Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

Petition expenditures exceed $500,000, so far

TomJohnson

So what’s it take to run a controversial campaign such as the Museum House? Looking at the end of the year expenditures for both The Related Companies of California (would-be developers of Museum House) and Line in the Sand (the Political Action Committee against the Museum House), some sizable numbers appeared.

The Related Companies filed their California Form 461 listing major donors and independent expenditures. Overall, The Related Companies reported expenditures of $673,878 from July 1 though Dec 31, 2016, of which $435,700 were directly related to the Museum House project.

Keep in mind, those expenses begin in late November and run only through the end of December.

Most of The Related Companies expenditures were directed toward Bieber Communications, primarily a design, print and mail shop, and a number of different strategy companies. 

Perhaps the most surprising omission on the form was no mention of Dave Ellis and Patrick Strader, both of who serve as consultants on the project.

The opposition, Line is the Sand’s (LITS) filing of their California Form 460 for the same time-period related to Museum House was $39,538, with an additional nonmonetary contribution of $46,507 from Newport 1st, a political action committee, for a total of $86,045. Newport 1st is sponsored by Citizens Against High Rise Urban Towers.

The descriptor for the Newport 1st contribution lists “petitions – print, set-up, make ready, collate and bind.” 

Because of a burden put on LIS by the previous city council, the petitions required for signature exceeded 1,100 pages each, thus leading to the $46,000+ cost.

The majority of LIS’s other expenditures, nearly $31,000, went to PCI Consultants, a Calabasas company that specializes in petition circulation. 

Just an aside, one sizable donation was $20,000 from the Croul Family Trust.

How much more gets spent moving forward? I guess we could find out at the next City Council meeting on Tuesday, Feb 14. The choices are to postpone a decision, set an election date for a vote on the Museum House, or the council votes to rescind the prior approval of the project.

Elsewhere around town, over the next couple of weeks, there’s a great chance to catch Mayor Kevin Muldoon and hear his State of the City Address.

First off, Muldoon will address the Mayor’s Dinner on Friday, Feb 10 at the Marriott Hotel & Spa. Speak Up Newport annually holds this event that will begin at 6 p.m., with dinner at 7 p.m.

It’s always a great who’s who event of Newport Beach.

Two weeks later Muldoon will address the Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Tuesday, Feb 21 at Bayside restaurant. Check-in is at 11:30 a.m., the program and lunch runs noon - 1:15 p.m. You can make reservations at IThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..