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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Special Interest Group's Influence Exposed

Reader says a political action committee supporting Sam Allevato and Ginny Kerr has ties to former local editor.

Recently, San Juan resident John Perry wrote a letter to the editor of a local paper (see below). In it, he wonders why Jonathan Volzke, former editor of that local paper and now a lobbyist for Faubel Public Affairs, was publicly attacking him for speaking out against our high water rates.

Perry did some research, which opened a Pandora’s Box.

The research revealed the close ties Volzke’s employer Roger Faubel has to the OC Taxpayers Association (“OCTaxpayers.org”), which through its political action committee has paid for campaign mailers endorsing and promoting SJC council candidates Sam Allevato and Ginny Kerr.

Jonathan’s employer Roger Faubel was the CEO of OCtaxpayers.org, according to their 2010 returns signed on March 10, 2011. The tax return shows the books are in the care of 25 Orchard, Lake Forest, Faubel’s address. Faubel signed the return as the CEO for OCTaxpayers.org. While Faubel is no longer listed on the OC Taxpayers board, it could be because he now has OC Taxpayers Association as his client.

OC Taxpayers Association (also known as “OC Tax”) has reps from various companies serving on its board of directors. Some of these companies have (or had) projects requiring approval from city councils. These companies contribute money to OC Tax and/or their political action committee “OC Tax PAC.”  

This political action committee supported by OC Tax then pays for campaign mailers to promote OC Tax PAC-endorsed candidates. OC Tax PAC’s most recent campaign expense disclosure lists over $4,800 spent on campaign mailers promoting Allevato and Kerr. Faubel’s address is on the form.

  • See related story: 

One of the entities serving on the OC Tax Board of Directors is SDG&E’s Duane Cave, who is representing SDG&E’s project in San Juan. If approved, it will double the size of the substation downtown, and more than double the voltage throughout town. The problem is that this project doesn’t appear to benefit us since we’re about built out and are not the ones who need the significantly increased power (whereas the Ranch does). Councilman Sam Allevato recused himself from the vote to oppose SDG&E’s massive, intrusive project. 

Another entity serving on OC Tax’s Board is the Rancho Mission Viejo Co. OC Tax advocated for the Ranch’s massive development east of town which Allevato and Kerr have stated they “proudly support.”

This calls into question the ethics of Volzke using his position as (former) Editor of the Dispatch to publicly advocate for City Council candidates who are linked to his clients in a “My Turn” editorial column. Doesn’t he have a duty to disclose this?

I hope you think about that when you receive a mailer from OC Tax PAC or an article by Jonathan Volzke telling you what great things any of them are doing for you. Think about who and what they really represent. Hint: it’s not you. 

EDITOR'S NOTE: Allevato recused himself from the discussion because his homeowners association owns land that SDG&E uses as an easement for its power lines. See story here. 

________________________________________________________________________

Here’s John Perry’s original Letter to the Editor:

CONNECT THE DOTS

After my letter to the editor was published by the on-line Dispatch, Jonathan Volzke wrote a blistering response with all sorts of claims about my character.  I started wondering why such a personal attack was necessary. Is there something more to the story that caused the reaction?  So I did a little internet searching.  Here’s what I found:

  • Jonathan Volzke works for Faubel Public Affairs
  • Faubel Public Affairs has Poseidon Resources for a client
    • Poseidon Resources is seeking to build the county’s first seawater desalination plant in Huntington Beach.  Poseidon is also on the board of the Orange County Taxpayers Association
    • The Orange County Taxpayers Association is also a client of Faubel Public Affairs
      • On October 4, 2012 Poseidon donated $25,000 to OcTaxpac, a political action committee (PAC) sponsored by the OC Taxpayers Association.  On October 9, 2012 Poseidon donated another $5000 to OcTaxpac.
      • On October 29,2012 a mailer published by the OcTax Pac is received by voters in San Juan Capistrano extolling the virtues of Allevato and Kerr as job producers who have caused the unemployment rate in San Juan Capistrano to drop by 25%

I admit to believing in the tooth fairy, but I find it hard NOT to believe that somehow Jonathan is steering out of town money into our little City Council race.  It might be legal, but this kind of political sleight of hand cries out for a little sunshine.

For every contribution there is a payback.  I will be watching.

John Perry

 

Penny Arévalo (Editor) November 03, 2012 at 04:57 PM
oh BBT, that was hilarious!
Penny Arévalo (Editor) November 03, 2012 at 05:05 PM
(we have computers in Spokane!) At Patch, we have the ability to assign more than one label to each piece. So a letter to the editor is ALWAYS labeled opinion, but it may also be labeled elections, if the letter to pertains to elections. I've checked back through August, and no letters have also been labeled school news. Letters also always are given LETTER TO THE EDITOR as the first word in the headline at SJC Patch. They also have a graphic of the letter. We have clearly labeled letters as letters. No one could possibly confuse them for journalism. They are letters.
Whiskey Bent November 03, 2012 at 05:31 PM
It was a link to this article. http://www.ocregister.com/news/city-376538-mccarthy-juan.html
Whiskey Bent November 03, 2012 at 05:37 PM
You're correct, Capistrano Common Sense can have an opinion just like OC Register, the LA Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal.
Penny Arévalo (Editor) November 03, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Please do not attack each other. Keep your comments on the topic at hand, and you won't verge into questionable territory that violates our Terms of Use, found at the bottom of every page at Patch.
shelly November 03, 2012 at 06:26 PM
So who are Citizens for Sensible Development? Where is the transparency?
shelly November 03, 2012 at 06:26 PM
So who are Citizens for Sensible Development? Where is the transparency?
shelly November 03, 2012 at 06:28 PM
Yes it can and it does since it is all opinion.
Penny Arévalo (Editor) November 03, 2012 at 06:31 PM
http://sanjuancapistrano.patch.com/articles/city-council-election-spending-tops-80k#pdf-11943950
Eric Bergstrom November 03, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Great video reference!!!! Hilarious, BBT. Do I know you, BB? I'd like to hang out with you.
Whiskey Bent November 03, 2012 at 07:13 PM
I like the 909 :-)
Kim November 03, 2012 at 08:44 PM
Shelly, I apologize, I didn't mean to be rude in my comment. I shouldn't have told you to move to Riverside, perhaps Cool, CA. would have been more appropriate.
shelly November 03, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Eric, I think Penny is back and I have asked this question before. But have not recieved an answer.
shelly November 03, 2012 at 09:33 PM
So Citizens for Sensible Development address is next to the address listed for the Commen Sense publication?
shelly November 03, 2012 at 09:45 PM
Kim, Thanks for the apology. Emotions during election time can get the best of anyone. But it does not serve your point to call someone pathetic or urge someone to move because they do not agree with you. SJC is in America and everyone is entitled to their opinion. Or do you not agree with that? Where is Cool, CA?
shelly November 03, 2012 at 09:55 PM
Penny, Some letters to the editors are placed in election and some are not. Is this an editorial choice. Because it seems to be. For example my letter was placed only in opinion while others are placed in opinion and election. Dawn Urbanek's letters are often placed in both school news and opinon while others are placed only in opinion. No one is confusing these letters for journalism. But when you place them in a couple different places it gives the letter more exposure. Correct. Often times people will just click on Election or School News or something else. If it were consistent policy for all letters I would understand it but it seems to be an editorial choice. You place some letters only in Opinion and some in Opinion and another category.
shelly November 03, 2012 at 10:24 PM
PublisSJC, Reread what Kim McCarthy wrote. You can agree with if you want to because everyone is entitled to their opinion. I do not agree with it. Clint Worthington, I guess we will find out when they finish the investigation. Transparency is best for all.
Kim November 03, 2012 at 11:59 PM
Shelly: Just as Jonathan, CA. relates to you, Cool CA. relates to Lon.
Capo mom November 04, 2012 at 01:23 AM
Jonathan Volzke has been the voice of bais in San Juan for a long time. He turned the Dispatch over to union forces at our school district in the last election, breathing life into any rumor that favored their cause and at the same time suppressing alternative perspectives. This time around, candidates he supports have been engaged in bad, possibly criminal, behavior. And Mr. Volzke has not condemned them. Instead, he is precinct walking for them. Unions, developers and utilities-at least he is consistant. You can count on Jonathan to stand by the big money in San Juan.
shelly November 04, 2012 at 01:42 AM
Kim, So if people do not think like you or your candidate they should move out of SJC? Is that what you are saying?
robert hooper November 05, 2012 at 12:11 AM
Shelly, I don't know you, however I say game, set, and match to you as a voice of fairness and reason.There is no need for such bitterness.
Clint Worthington November 05, 2012 at 01:24 AM
That is one of the funnies videos I have seen in a very long time. Thank you.
shelly November 05, 2012 at 02:32 AM
Clint Worthington, There are many biased "journalists" out there. It is wise to get your news from different sources and research things for yourself. As stated before most "news" sources have a bias.
Clint Worthington November 05, 2012 at 02:52 AM
Shelly, I agree with you on that.
shelly November 06, 2012 at 12:09 AM
As Sheldon would say, "Penny?" Is it editorial choice?
V. Duvall November 06, 2012 at 02:52 AM
Kim, Maybe that's where you should move. I've responded on Patch before asking you why you are still here. You seem so angry and hateful all the time. You hate the minorities (which actually happen to be the majority) here, you want them to go back to wherever they came from. You hate the City Council and those running for election or re-election (except yourself). I just don't get you. I seem to have read somewhere that you are a newcomer here. I've been here for only 25 years and I feel like I'm somewhat of a newcomer. What makes you think you know it all and that you know what's best for our city. Get a grip... You don't.
V. Duvall November 06, 2012 at 02:55 AM
I haven't heard or read anywhere that the issue before the FPP committee is dead. In fact it has been on the local TV news
V. Duvall November 06, 2012 at 03:57 AM
Thank you Clint. She sure sounds like Ms. McCarthy. My mistake. Sorry Miss Kim.
Sandra Weaver November 08, 2012 at 04:09 PM
Shelly, Kim was being very sarcastic with her comment about Cool, California. That is where the last mayor of San Juan moved.
Donna Fleming December 06, 2013 at 06:35 PM
We should repost this letter now.

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