The gloves are coming off in what was tame Davis Council Election as an independent group backed by Sacramento-based unions the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 447, IBEW Local 340, Operating Engineers Local Union 3 in Support of Stephen Souza and in Opposition to Sue Greenwald has sent out an attack mailer to Davis residents reminding them of Councilmemeber Sue Greenwald’s publicized incident with former Mayor Ruth Asmundson.
The Vanguard spoke with Davis City Clerk Zoe Mirabile, she was unaware of any independent expenditure campaign and said that anyone participating in an independent expenditure campaign in support of or in opposition to candidates would be required to adhere to city municipal codes that requires filings and advanced notice to all candidates.
The City Clerk will be further looking into this matter, but it seems possible that this would be a violation of the City’s Municipal code.
The Vanguard will have further details when they become available.
A number of months ago, Jim Burchill of James Burchill & Associates approached me and told me that he was representing a building trades union, and that they really wanted the surface water project. He told me that the union was going to spend serious PAC money in our city election, and that I could be the beneficiary if I supported the project.
I interpreted this as a threat as well as a bribe, i.e., that if I didn’t support the project, they were going to engage in serious Karl Rove style attacks.
I tried to explain to Jim that my job was to represent the best interests of citizens of Davis, and that although I was extremely sympathetic to the union members’ desire for jobs, our combined wastewater, surface water project costs, water rights purchase and related new infrastructure was still around $300 million, which was very high for a city of our size, and that I felt obligated to pursue less expensive approaches.
I am afraid that this deplorable action by an outside PAC will intimidate many good, brave citizens from going into local Davis politics for a long time to come.