Wednesday, January 27, 2010

49ers Stadium: How "binding" is "binding"? Really?

Dear Santa Clarans,

Last night in the City Council meeting, the Council voted to create Resolutions for Council which will order the $114M stadium subsidy to a vote on June 8th. Good news...

...except for the fact that the so-called "binding" vote is based on a document not only greatly deficient - but in fact, not even binding itself.

Note that the 49ers "bought-and-paid-for" initiative was stuck in our faces with the Term Sheet of June 2, 2009, pasted onto it.

But if one goes to pages 2 and 3 of the Term Sheet itself, one finds that both the City and the San Francisco 49ers declare that document to be non-binding.

So: What is the binding document which will tell Santa Clarans exactly what our elected leaders are promising the 49ers? When will THAT be complete?

That would be the Disposition and Development Agreement, or DDA.

And that's due to be complete only on or about July 13th - 35 days AFTER that election.

This is why our group urged City Council last night to place the "49ers-very-own" initiative on our ballot on November 2nd - not on June 8th - so that Santa Clarans would have a firm agreement on which to vote. We stand by that - but we're not surprised that the massive stadium subsidy train is again being waved through the station at maximum speed.

Santa Clarans, we encourage you to make your objections known to the City Council and to the Mayor.

For this expenditure of $114,000,000 of public money, Santa Clarans surely deserve better.

Thanks for all of your support,
Bill Bailey, Treasurer

(Page down to Section 1.3 on pages 2/27 and 3/27.)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Aldyth Parle does NOT support 49ers initiative!

Breaking news! Live from Santa Clara City Council!

Councilwoman Aldyth Parle has clarified her position. Ms Parle had previously appeared to support the 49ers' astroturf ballot initiative. She has now explained her intentions. Due to an illness in the family she missed some council meetings, and was not aware that Council was on track to put a measure on the ballot. She only agreed to support the initiative because she was led to believe that it is the only way that the voters will have a say. Now that she is aware of the facts, she wants her name removed from the list of astroturf supporters.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

49ers Stadium: A Santa Claran asks for some REAL "disclosure"

"HI Bill,

I wanted to tell you about my experience with the people standing in front of CVS on Homestead in the Mariposa center. I was approached like anyone else coming in or out of the store about this initative.

He asked if I wanted to sign it so that we could have it on the ballot and vote on it in June. I asked him if he was for or against building the stadium. He told me he was for it.

Not knowing too much about this process or protocal and all the long tedious steps that it takes to move forward on something so huge, I immediately felt suspicious. I asked him why he was in such a hurry to get it on the ballot. I told him it feels like you're trying to jam it on the ballot before everything has been discussed & debated with the city council and how can you put it on the ballot before all the issues are hashed out.

He told me "On the contrary, that by putting this initative on the ballot it would force everyone to put everything out on the table. That everything would have to be disclosed so that the people could have an up or down vote on the stadium once and for all."

I was at SaveMart with my mother today and they were out there yelling at people passing by to come sign the petition. These two particular guys seemed to be more aggressive and even more vague about what the initative was about. As we were leaving the store they tried their approach with my mother & I and they got any earful back. Instantly they started playing stupid when we starting telling them we understood exactly what their initative was all about. We proceeded to educate others as they approached the store or leaving that this initative was very misleading and urged them NOT to sign. A few people walked on without signing it :)
I hope you find my experience helpful and useful.
Warm regards,
(...A Santa Claran...)

[Emphasis mine.]

Another "49ers-Own-Initiative" signature guy just got caught playing "fast and loose" with the facts.

For starters, the 49ers
once again claim, in essence, that their initiative is the only path to the June 8th ballot. That's utterly false.

Also, the empty claim that their initiative somehow 'puts all the info out there' begs the question: What additional information will this "49ers' Own Initiative" make available to Santa Clarans which we can't get with the City Council's measure?

Answer: Not one thing.

If the San Francisco 49ers want to "force everyone to put everything out on the table," then they could start by telling Santa Clarans the truth about this initiative: That they're doing it to keep anyone from challenging their worthless Environmental Impact Report in court. That's the only reason for it.

What's particularly insulting about the signature gatherer's second claim above: Santa Clarans have been waiting for over two-and-a-half years to hear the truth not only about the $114,000,000 upfront subsidy and why we have to pay it - but also about the $330,000,000 to be raised by a "Santa Clara Stadium Authority."

The last honest description of this is in a City Staff memo dated - are you ready? - December 12, 2007! (See "Part E", on "Page 16 of 30")

Remember, we're talking about a total contribution of
$444,000,000 to be raised by Santa Clara and its Agencies. Does it sound to you like the San Francisco 49ers really want the truth about their publicly-subsidized stadium out there for all of us to see?

Based on what I'm hearing from Santa Clarans this week, I seriously doubt it.

Thanks for sharing your experiences with all of us,

Bill Bailey, Treasurer,
Santa Clara Plays Fair


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

49ers Stadium: Signature Gatherers Misrepresent "49ers Own Initiative"

"Bill ~ I ran into one of these guys at Save Mart on El Camino Real on Sunday and as I was going into the store, he was talking to some other guy about the positive things on getting the stadium, giving him a handout, etc.
After my shopping, I exited the store and he yelled to me, asking if I was a registered Santa Clara voter? I said I was but that I was NOT in favor of the stadium, so I didn't want to sign his petition.
He told me that it was not about that, although he was in favor of the stadium, but that it was just an initiative to make sure the issue was place on the ballot in June. (He was a bit loud & pushy, but I didn't think to ask your question or who he was working for!)
I asked him again, was he sure that this was just to get the initiative on the ballot and nothing else, because I saw him give the other guy a pro-stadium handout and I didn't want to sign anything that was in favor of the building of this wasteful & unnecessary stadium. He said "Oh NO, even though he was for the stadium, this is just to get the issue on the ballot!"
When I read through it, I didn't see anything that made me feel that this was put on by the 49ers, and I thought to myself: 'I think I read or heard somewhere that the City might be able to keep this from being voted on', so I went ahead and signed their petition.
I did feel strange about it afterwards though. Like maybe I had been sold a bill of goods or like how you feel after talking to a slick car salesman!
I just wish I had gotten your e-mail sooner! I would have handled this situation differently, primarily I wouldn't have signed his petition!! But, nevertheless, if I see another one of these guys, I will ask "the question", just to see what they have to say.
It's OK to use this story......maybe it will help someone else in their dealings with these tricky guys.

--- Santa Clara Plays Fair Member

So, in essence, Santa Clarans are being lied to in order to get them to sign the "49ers Very Own Initiative" petition. Signature gatherers are claiming: 'Sign this or you won't get a ballot measure on June 8th.'

That's an outright falsehood - and the 49ers and the Stadium Subsidizers knew it very well.

The City Council's own measure is the one that belongs on the ballot - not the 49ers' initiative. There is only one purpose for the team's initiative - and that is to hide the completely worthless Environmental Impact Report certified by the City Council on December 8th, and to make sure that there can be NO legal challenges to it.

In other words: By signing the 49ers' petition, Santa Clarans are depriving themselves of all legal remedies under the California Environmental Quality Act.

Why would anyone sign a petition now that deprives them of their legal rights later?

Thanks for your support,
Bill Bailey, Treasurer


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

49ers Stadium: Another Santa Claran on the 49ers' Shill Petition Drive...

"Every time I go to Safeway at Homestead / Kiely in Santa Clara there are VERY LOUD obnoxious people at each entrance SHOUTING at people to sign their petition to put the 49er stadium on the ballot. I'm glad I checked your Yahoo! and blog sites to see who they were. The people were so offensively loud that I wanted to complain to Safeway management."

Residents, would you be willing to complain to our Mayor and City Council instead?:

By their inaction, and in fact, by their active complicity, the "stadium friendlies" on our City Council are the ones who have set us residents up for the circus that one resident described above.

Sure, the 49ers have the right to do what they're doing. However, as residents, we're entitled to demand that those name-getters - paid for by the 49ers and not by Santa Clarans - tell the truth when they are accosting residents and demanding signatures on the
"49ers' own initiative."

In fact, you should be able to ask any signature gatherer paid by the 49ers the following:

"If the 49ers' petition initiative is IDENTICAL to the Council's own measure as you've claimed - and if both are BINDING - why do Santa Clarans need the 49ers' initiative?"

...and you're entitled to a truthful answer to that question.

Please mail/email/phone in your comments, as well as claims made by the 49ers, which you would like to see addressed. We'll answer you as soon as we can.

Thanks for your support,

Bill Bailey, Treasurer