Will Brand Be Kingmaker in Council Races?
Mayor Lee Brand is taking an active role in the Fresno City Council races.
Tate Hill is the latest candidate to receive the mayor’s blessing. Brand sent a fundraising email Thursday on Hill’s behalf, asking donors to contribute to the campaign of the District 3 candidate.
Hill is one of seven candidates to succeed Oliver Baines, who is termed out. In addition, Hill has Baines’ backing.
Brand also has endorsed incumbent District 5 councilman Luis Chavez and District 7 candidate Brian Whelan.
This election is pivotal for the mayor, as voters could swing the council majority from its conservative leanings to one with more liberal attitudes.
Where Are McCarthy & Nunes on Immigration Reform?
Two Valley Republicans are leading a rare procedural move to allow the entire House of Representatives to vote on a series of immigration bills. Since distributing what is known as a discharge petition, only four more have signed on, bringing the total to 19. The petition needs 218 (or one more than half of the House) to force a floor vote.
Congressmen David Valadao (R-Hanford) and Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) affixed their names on Day One. If successful, the gambit would bypass House Republican leadership’s power to call (or in this case not call) a vote on the issue.
However, Denham and Valadao apparently are doing this without the backing of two influential Republicans.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) expressed doubt about the need for the petition.
“I’m not a believer in discharge petitions because you’re turning the floor over to Democrats,” he told The Hill. “I hope the discharge petition doesn’t get the signatures and we continue to work the legislative process to solve this problem.”
Meanwhile, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Tulare) has yet to sign the petition.
The Hill says even if every member of the Democratic caucus signs on, the petition still needs 25 Republican signatures. The 19 signers include just one Democrat, Rep. Diana DeGette of Colorado. The expectation is the few Democrats will join DeGette — unless the petition gets 25 Republican signatures.
A similar effort in the Senate failed in February.
School Named for Poet Laureate
Sorry Derek Carr, Jerry Dyer and Ashley Swearengin. No school name for you.
Congratulations to Juan Felipe Herrera, the former U.S. Poet Laureate (2015-17) who was born in Fowler and taught at Fresno State. The Fresno Unified school board voted to name a new elementary school at Church and Peach avenues in his honor.
The trustees picked Herrera over the former Fresno State quarterback, Fresno police chief and former city mayor, whose names appeared in a community survey.
My pick for the school’s nickname? The Poets, of course. That makes more sense than Wildcats, or an NFL team name and logo.
The board voted 4-3 for Herrera. Claudia Cazares, Cal Johnson, Christopher De La Cerda and Brooke Ashjian voted in favor; Carol Mills, Valerie Davis and Elizabeth Jonasson Rosas voted against.
Mills and Davis preferred naming the school for the late Judge Armando Rodriguez. Perhaps that can be the name for the next new school in the district.
A late night for the @fresnounified Board — Thx @BrookeAshjian and fellow Trustees, DeLaCerda, Cazares & Johnson, for voting to name the district’s new elementary school for two-time U.S. Poet Laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera. A role model and leader in Literary Arts & Humanities. pic.twitter.com/c0EbTnvsle
— Larry Salinas (@Larry_Salinas) May 10, 2018
The Fresno County Board of Education provides the last hope for two Fresno charter school efforts.
The Fresno Unified school board followed staff’s recommendation and rejected the renewal of the Kepler Neighborhood School charter by a 5-2 vote.
And, the Central Unified school board voted to deny establishing a charter for the Augustus Academy for Creative Arts and Technology on a 5-1 vote.
Either school can appeal the decision to the county board.
Fresno Council Happenings
This week’s Fresno City Council meeting yielded little drama or news.
The Council voted 5-1 to reimburse the Fresno County Transportation Authority $250,000 to buy land for potential use as the heavy maintenance yard for high-speed rail. A possible location is along Cedar Avenue in south Fresno. Steve Brandau cast the lone no vote, with Clint Olivier absent.
The city will now own, and not lease, its fire department headquarters. The council agreed to a $4.4 million transaction to buy the building at 911 H Street in downtown Fresno. The fire department has occupied the facility for the last 11 years. Clint Olivier voted no, saying the city should be selling property, not buying it.
Hey, Big Spender
Here’s a look at $1,000+ donors to local candidates since they filed their quarterly financial numbers last month.
|Lee Brand||Mayor 2020||California Conference Board Amalgamated Transit Union||$7,000|
|Fresno Police Officers Association PAC||$5,000|
Notes: Brand’s full fundraising figures won’t come out until the summer. He held another fundraiser this week at the Banker’s Ballroom, with a “fiesta” theme.
|Esmeralda Soria||Fresno City Council, District 1||California Laborers for Equality and Progress Small Contributor Committee||$4,400|
|Fresno City Employees Association PAC||$2,500|
|Sheet Metal Workers International Association Local No. 104 PAC||$1,000|
Notes: Soria has already reached six-figures in her fundraising for a race she is unopposed. And, she’s having another fundraiser May 22 at the Five Restaurant, hosted by Judy Peracchi, Coke Hallowell, Bryn Forhan and Joan Eaton. … Soria has donated $2,500 to the account of Miguel Arias (see below).
|Miguel Arias||Fresno City Council, District 3||Zamora’s Electric Inc||$2,000|
|Soria for City Council 2018||$2,500|
|Tate Hill||Fresno City Council, District 3||Fresno Chamber PAC||$1,000|
|Daren Miller||Fresno City Council, District 3||Central Valley Progressive PAC||$1,000|
|Craig Scharton||Fresno City Council, District 3||Fresno Chamber PAC||$1,000|
|Brad Hardie, owner Regency Property Management||$1,200|
Notes: Larry Burrus hasn’t raised money, but filed documents showing he’s spent $8,167 on campaign materials. … The Fresno Chamber donated to both Hill and Scharton. … Hardie is a member of the Fresno Planning Commission. He also donated to Luis Chavez and Brian Whelan (see below).
|Luis Chavez||Fresno City Council, District 5||California Laborers for Equality and Progress Small Contributor Committee||$4,400|
|Brad Hardie, owner Regency Property Management||$2,500|
|Fresno Chamber PAC||$1,000|
|Fresno City Employees Association PAC||$2,500|
|Nelson Esparza||Fresno City Council, District 7||Fresno Chamber PAC||$1,000|
|C.O.P.E. Fresno Madera Tulare Kings Central Labor Council||$2,500|
|California Laborers for Equality and Progress Small Contributor Committee||$4,400|
|Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association Local No 104||$4,400|
|Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 497||$8,800|
|UA Local Union 228||$1,000|
|IBEW Local #100 C.O.P.E||$1,000|
|U.A. Local 342 PAC Fund||$8,800 (two donations of $4,400 each)|
|Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 447||$5,000|
|Plumbing Industry Consumer Protection Fund||$1,000|
|Southern California Pipe Trades District Council #16||$8,800|
|Veva Islas||Fresno City Council, District 7||Keith Hooker (husband)||$2,400|
|Douglas Sterne (retired of Lafayette, CA)||$1,000|
|Jeane Samuelsen (retired of Lafayette, CA)||$1,000|
|Central Valley Progressive PAC||$2,200|
|Dr. Joaquin Arambula for Assembly 2018||$2,500|
|Paul E. Pierce, facilitator/trainer||$1,100|
|Brian Whelan||Fresno City Council, District 7||Fresno Chamber PAC||$1,000|
|Brad Hardie, owner Regency Property Management||$1,900|
|Donaghy Sales, LLC||$1,000|
|Fast N Easy #4 Corporation||$2,100|
|Valley Wide Beverage Company||$1,000|
|Campos Land Company||$5,000 (two donations of $4,400 and $600)|
|Fresno City Firefighters||$3,000|
Notes: The money is pouring into District 7. It’s interesting that Esparza has received strong support from both unions along with a $1,000 from the Fresno Chamber of Commerce. The chamber also gave $1,000 to Whelan. A chamber spokesperson said the donations do not mean an endorsement. That is likely to come after the primary.
|Brian Pacheco||Fresno County Supervisor, District 1||UA Local 246 Plumbers and Pipefitters COPE Committee||$3,000|
|Pat Abercrombie of Abercrombie Farms||$2,500|
|Penny Newman Grain, Inc.||$5,000|
|Sheet Metal Workers International Association PAC||$1,000|
|California Laborers for Equality and Progress||$3,000|
|Fresno County Prosecutors Association PAC||$1,000|
|Oscar Garcia||Fresno County Auditor-Controller||Richard F. Spencer||$3,000 (two donations of $500 and $2,500)|
|Mendes for Supervisor||$15,000|
|Buddy Mendes||Fresno County Supervisor, District 4||Marvin Meyers||$2,000|
Pacheco picks up more donations. Coincidentally, he started running TV ads.
|Roger Wilson||Fresno County Superior Court Judge, Office No. 4||Roger T. Nuttall, Inc.||$1,000|
|William Terrence||Fresno County Superior Court Judge, Office No. 4||Clark Bros Farming||$1,000|
|Richard F. Spencer (developer)||$2,500|
|Terra Bella Ranch||$2,500|
|Assemi Group Inc.||$2,500|
|Robert Mangano||Fresno County Superior Court Judge, Office No. 8||Thomas E Campagne (attorney)||$5901.72|
|Albert Ramirez Bail Bonds||$1,000 (two donations of $500 each)|
|Assemi Group Inc.||$2,500|
|C-III Construction Inc||$1,000|
|Carlos Cabrera (Superior Court Judge)||$1,000|
|Fresno Plumbing & Heating Inc||$1,000|
|Roger T. Nuttall, Inc||$3,641.57|
|Elene Stefanopoulos, owner Stamoules Produce||$1,000|
|Baradat & Paboojian, Inc Attorneys at Law||$1,000 (two donations of $500 each)|
|Pamela Kallsen (retired)||$2,000|