Which of These Things Is Not Like the Others? Remember that old game you played as a child? Looking at a picture or line drawing in a book or magazine and trying to identify objects that are out-of-place or just didn’t match up… Well, Out-of-Town Union money in a small, non-partisan, beach community election is one of those things too!
One of the two District 4 candidates has recently updated his required CA Form 460 – Schedule A and it contains over $75,000 of Union contributions alone (two of the Unions aren’t even based in San Diego County) and in total nearly $85K to compete for a District seat on the Imperial Beach City Council. What in heaven’s name is this new resident to Imperial Beach trying prove here?
I hope he’s aware that the part-time Council seat only affords him about $7,700 per year in salary and some other small fringe benefits. Maybe it is his philanthropic Union upbringing that has persuaded him to move to our little town and reach out to his disenfranchised neighbors and extended family?
I think we can all plainly see what is “out of place in this picture.” And it started back in the election of 2014, when then mayoral candidate Serge Dedina, City Council hopefuls Ed Spriggs and Liz Saldana accepted a large block of “out-of-town” union monies (total was reported at over $70K) from a Hospitality Workers Union (“Unite Here”) based out of New York State hoping to representing future workers at the planned hotel project at Seacoast and Imperial Beach Boulevard, (still not built).
Footnote: Ed Spriggs campaign office ultimately returned the NYC contribution after “further consideration”. Those partisan floodgates have once again been opened up in Imperial Beach and as voters we all need to understand the long-term implications to our beach community’s political and democratic process. It just may be high time to consider some additional local campaign reforms right here in the 91932.