A conservative activist is fighting a tax plan to benefit Fresno parks. And he’s raising the specter of controversial Fresno State English professor Randa Jarrar in a bid for success.
Tal Cloud of Common Sense Information, a 527 political organization, released an audio advertisement Monday denouncing the Fresno for Parks plan, which would raise an estimated $37 million a year with a 3/8ths of a percent sales tax.
Cloud said the ads will run on KMJ (580 AM/105.9 FM), Power Talk 96.7 and Kiss Country (93.7 FM). The goal is to discourage Fresno residents from signing petitions that would put the tax on the November ballot.
In the 60 second ad narrated by Cloud, he mentions that part of the tax would promote cultural arts.
“You know that kind of art and free speech that a Fresno State professor could come and talk about former First Lady Barbara Bush and what the professor thinks about her as First Lady and first mom to two former presidents of the United States.”
That reference is to Jarrar, who caused controversy with her Twitter comments ridiculing Bush after her passing in April. Jarrar has been on leave but is scheduled to return in the fall.
(By the way, Barbara Bush was “first mom” to only one U.S. president, George W. Bush. But she was First Lady during the presidency of her husband, George Herbert Walker Bush.)
“The parks tax has a 10% arts (component) and if (Jarrar) wants, she can rant on any issue she wants if that is what the unelected board wants to have,” Cloud said in an email to GV Wire.
Cloud actually shortchanged the arts component —12% is set aside. He is correct that the proposed tax would set up a nine-member oversight board, picked by the mayor and city council.
He also expressed concern that public safety might be threatened if there is an economic downturn and funds from the parks tax wouldn’t be able to be used elsewhere.
Cloud sent the ad out through email. It was accompanied by a note soliciting donations to battle the parks plan, which he called a “BILLION DOLLAR” mistake.
Denham Denied Entry
(Denham portion of video begins at the 20-second mark.)
Congressman Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) wanted to visit a center in the Bay Area housing children of detained immigrants Monday. The facility run by Southwest Key refused him entry.
ABC 7 was among the media following Denham to the Pleasant Hill facility as he rang the bell. But no one answered.
A plainclothes security guard eventually told Denham that employees inside the center were told not to answer the door or speak to him.
“I want transparency. This is a federally funded facility,” Denham told the TV station.
“If you’ve got nothing to hide, I’d think you would want not only members of Congress to see, who are actually trying to write new laws to fix the situation, but I’d think you’d want the media to know as well. We want to make sure safety comes first for these kids.”
Miller Requests a Recount
As expected, Daren Miller officially has requested a recount for the Fresno City Council District 3 race.
Fresno County Elections Clerk Brandi Orth certified the results last week. Miller fell six votes shy of second-place finisher Tate Hill.
If the results stand, Hill and Miguel Arias will advance to the November general election.
By law, Orth must begin the recount within seven days, or by Monday, July 9. The extent of how many votes will be recounted and the cost are still to be determined.
If the recount puts Miller ahead of Hill, his recount payments would be returned.
Fresno Council Candidate Financials
It is the election lull for Fresno City Council candidates, but here’s an update on the financial info of those who remain in the races after the primary (cash figures through May 19):
|Candidate||Position||Cash Raised Total||Cash on Hand
|Esmeralda Soria*||District 1||$125,529||$112,904
|Miguel Arias||District 3||$44,231||$15,781
|Daren Miller||District 3||$29,560||$5,276
|Tate Hill||District 3||$33,575||$23,999
|Luis Chavez||District 5||$86,233||$69,338
|Paula Yang||District 5||$24,977||$1,171
|Nelson Esparza||District 7||$111,240||$44,808
|Brian Whalen||District 7||$221,726||$134,442