Save Carmel Valley . org - Yes on G campaign way ahead in funds -- Backers raise more than $220,000, while opponents have mere $30,000

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Yes on G campaign way ahead in funds -- Backers raise more than $220,000, while opponents have mere $30,000

Monterey Herald -- Oct. 30, 2009

Herald Staff Writer
Updated: 10/30/2009 01:29:05 AM PDT

When it comes to campaign finances heading into Tuesday's election, there is a big gap between those in favor of Carmel Valley incorporation and those against it.

The Yes on Measure G people, who are in favor of incorporation, have raised more than $220,000, according to records at the Monterey County Elections Department. The total is more than seven times the $30,000 raised by a group that opposes incorporation.

"It just goes to show how much support we have in the valley," said proponent Larry Bacon, who is running for town council. "The checks keep flowing in."

Incorporation opponent Lawrence Samuels attributed the discrepancy to the motives of the two sides. He said that those against a town are fighting from a defensive position.

"This isn't fun for us," Samuels said. "I think (proponents) have fun being politicians."
The anti-incorporation campaign doesn't have a campaign staff or office.

"We don't pay anybody," Samuels said. "We're just a committee that meets every week."
Samuels equated the proponents' fundraising to a financial investment.

Residents who vote at the polls rather than by absentee ballot can expect a "No on G" mailer before Election Day, he said.

In terms of percentage, the greatest discrepancy between two sides of any local campaign shows up in Measure K, Salinas' proposed 1 cent sales tax bump intended to increase funding for police and gang suppression efforts.

Through Oct. 17, the anti-K campaign reported $461 in total contributions received. That amount is not even 1 percent of $48,508 reportedly raised by those pushing for the measure.

More than half the money for the pro-K campaign has come from Salinas-based agricultural companies. Taylor Fresh Foods has contributed $10,000, and D'Arrigo Bros., Mann Packing and Nunes Vegetables have each contributed $5,000.

Walnut Creek-based developer Sean Cooley has contributed $7,500. Cooley is pursuing a redevelopment project in East Salinas.

"If we go forward with this (project), we will have a 10-year investment in the city," Cooley said. "We feel a safe Salinas will generate better economic opportunity for everybody. We feel that if Salinas isn't safe, then the region suffers as well. It's a regional issue, and it's one that is critical for the future."

Laith Agha can be reached at 646-4358 or

Last Updated: Oct 30, 09

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