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Is Anti-Parks Tax Ad Evoking Randa Jarrar Fair? Listen and Decide.



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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.

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David Taub
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.”

Randa Jarrar
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.
Photo of Fresno conservative activist Tal Cloud
Tal Cloud
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.
Listen to the ad here.

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.”
Read the full story here.

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

* Unopposed.

David Taub has spent most of his career in journalism behind the scenes working as a TV assignment editor and radio producer. For more than a decade, he has worked in the Fresno market with such stops at KSEE-24, KMJ and Power Talk 96.7. Taub also worked the production and support side of some of TV sports biggest events including the Super Bowl, the NBA Finals and NASCAR to name a few. Taub graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email