Measures A & B

The Context

Measures A&B are a thorn in my side, because they are an example of county supervisors being too chicken to do the jobs they were elected to do.

In essence, the measures impose restrictions on distances that oil companies can drill from certain spaces, notably homes and schools where children may be present. We all watched Erin Brokovic; this is the type of scenario, it appears, that YES is trying to prevent. But it’s a bit more complicated, and – again – just an example of county supervisors punting the ball to the voters because they are too afraid of the retaliation for making a decision themselves.

The county is not without a history of environmental hazards causing health problems: the clean up from the Santa Susana nuclear meltdown situation continues to be a problem for residents of Simi Valley. Nevertheless, the issue involves Big Oil, so you can believe this is turning out to be the most expensive campaign of the election cycle.

Again, in full disclosure, I am rooting for YES on A&B, though given the money behind NO and their slick campaigning, I am not optimistic YES will pass on either measure. The other day while driving, I did see this gem on Erbes in Thousand Oaks, and I’ll say: I ain’t mad. The oil companies can stand to lose a sign or two.

It is my opinion that of all the races, this is the most important one, and the one most clearly tied to who is funding it.

Highlights

YES on A&B

Received: $538K

Spent: $12K

Top 2 Contributors:

Patagonia

Food and Water Action Fund

No on A&B

Received: $5.8 Million

Spent: $4.2 Million

Top 2 Contributors:

AERA Energy LLC – Bakersfield

Chevron

YES on A&B Campaign Finance Notes

YES is being outspent, in big ways. Their biggest contributors are environmentalists, and the supervisors who – again – were too chicken to do their jobs and get this taken care of without having to punt the ball to voters that would be subject to the propaganda brought on by the biggest opposition. (As with COVID, I believe this should be something remembered come election time.)

What I also cannot wrap my head around is the fact that they have held on spending, when Vote By Mail was already about to begin at the close of the campaign finance disclosure period.

Patagonia saved them by donating $450K, however they have yet to spend any of those funds. Other notable names include current county supervisors Linda Parks and Carmen Ramirez, though Carmen has again used an alias “Maria.” Steve Bennett for Assembly 2020 (most well known for his work on SOAR). Former State Senator Fran Pavley; and, the Democratic Club of the Conejo Valley.

No on A&B Campaign Finance Notes

NO has spent over $4 million dollars. Their ads are everywhere, and they have spared absolutely no expense in this campaign.

In my own home, two of our four voters had seen YouTube ads that made them think No was the environmentally proper choice. I have talked to countless other friends and family members around the county who have gotten the same impression.

No on A&B has flown in executives from all over the country, spending over $7000 on airlines tickets and hotel fare at the Ventura Beach Marriot. They took a trip to Bakersfield, where AERA Energy LLC is located, and had an $807.04 dinner at Victor’s Mexican Grill.

They have spent $83K on legal fees, and used the services at least 5 political consulting firms from around the country.

They have given several large dollar amounts to COLAB Ventura County, spent hundreds of dollars at Jack 117 Coffee Shop in Ventura, and paid the Ventura County Taxpayers Association $10K.

They have three, total donors.

  • AERA Energy LLC in Bakersfield: donations totaling $5,050,000
  • Chevron in San Rafael: donations totaling $750,000
  • Western States Petroleum Association in Sacramento: donations totaling $3,636.96