Update: Answering Some of the Questions About Ultra Clean and Polling

On Tuesday, we ran a story questioning the relationship between Moore Iacofano Goltsman (MIG), Godbe Research, and Stephen Souza’s company Ultra Clean Pools.

These questions arose as the result of feedback from members of the community who participated in the parks poll.

During the course of conversations, questions arose as to why the caller ID from these calls identified, Ultra Clean Pools, as the source of the call.

We made the decision to inquire as to how this came to be and whether there is a legitimate reason why the company owned and run by a sitting Davis City Councilmember would be involved with a vendor that has a city contract to conduct surveys and create a parks master plan.

Based on these questions, a letter was drafted to City Attorney Harriet Steiner and copied to the entire city council, City Manager Bill Emlen, and City Clerk Margaret Roberts.

The decision was made to ask these questions in a public manner including a full disclosure of the letter to City Attorney Harriet Steiner.

Davis City Councilmember Stephen Souza responded on the Vanguard:

“There is no relationship. You are confusing a poll on school board candidates and Measure Q with a survey being conducted by Godbe Research.”

City Attorney Harriet Steiner confirmed Mr. Souza’s contention.

“It is our understanding that there is no relationship between Stephen Souza and either Godbe Research or MIG. Rather, it is our understanding that Stephen Souza permitted the use of his phone lines at Ultra Clean Pools to be used to conduct telephone polls related to Measure Q. This survey was not done by the City and the City had no role in this survey whatsoever.

One of my associates has spoken with Bryan Godbe of Godbe Rearch. He explained that Godbe Research uses two primary data collection firms, Mountain West Research and EMH. A call from these data collection companies would likely register as an 800 number; the calls would not have been made from the Ultra Clean [line appears cut off].”

I appreciate the very quick turn around by the City Attorney on this matter. In fact, I have never gotten a response as quickly as this from the city.

The City Attorney further informed me that since the questionnaire is only a draft, it is not subject to a public records act request. The final questionnaire will be released when the survey and results are finalized, so as to not bias the survey itself.

This information clarifies that there was likely some confusion between the two surveys. However, some questions remain as to why and for whom Mr. Souza was conducting those polls and whether he was sharing the information generated from those polls with others including the school board candidates he supports, their campaigns or the campaign in support of Measure Q.

Mr. Souza states:

“The 3 question automated phone poll I conducted on school board candidates and Measure Q is completely separate from the live survey that Godbe Research is conducting on parks and recreation.”

Again, when questioned by citizens and readers of this blog about who had requested or was benefiting from his polling efforts Mr. Souza’s response to questions on this was less than satisfying and raise more questions than they answer:

“I am a citizen who is interested in the outcome of Measure Q. It will have an effect on our community and I wanted to see if it was passing. I wanted to see if I needed to do more to help assure its passage.”

So the central question in our inquiry has been answered and addressed, but others still remain.

—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

132 comments

  1. Nice apology for seriously blowing it. I like how DPD wrote most of the post in passive voice (“Questions arose” and “an inquiry was sent”) to try and distance himself and the Vanguard from this fiasco. It’s almost like something just “happened” and no one needs to take responsibility.

  2. Nice apology for seriously blowing it. I like how DPD wrote most of the post in passive voice (“Questions arose” and “an inquiry was sent”) to try and distance himself and the Vanguard from this fiasco. It’s almost like something just “happened” and no one needs to take responsibility.

  3. Nice apology for seriously blowing it. I like how DPD wrote most of the post in passive voice (“Questions arose” and “an inquiry was sent”) to try and distance himself and the Vanguard from this fiasco. It’s almost like something just “happened” and no one needs to take responsibility.

  4. Nice apology for seriously blowing it. I like how DPD wrote most of the post in passive voice (“Questions arose” and “an inquiry was sent”) to try and distance himself and the Vanguard from this fiasco. It’s almost like something just “happened” and no one needs to take responsibility.

  5. Doesn’t appear much different from the original…

    “Specifically the question arose as to the necessity of conducting a variety of surveys in the update of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan.”

    “After running the article last week, we began to get feedback from members of the community who participated in the poll.”

    “In the course of these conversations, the questions arose however as to why the caller ID from these calls identified”

    “After a long period of pondering, the decision was made to inquire as to how this came to be and whether there is a legitimate reason”

    Same passive voice…

    I still think the original article was misinterpreted as an attack rather than an inquiry. He merely asked the question, and having received a satisfactory answer, he has printed a follow up, better than what you’ll get at any newspaper.

  6. Doesn’t appear much different from the original…

    “Specifically the question arose as to the necessity of conducting a variety of surveys in the update of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan.”

    “After running the article last week, we began to get feedback from members of the community who participated in the poll.”

    “In the course of these conversations, the questions arose however as to why the caller ID from these calls identified”

    “After a long period of pondering, the decision was made to inquire as to how this came to be and whether there is a legitimate reason”

    Same passive voice…

    I still think the original article was misinterpreted as an attack rather than an inquiry. He merely asked the question, and having received a satisfactory answer, he has printed a follow up, better than what you’ll get at any newspaper.

  7. Doesn’t appear much different from the original…

    “Specifically the question arose as to the necessity of conducting a variety of surveys in the update of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan.”

    “After running the article last week, we began to get feedback from members of the community who participated in the poll.”

    “In the course of these conversations, the questions arose however as to why the caller ID from these calls identified”

    “After a long period of pondering, the decision was made to inquire as to how this came to be and whether there is a legitimate reason”

    Same passive voice…

    I still think the original article was misinterpreted as an attack rather than an inquiry. He merely asked the question, and having received a satisfactory answer, he has printed a follow up, better than what you’ll get at any newspaper.

  8. Doesn’t appear much different from the original…

    “Specifically the question arose as to the necessity of conducting a variety of surveys in the update of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan.”

    “After running the article last week, we began to get feedback from members of the community who participated in the poll.”

    “In the course of these conversations, the questions arose however as to why the caller ID from these calls identified”

    “After a long period of pondering, the decision was made to inquire as to how this came to be and whether there is a legitimate reason”

    Same passive voice…

    I still think the original article was misinterpreted as an attack rather than an inquiry. He merely asked the question, and having received a satisfactory answer, he has printed a follow up, better than what you’ll get at any newspaper.

  9. DPD – No need to apologize. There are still a lot of unanswered questions that have come to the surface.

    Without The People’s Vanguard we would NOT know that:

    A. Don Saylor, a current council member is taking money from a business that is set to make millions from the city of Davis.

    Who cares if the money was only $200. Davis has campaign limits of $100 per person, so it could be more that is undisclosed, or it could be from other West Yost employees.

    The bottom line is that it is an unethical conflict of interest.

    B. Stephen Souza, ANOTHER, council member, is supposedly paying $$$ to have a poll done about Measure Q, the school board election, and possibly parks….

    We’ve heard from several people and still don’t have a clear answer from him. He tried to explain himself on the Vanguard and read like a bumbling fool.

    No matter how Souza spins it…it is still another UNETHICAL conflict of interest in the eyes of the voters.

    You have raised important questions that are never raised by the Emptyprise, because they are merely a mouthpiece for Souza, Saylor, Asmundson, and Puntillo when he was on the council.

    Any heat you get from them is simply because you are giving us a “vivid description of the DARK UNDERBELLY of Davis.”

    WEAR IT AS A BADGE OF HONOR!

  10. DPD – No need to apologize. There are still a lot of unanswered questions that have come to the surface.

    Without The People’s Vanguard we would NOT know that:

    A. Don Saylor, a current council member is taking money from a business that is set to make millions from the city of Davis.

    Who cares if the money was only $200. Davis has campaign limits of $100 per person, so it could be more that is undisclosed, or it could be from other West Yost employees.

    The bottom line is that it is an unethical conflict of interest.

    B. Stephen Souza, ANOTHER, council member, is supposedly paying $$$ to have a poll done about Measure Q, the school board election, and possibly parks….

    We’ve heard from several people and still don’t have a clear answer from him. He tried to explain himself on the Vanguard and read like a bumbling fool.

    No matter how Souza spins it…it is still another UNETHICAL conflict of interest in the eyes of the voters.

    You have raised important questions that are never raised by the Emptyprise, because they are merely a mouthpiece for Souza, Saylor, Asmundson, and Puntillo when he was on the council.

    Any heat you get from them is simply because you are giving us a “vivid description of the DARK UNDERBELLY of Davis.”

    WEAR IT AS A BADGE OF HONOR!

  11. DPD – No need to apologize. There are still a lot of unanswered questions that have come to the surface.

    Without The People’s Vanguard we would NOT know that:

    A. Don Saylor, a current council member is taking money from a business that is set to make millions from the city of Davis.

    Who cares if the money was only $200. Davis has campaign limits of $100 per person, so it could be more that is undisclosed, or it could be from other West Yost employees.

    The bottom line is that it is an unethical conflict of interest.

    B. Stephen Souza, ANOTHER, council member, is supposedly paying $$$ to have a poll done about Measure Q, the school board election, and possibly parks….

    We’ve heard from several people and still don’t have a clear answer from him. He tried to explain himself on the Vanguard and read like a bumbling fool.

    No matter how Souza spins it…it is still another UNETHICAL conflict of interest in the eyes of the voters.

    You have raised important questions that are never raised by the Emptyprise, because they are merely a mouthpiece for Souza, Saylor, Asmundson, and Puntillo when he was on the council.

    Any heat you get from them is simply because you are giving us a “vivid description of the DARK UNDERBELLY of Davis.”

    WEAR IT AS A BADGE OF HONOR!

  12. DPD – No need to apologize. There are still a lot of unanswered questions that have come to the surface.

    Without The People’s Vanguard we would NOT know that:

    A. Don Saylor, a current council member is taking money from a business that is set to make millions from the city of Davis.

    Who cares if the money was only $200. Davis has campaign limits of $100 per person, so it could be more that is undisclosed, or it could be from other West Yost employees.

    The bottom line is that it is an unethical conflict of interest.

    B. Stephen Souza, ANOTHER, council member, is supposedly paying $$$ to have a poll done about Measure Q, the school board election, and possibly parks….

    We’ve heard from several people and still don’t have a clear answer from him. He tried to explain himself on the Vanguard and read like a bumbling fool.

    No matter how Souza spins it…it is still another UNETHICAL conflict of interest in the eyes of the voters.

    You have raised important questions that are never raised by the Emptyprise, because they are merely a mouthpiece for Souza, Saylor, Asmundson, and Puntillo when he was on the council.

    Any heat you get from them is simply because you are giving us a “vivid description of the DARK UNDERBELLY of Davis.”

    WEAR IT AS A BADGE OF HONOR!

  13. When the Enterprise makes an “error” they put the correction in a small font on a page that most hardly see.

    You Doug Paul, have integrity. Keep up the good work. We need you.

  14. When the Enterprise makes an “error” they put the correction in a small font on a page that most hardly see.

    You Doug Paul, have integrity. Keep up the good work. We need you.

  15. When the Enterprise makes an “error” they put the correction in a small font on a page that most hardly see.

    You Doug Paul, have integrity. Keep up the good work. We need you.

  16. When the Enterprise makes an “error” they put the correction in a small font on a page that most hardly see.

    You Doug Paul, have integrity. Keep up the good work. We need you.

  17. David Greenwald (aka DPD) – Next time check your facts before you post stories attacking public officials, or anyone else. Journalism 101. You just got an F.

    Decide what you want to be, a blogger or a journalist. Different standards apply. Don’t pretend to be a journalist without adhering to journalistic standards. Nobody will take seriously.

  18. David Greenwald (aka DPD) – Next time check your facts before you post stories attacking public officials, or anyone else. Journalism 101. You just got an F.

    Decide what you want to be, a blogger or a journalist. Different standards apply. Don’t pretend to be a journalist without adhering to journalistic standards. Nobody will take seriously.

  19. David Greenwald (aka DPD) – Next time check your facts before you post stories attacking public officials, or anyone else. Journalism 101. You just got an F.

    Decide what you want to be, a blogger or a journalist. Different standards apply. Don’t pretend to be a journalist without adhering to journalistic standards. Nobody will take seriously.

  20. David Greenwald (aka DPD) – Next time check your facts before you post stories attacking public officials, or anyone else. Journalism 101. You just got an F.

    Decide what you want to be, a blogger or a journalist. Different standards apply. Don’t pretend to be a journalist without adhering to journalistic standards. Nobody will take seriously.