Many campaign donors look at it like more of an investment – take Measure H donors, please!

6 Oct

It’s always good to see who is behind a campaign and how much money they’ve put into it. Sometimes we find, these donors look at campaign contributions as more of an investment than the rest of us.

Here’s the link to the most recently filed report from Chicoans For The Sales Tax Measure 2022 — aka, Yes on Measure H. It’s a quick read, but very interesting – thanks Dave for the Heads Up.

The biggest donors on this report are the Chico Police Officers Association and local developers Slater and Son. The CPOA was also the biggest donor behind ill-fated CARD Measure A. The Chico Police Department is also the biggest expense the taxpayers have, taking over half the new budget of $211 million. The salaries lead the pension deficit, so the cops also have the biggest pension deficit. Generous contributions to candidates at election time have kept council members from pressing CPOA members to pay more rational shares of their pensions and benefits.

Meanwhile, developers Howard and son Brandon Slater enjoy their fair share of public housing contracts, most recently receiving the contract for the new Jesus Center and transitional housing on Fair Street. That project is funded by the city of Chico.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not seeing the housing shortage the city (and Measure H proponents) are claiming – read this article, this is what I see whenever I drive around town.

CHICO, Calif. April 16, 2022 — Construction of affordable housing in Chico is picking up, while tenants are moving out.

Brendan Vieg, the City of Chico’s community development director for planning and housing, released the new development statistics during the Chico Chamber of Commerce’s community development update Thursday.

Affordable housing, historically not comparable to those numbers, is keeping up this year. Vieg says 476 affordable housing units are currently under construction via apartments, duplexes and more. This work can be seen at the 59-unit project located at the old Jesus Center near downtown, the 60-unit project at the intersection of Bruce Road and East 20th Street, 97-unit Laval Ridge project off State Route 32 and east of Bruce Road, the 100-unit Creekside Place project across from Marsh Junior High School and the 106-unit North Creek Crossing project inside Meriam Park.

And a lot of it is being built with public money – “Those affordable housing projects represent solely those that have already broken ground, but something both the in-construction and in-development projects share: where the funding is coming from.

Vieg says a total of 10 projects are being funded through disaster tax credits and CDBG Disaster Recovery Funds. Chico received over $32 million of this post-Camp Fire due to the influx of around 20,000 people who were displaced and eventually moved there in 2018.

The Measure H flyer I received today claims that the revenues from H “would support“, among other things, “housing“. So you see, Slater and Son are making an investment, not a donation. They will receive millions in funding out of those revenues. There’s no oversite on jobs like that, when it’s taxpayer money, the sky is the limit. No fiscal responsibility, no competitive nature, the contractor charges what they want once they secure the contract.

Howard Slater used to say something along the lines of “for every dollar you spend in planning, you save $7 in building…” Well I’d say, he’s using the same philosophy in regards to greasing the wheels that turn his business empire – the public trough. For every $30,000 donated, you get how many million in return Howard?

And we must realize, the cops look at it same. Every election the CPOA are the biggest donors.

I’ll add this last “I told you so” – when Paradise was burnt to the ground and people fled for their lives, city of Chico management treated them like a pack of fleas, claiming they were overwhelming services like roads and sewers. Orme cried poormouth while receiving millions in disaster relief. I told you all that was BULLSHIT, and here’s staffer Vieg admitting it.

Over three years after the blaze, these people are moving out.

“‘Our population swelled to over 112,000,” says Vieg. ‘Based on the Census, they have come in with a number of 101,475. So that’s kind of a big reflection of, again, a greater out-migration in our community.'”

At the time, Orme claimed 120,000. He used that number to file for and receive millions in disaster relief. Council spent the money as they saw fit – doled it out to their buddies in the unions and the developer community.

The most interesting reports come after the election is over, because the smart ones don’t donate until the last quarter. That would be the Service Employees International Union, which is the biggest union Downtown. That’s another time, on This Old Lady.

4 Responses to “Many campaign donors look at it like more of an investment – take Measure H donors, please!”

  1. bob October 6, 2022 at 5:27 am #

    Why would a developer spend $30,000 to raise our taxes? Well, you’ve uncovered it.

    It’s cronyism and corruption, pure and simple.

    And I would bet Brandon has bought off the city council candidates, too.


    • Juanita Sumner October 6, 2022 at 5:37 am #

      Yeah, it’s pretty obvious – they’ve got their huge sign right on the site. I guess they don’t think people know where the funding comes from? Or don’t care?

      It’s classic “cronyism” – you scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours

  2. Dave October 6, 2022 at 6:33 am #

    Also, the filing documents had no numbers for the SEIU. For the CARD Measure A tax back in 2020 they put up by far the most money. I would bet that is true for Measure H yet they are nowhere to be found in the filing documents.

    • Juanita Sumner October 6, 2022 at 6:36 am #

      They can wait until the last filing period to donate, so they don’t show up in the reports until after the election. That’s common. Yeah, I remember – they put almost $60,000, the cops came in second with about the same donation they made here. It’s so obvious, I hope people get what’s happening here. I think they will.

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