Government / Politics

Election 2020: Campaign finance contributions for local ballot measures

Newport Pacific Land contributes over $700K to Yes on N. No campaign finance filings for Measure O school bond.

Editor’s Note: Article updated to correct an inaccuracy regarding the Fair Political Practices Commission.

Two ballot measures will go before San Benito County voters on Nov. 3. Measure N asks voters to approve the zoning changes and the plan for the Strada Verde autonomous vehicle testing facility, while Measure O asks voters to approve the issuance of $30.5 million in bonds for repairs and improvements to schools in the Aromas-San Juan Unified School District.

Measure O has no campaign finance filings either in support or opposition. There has been no statement filed opposing Measure O.

Measure N has filings for those supporting and opposing Strada Verde. The campaign for Measure N is backed entirely by Newport Pacific Land Company, which sponsored the initiative.

Under the campaign name Yes on N, San Benito County Residents for Job Creation, Newport Pacific has made four contributions to their campaign totalling $712,000:

  • Newport Pacific Land Company: $525,000    
  • Newport Pacific Land Company: $80,000    
  • Newport Pacific Land Company: $67,000    
  • Newport Pacific Land Company: $40,000  

They also have $56,362 in non-monetary contributions:

  • Newport Pacific Land Company: $29,862 for a fiscal impact report
  • Newport Pacific Land Company: $15,000 for consulting
  • Newport Pacific Land Company: $8,000 for an economic impact study
  • Newport Pacific Land Company: $3,500 for consulting

There are three opposition campaign filings against Measure N. The first is the Coalition to Protect San Benito County, which lists Preserve Our Rural Communities (PORC) members Mary Hsia-Coron and Tom Karis as treasurer and assistant treasurer, respectively. The campaign lists $450 in cash contributions, including one contribution for $150 from Brian Schmidt.

There are two other contributions listed in kind: legal counsel from Green Foothills for $1,000 and lawn signs from PORC for $1,325. They also disclosed unpaid bills amounting to $8,039 for campaign materials, listing Hsia-Coron as the creditor.

The second and third filings are from Concerned Citizens of San Benito County and Vote No on N. Frank Barragan, who ran for San Benito County Supervisor District 2 in the March primary, is listed as chairman of Concerned Citizens and financial officer of Vote No on N, with Guadalupe Sanchez listed as treasurer.

There are no contribution reports for either organization, though the Concerned Citizens filing lists an expenditure of $10,000 for services described as “PRO,” with no other information. The California Fair Political Practices Commission is currently investigating two complaints against Concerned Citizens of San Benito County.


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BenitoLink Staff