The web site http://SpecialinterestWatch.org/ is maintained by former Sunnyvale Mayor and City Council Member Tim Risch. It collects the publicly available information on campaign financing and Sunnyvale Employee salaries and benefits which otherwise would be hard to find in one place without a lot of work
Remarkable are the unusually large contributions of $3,000 each from John Vidovich to Candidate Glen Hendricks and from Vidovich's company, "De Anza Properties", to Gustav Larson. (Typical contributions are between $100 and $500). Mr. Vidovich bought the small orchard at the corner of Fremont-Wolfe-El Camino from the Butcher family with the stated intent of building a 7 to 10 story apartment building there. This building proposal has generated some controversy (see end of this post for links).
These contributions produced the following analysis from Mr. Risch in an online discussion group:
"The most interesting news concerns the two $3,000 campaign contributions from the developer John Vidovich of DeAnza Properties to Glenn Hendricks and Gustav Larsson. It would seem quite controversial if not imprudent to accept contributions of this magnitude given the intense scrutiny that Mr. Vidovich' s proposed 9-story development at the corner of Wolfe and El Camino is causing. How independent and open-minded will these candidates be if elected to the council and then almost immediately have to consider approval of this project?
"There may also be additional legal ramifications from accepting these contributions. If Mr, Hendricks and Mr. Larsson are not elected and remain on the Planning Commission, this could result in automatic exclusion from considering the matter. Since appointed commissioners do not file campaign finance reports, they are prohibited from accepting contributions from projects before them and then voting."
See legal issues at the CA Fair Political Practices Commission Web site:
The following campaign contributions have been received by the various candidates through 9/26/2013 according to http://SpecialinterestWatch.org/ as viewed on 10/2/2013:
Andy Frazer: $9,454
Gustav Larson: $39,221
Steve Hoffman: $3,450
Glenn Hendricks: $29,468
Gustav Magana: $0
Jim Griffith: $62,601
Tap Merrick: $13,702
In Re: Butcher's Corner, see blog entries: