Bruce Tarzy is supporting John Mullin, Don Higginson, and Carl Kruse for Poway City Council.
(The Tribune. San Diego, Calif.: Nov 3, 1988. pg. B.8)
The seven-page letter contends that Emery's committee controls the FF committee and has violated Poway's campaign-finance laws by collecting contributions above the $100 amount allowed for controlled committees.
The complaint given to Knoepp contends that Poway Citizens for Limited Growth became a "controlled committee" Sept. 24, when two airplane banners touting Emery and Proposition FF flew over Poway during the city's Poway Days celebration.
The difference in the shared cost indicates that the Emery committee controls the Proposition FF committee's financing, the five said.
When a committee is considered "controlled," under Poway's campaign ordinance, a contributor can give no more than $100 to each campaign.
According to campaign disclosure statements filed with the Poway city clerk, nine contributors have given $100 or more to the Emery re-election committee and $100 or more to the committee for Proposition FF, which would require voter approval to increase density in rural residential areas. Three people, including Councilman Bruce Tarzy, have given the $100 maximum to Emery and $500 or more to Poway Citizens for Limited Growth.
Hmmmm. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? It is a classic campaign maneuver. Just before the election, one or several of a candidate's supporters file a letter of complaint against their candidate's opponent. The complaints get some press, and it goes to a special counsel who holds off on looking at the complaint until after the election and then he/she dismisses it.
One of the 5 people who signed the letter of complaint against Emery and the Prop FF committee was John Mullin. Mullin's complaints against Emery and the Prop FF committee were found to be without merit. But for the record, special counsels appointed to oversee election complaints generally dismiss all of the complaints. Serious complainers must file a signed grievance with the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC). During that same 1988 election, somebody did send a couple of complaints to the FPPC that resulted in stipulations and fines. One was against Emery's opponent, Larry Valente and the other was against developer Kuebler. Valente was fined $1500 for sending a late campaign mailer titled "The Republican Update"which did not identify Valente's committee as the true source of the piece. Richard Kuebler, a Poway developer, was fined for $17,500 for not disclosing campaign donations in Escondido and for failing to identify himself as the source of two "hit piece" mailers against Bob Emery.
Prop FF beat Prop GG 2-1 in the election. The rest is history.
Fast forward to 2010. Why is a slow growth guy like Tarzy supporting his old pro-development enemy, John Mullin? Mullin has made no secret that he wants to make development easier in Poway. He has proposed a "streamlining process" as a first step. The streamlining will allow staff to approve projects that now require public notice and council approval.
John Mullin is also a member of CALPASC, (California Professional Association of Specialty Contractors). In fact, Mullin is on Government Affairs Committee of CALPASC. When Poway Patch's Margie Palmer queried Mullin about his involvement in this group, Mullin didn't see the inherent conflict of interest.
"My being a member of Cal-PAC is no different than me being a member of the Chamber of Commerce," Mullin said. "It's a trade association. And people who continue to propose that having some sort of significance with regard to my role on the council are incorrect."
Uhmmm, no. CALPASC is not simply a trade association like the local Chamber of Commerce. Now if Mullin was referring to the US Chamber which spend buckets of money, some of it from foreign entities, to influence legislation in the US that is advantageous for businessfolk and disadvantageous for workers, well he may have a point. While the local Poway Chamber does advocate for their members, they don't bring it to the level that CALPASC does. Check out their CALPASC's webpage. They have paid lobbyists who help write and push for certain legislation, de-regulation and judicial remedies. Our local chamber is doing street fairs, not filing "amicus briefs" in court on behalf of contractors.
According to Cal-Access, the California Secretary of State's database, CALPASC has hired 2 firms to lobby for them: Government Strategies, Inc, (2003-2009) and California Strategies & Advocacy, LLC (2009-2010). CALPASC spent just under $300,000 lobbying in 2007-2008 and have reported over $73,000 spent so far in 2009-2010.
It is pretty unethical to be on a legislative body, even a local legislative body and to belong to a group that is lobbying for legislative remedies at the same time.
So why is Bruce Tarzy supporting John Mullin for council? I've got a theory, but I'll save that for a future blog. What's your theory?