Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Supervisor John Silva’s 1996-7 campaign war chest

Will Gregory, Benicia, CA
Feb. 2008.

" I’ll run as hard as I did the first time I ran for the board and do all of the things that need to be done to be elected to the board." -District 2 Supervisor John Silva
Source: " Touting change, Seifert goes up against Silva," Benicia Herald, 2/12/08.

I received a call on my way home from work on Friday from the Registrar of Voters, that, my request for Mr. John Silva’s 1996-7 Campaign Disclosure Statement Form #460 was ready for pick-up. Requested on Monday of the same week–I was told it wouldn’t be ready until after the Super Tuesday Feb. 5th election. Kudos to Denise Nussbaum, who was very helpful, despite the pressure of the up coming voting period.

This County election was the first for Mr. Silva. He ran against union activist Doris Lowe. I’ve asked a few local- veterans of the political wars who Ms. Lowe was (?) but, I’m still in the dark about this person. Here, I’ve learned, that the late Ms. Lowe ran a low budget campaign-$28 thousand- (checked her file , also) and lost the election by just 600 votes.

What we do know is that Mr. Silva is running for a fourth term as supervisor for District 2.

He has won three elections. Two of the three elections, Mr. Silva ran unopposed. This of course would explain why so little money was spent in the 2000 and 2004 election cycles. $28 thousand and $19 thousand respectively. (Note: spent time going over these files as well.)

I think it is important for the citizens of the community to have a fuller picture of Mr. Silva’s election history. These campaign disclosure statements are PUBLIC DOCUMENTS- that reveal a paper trail of money and influence.

In the 1996-7 election cycle Mr. Silva had 157 contributors, "49" of these came from "outside the county" limits. This is an important statistic. Just like in our local Benicia election, outside interests can play a significant role in determining who will win an elected seat, in county government.

Mr. Silva raised over $60 thousand for this election period.

Mr. Silva’s file of documents was 74 pages- covering the time frame of 1/1/‘96 to 4//16/‘97.

Here are some of the highlights for the community of District 2 to consider:

The most startling information in this packet was that the Seeno Co., and its subsidiaries were a major player in this election. (10 entries)
A. Seeno Enterprises (Pittsburgh) $100.
B. Seeno Financial and Construction (Concord) $298.
C. Albert Seeno (Concord ) $697.
D. West Coast Homebuilders P.O. Box # 4113.(Concord ) $498.
E. Seeway Family Homebuilders, Inc.. P.O. Box # 4113 ( Concord ) $598.

Note: We now know, that this relationship between Mr. Silva and the Seeno Co. goes back to 1996. –What I hope to do in the near future is to check Mr. Silva’s council Campaign Disclosure Statements, to see how this relationship between publicly elected official and private corporate entity has evolved.

Outside Solano County groups contributing to John Silva:

Browning Ferris Waste Management Co.....$1,000.
KSK Management-Property Management....$1,000.
James Baird, CEO Bay Area Development Co..$500.
Walnut Creek.
Olney Land and Cattle Co. $1,000.
CRE/PAC–BORPAC ( California Real Estate Political Action Committee and Board of Realtors)
Los Angeles $400.
Carpenters Historical Society of the Bay Area....$1500.

Out of State donation:
Pacific Generation Co. $100.
Portland, Oregon

Trade Groups:
Plumbers and Steam Fitters $2,000.
District Council of Ironworkers $200.
Operating Engineeers District #4. $200.
AT&T West PAC $500.

Police And Fire contributions.

Peace Officer Reserve Association, Sacramento (PAC) $250.
Vallejo Firefighters Local #1186 (PAC) $500.

Consultant fees paid.
J Burchill and Assoc., Inc. .........$7,483.

Miscellaneous person(s) and organizations of interest:
Tom Gavin... (Chamber of Commerce) $150.
Brian Tulloch (Builder/Developer) $249.
Bruce Adams (Owner of the Bottom of the Fifth–Bar Establishment) $1,023.
Charles Britt ( Powerhouse Realty) $200.
Norman Koerner (Benicia Realty Investments) $549.
Virginia Souza ( City Treasurer, Benicia) $198.
VALPAC ( Vallejo Chamber of Commerce) $650.
West Coast Beauty Supply (located in Benicia) $950.
Benicia Plumbing $1150.
Benicia Industries $250.

If as Supervisor Silva states from (the above Benicia Herald article)" I’ve been accessible to the public." These PUBLIC DOCUMENTS also show he has been accessible to PACS’; special interests groups; developers and real estate firms. This kind of pattern shows up again in the 2007 campaign disclosure statements. Stay tuned. I hope to share this information with the community in the near future.

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