From JANIE SHEPPARD
Save Our Local Economy (SOLE)
P.O. Box 1530, Ukiah CA 95482
SOLE@pacific.net – www.NoMegaMall.com
April 25, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California
Efforts of Diversified Development Realty (DDR) to put a mega mall on the old Masonite Site demonstrate the power of money.
See what corporate money buys:
Jeff Adams, spokesman for DDR, says $1 Million has been spent so far for mailers and public relations. He says DDR will spend another million to get its initiative on the ballot.
H & H Petitions hired signature gatherers to blitz the county. The signature gatherers are paid $2.00 per signature. DDR foots the bill through a consultant.
Arno Political Consultants, a very big-time outfit paid by DDR, subcontracted H & H Petitions to gather signatures. On its website, Arno brags that it has turned signature gathering into an “art form.” Among the services offered is “assisting letter writers in putting their own thoughts on paper [for letters to the editor].” Be skeptical when you read those letters that are subsidized by DDR.
Brian Sobel, principal consultant at Sobel Communications, is paid by DDR to go to the local media. Sobel boasts that his clients include Chevron and Unocal. His services are not cheap.
Mendocino County Tomorrow purports to be an exclusive club. If you want to join, be prepared to pay least $80 and be scrutinized for suitability. “Mendocino County Tomorrow reserves the right to refuse membership to anyone.” In reality, it’s a front group paid for by DDR.
All the money is being spent to pass a 324-page “specific plan” which is the actual initiative language. That’s what we would vote to accept or reject if the H & H signature gatherers get enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot. How specific could it be when it is “subject to change” in 28 places?
The initiative, if passed, allows DDR to do whatever it wants. If passed, we would have no control, no public hearings, and no environmental review. We would, however, have a mega mall.
Help Save Our Local Economy. Join SOLE by going to its website, nomegamall.com, and signing up. If you can, please make a donation.
SOLE’s coffers are empty. You can send a check to SOLE, P.O. Box 1530, Ukiah, CA 95482. Thank you very much.
From EVAN JOHNSON:
The list of known entities DDR/”Mendocino Crossings” has hired to ram this project through:
1. Mendocino County Tomorrow
2. Hogle-Ireland, Inc.
3. Muelrath Public Affairs
4. Ruff and Associates
5. Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Mueller & Naylor, LLP
6. Sobel Communications
8. Arno Political Consultants
9. MCG Architecture
10. Fair & Powerful Communication