Sunday, March 23, 2008

Supervisor John Silva’s 2007-8 campaign war chest (as of March 17 filing)

Will Gregory, Benica, CA, March 2008

The District 2 Supervisor’s race of three term incumbent John Silva vs newcomer Linda Seifert is one that promises to give the citizenry of our district a choice of continuing with an entrenched politician, Mr. Silva, or the opportunity to break from the past and start in a new more progressive direction with attorney-public advocate Ms. Seifert ( See: to learn more about her campaign.)

A concern about Mr. Silva is: Does he really represent the interests of citizens? According to Campaign Disclosure Statements, Mr. Silva has no trouble accepting cash contributions from special interest groups or " out of county corporations". Very often politicians represent, primarily, those who give them money.

Here are some highlights of Mr. Silva’s more than 50 pages of campaign disclosure statements for 2007-8, for the filing period ending March 17, 2008.

** Mr. Silva has raised $116,290 ( Note: Only $5,029 of this money came from un itemized monetary contributions of less than $100.)

** Mr. Silva has had 161 contributors (individuals, organizations and corporations)- 65 of which came from "out of county." (Key fact: the out of county cash totals nearly $52,000.)

** Two out of state contributors were Valero Energy Corp. of San Antonio, Texas ($4,000) and AWIN Management (Allied Waste Industries) of Phoenix, Arizona ( $2000).

** Largest contributors-out of county-
1.) Olney Land & Cattle Co.: Four Bar Cattle Co....Concord...$3,000.
2.) Yolano Engineers, Inc. Napa...$5000. ( Land Survey Co..)
3.) De Silva Gates Construction Dublin. $3000.
4.) Lucas, Austin &Alexander, LLC- Newport Beach .$4500. ( Real Estate Development Co.)

** Largest-in county contributors:
1.) Falati & Associates, Fairfield. $2,500. ( Insurance Co.)
2.) Lindemann Enterprises. Fairfield. $1450 (Suisun Valley Grape Growers Assoc.)
3.) MV Transportation, Fairfield. ...... $2500.
4.) Jelly Belly, Fairfield. ................. $1500. (Candy Company)

** Trade Groups:
1.) IBEW-Local#180 PAC#1259083. Napa... $1650.
2.) Cement Masons Local 400. Pac#68-0444454. Sacramento... $500.
3.) United Assoc. Journeyman Plumbers&Steam Fitters Local 343. PAC # 862309. Vallejo..$3,000.

In addition, Mr. Silva has received money from the Seeno Company called West Coast Home Builders. ($250)

With one filing period to go before the June 3 election- scheduled for May 22nd,2008- Mr. Silva could possibly raise $150 thousand for his supervisor’s seat.

Let me close with a series of questions and comments for District 2 voters to consider:

We know that Mr. Silva is a Benicia Native son. He has served 22 years on the Benicia police force. Was Benicia City Manager from 1979-1987. Spent two terms on the city council. He now has served 12 years as County Supervisor for our district.

Mr. Silva is the most senior politician in our community-third most senior, in time of public service, in Solano County.

As far as I know, however, I’ve never seen a column from Mr. Silva about Solano county politics in any local newspaper. You would think, with his long background in public service, we would hear from Mr. Silva through public discourse. Curious?

I started to think, when was the last time Mr. Silva held a public meeting? For example at the Dona Benicia Room or Council chambers about the doings and happenings (important business that concerns our District) at the upper county level. As far as I know, no meetings have been scheduled.

I started to think when was the last time I received a mailer, flyer or letter from Supervisor Silva letting me know about his job as my representative. Can’t recall ever receiving any mailing from Mr. Silva. Odd?

I started to think, when was the last time I saw Mr. Silva in person (he lives in Benicia) yet he doesn’t seem to attend city functions or council or planning commission meetings. He is not a visible presence in our town.

I started to think what kind of representation is this, when we never hear, see or meet with our District 2 Supervisor at the local level?

I believe these are fair questions and concerns. I hope the community would agree.

As a concerned citizen, taxpayer and voter, I’ve presented key public documents that give the citizens hard facts and figures (discovered truths) about Mr. Silva’s contributors–and have asked some relevant questions about the incumbent’s nearly invisible representation in our city. It is up to us-the citizens- to pay attention to this mid summer election- and make a decision about important change at the District 2 level.

Seifert vs. Silva: Ladies and gentleman–start your engines.

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