downtown San Francisco, Manhattan, Brooklyn, New York, Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts. Those are the markets most impacted, as they have seen large outflows of tenants moving either to smaller cities or the suburbs. As businesses reopened over the summer, there were some improvements, but no guarantees.”

In the report AvalonBay was reported to be like this:

“AvalonBay, which has a similar geographical mix to Equity Residential, also posted disappointing earnings for its third quarter and also did not provide any guidance. Its stock is down about 35% year to date.

“The adverse future impact of the pandemic on the Company’s results of operations cannot be reasonably estimated, and could be material,” according to AvalonBay’s earnings release.

While it is impossible to get firm numbers on the much-discussed urban flight phenomenon, analysts say it is clearly in the earnings numbers.

“The proof is that rents are down double digits, plus the AvalonBays and Equity Residentials of the world are offering 2-months free on top of that in the major Coastal Urban Markets,” said Alexander Goldfarb, a REIT analyst at Piper Sandler. “When DC, long a laggard, and Baltimore are the best relative apartment markets for companies like Equity Residential and AvalonBay, you know things have changed.”

Essex Property Trust is reported in the website The real Deal in a story found titled “Essex Property’s tenant concessions help drive down Q3 earnings” found here (Web Link)

[Post shortened due to excessive length]


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