Monday, November 5, 2012
JUMPING THE AISLE…Squid’s been addicted to a few reality TV shows over the years, but then the Romney-Obama race began, and Squid felt a certain civic-minded smugness about spending hours glued to cable television while chowing down on shrimp-flavored popcorn. Presidential politics are not only more interesting, but more important than Jersey Shore, right?
Then along came a fierce challenger in the District 5 county supervisor race, and Squid’s interest in the presidential hullabaloo waned. Marc Del Piero is giving four-term incumbent Dave Potter a serious run for his money, thanks largely to supporters in strange places; the Republican has drawn over half of his campaign funds from open-space advocates.
Classic conservatives, meanwhile, have done a 180 and are supporting Potter, who was once upon a time viewed as a true progressive and environmentalist. (Those winds started shifting after the erstwhile Coastal Commissioner cast his vote in favor of a larger-than-life buildout on Pebble Beach.)
Now, it’s Republicans—in the businesses of construction and real estate, mostly—who are doting on Potter. A letter headed “Conservative Community Leaders in Support of Dave Potter for Supervisor” recently went out to fellow Republicans, urging rightwingers to vote for the Dem in the race.
The signatories are a veritable who’s who of local Republican power, not to mention construction and hospitality interests: Paul Bruno of the Monterey County Republican Party and principal of Monterey Peninsula Engineering; Don Chapin, president of the conservative Salinas Valley Leadership Group PAC and president of the Don Chapin Company; Realtor and Monterey Mayor Chuck Della Sala; David Bernahl, Coastal Luxury Management founder and former vice-chair of the Northern California Lincoln Club, a GOP stronghold; architect and former Carmel Mayor Jeanne Byrne; Laguna Seca Golf Ranch president and Monterey County Hospitality Association president Gary Cursio. Most of them, or their businesses, have also thrown a few dollars in Potter’s direction.
If that wasn’t enough to suggest developer were trying to buy off Potter, the Building Industry Association of the Bay Area PAC swooped in with a late $10,000 gift after the Weekly last reported on dueling District 5 donors, making the group one of Potter’s five biggest givers.
Potter’s cred in the business community comes partly for his commitment to “recovery and replacement of jobs that were lost when Fort Ord closed,” according to the letter, but funny thing, Squid can’t remember a horse-racing track from those days. But then again memory, when you ask local pols, seems to be a fickle thing.