Sunday, October 20, 2013

2013 Housing Development & Campaign Contributions


Politicians always say "How dare you, Sir!" when asked about large contributions to their campaigns as if no politicians ever traded a vote for money - legal or not (c.f. US Vice-President Spiro Agnew, who made his name preaching virtue until he was caught as a premier kleptocrat).  

Vidovich isn't buying politicians with his $3,000 contributions to Larsson and Hendricks - they already agree to the high density housing he wants to build. Larsson said in the League Of Women's Voters (LWV) debate that he has no problem with 70-80 ft high rise apts/condos in the Lawrence station development.  That is 7-8 story apt. buildings.  See question 5 at the 1:40:41 mark on the LWV forum tape or my transcription here:

The relevant excerpt is here (requires Microsoft's Silverlight):
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If at Lawrence Station, why not Butcher's corner? Vidovich's De Anza properties also owns the Mary/Fremont plaza.  If he can build a large apt. complex at Butcher's corner, why not at Mary/Fremont?

Vidovich Mary/Fremont Plaza now

Same place with 10-story apt. building
Griffith stated he sees the city needing to grow by 37% (=> growing from 150,000 to 205,000) due to all the employment the high rise office buildings have created (so far, but more to come) and says the city is already built out.  So he wants to solve the problem he helped create by building high rise apt. complexes?  See 10 minute mark on LWV video or Question 2. at

Griffith has loaned himself $37,715 for his campaign.  See:

It is perfectly legal to receive contributions after the election from anyone - including developers - often at "pay off the debt" parties.  If Griffith wins, Vidovich or anyone else can legally pay all or part of that debt.  Vidovich has a history of contributing (sometimes illegally) to politicians to get zoning he wants.  See article here:

Until now, the individual contributions have been on the order of $100-$200, $500 max.  Politician's have been able to win going door-to-door against huge odds.  Meyering won spending $11,000 vs his opponent's $70,000.  That $3,000 Vidovich contribution raises the ante a LOT!  Add a zero to all those contributions and we are looking at developer-backed campaigns of $300,000 or $700,000.  Vidovich spent well over $5,000,000 for Butcher's corner and will spend much more to build there so $3,000 or $30,000, or $300,000 is all the same to him but it will absolutely swamp any ordinary citizen like Frazer.

I just got a Larsson mailer saying he will finish the downtown (no details, of course).  In the LWV tape he clearly has no better idea how to do that than anyone else but that mailer will probably get some votes for him.  In fact the mailer seems based on a comment by Andy Frazer that finishing the downtown was the number 1 priority for voters.  See question 2 at the 1hr, 28 min 58 sec mark on the LWV forum tape or my transcription here:

Wiht large developer contributions, Griffith, Hendricks, & Larsson can afford multiple mailers thanks to Vidovich and other developers - people like Frazer can't.  See the campaign chests here:

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