Blog

04 Jul
0

In the news: Complaint accuses Republican SD16 candidate Vidak of failing to report assets

From the Bakersfield Californian:

Complaint accuses 16th Senate candidate Vidak of failing to report assets

BY THEO DOUGLAS Californian staff writer

Douglas Kessler, Region 8 director of the California Democratic Party, has filed a complaint with the Fair Political Practices Commission, accusing 16th state Senate District candidate Andy Vidak of failing to disclose ownership of a cattle ranch and a lettuce cooling business.

“Andy Vidak failed to report assets and income for both his lettuce and cattle ranch operation in Tulare County as required by law,” reads the complaint — which was provided to The Californian by Vidak’s opponent, Democrat Leticia Perez.

Vidak, a Republican cherry farmer from Hanford, did not respond to a request for comment.

Tim Orman, Vidak’s campaign consultant, declined to comment on allegations in the complaint, but said: “They know they’re behind in the polls, and they’re pulling anything out of the hat that they can.”

Representatives of the Fair Political Practices Commission did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Perez, who is 5th District Kern County Supervisor, called the alleged omissions “completely stunning … .”

UPDATE: From the July 4, 2013, Bakersfield Californian:

Amended Vidak financials reveal more than $200,000 in previously unreported salary

BY THEO DOUGLAS Californian staff writer

Farmer Andy Vidak on Wednesday revealed new details on four business interests that were not originally disclosed on his campaign financial forms.Vidak’s amended Statement of Economic Interest, dated Wednesday, officially confirms and expands upon information that the candidate previously mentioned only briefly on his campaign website and in a debate last week in Bakersfield.

Vidak’s amendment to his 700 form discloses that he raises cattle and grows cherries on property his father owns in Orosi; that he manages a lettuce-cooling plant in Fremont; and that he worked as a trucking dispatcher in Tulare for a month in the fall of 2012.

The revelations represent more than $200,000 in previously undisclosed salary for Vidak, and more than $25,000 in previously undisclosed property holdings.

Leticia Perez, who is 5th District Kern County Supervisor, said her opponent has a careless attitude toward voters in this election.

“It leaves me wondering what else is he hiding,” Perez said. “Here we have someone who, before he’s even been elected — and we know how the general public feels about public officials, that they become jaded and corrupt — he continues to deceive the voters and it’s not even Election Day yet.”

Read the full story on the Bakersfield Californian website.

Read More
04 Jul
0

FCDCC adopts resolution calling for simplification of solar permitting

At its July 3 General Meeting, the Fresno County Democratic Central Committee adopted the following resolution calling for simplification of solar permitting:

5. Simplification of Solar Permitting

From Chip Ashley: It has come to my attention that both the City of Fresno and the County of Fresno need to simplify the solar permitting process.  Therefore I am going to include in the July 3 FCDCC meeting package the attached resolution (and appendices), calling for letters to be sent to both entities.

Resolution to send letters recommending simplification of residential and small commercial solar permitting to the City of Fresno and Fresno County

Whereas solar energy benefits all residents of Fresno County by reducing harmful emissions and delivering reliable peak electricity when our grid needs it most; solar energy generates more jobs per Megawatt (MW) than any other energy technology; and simplifying solar permitting in our county will develop the rooftop solar local market, bringing with it substantial economic opportunity; and

Whereas streamlining the permitting process will benefit city and county staff by reducing the amount of time spent answering questions and reviewing each application (as solar grows in popularity, the permitting process runs the risk of overwhelming staff if the permitting process is not made more efficient); and

Whereas such improvements can be done without compromising the safety and quality of the solar installations in Fresno County;

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the Fresno County Democratic Central Committee will send letters recommending simplification of residential and small commercial solar permitting to the City of Fresno and Fresno County and follow up by requesting at public meetings of these bodies votes to direct the simplification of solar permitting in both jurisdictions.

The letter:

Fresno County Democratic Party

July 3, 2013

 

Fresno County Board of Supervisors

2281 Tulare Street, #301, Hall of Records

Honorable Board Member:

I am writing on behalf of the Fresno County Democratic Central Committee, which voted at its last meeting, July 3, 2013, to request that you consider improving solar permitting practices in Fresno County. The good news is that according to Project Permit, a project of the Vote Solar Initiative, Fresno County’s solar permitting process is already rated good. However, Fresno County falls below best practices (visit www.projectpermit.org). The Fresno County Democratic Party therefore requests the Fresno County Board of Supervisors to pass a motion to improve and streamline solar permitting.

According to Project Permit Fresno County’s Solar Permitting Report Card (attached), Fresno County falls below best practices in three areas: (1) not posting requirements online, (2) not allowing online processing of permits, and (3) charging unreasonable permitting fees.

Solar energy benefits all residents of Fresno County by reducing harmful emissions and delivering reliable peak electricity when our grid needs it most. The permitting process in our city should be streamlined in recognition of the public benefits solar energy provides our community. Solar energy generates more jobs per Megawatt (MW) than any other energy technology. By making solar permitting simpler in our county, you will help the rooftop solar local market develop, bringing with it substantial economic development opportunity.

Streamlining the permitting process can also benefit the Fresno County staff by reducing the amount of time that must be spent answering questions and reviewing each application. As solar grows in popularity the permitting process runs the risk of overwhelming staff if the permitting process is not made more efficient. The improvements called for by Project Permit can be done without compromising the safety and quality of the solar installations in Fresno County.

A sample administrative order that includes language to ensure that Fresno County adopts Project Permit’s nine best practices in solar permitting is attached to this letter. I look forward to working with your office to ensure that this administrative order moves forward.

Sincerely,

Chip Ashley
Secretary
Fresno County Democratic Party

Read More
03 Jul
0

FCDCC adopts resolution calling for a medical training facillity in downtown Fresno

The Fresno County Democratic Central Committee adopted the following resolution at its General Meeting July 3, 2013.

Resolution Supporting Building a Medical Training Facility in Downtown Fresno

Whereas the Fresno area needs a medical training facility to supply health care professionals to work in Fresno’s many healthcare facilities, the largest of which is Downtown Fresno’s Community Regional Medical Center, which can provide a location for the training center’s students to intern;

Whereas Fresno recently adopted a general plan update based on smart growth and opposed to sprawl development outside Fresno’s existing sphere of influence because sprawl contributes to air pollution and climate change, and lack of adequate public transit makes access to an exurban campus impossible for many potential students and faculty who do not possess or cannot drive automobiles;

Whereas Downtown Fresno needs development for the purpose of revitalization and a vibrant economy that creates permanent and well-paying jobs within the traditionally underserved, low income areas of the City’s urban core and neglected neighborhoods;

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the FCDCC supports building a medical training campus in Downtown Fresno but opposes building such a facility outside the city’s sphere of influence because an exurban facility does not meet the requirements of smart growth, the foundational principle of Fresno’s General Plan, or the needs of many potential students and faculty because of the lack of adequate public transit.

 

Read More
03 Jul
0

FCDCC adopts resolution in support of Autism Awareness

The Fresno County Democratic Central Committee adopted the following resolution at its General Meeting July 3, 2013.

Resolution in Support of Autism Awareness

WHEREAS, autism is a pervasive developmental disorder affecting the social learning, communication, and behavior skills of those affected by it; and as more and more health professionals become proficient in diagnosing autism, more and more children are being diagnosed on the autism spectrum, resulting in rates as high as 1 in 88 children and 1 in 53 male children, across the country; and

WHEREAS, while there is no cure for autism, it is well documented that if individuals with autism receive treatment early in their lives, it often is possible for those individuals to lead significantly improved lives; and

WHEREAS, Autism Speaks is one of the organizations nationally spearheading an awareness effort in order to educate, parents, professional and the general public about autism and its effects, in addition to providing research, advocacy, and services for those affected and their families;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, The Fresno County Democratic Central Committee does hereby urge all members Statewide to support and participate in Autism Awareness events, and retroactively proclaim the month of April as “Autism Awareness Month” in order to become better educated on the subject of autistic spectrum disorders and in turn help to educate our communities abroad.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, The Fresno County Democratic Central Committee will support initiatives that advance and support Autism domestically and internationally on the local, state and national level.

Read More
01 Jul
0

Selma ‘Meet and Greet’ for Leticia Perez scheduled July 3

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Selma Councilmember Jim Avalos and local Democratic leaders Doug and Estella Kessler invite you to attend a meet-and-greet event for SD16 Democratic candidate Leticia Perez. The meet and greet is scheduled 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, July 3, at Sal’s Restaurant, 2163 Park Street in Selma (map). For more information, contact the Leticia Perez for Senate 2013 campaign at (559) 513-0554.

Read More
26 Jun
0

Vote-by-mail ballots for Leticia Perez SD16 election arriving this week

Vote-by-mail ballots for the SD16 race are arriving in the homes of registered voters this week. If you’ve chosen to vote by mail, keep an eye out for your ballot.

When you receive it, follow the instructions on the ballot and envelope closely, then mark your ballot for Leticia Perez and send it back in the envelope provided right away.

Read More
26 Jun
0

CYD sponsoring ‘Walk for Perez’ this weekend; volunteers still needed for phone banking

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The California Young Democrats (CYD) invite all Democrats and supporters to help elect Leticia Perez in SD16 by participating in the ‘Young Dems Invasion’ walk this weekend. The CYD will be walking for Perez during two shifts this weekend:

  • 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, June 29; and
  • 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, June 30.

The weather promises to be a challenge, so they’ll want to have as many boots on the ground as possible. To participate, RSVP to Leticia4Senate@gmail.com, then meet before your shift at Perez for SD16’s Fresno headquarters, 480 N. Fulton Street.

Additionally, volunteers are still needed for the ongoing phone banking and precinct walks for Democratic candidate Leticia Perez. Volunteer shifts are as follows:

Precinct Walkers:

  • 4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays
  • 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays
  • 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays

Phone Bankers:

  • 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday

To volunteer, sign up by calling 559-523-0554 or via e-mail at leticia4senate@gmail.com.

Read More