Spring for city council, Arnett for school board raised the most money

Published in the October 26 – November 8, 2016 issue of Morgan Hill Life

By Staff Report

vote-2016-imageThe California Fair Political Practices Commission filings are required by law and intended to make sure political campaigns show good governmental ethics in elections in the state. It regulates campaign finance, financial conflicts of interest by public officials and other areas of monetary accountability.

Morgan Hill Life looked at the various FPPC statements filed as of the filing deadline of Sept. 29 by candidates for the Morgan Hill city council race, mayoral race and three trustee areas for the Morgan Hill Unified School District board of trustees. Candidates Armando Benavides (for city council) Joseph Carrillo (for mayor), David Clink (for city treasurer) and Irma Torrez (for city clerk) did not form committees because they did not anticipate raising and spending $2,000 or more in association with this Nov. 8’s election.

In the Morgan Hill mayoral race, incumbent Steve Tate raised $10,255 and has spent $3,905 as stated on his FPPC. According to his statement, he has received about $1,125 in total from local developers. He has given $200 each to the campaigns for Larry Carr and Mario Banuelos, both running for the two seats on the city council.

Mayoral candidate Kirk Bertolet’s campaign has raised $5,475 and spent $4,040.55 as of Sept. 29. He self-funded $5,100 to his campaign.

In the city council race, incumbent Larry Carr has raised $5,844 and spent a total of $2,031.64 as of the Sept. 29 filing date. He has received a total of $2,375 from four developers/real estate agents, with $2,000 of this coming from Dustin Bogue, a friend of Carr’s who lives in San Jose and has no projects in Morgan Hill or any impending projects, Carr said.

Incumbent Marilyn Librers, running for her third term on the city council, has received $7,374.79 in contributions and has spent $3,136.31 of this for her campaign as of Sept. 29. She has received $1,433.79 from three individuals in the real estate business, including $983.79 from Boyd Smith, a co-founder with WSJ Properties which has no developments in Morgan Hill. Orville Power contributed $500 to her campaign. It is the managing partner for Maya Investments, a company now developing a 170-unit apartment complex located at San Pedro Avenue.

Mario Banuelos has raised a total of $3,254 in contributions and spent $2,610. 03 as of the Sept. 29 filing date. He received $125 from downtown developer Rocke Garcia. He self-funded $900 of his campaign.

Rene Spring reported receiving $20,271 for the filing period from July 1 to Sept. 29. His contributions for the year are $33,936. His total expenditures for the three-month filing period is $25,660.10 and for the year’s total it is $38,285.36. His outstanding debts total $9,120 according to his FPPC statement. Spring received $6,200 from his spouse. He self-funded his campaign a total of $18,900 for the year.

In the MHUSD race for three school board seats, incumbent for Trustee Area 5 Tom Arnett raised a total of $9,355 for the three month period ending Sept. 29, according to his FPPC statement. His total for the year is $22,640.69. He received an additional contribution of $11,000 Sept. 29 from the Washington, D.C.-based lobby group Leadership for Educational Equity, making his actual total for the year $33,640.69, which includes money for the June special election. He has received a total of $27,000 of funding for his campaign from Leadership for Educational Equity. He has also received $950 from Arthur Rocke, a Silicon Valley investor who has donated more than $5 million to Teach For America, which Arnett once taught middle school math with.

Arnett’s opponent is Angelica Diaz who received a donation of $684.32 from Pamela Torrisi, who ran against Arnett and lost in the June 8 special election. Diaz’s statement shows no expenditures as of Sept. 24.

The FPPC statement for MHUSD incumbent Rick Badillo for Trustee Area 6 shows he received $1,600 in total contributions as of Sept. 29. His total expenditures were $4,280.95, leaving him with outstanding debts of $3,880.95, according to his statement. He has received $1,500 from Grow Elect, a Sacramento-based lobby group which funds Latino Republican candidates in California races. He has paid $3,780.95 to a Gilroy-based organization called In Support, which provided consulting services. On Oct. 14, Badillo reported in a FPPC statement that he received $5,000 from the Sacramento-based political lobby group California Charter Schools Association Advocates.

Badillo has two opponents in the Nov. 8 race. Mary Patterson’s statement shows that she has received $3,114 in contributions and has spent $1,445.76. Opponent Albert Beltrán’s statement showed his campaign is entirely self-funded as of Sept. 29. He gave a total of $1,083.49 to his own campaign.

Teresa Murillo is the only individual to register to run for the MHUSD Trustee Area 7, the area now represented by Bob Benevento, who chose not to seek re-election. Despite the fact that no one is running against her, she reports a campaign debt of $7,729.97. She received a single contribution of $1,000 from Grow Elect on Aug. 9. She has paid $7,629.97 to In Support for consulting services for her campaign. She also paid $500 for bookkeeping services to the San Rafael-based Political Visions.

Morgan Hill Life tried several times to reach Murillo to ask her to explain why she needed to pay for In Support’s consulting services for a campaign in which she has no challengers, but she never responded.