Outside Lobbying Group Unconstrained by Money
Follow the Money; fifth in a series
The Tattler introduces a new feature for the 2014 election season: Follow the Money.
This election cycle is shaping up to be very expensive and very far-flung with lots of money from out-of-town interests pouring into the city. We plan on digging out and exposing this money from people and organizations we don’t know that are trying to change our town to their liking. These unfamiliar individuals and interest groups may effect our November elections with all their spending in Emeryville but the Tattler is going to make sure that while they assert their influence, we’re going to expose who they are.
Click on the 'Follow the Money' label at the bottom of this story or use the search bar to review the entire Follow the Money series.
One of the largest lobbying groups in California has vowed to stop Emeryville residents from voting for their own autonomy in a local control measure and a real estate transfer fee measure (Measures U&V) on the November 4th ballot and these Sacramento lobbyists are putting their money where their mouth is. The Sacramento based California Association of Realtors as well as the National Association of Realtors (CAR & NAR) has targeted the State with a $3.4 million war chest for this election and they've taken a keen interest in Emeryville's November elections resulting in a barrage of campaign flyers, now beginning to drop on Emeryville.
|CAR- They want to|
profits from Emeryville.
They're going to stop
residents from deciding for
The California Association of Realtors has money to burn. Here's a quick synopsis of their spending:
- They've spent almost $30 million statewide on 593 election flyers over 17 years
- They're half done spending the $3.4 million they targeted in the State for this election cycle and still have almost $2 million in cash on hand as of Oct 19th
- In 2010 during the height of the Great Recession, they spent $33 million in California of which $23 million was spent trying to influence voters
- In 2012 that number rose to $41 million spent on lobbying alone
- They've set aside $85,000 for this year's Emeryville campaign
Emeryville is especially worrisome for CAR & NAR this election year because of the streamlined ballot initiative language the City Council authored for Emeryville voters to consider as they go to the polls. City Council members recognized the importance of keeping the ballot language simple for voters and they had to battle City Attorney Mike Biddle to craft it so.
Large, verbose ballot initiatives filled with unintelligible legalize is what voters have faced in other California charter city municipal elections, scaring voters off. This year, Emeryville managed to make the Measures U&V ballot language on the charter city local control and real estate transfer fee clear, concise and short, and that's a big problem for these Sacramento lobbying groups. In addition, the Measure U & V language assures voters Emeryville governance will stay just as it is, no change at all.
Emeryville Chamber of Commerce Discredited
|Real Estate Salesman |
Used to work for
the Emeryville Chamber
of Commerce. Now he
works for CAR.
Emeryville residents will only get campaign flyers (and phone banking) against Measures U&V because State law forbids the City of Emeryville, the author of both Measures from such campaigning. State law does permit the City certain "educational" materials to be distributed but they are highly regulated in how much they can spend and they are not allowed to use the hyperbolic coercive language let alone deception the California Association of Realtor is allowed to use in its flyers.