I received three today.
- The largest, entitled “Jump Start,” features Myrna Lopez. Note that it was paid for by “Jobs Now, a Coalition Supporting Lopez and Viramontes for City Council in 2010, Major Funding by Chevron Corporation,” This is what is called an “independent committee,” which has no limit on campaign contributions. In all fairness, these mailers by independent committees are not controlled by the candidates, but they are a good indication of who special interests are backing. What this tells you is that Chevron is willing to spend whatever it takes to get Lopez and Viramontes reelected. They have both been dependable Chevron surrogates. Remember that Viramontes was the leader of the “Chevron Five,” and Lopez does pretty much what Viramontes does. The mailer content is pretty much standard bland campaign drivel, but there is one mistake -- the list of endorsers includes the Sierra Club, which did not endorse Lopez.
- The longest (8 pages) is “Tearing down the gates, Cleaning up Point Molate) and is paid for by “Richmond Residents for Opportunity, Jobs, the Environment and the Point Molate Destination Resort – Yes on Measure U sponsored by Winehaven Partners LLC and the Guidiville Indian Tribe.” The originating address is that of Ted Smith at 770 South 13th Street, Richmond, California 94804. Give Ted a call at 510-529-0688. The mailer is full of misinformation. It claims the plan would “rehabilitate most of the buildings, turning them into restaurants, retail spaces, meeting spaces, a convention center and entertainment venues.” In fact, all Upstream plans to build is a casino, a 4,000 space parking garage and a modest hotel. They plan to tear down over a third of the historic buildings.
- The third, “All About Richmond,” was also paid for by “Jobs Now, a Coalition Supporting Lopez and Viramontes for City Council in 2010, Major Funding by Chevron Corporation.” It invokes nostalgia of times gone by in support of Maria Viramontes, who ironically has consistently railed against historic preservation initiatives coming before the City Council. Maria share the double notoriety of membership and leadership in both the Chevron Five and the Casino Four.
When in doubt, follow the money.