Contributions rolling in for Prop A

Contributions rolling in for Prop A
Campaign signs urging “yes” and “no” votes on Proposition A hang on Manchester Avenue in Encinitas. Campaign reports show who is funding the various Prop A camps, information that’s not readily apparent on the mailers being sent out. Photo by Jared Whitlock

ENCINITAS — The past two months have seen no shortage of mailers and “robocalls” to sway voters for or against Proposition A, the land-use initiative headed for a June 18 special election. 

Yet the campaign materials don’t readily list the individuals running the groups or who is funding them. Additionally, residents and city officials have said some of the mailers used quotes or logos from city officials without permission.

Three organizations, two against Prop A and one for, have been active leading up to the election.

The first group vying for “no” votes: Encinitas Residents, Businesses and Taxpayers Opposing Proposition A. The organization has brought in $18,300 as of June 5, according to campaign contribution reports filed with the city.

Christie Guerin, former mayor of Encinitas and principal officer of the group, said the organization has placed calls and sent out mailers to let voters know about “the drawbacks of Prop A.”

“We think it’s important voters are educated,” Guerin said.

Namely, the group has sought to highlight a report from the Orange County-based law firm Rutan and Tucker that was largely critical of Prop A.

Guerin, who left the City Council to serve as district director for former Rep. Brian Bilbray, noted that Tom Shepard, a veteran political consultant, is advising the group. Shepard, who helped elect San Diego Mayors Jerry Sanders and Bob Filner, did not return phone calls for comment.

The group’s two largest contributions have come from Encinitas Town Center, LLC, giving $7,500 and from the National Association of Realtors Fund, a political action committee based in Chicago that contributed $8,300.

On the other side, the Encinitas Project has advocated for Prop A. Bruce Ehlers, spokesman for The Encinitas Project, said his group is up against developer interests only interested in their bottom line.

“The building industry doesn’t want this initiative to pass,” Ehlers said.

Ehlers noted the Encinitas Project has sent out a mailer, advertised in newspapers and licensed a robo-call. This year, the group has raised more than $7,200.

North County Advocates, a Carlsbad group that fights developments it deems excessive, contributed $2,000 — the single largest donation to the Encinitas Project. Among others, Ehlers kicked in $1,000, and former Encinitas Mayor Sheila Cameron gave $1,200.

Additionally, Jim Kydd, publisher of The Coast News gave $1,900 as an in-kind contribution for advertising space to the Encinitas Project, according to the city documents.

Homeowners to Preserve Encinitas, the second organization opposed to Prop A, has secured $31,500 in contributions. With a $10,000 contribution, Encinitas Town Center, LLC is its biggest donor. Other contributions included $2,500 from real estate agent Douglas Harwood and $5,000 from resident Lita Weston.

Doug Long, a local business owner, is listed as the principal officer of Homeowners to Preserve Encinitas. Calls to Long for comment went unanswered.

With a combined $49,800, the two organizations opposed to Prop A garnered seven times more than the contributions of the Encinitas Project.

Some of the mailers left the impression that the Prop A groups stood with city organizations and councilmembers. But that’s not necessarily the case.

Homeowners to Preserve Encinitas distributed a mailer using a quote and the logos from the Encinitas Chamber of Commerce and all of the Encinitas mainstreet associations, which have come out against Prop A. However, representatives from the organizations said they didn’t give Homeowners to Preserve Encinitas permission to do so.

Bob Gattinella, president of the Encinitas Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber is indeed against the initiative. However, Homeowners to Preserve Encinitas never contacted the chamber about the use of its logo or using quotes.

A mailer from Encinitas Residents, Businesses and Taxpayers Opposing Proposition A displayed councilmembers’ images and quotes. Because the council has unanimously opposed the initiative, Mayor Teresa Barth said some mistakenly believe that councilmembers sent the mailer.

“They took statements we made in public and put it on the mailer — unfortunately that’s fair game,” Barth said.

“It’s frustrating that campaigns resort to that,” Barth added.

In a statement several weeks ago, Deputy Mayor Lisa Shaffer said: “The fact that other people have come to the same conclusion that Prop A should not be adopted does not mean there is any connection between them and me.”


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  1. ron ranson says:

    Are you confused about which way to vote on Prop A? You shouldn’t be. Just look who is against it –Christie Guerin, Jerome Stocks, James Bond, Doug Long, David Myers among other notable super-pro development people. They haven’t brought much good to the city in all their years of encouraging developers to settle here. I don’t want 4 and 5 story buildings along El Camino Real, Encinitas Blvd and Highway 101 without a vote of the citizens.

  2. Yes on Prop A says:

    There is major typo in the text above:
    “Some of the mailers left the impression that the Prop A groups stood with city organizations and council members. But that’s not necessarily the case”.

    It should read “Some of the mailers left the impression that the NO ON Prop A groups…”

  3. Yes on Prop A says:

    The information above is a little outdated:

    Check this out, if you have any doubt who is behind the No on Prop A campaign. Here is the money they have received so far:

    -Homeowner to Preserve Encinitas No on A (this is the Doug Long group)

    *Gary Levitt Real Estate Development/Sea Breeze: $1,500
    Mr. Levitt has an interesting website describing his
    projects and how they were accomplished —

    *Dealy Family LLC : $2,500
    The Dealy Family (Ecke member)

    *Robert Echter: $2,500 Greenhouses

    *Douglas Harwood (Developer/broker, member of ERAC
    pushing for higher densities): $2,500.

    *Encinitas Town Center/Ecke: $10,000
    Encinitas Town Center is owned by the Zelman Development
    in Los Angeles. According to the Zelman Development
    information they have “…specific expertise in developing
    properties requiring extensive rezoning or new

    *California West Communities LLC (Carlsbad) $1,500
    “over 60 years of collective home building experience”

    *Shea Homes LP: $5,000

    *Western Pacific Homes: $1,000

    *Boxfield LLC $2,500 (Is this Terramar, major commercial property owner along El Camino Real)

    *Lita Weston (Fred Weston Inc): $5,000

    -Byron White ($2,500) – Lawyer

    -Encinitas Residents, Businesses and Taxpayers Opposing Prop A (Principal Christy Guerin)

    *North County Taxpayers for Responsible Government $2,500 (This is the group that supported Stocks and Muir for the last election and sent out the “We Love Encinitas” mailer during the last election. They donated $2,500

    *National Association of Realtor Fund: $8,250

    *Encinitas Town Center, LLC/Ecke: $7,500
    Encinitas Town Center owned by Zelman Development in Los

    So about $55K so far with more to come for sure. Any doubt still who is behind the NO on Prop A?

    In contrast the Yes on Prop A represents many small donations from concerned residents. The $4,000 donated by North County Advocates from Carlsbad, actually has a lot of residents that are from Encinitas. This group is dedicated to protect our precious natural habitats and fight against development that do no enhance community character and quality of life in North County.

    Prop A is a David and Goliath story with the Prop A folks being your average folks, while the No are the realtors, brokers, developers, and large property owners.
    Choose your camp wisely!

  4. Dean says:

    Why would any resident of Encinitas not want a say in how their community develops and changes in the future? Yes on PROP A is the logical vote. Or else, you get what they want for you.

  5. sdaly says:

    The people who vote no are either people who have a financial gain if it doesn’t pass or very confused people who are not really aware of what prop A means. I can’t imagine why any resident would ever vote no. It is a no-brainer for the citizens to vote YES on A. We have everything to gain and nothing to lose. Don’t believe all the lies the no people are spreading. Prop A is a proposition founded by residents from all 5 communities and are volunteers. It just makes so much sense.

  6. Yes on Prop A says:

    A better title would have been : “Contributions rolling in against Prop A”.
    The No side might have the money and slick fliers (full of lies) but they don’t have the extent of the volunteers of the Yes side. They have to pay people to deliver fliers. The no side is hiding behind their fake group names (Encinitas Hope)

  7. Isolde says:

    Vote YES-YES-YES on Prop A b/c YOU LOVE Encinitas!
    This issue is simple…
    All you have to do is “Follow the Money” and you will see clearly why If YOU LOVE Encinitas you need to
    Vote YES-YES-YES on Prop A!
    It’s even worth a cosmic laugh, since the HUGE, greedy signs against Prop A, are of the same grotesque, greedy, huge proportions that only BIG MONEY can afford to spend, that have been used in the campaigns for stocks/bond/muir/gaspar, that were/are 100% bought and paid for by developers!
    Their sick unchecked GREED laughs at us, insult us, and even has pushed some innocent souls into illness that has caused them DEATH.
    No one from Prop A is against development, but we are against development that does not adhere to the laws of our General Plan and is destroying the safety and quality of life for the people pay taxes and live here.

    The opposition to Prop A has had their way with lawless development in this city for the past 20 years, and now the misdirected city council that has NOT done their HOMEWORK, has voted INCORRECTLY.

    This is not complicated at all, in fact this is very, very simple to figure out.. All you have to do is Follow the Money!
    However, if that is not sufficient for you, like it was not for me, you can do just ONE more thing. Albeit it will take some of your time, but it is so well worth. Just go to the Encinitas website, and confirm for yourself the erroneous information or LIES that are being said against Prop A.
    Okay, so the HOMEWORK:
    1) Follow the Money
    2) READ EMC and the GP, the Specific plans for yourself to confirm the Lies
    These 2 simple steps will have you, not only
    Voting YES-YES-Yes for Prop A, but they will have you
    RUNNING to Vote YES for Prop A!

    You will READ and learn for yourself, WHY so many VOLUNTEERS ( they don’t get city staff salaries, pensions, every other Friday off, medical Insurance, or the city council’s pension benefits, generous expense account and for the political ambitious a promotion to a political career ) folks
    that have been involved before the Incorporation of the city, the GP, EMC for the past 30 years. These folks have not been paid ONE CENT for their work, but have taken their time and emptied their pocket books ( even if it’s small change ) to get Proposition A written and now to get it approved. Our General Plan is a fascinating read, full of thoughtful and caring rules for the controlled growth, with safe development of our city. The requirement to read and be familiar w/ the GP, EMC, Specific Plans is one that needs to be met by anyone who is appointed to office to serve the Encinitas public… not Developers from Los Angeles or Sn Diego.

    Additionally, elected officials should be people that have lived in Encinitas for over 10 years! Unlike shaffer that blew into our city 8 years ago, has worked in La Jolla the entire time and is NOT from California. She moved here from DC, 10 years ago.

    If you can READ and if you can Follow the Money,
    you will not walk,
    YOU will Run to Vote YES-YES-YES on Prop A!

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