For the past several years, I’ve been analyzing the Form 460 records of all candidates for city council, back to the 2000 election. All of the data I am presenting is available on the Municipal Elections link under the City Clerk for the City of Encinitas.
Now I want to share with the citizens of Encinitas some disturbing trends I’ve observed in Mayor Jerome Stocks’ records.
Figure 1 shows that, from 2000 through 2008, his contributions have become dominated by donations from development-related contributors (in red), especially from outside of Encinitas, some from as far away as Texas and Bethesda, MD.
In contrast, donations from development-related contributors from Encinitas and Encinitans overall (in green) have declined dramatically.
Figure 2 demonstrates that these patterns are mostly true for gross dollars.
It’s also interesting to observe (Figure 3) how the developers evolve in each election to reflect what companies have or are considering projects in the city.
With all the above as history, I want to present information I recently discovered regarding some contributions listed in Mayor Stocks’ 2008 460s (Figure 4). I noticed in his 2009 filing for the 2008 election that he had received $2,000 in checks from O’Day Consultants, its president, and 6 employees (see the fourth graphic). All checks were dated 6 November 2009, a full year after the 2008 election. This seemed odd so I queried the city website to see if O’Day Consultants had done business with the city. I found that, indeed, O’Day Consultants had been awarded a $77,000 contract in September 2009. This was only two months before they donated $2000 to him. This timeline shows the temporal relationships.
I’m including Figure 5, with data taken directly from his 2008 Form 460s, just to avoid any misunderstandings regarding the contributions from O’Day Consultants.
Now I understand that receipt of such contributions is legal. But, in view of the history of increased contributions from development interests since 2000, it certainly does sharpen one’s perspectives and concerns about potential “quid pro quo” activities. One becomes suspicious.
I find it hard to understand what would motivate O’Day Consultants, none of whom live in Encinitas, to donate maximum contributions to an already elected city councilman from Encinitas. It is clear from his Form 460s, however, that they did allow Mayor Stocks to pay off most of his outstanding debts from the 2008 election.
Another questionable aspect of this contribution is that it is illegal for an employer to ask his employees to donate or to reimburse them for their donation. I have observed similar donation patterns in Stocks' campaign records (e.g., Barratt American in 2004). It really stretches one's imagination to suggest that all of these managers, in Carlsbad, would be interested in contributing $250 each to a city councilman in Encinitas, a full year after he was elected in 2008.
Mr. Stocks also had donations in excess of the $250 allowed by city code in at least three instances (Kevin Allin, Don Hansen, and The Sands Encinitas, LLC), and probably more if some cases where likely owners of companies donated in both their and company's name.
These patterns certainly give me concern about who Mayor Stocks is representing from his seat on the city council, whether he is representing me and the other citizens of this city, or whether he is representing developers and other groups from outside the city. Can we trust him to govern our city with our interests as his top priority? Do we count as much in his mind as the developers?