Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Politics Behind the Move to Censure Meyering

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There has been a movement among some to initiate a recall against Pat Meyering.  If the City Council Censures Pat Meyering, it will provide a backing to this movement.

You can view campaign contributions from the public filings (which are hard to view except individually as PDFs downloaded from the state or county) at http://www.specialinterestwatch.org/Filings.aspx.  Also see http://sunnyvale.ca.gov/Departments/OfficeoftheCityManager/CityClerk/Elections.aspx , filings are separately available at http://static.netfile.com/agency/cos/

The City Council is currently composed of 3 main factions based on who supports them.  There is the "development faction" which relies on developer money for their election contributions (Griffith and Martin-Milius), the "city union" faction which relies primarily on contributions from city unions for their funding (Davis & Spitaleri), and the independents (Whittum & Meyering) who funded their own election.  Moylan was funded primarily by developers but seems to have an independent streak and is arguing and voting against further office and high-density housing development.  The first two factions often vote to support each other with Moylan and Davis being swing voters.

Elections for 3 seats on the CC are in November.  Spitaleri and Moylan are termed out this year.  Griffith is running for his second term against Tap Merrick.  Developer-backed Griffith, Hendricks and Larsson are running against "independents" Merrick, Frazer, and Hoffman, respectively, in three separate "districts".
 See http://nf4.netfile.com/pub2/Default.aspx?aid=COS&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

Hendricks was the treasurer for Griffith's first campaign.  Developer-focussed SunPAC's founder Pat Castillo is backing Griffith, Hendricks and Larsson.

The 2 factions backed by developers are afraid that if 2 out of the three independent candidates win, they will lose their voting majority and development will slow down, and city wages and benefits will not continue to be among the highest in the state.  If they can force Meyering into a recall, their chances of retaining a majority are bigger.

Meyering was outspent by an enormous amount (I think it was on the order of 6-1).  For the multi-million $ deals that are going through the city council, outspending self-financed candidates is easy.  The attack on Meyering is part of the overall plan to protect developer interests.

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