District 3 Campaign Contributions

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By Bonnie Donovan

The special election for the 3rd District Council seat has two main candidates: Oscar Gutierrez and Michael Vidal. By simply looking at the campaign contributions they have received to date it becomes clear that one candidate, if elected, will be able to be independent while the other will be deeply beholden to politicians, special interest groups, and political action committees (PACs).

Excluding mailers and other promotional advertising paid for by the Democratic Party Oscar Gutierrez has received $17,050.00 in campaign donations to date. 73% ($12,500.00) of these contributions are from politicians, unions and PACs. Contributions have come from: Mayor Cathy Murillo ($5,000.00), Councilmember Gregg Hart ($2,000.00), three Unions ($4,500.00) and a non-partisan PAC ($1,000.00).

In contrast, Michael Vidal has received $10,800.00 in campaign contributions to date with only 19% ($2,000.00) coming from a PAC with the remaining 81% coming from individuals.

It is clear that one candidate will be beholden to special interest groups and politicians who helped get them elected while the other will not be.

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Wm. Smithers May 18, 2018 02:39 PM
District 3 Campaign Contributions

I'm now convinced this forum has become a repository for those who never win municipal elections, largely populated by political/social/environmental conservatives whose rage at achieving little success via the ballot box leaves them in their own minds with no alternative but to spew nastiness and astonishingly childish venom behind fake names, a practice that has led other Santa Barbara publications to eliminate any opportunity for public discussion.

The recurring themes:

A candidate in a five-person race who gets the most votes cannot be considered a legitimate choice of the people. (It must be – who?)

A person who does not own property cannot be considered a reasonable candidate for public office.

A person who has little income other than that provided by office-holding cannot be honest and independent.

An adult who lives with mother or sister cannot be considered a reasonable choice for public office.

A candidate whose public ads contain a typographical error must be intellectually deficient or significantly careless and cannot be considered a reasonable choice for public office.

Liberal election winners and their supporters have no legitimate points of view that voters have approved; they are “puppets” manipulated by seen and unseen forces.

Political/social/economic/environmental/gender-focused organizations who support or contribute toward candidates who represent their public interest are corrupt and deserve only public condemnation unless they are conservative.

If more people voted, conservatives would achieve their legitimate municipal rule.

I would suggest that these puerile outpourings are the result of persons who feel helpless, unappreciated and emasculated. Perhaps a more effective and satisfying path to achieve greater local political influence would be to create partnerships and find candidates who can persuade Santa Barbarans that they offer something useful and valuable.

William Smithers

largely populated by those who hide behind fake names in order to spew the kind of nastiness that caused the elimination of public comment in other publications.

We find here those who believe public office should be reserved for those who own property, those who sneer at persons for living with relatives, or have made typos on public releases, or who have modest incomes.

a-1526684345 May 18, 2018 03:59 PM
District 3 Campaign Contributions

I don't believe candidates have to own property to be in office.
But they should have least moved out of Mom's by their 30's. I mean, how can you be responsible for the city if you've never even signed a lease or lived on your own?

a-1526683516 May 18, 2018 03:45 PM
District 3 Campaign Contributions

So you're here because....you fit right in! That was an awful lot of projection there, Smithers.

PitMix May 18, 2018 12:32 PM
District 3 Campaign Contributions

The Murillo haters on Edhat have shown up in force. It must really be galling to have her win all those elections no matter what you posted about her here. What will you do if Mr. Gutierrez wins? Mass exodus to Idaho?

LocalinSB May 18, 2018 05:21 PM
District 3 Campaign Contributions

LOVE Bernie! HATE Murillo! - She has no honor. Bought and paid for by special interest groups and developers. Look at the money contributed to her campaign. PACs, Unions, Developers and Planners/ Architects. Who walked and voted? Residents. Who benefits from her votes? The people who donated to her campaign. Residents get the shaft.

a-1526673256 May 18, 2018 12:54 PM
District 3 Campaign Contributions

PITMIX - believe it or not, many of the people who dislike Murillo are liberals. Not sure liberals want to move to Idaho. But hey, way to be a tad bigoted in your remarks, like a true progressive!

a-1526663729 May 18, 2018 10:15 AM
District 3 Campaign Contributions

This race is revealing how detrimental it is to slice and dice our small town with big-city problems with these district elections. Totally unqualified people who never would have passed muster get in office with support of a tiny percentage of the citizenry, yet make decisions that affect all of us. And we're going to go through this all over again early next year when Gregg Hart takes his seat as a County Supervisor. A real shame.

LocalinSB May 18, 2018 07:37 AM
District 3 Campaign Contributions

Critical analysis skills are a mandatory requirement for this position. Oscar has little to no ability to do the critical analysis needed to make decisions. He will simply follow Cathy.

a-1526608630 May 17, 2018 06:57 PM
District 3 Campaign Contributions

I can't believe the Dem Party, Cathy, Mary Rose, the Women's Political Committee, and whoever else is wrapped up in the Machine think a guy living with his mother and who can't spell his own name on a mailer is a serious contender. Thwack!

Factotum May 17, 2018 05:18 PM
District 3 Campaign Contributions

Santa Barbara can't afford any more 20% vote turnout elections. Get out and vote for the best independent voice who can work with other city council members and radically change the direction of this city. It is facing huge financial shortages because of voters who got seduced by the special interest partisan clout or who stayed away thinking their vote would not matter. It is those who do not vote who really decide what happens in this city because there are very organized forces ready to fill the vacuum created by disinterest.

Wm. Smithers May 17, 2018 01:34 PM
District 3 Campaign Contributions

Please add that $500 for Oscar Guttierez came from me (District 4).

Political/social/environmental liberals want someone of like persuasion to help govern them. That includes working class people (unions).

The Santa Barbara ABCs would have been in seventh heaven had their torch-bearer Frank Hotchkiss received the lion's share of campaign contributions, but his flame-out represented current politics in this town. His own assessment may well be true: “Santa Barbara will never elect a Republican mayor.”

I would prefer that campaign contributions not play such a vital role in elections, but it is political conservatives nationally who smashed that hope to ashes.

Voters in District 3 will decide who represents them on our city council. I hope they choose Oscar.

Incidentally, citing Jason Dominguez, current darling of the ABCs because he's tried to diminish the proper influence of Cathy Murillo, as the ideal political independent, strikes me as cynical in the extreme. Dominguez's unworthy colloquialism was revealed in (1) his trying to avoid shouldering his district's responsibility in hosting a medical marijuana facility and (2) his lone vote not to provide any SB money to alleviate, or diminish, the environmental devastation occurring at the Clark Bird Sanctuary – in a district not his own.

William Smithers

a-1526604895 May 17, 2018 05:54 PM
District 3 Campaign Contributions

Without trying to sound vindictive or callous, some people on the city council, including Mayor Murillo are "have nots" who have a spend and others will pay for it attitude. They also have no real world experience. Mayor Murillo has had no meaningful outside of government jobs and lives from month to month on her city salary, sharing an apartment with her sister. She gave Gutierrez $5,000, donated to her by other people! Gregg Hart is a lifelong on the government payroll guy and also lives month to month on a city paycheck. He gave Gutierrez $2,000, also donated to him by other people. Eric Friedman's day job was as a grocery clerk at TJ's and he also live month to month on his city paycheck. And, should Oscar win and he is a decent guy, he is now living with his mother on a small paycheck from TVSB because he cannot afford to move out at age 34! These are people who are first in line to vote higher taxes, higher fees, liberal city salaries, great pension plans for city workers and more. All of them are at the bottom of the income and tax scale and don't own a square inch of property here.
Cathy became mayor with 24% of the vote and more people did not vote than could have. 74% of local voters wanted someone else! And Smithers holds her up as a shining beacon of good government, even as she puts $5,000 on the come for Oscar's loyalty?

Factotum May 17, 2018 05:09 PM
District 3 Campaign Contributions

ABC"s are the Anyone But Cathy (Murillo) forces - also knows and the non-city employee union forces. Murillo got the city employee union vote across the city and total government union block votes since government at some level from schools to county remains the biggest employer in town. Too many independent voters stayed home. The unions now count on this spreading the theme, your vote doesn't matter the unions always win. No, they only win when 70% of the rest of the voters don't even bother to show up.

Factotum May 17, 2018 05:06 PM
District 3 Campaign Contributions

Gov Brown just announced there will be no state bailout for city pension shortfalls. Each city will have to make this up on their own .City revenues are flat or declining, except for the automatic property tax increases and higher home sale prices. Pension costs rising significantly and new taxes underperforming. City employees need to plan on only 60 cents on the dollar at a minimum when it comes time to collect their pensions. There is no other way out.

Factotum May 17, 2018 05:03 PM
District 3 Campaign Contributions

The city employee unions. Why is anyone still asking this question. The police and fire unions, SEIU and whatever other city employee bargaining groups that are out there. Why not try to have your friends sit on the other side of the bargaining table when it comes to handing out city tax revenues? That is what city employee unions do - get the very best deal they can for themselves and ensure this by electing only those who will continue to deliver the goods for them. Or co-opt them immediately if they had backed someone else, like SEIU did immediately for Cathy Murillo after the candidates they had backed lost big time (Falcone and Schwartz). Wake up and smell the coffee, Roger. City elections by the city employees, for the city employees - there are enough of them now to make the critical difference at every level of the voting game - DCC + city employee unions = dysfunctional and now highly indebted city operations. But the city employees rock salaries and benefits, let alone pensions, that make the rest of us weep.

a-1526593249 May 17, 2018 02:40 PM
District 3 Campaign Contributions

Oscar Guttierez's nomination and eventual election is just another step of Santa Barbara towards their inevitable bankruptcy. When that happens (and it will) salaries will be cut, new pensions will be cut, police and firefighter positions will be cut, the State will not be in a position to help out, crime will increase dramatically, and property values will crash. Yes, even Oscar will be able to afford to move out of his mom's house.

a-1526592291 May 17, 2018 02:24 PM
District 3 Campaign Contributions

Dominguez was mentioned as an example of winning despite heavy campaigning against him by the DCC candidate with all of its money, volunteers and campaign manager and the same group of endorsers that now tout Oscar Gutierrez. He was not mentioned for his work subsequent to the election. Most agree that Oscar's a nice guy and that's all they say, but, surely, a multi-million dollar enterprise that is the city of Santa Barbara needs someone more than a nice guy? ...What/who are the ABC's?

9310193441 May 17, 2018 02:11 PM
District 3 Campaign Contributions

WM. Smithers = Puppet #1 - A mouth piece for politicians bought and paid for by special interests groups that take precedence over long-term residents. Cathy is owned by developers, architects and unions and other special interest groups. Look at her votes. They benefit these groups not residents. Murillo is the Queen of Gentrification, as evidenced by her constant pushing of the AUD Program which destroys neighborhoods, increase parking issues, calls for ugly massive buildings, the creation of UN-affordable housing. Everything she does is counter to the actual needs of her constituents.

9310193441 May 17, 2018 11:53 AM
District 3 Campaign Contributions

Oscar is Murillo's Puppet. She lobbied the Democratic Party for him, blocked qualified and competent candidates from applying for their endorsement, wrote his responses to candidate questionnaires (he knows nothing and is reading her script), chauffeured Oscar to candidate interviews and in a FIRST gave a speech at the candidate interviews on his behalf, donated $5,000.00 to his campaign and IS NOW walking for Oscar, her Puppet. - Is she running or is he running to be the 3rd District Council seat? Murillo owns him. It is as simply as that.

Roger May 17, 2018 04:33 PM
District 3 Campaign Contributions

Down vote reality all politicians are puppets....Every single one of them bought and paid for jus sayin

a-1526578534 May 17, 2018 10:35 AM
District 3 Campaign Contributions

Nice try, PITMIX. "As long as the contributions don't cause Mr. Gutierrez to give away the bank in support of more lucrative pensions and salaries to government workers...."
Dude, that's entirely the POINT of those campaign contributions. That kind of serious money sets the candidate's priorities for them. Oscar Cutierrez is a nice guy, but he's a total novice. The Machine owns his soul now. If you think he'll do anything other than exactly what Cathy Murillo tells him to, you're fooling yourself.

PitMix May 17, 2018 01:52 PM
District 3 Campaign Contributions

You really don't know what he will do once in office. You are assuming that he will be bought and paid for. This is one of the problems with candidates who haven't been on any committees or done much, you have no idea what they will do. But this is the system that we have, and I won't assume the worst of Mr. Gutierrez until he demonstrates that he deserves it. If there was another candidate with a track record, I would definitely go for that person.

a-1526578032 May 17, 2018 10:27 AM
District 3 Campaign Contributions

I think some of these comments come from outside the 3rd district. I think district elections will be decided by the voters in the 3rd district, in whatever numbers they come in. Will the Chamber of Commerce people walk the precinct and talk personally to the residents? I doubt it.

a-1526592755 May 17, 2018 02:32 PM
District 3 Campaign Contributions

Actually, your logic is what proves that Oscar is bought-and-paid for. He never served on a board or commission, hasn't even signed a lease to get out from living with his mom, and you dream he has the political chops and financial prowess to somehow magically oversee a multi-million dollar city budget? He's owned by the people that are putting money in his coffers. He's going to be Cathy's minion, and hey Smithers, she's far from 'independent'. She's bought-and-paid for too.

a-1526577485 May 17, 2018 10:18 AM
District 3 Campaign Contributions

PITMIX: Jason Dominguez won two years in the 1st District without public employee unions and without the Dem. Central Committee and without the support of the Independent.

If Michael Vidal walks the neighborhoods and has luck, he will defeat the party fav. Cutierrez, as his latest flyer spells his name - amazing that the candidate didn't catch this misspelling - What does that say for his attention to detail!

SBZZ May 17, 2018 09:46 AM
District 3 Campaign Contributions

Amazing that it is legal for a mayor of one’s own city council and a member of that council to contribute to someone running for a seat on that council. Impressive example of self-interest.

a-1526574362 May 17, 2018 09:26 AM
District 3 Campaign Contributions

It's all politics. I'm sure Vidal would haven taken the money if it was offered to him too. So I can't get behind your reasoning, but with that said I do feel that Vidal is more capable for the job.

Factotum May 17, 2018 09:02 AM
District 3 Campaign Contributions

PITMIX, you make fundamental errors benignly accepting the inherent corruption of our politically system. It is never good to put the city employee bargaining interests on both sides of the bargaining table. How else did we get into the fiscal mess we now face after too many years of doing just that, with over promised employee pension demands now taking up every cent of new city revenues and city infrastructure languishing in a wretched state of repair. No it does not take city employee union money to run a small district campaign - it takes shoe leather and meet and greets. There is no way you can take out the built in conflict of interest when city unions back one candidate and that same person then sits on the other side of the city employee union bargaining table. That is exactly what has gone wrong in this city now for far too long. It is not a cold hard fact you can't win without city employee backing. They only collectively have a few votes, compared to the thousands of independent votes you are attempting to discourage even showing up.

PitMix May 17, 2018 08:46 AM
District 3 Campaign Contributions

Nice hit job on Oscar- although I didn't see you quote a source for this info. Unfortunately it takes money to get elected in our system. And also endorsements and support from the major players in our City also help get votes. As long as the contributions don't cause Mr. Gutierrez to give away the bank in support of more lucrative pensions and salaries to government workers, then I'm okay with him being smart enough to use the current rules to win the election. Hardly anyone can win in this town without the support of the public worker unions, and that's a cold hard fact.

PitMix May 17, 2018 01:49 PM
District 3 Campaign Contributions

Pretty sure that if you actually voted for Murillo and Hart, you wouldn't mind them donating their leftover cash to Gutierrez' campaign. If you trust them to represent you, why wouldn't you also trust their judgment?

a-1526579084 May 17, 2018 10:44 AM
District 3 Campaign Contributions

It is not about Oscar; it is about the huge amounts of money and who gave them to him. Cathy Murillo does not have two dimes to rub together. Her $5,000 probably came from her leftover campaign funds when she ran for mayor. I don't know where Hart got his $2,000; probably from his campaign funds. In the first place, when I contribute to a campaign, I do not want my money given to another candidate who I might or might not want to support. Most other people feel the same way. Cathy and Hart are both trying to have Oscar beholden to them. Oscar has no money of his own either. He lives with his mother @ age 34! I( don't live in the 3rd District, but if I did, my negative views about two sitting council member giving $7,000 to Oscar would make me question what this money will cost our district, should Oscar be elected. He should give the money back!

Factotum May 17, 2018 08:21 AM
District 3 Campaign Contributions


Gutierrez: 73% donations from special interest groups.
Vidal: 19% donations from special interest groups

Who do you really want sitting on city council - someone supported by individual residents, or someone supported and beholden to special interest groups? Why would you make that choice.

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