Simmons Leads Council Fund-Raising Race

Incumbent reports contributions of $27,195; challengers document donations ranging from $10,000 to $16,000.

The thickest report down at the city clerk's office in Walnut Creek belongs to the incumbent, Bob Simmons, the mayor, running for re-election to the City Council Nov. 6.

Friday, Oct. 5, was a filing deadline for candidate statements for the Walnut Creek City Council race. Simmons' report is the thickest with the most pages, reflecting the largest number of donors and dollars. In the reporting period of July 1 through Sept. 30, Simmons reported total contributions of $27,195 from 145 people.

The paper reports are available for citizens to look at in the city clerk's office on the third floor of City Hall, 1666 N. Main St. The reports will be scanned electronically and available digitally on the city's website by the end of the work week, Oct. 12, said City Clerk Suzie Martinez.

Contributions reported by candidates (all listed except Kish Rajan cover the period from July 1 to Sept. 30 ):

  • incumbent Bob Simmons — Reporting $27,195 in contributions from 145 people and expenditures of $16,710. The biggest category of donors was "retiree" for Simmons, a retired attorney.
  • incumbent Kish Rajan (filed as candidate but not pursuing re-election; Rajan's filings reflect Jan. 1 through Sept. 30) — 
  • Barry Grove — Reporting $16,371 in contributions and $12,262 in expenditures. Grove, a deputy district attorney in Contra Costa County, listed 48 contributions ranging from $25 to $1,000 listed collectively from five individuals at a Walnut Creek law firm and insurance agency. There were a number of contributions from lawyers, staff at the district attorney's office and police officers.
  • Loella Haskew — Reporting $12,615 in contributions and $8,704 in expenditures. Haskew, a Certified Public Accountant, listed 76 contributors ranging from $50 to $160. Many contributions came from businesses in town, some people in the financial field and local businesspeople.
  • Justin Wedel — Listing $10,638 in contributions and expenditures of $6,047. There were 69 contributors ranging from $10 to $160. Wedel, an entrepreneur in the information technology field, listed contributions from financial services people, many retirees and $150 from the Republican Club of Rossmoor.


In other city election news, the Contra Costa Times a week ago endorsed Wedel, Simmons and Haskew for the three seats on the City Council.

Disappointed October 08, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Hello Lance. My wife is a pretty well known insider among Walnut Creek’s arts community. We attended DRAA’s Gala and had a great time. I got my wife’s permission to write this as long as I don’t use her name. A recent communication was sent out to members of the arts community insinuating the LCA would close down if Loella Haskew wasn’t elected. The overarching message was the other candidates don’t support the arts and would like to see the LCA closed. I haven’t heard any of them bad mouth the arts or talk about closing the LCA. On the contrary I like the talk of balancing city services like public safety, the arts and infrastructure I’ve heard from Simmons, Barry Grove and Justin Wedel. Word is this effort is organized by Councilperson Silva. I am hoping Patch will reach out to her, candidate Haskew and City Manager Nordhoff for an official comment on this. I will withhold more information until they respond on the record. I would like to know if city employees and or elected leaders used public resources (mailing lists from the LCA for example) to solicit money and influence political outcomes. Will any city official show you these communications? Finally what evidence is there that any of the other candidates will close the LCA? I know you are an arts supporter like my wife and I Lance. However this “underground” effort to apparently discredit other candidates struck us as lowbrow and left a very bad taste. Walnut Creek is better than this.
Jim October 08, 2012 at 07:44 PM
I'd like to see responses to these questions as well. Fear mongering unfortunately works in politics.
Jojo Potato October 08, 2012 at 10:34 PM
Whoa! So Cindy is pitting her library against the RCA? What a bunch of little people running the city making up scare tactics like this. And BTW why does it take so long to get the donors list up on the web site? Last I looked it is the 21st century. Give me the docs and I'll have 'em up tomorrow.
Barry Grove October 08, 2012 at 11:30 PM
I am sad to hear of such divisive, fear-mongering tactics. I sincerely hope it is not true. It is true that I come from a public safety background, but I am also, and foremost, a citizen of Walnut Creek. I believe that our Arts and Recreation programs make us a better city and add to the quality of life we all enjoy. I also understand that we are able to enjoy that quality of life when we provide adequate public safety services. There is no reason one has to be pitted against the other. We can, and will, be able to do both. With correct decisions and long term planning beyond the next election there is no reason we should have folks worried about wholesale cutting of arts and recreation programs. Nor, should we have people worried that public safety will further detoriate. Sincerely, Barry Grove Candidate for Walnut Creek City Council
Lance Howland (Editor) October 09, 2012 at 12:54 AM
'Disappointed' -- This reads a little like an email I might receive rather than a comment on a Patch story. If you want to forward me that email to lance.howland@patch.com, I'm interested in looking at it and evaluating whether I should investigate further. Right now I have a summary of an anonymous communication coming from an anonymous emailer that makes claims on behalf of a candidate. As to "insinuating the (Lesher Center for the Arts) would close," I sure would like to see the wording on that instead of a paraphrase. Perhaps the candidate reads this and wants to respond — we're open to that. Later in this comment stream, we hear from another candidate. -- Lance Howland, editor, Walnut Creek Patch
SR October 09, 2012 at 02:03 AM
Lance, you weren't around for the 2010 election but your predecessor, Martha Ross, reported on very similar tactics by the Silva camp. Why shouldn't this be public? Why an email to just you? If it's not true I'm sure it can be quickly denied in a one line response to an inquiry by a member of the media (I.e. you!).
Lance Howland (Editor) October 09, 2012 at 02:19 AM
SR: I'm not saying it shouldn't be public. I'm saying: Send me this email and let me evaluate. I've written a few stories based on off-the-record sources. But in those I had a lot more information than I do now ... -- Lance Howland, editor, Walnut Creek.
michael frederick October 09, 2012 at 08:56 AM
Disappointed, WC isn't "better than this." In fact, undermining public confidence in the city and its representatives reflects the political understanding of someone who uses contacts gained through leading a city organized library effort to gain election. DRAA as a political wing of City Hall is nothing new. DRAA Director White made an impassioned plea in front of Council on Oct. 16, 2008 for Neiman Marcus. The next thing you know, Yes on Walnut Creek is led by Wynstra, Wilk, Haskew, and others who know they like Art, and little else. Downtown development is left as an Art Club fundraiser. Similarly, if one checks out Haskew's endorsers on her website -- the number of Library supporters is staggering: Silva, Abrams (x2), Hicks, Rainey, Regalia, Friedman, Carlston, Del Beccaro, Longshore-DeGolia, Donahoe, Bob and Cindy Brittain, Wynstra, Worthy, Anderson ... Over 1/3 of Haskew's endorsers come from the same library clump that blew off the public and reason, to leave this city financially desperate in the face of the worst economy in 80 years! This seems particularly noteworthy as Hicks, Carlston, Del Beccaro, DeGolia, Brittain, Anderson ... just made a collective plea before Council for further library funding. See Peggy White, DRAA, above... I hope more people will begin to see the big picture and promote Walnut Creek -- as opposed to undermining it for shopping, Art, open-space, library, coin collecting ... Thanks to you and the Mrs. for sharing.
Jerry October 09, 2012 at 04:11 PM
It's great to read -- between the lines, of course -- how many people believe Loella Haskew will likely win a seat on the Council. Such nasty, unfounded and indefensible diatribes are rarely wasted on also-ran's.
michael frederick October 09, 2012 at 05:58 PM
"Jerry", You must be Jerry Hicks. It says a lot about the intellect of someone -- to be picked out of a crowd of 70,000 as "Jerry", doesn't it? See above under Library special interest: That's you and the Mrs.!!! Thanks for critiquing those with an opinion, as your only opinion. I can assure you nothing I say in this city is "nasty, unfounded and indefensible." That's why I'm able to proudly use my own, full, name ... "Jerry."
Ralph Hoffmann October 10, 2012 at 02:09 AM
Bob's a shoo in for re-elction. Beyond that, I'm not sure, except we don't need anyther attorney on the Council.
David P October 10, 2012 at 05:15 AM
I believe that you need clear evidence before you condemn someone or something. Lance is correct that he should see the full email and check the source prior to continuing on the item. Michael -- sometimes your comments can be seen as nasty, and sometimes they are mean and pointed with little to back them up. And your opinion is obviously our opinion, but you sometimes espouse your opinion as fact...and that is often far from the case. It is also unfair to the target(s) of your comments. Further, I doubt you have any evidence that "Jerry" is who you say he is; maybe, by chance, it is just a guy named Jerry in WC or the surrounding area. But you put in print that you know who is "must be" and condemn someone for what he may not have done. No fair!! I really wish we could have everyone identify themselves and be polite on this forum, as we should in every forum we deal with. Maybe we can all start that right now. David P.
michael frederick October 10, 2012 at 09:07 AM
David P, Thanks for sharing. My "opinion", as with the above, usually comes with a substantiation and context that conveniently escapes you. Yours, as here, does not. That they are both "opinions" is where any similarity ends. I would hope anyone reading your "opinion" and mine could make that distinction. If they can't, they probably shouldn't drive or vote and they definitely shouldn't be Council-appointed anything. If you'd like to grace us, for instance, with your perspective on the insignificance of 1/3 of Haskew's support coming from library advocates, at a time when the same library advocates are actively lobbying for city funding -- PLEASE do so. As a WALNUT CREEK Council-appointed commissioner, do you think this is something voters should be cognizant of or is this just "nasty" and "mean"? Please elaborate. Unlike the politically conniving amongst us, my opinions are honest and public. "Targets" are free to respond honestly and publicly. That they usually choose not to is probably significant. I'd be delighted, for instance, to have "Jerry Hicks" log on to address why my act to "condemn" him (IN YOUR WORDS) for being associated with the "condemn"able commentary above is misplaced -- really rip "Jerry" a new one! Why don't you give him a call with this suggestion, to easily end any suffering he may feel as an undeserving "target"?
Jim October 10, 2012 at 02:46 PM
This can all be solved by PATCH simply sending an email asking if there is any truth to this stuff. If there isn't Ms. Haskew and Councilmember Silva can say so and everyone else can shut up. However, this is serious stuff. Potential violations of state election law on one extreme or maybe just dirty political tactics on the other. The candidates have all read this already and it makes the Haskew people look guilty by not responding. If it did occur but Ms. Haskew didn't know about it she should say so as well. Sooner or later someone's going to release a copy and not commenting now is going to make it look WAY worse. “Secret guilt is by silence revealed.” -John Dryden
Julie Jepsen-Grant October 10, 2012 at 03:18 PM
If Mr. Howland contacts 'Disappointed' by email, 'Disappointed's' wife is then revealed. Dear 'Disappointed' if you have an email. Print it out. Cut off your contact info on it and snail mail it to Mr. Howland. Then, we hope Mr. Howland will put on his Journalism hat and let the Real People of Walnut Creek know. But we know it is very hard to 'bite the hand that feeds you'. And being a college educated journalist myself (I know, I should have gotten a different degree) I hate writing! Remember what they taught us? Journalists don't have friends, just sources, and a cold cup of java. Good luck.
Edna Sovanquist October 11, 2012 at 02:22 PM
These tactics are shameful. Ms. Haskew lost my support.
One more time with feeling October 30, 2012 at 01:03 AM
Thank you Mr. Grove for commenting on this. Now that at least two posters said this email happened, is there some sort of legal action against this kind of fear-mongering tactic? Two years ago CERT volunteers were told not to vote for a certain candidate because this candidate would shut down the CERT program. Perhaps this same group of insiders are trying a similar tactic - this cycle using the Lesher Center. "Disappointed" is no longer the only one reporting the existence of the "questionable" email http://walnutcreek.patch.com/articles/opinion-public-safety-is-no-1-priority#comments (scroll down to Darlene Mendez' comment) Ms Mendez, if you would be so kind as to forward the email you received to Lance Howland (Editor). Thank you.


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