Questioning Changes in Yamada’s Votes On Two Development Projects

On February 6, 2007 the Yolo County Board of Supervisors met for the entire day to discuss the Yolo County Planning Commission’s recommendations and supplemental staff recommendations for the general plan update.

Included in there was a recommendation to produce massive developments in Dunnigan and a substantial development in Knights Landing.

The Dunnigan specific plan calls for 1995 acres of development for 7500 homes and 230 acres of commercial and industrial. That number was raised from the original proposal of 2500 new residential units.

The Knights landing specific plan calls for 145 acres and up to 800 homes with an additional 38 acres for commercial and industrial development. The staff recommendation at the time was to reduce the number to 650 lots but it was eventually passed for 800 homes.

At the February 6, 2007 Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Yamada cast a no vote for both projects. The Knights Landing project passed by a 3-2 vote with Yamada and Chamberlain voting no.

However, at the July 17, 2007 Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Yamada voted yes for both projects, even though the facts involved were essentially identical. Moreover, the yes vote on the Knights Landing project passed by a 3-2 margin, making her vote the decisive vote. Supervisor Matt Rexroad had switched his initial “yes” vote to a “no” vote out of concerns that the development was in an area prone to flooding.

These votes are highlighted because the financial disclosure for Supervisor Mariko Yamada’s State Assembly Race has come out.

In that disclosure we see that the developers for both projects gave her substantial contributions. Miksal, is associated with the developer involved with the Dunnigan Hills agricultural project donated Yamada $1000 on June 30, 2007, just two and a half weeks prior to the Board of Supervisors meeting.

Meanwhile Castle Development has donated another $1000 to Yamada on June 29, 2007. Castle Development is the developer working on the Knights Landing development.

Given the realities of campaign finance, it is often necessary to take development money in order to finance campaigns that are going to run in the hundreds of thousands of dollars if not higher. However, the rule of thumb has to be that you must be able to insulate yourself from charges that the money is influencing your votes.

Based on the facts alone we cannot make that determination, all we can do is ask the question—other than receiving a campaign contribution did anything else change between February’s vote and July’s vote and what caused Supervisor Yamada to switch from opposing both developments to supporting both developments?

The Vanguard will in the future be looking at the financial disclosure of West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon to see where his money is coming from. Likely we will see a slew of development interests there as well.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

Author

  • David Greenwald

    Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Categories:

Land Use/Open Space

92 comments

  1. The best way to start your investigation process would be to view the videotapes of the two sessions. There was substantial discussion of the policy decisions for both areas on both dates. I have a DVD of the 3/27 deliberations on the General Plan. I will view that DVD myself to see if there are clues there as well.

  2. The best way to start your investigation process would be to view the videotapes of the two sessions. There was substantial discussion of the policy decisions for both areas on both dates. I have a DVD of the 3/27 deliberations on the General Plan. I will view that DVD myself to see if there are clues there as well.

  3. The best way to start your investigation process would be to view the videotapes of the two sessions. There was substantial discussion of the policy decisions for both areas on both dates. I have a DVD of the 3/27 deliberations on the General Plan. I will view that DVD myself to see if there are clues there as well.

  4. The best way to start your investigation process would be to view the videotapes of the two sessions. There was substantial discussion of the policy decisions for both areas on both dates. I have a DVD of the 3/27 deliberations on the General Plan. I will view that DVD myself to see if there are clues there as well.

  5. Burt said…

    Some days I just do not get it.

    For a moment lets except the basic premise of your commentary. Yamada accepted money from a developer and changed her vote.

    What at this point are you suggesting we do about it?

    Vote for Yamada. A friend of our community. Someone, who will push for the ideas that the people of Davis want as well as the entire assembly district. Someone, who historically thinks the way we do. Yamada is a person that has had a large responsibility for the direction taken by Yolo County.

    Vote for Cabaldon. A person we know nothing about. Drive through W.Sacramento, and look at the policies that will be implemented in the assembly district. Cabaldon is someone who thinks exactly the opposite that we do about sprawl and development. Cabaldon is a person that has supervised the last tens years of growth in his community.

    I am not against reporting the facts or having those facts published. You continually comment on public officials taking a public and published stand on every issue. It is a long way to the election. Your commentaries seem more anti Yamada than pro Cabaldon, but in the real world, you are supporting Cabaldon right now.

  6. Burt said…

    Some days I just do not get it.

    For a moment lets except the basic premise of your commentary. Yamada accepted money from a developer and changed her vote.

    What at this point are you suggesting we do about it?

    Vote for Yamada. A friend of our community. Someone, who will push for the ideas that the people of Davis want as well as the entire assembly district. Someone, who historically thinks the way we do. Yamada is a person that has had a large responsibility for the direction taken by Yolo County.

    Vote for Cabaldon. A person we know nothing about. Drive through W.Sacramento, and look at the policies that will be implemented in the assembly district. Cabaldon is someone who thinks exactly the opposite that we do about sprawl and development. Cabaldon is a person that has supervised the last tens years of growth in his community.

    I am not against reporting the facts or having those facts published. You continually comment on public officials taking a public and published stand on every issue. It is a long way to the election. Your commentaries seem more anti Yamada than pro Cabaldon, but in the real world, you are supporting Cabaldon right now.

  7. Burt said…

    Some days I just do not get it.

    For a moment lets except the basic premise of your commentary. Yamada accepted money from a developer and changed her vote.

    What at this point are you suggesting we do about it?

    Vote for Yamada. A friend of our community. Someone, who will push for the ideas that the people of Davis want as well as the entire assembly district. Someone, who historically thinks the way we do. Yamada is a person that has had a large responsibility for the direction taken by Yolo County.

    Vote for Cabaldon. A person we know nothing about. Drive through W.Sacramento, and look at the policies that will be implemented in the assembly district. Cabaldon is someone who thinks exactly the opposite that we do about sprawl and development. Cabaldon is a person that has supervised the last tens years of growth in his community.

    I am not against reporting the facts or having those facts published. You continually comment on public officials taking a public and published stand on every issue. It is a long way to the election. Your commentaries seem more anti Yamada than pro Cabaldon, but in the real world, you are supporting Cabaldon right now.

  8. Burt said…

    Some days I just do not get it.

    For a moment lets except the basic premise of your commentary. Yamada accepted money from a developer and changed her vote.

    What at this point are you suggesting we do about it?

    Vote for Yamada. A friend of our community. Someone, who will push for the ideas that the people of Davis want as well as the entire assembly district. Someone, who historically thinks the way we do. Yamada is a person that has had a large responsibility for the direction taken by Yolo County.

    Vote for Cabaldon. A person we know nothing about. Drive through W.Sacramento, and look at the policies that will be implemented in the assembly district. Cabaldon is someone who thinks exactly the opposite that we do about sprawl and development. Cabaldon is a person that has supervised the last tens years of growth in his community.

    I am not against reporting the facts or having those facts published. You continually comment on public officials taking a public and published stand on every issue. It is a long way to the election. Your commentaries seem more anti Yamada than pro Cabaldon, but in the real world, you are supporting Cabaldon right now.

  9. Calbadon’s exuberant support from developer interests is PAY-BACK for the profits he brought them while mayor of West Sac. Yamada on the other hand,as Supervisor, has earned very few developer campaign CREDITS towards her bid for the Assembly from the powerful Yolo developer interests. Neither one’s position on future development in Yolo County will have any significant weight from the Assemblyperson’s seat. Cabaldon
    is safe(in keeping developer support) to posture about supporting Davis’ control of its peripheral growth since he has now and will have,if our Assembly rep, no power in that regard.In contrast Mariko Yamada IS our Yolo Supervisor rep. Davis voters WANT to support her for Assembly but she MUST represent US as our Supervisor now.

  10. Calbadon’s exuberant support from developer interests is PAY-BACK for the profits he brought them while mayor of West Sac. Yamada on the other hand,as Supervisor, has earned very few developer campaign CREDITS towards her bid for the Assembly from the powerful Yolo developer interests. Neither one’s position on future development in Yolo County will have any significant weight from the Assemblyperson’s seat. Cabaldon
    is safe(in keeping developer support) to posture about supporting Davis’ control of its peripheral growth since he has now and will have,if our Assembly rep, no power in that regard.In contrast Mariko Yamada IS our Yolo Supervisor rep. Davis voters WANT to support her for Assembly but she MUST represent US as our Supervisor now.

  11. Calbadon’s exuberant support from developer interests is PAY-BACK for the profits he brought them while mayor of West Sac. Yamada on the other hand,as Supervisor, has earned very few developer campaign CREDITS towards her bid for the Assembly from the powerful Yolo developer interests. Neither one’s position on future development in Yolo County will have any significant weight from the Assemblyperson’s seat. Cabaldon
    is safe(in keeping developer support) to posture about supporting Davis’ control of its peripheral growth since he has now and will have,if our Assembly rep, no power in that regard.In contrast Mariko Yamada IS our Yolo Supervisor rep. Davis voters WANT to support her for Assembly but she MUST represent US as our Supervisor now.

  12. Calbadon’s exuberant support from developer interests is PAY-BACK for the profits he brought them while mayor of West Sac. Yamada on the other hand,as Supervisor, has earned very few developer campaign CREDITS towards her bid for the Assembly from the powerful Yolo developer interests. Neither one’s position on future development in Yolo County will have any significant weight from the Assemblyperson’s seat. Cabaldon
    is safe(in keeping developer support) to posture about supporting Davis’ control of its peripheral growth since he has now and will have,if our Assembly rep, no power in that regard.In contrast Mariko Yamada IS our Yolo Supervisor rep. Davis voters WANT to support her for Assembly but she MUST represent US as our Supervisor now.

  13. This whole discussion is sooo disappointing.

    I am someone who gave a small check to Supervisor Yamada in the belief that she was an ALTERNATIVE to the current crop of legislators who, like Wolk, Thompson and now Cabaldon, do not seem to be free representatives without ties to dev elopers and corporate interests.

    Unfortunately, Yamada apparently didn’t get this point of her candidacy. Instead of embracing her history of being a real progressive, she has apparently listened to the Sacramento political consultant and begun molding herself into the status-quo politician.

    So, what Cabaldon raised and what Mariko raised isn’t important to me, what is important is that THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE. The only thing apparently left to argue is who is from HERE and who is from OVER THERE, a bit of an outsider/insider debate or the Jets vs. the Sharks. The devil we know vs. the Devil we don’t know.

    There doesn’t seem to be any way to win if each election boils down to folks who are going to just try to mold themselves into the same generic fundraising business oriented machine candidates.

  14. This whole discussion is sooo disappointing.

    I am someone who gave a small check to Supervisor Yamada in the belief that she was an ALTERNATIVE to the current crop of legislators who, like Wolk, Thompson and now Cabaldon, do not seem to be free representatives without ties to dev elopers and corporate interests.

    Unfortunately, Yamada apparently didn’t get this point of her candidacy. Instead of embracing her history of being a real progressive, she has apparently listened to the Sacramento political consultant and begun molding herself into the status-quo politician.

    So, what Cabaldon raised and what Mariko raised isn’t important to me, what is important is that THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE. The only thing apparently left to argue is who is from HERE and who is from OVER THERE, a bit of an outsider/insider debate or the Jets vs. the Sharks. The devil we know vs. the Devil we don’t know.

    There doesn’t seem to be any way to win if each election boils down to folks who are going to just try to mold themselves into the same generic fundraising business oriented machine candidates.

  15. This whole discussion is sooo disappointing.

    I am someone who gave a small check to Supervisor Yamada in the belief that she was an ALTERNATIVE to the current crop of legislators who, like Wolk, Thompson and now Cabaldon, do not seem to be free representatives without ties to dev elopers and corporate interests.

    Unfortunately, Yamada apparently didn’t get this point of her candidacy. Instead of embracing her history of being a real progressive, she has apparently listened to the Sacramento political consultant and begun molding herself into the status-quo politician.

    So, what Cabaldon raised and what Mariko raised isn’t important to me, what is important is that THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE. The only thing apparently left to argue is who is from HERE and who is from OVER THERE, a bit of an outsider/insider debate or the Jets vs. the Sharks. The devil we know vs. the Devil we don’t know.

    There doesn’t seem to be any way to win if each election boils down to folks who are going to just try to mold themselves into the same generic fundraising business oriented machine candidates.

  16. This whole discussion is sooo disappointing.

    I am someone who gave a small check to Supervisor Yamada in the belief that she was an ALTERNATIVE to the current crop of legislators who, like Wolk, Thompson and now Cabaldon, do not seem to be free representatives without ties to dev elopers and corporate interests.

    Unfortunately, Yamada apparently didn’t get this point of her candidacy. Instead of embracing her history of being a real progressive, she has apparently listened to the Sacramento political consultant and begun molding herself into the status-quo politician.

    So, what Cabaldon raised and what Mariko raised isn’t important to me, what is important is that THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE. The only thing apparently left to argue is who is from HERE and who is from OVER THERE, a bit of an outsider/insider debate or the Jets vs. the Sharks. The devil we know vs. the Devil we don’t know.

    There doesn’t seem to be any way to win if each election boils down to folks who are going to just try to mold themselves into the same generic fundraising business oriented machine candidates.

  17. Burt said…

    davisite said…
    Neither one’s position on future development in Yolo County will have any significant weight from the Assembly person’s seat.
    8/1/07 8:41 AM

    Future development, yes I agree. The past is all we really have to make an informed choice on.

    Did Yamada make a mistake in the last few months? Yes. However, over the body of her life’s work, is she someone you would want living next to you? Is Yamada some one you would go to with a concern?

    Is Cabaldon proud of the Development he has lead over the last 10 years. Yes. However, over the body of his life’s work, is he someone you would want living next to you? Is Cabaldon some one you would go to with a concern?

    Does anyone know the difference between W. Sacramento and Southport? My job takes me to a lot of homes all over Yolo County. At one point I considered moving to Southport. As I did my job I began asking the people at those homes what it was like living in the City of W. Sacramento. I would estimate at least 80% corrected me by saying they lived in Southport. If you were a person that has been to as many homes in Southport and W. Sacramento as I have, you would know that there are serious problems in W. Sacramento that have not been addressed.

  18. Burt said…

    davisite said…
    Neither one’s position on future development in Yolo County will have any significant weight from the Assembly person’s seat.
    8/1/07 8:41 AM

    Future development, yes I agree. The past is all we really have to make an informed choice on.

    Did Yamada make a mistake in the last few months? Yes. However, over the body of her life’s work, is she someone you would want living next to you? Is Yamada some one you would go to with a concern?

    Is Cabaldon proud of the Development he has lead over the last 10 years. Yes. However, over the body of his life’s work, is he someone you would want living next to you? Is Cabaldon some one you would go to with a concern?

    Does anyone know the difference between W. Sacramento and Southport? My job takes me to a lot of homes all over Yolo County. At one point I considered moving to Southport. As I did my job I began asking the people at those homes what it was like living in the City of W. Sacramento. I would estimate at least 80% corrected me by saying they lived in Southport. If you were a person that has been to as many homes in Southport and W. Sacramento as I have, you would know that there are serious problems in W. Sacramento that have not been addressed.

  19. Burt said…

    davisite said…
    Neither one’s position on future development in Yolo County will have any significant weight from the Assembly person’s seat.
    8/1/07 8:41 AM

    Future development, yes I agree. The past is all we really have to make an informed choice on.

    Did Yamada make a mistake in the last few months? Yes. However, over the body of her life’s work, is she someone you would want living next to you? Is Yamada some one you would go to with a concern?

    Is Cabaldon proud of the Development he has lead over the last 10 years. Yes. However, over the body of his life’s work, is he someone you would want living next to you? Is Cabaldon some one you would go to with a concern?

    Does anyone know the difference between W. Sacramento and Southport? My job takes me to a lot of homes all over Yolo County. At one point I considered moving to Southport. As I did my job I began asking the people at those homes what it was like living in the City of W. Sacramento. I would estimate at least 80% corrected me by saying they lived in Southport. If you were a person that has been to as many homes in Southport and W. Sacramento as I have, you would know that there are serious problems in W. Sacramento that have not been addressed.

  20. Burt said…

    davisite said…
    Neither one’s position on future development in Yolo County will have any significant weight from the Assembly person’s seat.
    8/1/07 8:41 AM

    Future development, yes I agree. The past is all we really have to make an informed choice on.

    Did Yamada make a mistake in the last few months? Yes. However, over the body of her life’s work, is she someone you would want living next to you? Is Yamada some one you would go to with a concern?

    Is Cabaldon proud of the Development he has lead over the last 10 years. Yes. However, over the body of his life’s work, is he someone you would want living next to you? Is Cabaldon some one you would go to with a concern?

    Does anyone know the difference between W. Sacramento and Southport? My job takes me to a lot of homes all over Yolo County. At one point I considered moving to Southport. As I did my job I began asking the people at those homes what it was like living in the City of W. Sacramento. I would estimate at least 80% corrected me by saying they lived in Southport. If you were a person that has been to as many homes in Southport and W. Sacramento as I have, you would know that there are serious problems in W. Sacramento that have not been addressed.

  21. This posting was in the comments section of another posting, but I think it is important to cross-post to this discussion:

    Follow the Money said…

    Here are the names of people that donated more than $3,000. I am not sure who they all are. Some are obvious, others may require some help from the other posters:

    CC ($3,600) and Mary Yin ($3,000)
    Evan and Dean Unger ($3,600 each)
    Buckeye Pacific Investors Corp ($3,600)
    Lawson Adams ($3,600)
    Randolph Yackzan (Wyatt Properties) ($3,600)
    Brent Christian (Kimley-Horn) ($3,600)
    Five Rivers Partnership ($3,600)
    Thomas Enterprises ($3,600)
    Diepenbrock Harrison ($3,600)
    Cmnr, Inc. ($3,600)
    Jones & Stokes ($3,600)
    William Ishmael ($3,600)
    A. Teichert & Son Inc. ($3,600)

    And it is not clear what really happened on this report, but it looks like Yamada did about $10,000 in transfers from her supervisorial account, and that is why there are a lot of $100 – $1000 donations that have “transaction dates” that go as far back as 2003.

    So, many people listed on her report are being associated with her Assembly Campaign even though they really gave to her supervisorial campaign a long time ago. This is what likely caused the $1,000 Machado contribution that is recorded as being made in November 2003.

    Note that this doesn’t include the knights landing $1,000 check, so there probably is more from developers that a lay person wouldn’t know is developer money.

  22. This posting was in the comments section of another posting, but I think it is important to cross-post to this discussion:

    Follow the Money said…

    Here are the names of people that donated more than $3,000. I am not sure who they all are. Some are obvious, others may require some help from the other posters:

    CC ($3,600) and Mary Yin ($3,000)
    Evan and Dean Unger ($3,600 each)
    Buckeye Pacific Investors Corp ($3,600)
    Lawson Adams ($3,600)
    Randolph Yackzan (Wyatt Properties) ($3,600)
    Brent Christian (Kimley-Horn) ($3,600)
    Five Rivers Partnership ($3,600)
    Thomas Enterprises ($3,600)
    Diepenbrock Harrison ($3,600)
    Cmnr, Inc. ($3,600)
    Jones & Stokes ($3,600)
    William Ishmael ($3,600)
    A. Teichert & Son Inc. ($3,600)

    And it is not clear what really happened on this report, but it looks like Yamada did about $10,000 in transfers from her supervisorial account, and that is why there are a lot of $100 – $1000 donations that have “transaction dates” that go as far back as 2003.

    So, many people listed on her report are being associated with her Assembly Campaign even though they really gave to her supervisorial campaign a long time ago. This is what likely caused the $1,000 Machado contribution that is recorded as being made in November 2003.

    Note that this doesn’t include the knights landing $1,000 check, so there probably is more from developers that a lay person wouldn’t know is developer money.

  23. This posting was in the comments section of another posting, but I think it is important to cross-post to this discussion:

    Follow the Money said…

    Here are the names of people that donated more than $3,000. I am not sure who they all are. Some are obvious, others may require some help from the other posters:

    CC ($3,600) and Mary Yin ($3,000)
    Evan and Dean Unger ($3,600 each)
    Buckeye Pacific Investors Corp ($3,600)
    Lawson Adams ($3,600)
    Randolph Yackzan (Wyatt Properties) ($3,600)
    Brent Christian (Kimley-Horn) ($3,600)
    Five Rivers Partnership ($3,600)
    Thomas Enterprises ($3,600)
    Diepenbrock Harrison ($3,600)
    Cmnr, Inc. ($3,600)
    Jones & Stokes ($3,600)
    William Ishmael ($3,600)
    A. Teichert & Son Inc. ($3,600)

    And it is not clear what really happened on this report, but it looks like Yamada did about $10,000 in transfers from her supervisorial account, and that is why there are a lot of $100 – $1000 donations that have “transaction dates” that go as far back as 2003.

    So, many people listed on her report are being associated with her Assembly Campaign even though they really gave to her supervisorial campaign a long time ago. This is what likely caused the $1,000 Machado contribution that is recorded as being made in November 2003.

    Note that this doesn’t include the knights landing $1,000 check, so there probably is more from developers that a lay person wouldn’t know is developer money.

  24. This posting was in the comments section of another posting, but I think it is important to cross-post to this discussion:

    Follow the Money said…

    Here are the names of people that donated more than $3,000. I am not sure who they all are. Some are obvious, others may require some help from the other posters:

    CC ($3,600) and Mary Yin ($3,000)
    Evan and Dean Unger ($3,600 each)
    Buckeye Pacific Investors Corp ($3,600)
    Lawson Adams ($3,600)
    Randolph Yackzan (Wyatt Properties) ($3,600)
    Brent Christian (Kimley-Horn) ($3,600)
    Five Rivers Partnership ($3,600)
    Thomas Enterprises ($3,600)
    Diepenbrock Harrison ($3,600)
    Cmnr, Inc. ($3,600)
    Jones & Stokes ($3,600)
    William Ishmael ($3,600)
    A. Teichert & Son Inc. ($3,600)

    And it is not clear what really happened on this report, but it looks like Yamada did about $10,000 in transfers from her supervisorial account, and that is why there are a lot of $100 – $1000 donations that have “transaction dates” that go as far back as 2003.

    So, many people listed on her report are being associated with her Assembly Campaign even though they really gave to her supervisorial campaign a long time ago. This is what likely caused the $1,000 Machado contribution that is recorded as being made in November 2003.

    Note that this doesn’t include the knights landing $1,000 check, so there probably is more from developers that a lay person wouldn’t know is developer money.