LA Realtors' PAC funds anti-Measure T efforts
All those signs encouraging Yuba County voters to reject Measure T have to be paid for, and T's primary supporter said it's a group from outside the area doing the big spending.
The California Association of Realtors Issues Mobilization Political Action Committee, which lists a Los Angeles address, donated $25,000 this month to the Yuba County Alliance for Property Rights, the main opposition group to T.
Added to an earlier donation of $5,000, the two contributions constitute the majority of all the money donated to beat Measure T, which would require a public vote to change zoning or make other developments on county land designated for agriculture or open space.
On its most recent campaign finance statement, filed last week, the Yuba County Alliance for Property Rights shows total donations of $37,880. Apart from the California Association of Realtors PAC's donations, the largest single one appears to be from Soper-Wheeler Co., a logging company in Strawberry Valley.
Yuba County Supervisor Hal Stocker, who said he is mostly self-funding the pro-T side, said it's deplorable an entity from outside the area would spend so much for a local measure.
"Is Los Angeles going to run Yuba County?" he said. "I can't believe it."
Stocker's own campaign finance statement for the pro-T side, filed with Yuba County's elections office, shows him receiving $225 in donations this year, and loaning his campaign $17,000. He has also spent nearly all of it, according to the statement, which was filed Oct. 22.
Judy Morris, executive officer for the Sutter Yuba Association of Realtors, said California Association of Realtors PAC made the donation because it's interested in issues affecting private property rights.
"This is not an unusual donation," she said, adding she and another area real estate agent made a presentation to California Association of Realtors' board about Measure T and asked for the donation.
Morris said the state group also was concerned because Measure T was based on a similar initiative passed in Napa County, and California Association of Realtors officials feared a successful campaign here could spur similar measures in other places.
The PAC's listing on the California secretary of state's website shows several donations to groups across the state, including in Los Angeles, San Diego and the Silicon Valley.
Because the donations left the anti-T campaign with more than $30,000 in cash-on-hand balance as of Oct. 20, Stocker said, he is concerned about the campaign's last week.
"I don't think anybody can argue money doesn't affect elections," he said. "They can send out a whole lot of mailers."
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