Letter: Follow the money on Measure J

The “NO on J Campaign” has tossed around a lot of misconceptions during this campaign cycle.
The main local person behind “No on J” is a woman who, as she states, has resided in Hollister for over 30 years.  She also has been a business owner running a consulting firm, Farmhouse Communications, LLC. Ms. Kristina Chavez Wyatt’s firm has collected over $70,177.00 from “Californians for Energy Independence, including Energy Producers” to spearhead this battle. So far so good, a local businesswoman spearheading a local campaign and getting paid to do it.
But let’s look behind the scenes.
If you look at the Secretary of State’s website you will see that complete funding comes from 16 different Oil Company’s, $ 7,655,572.00 statewide. Of that $1,741,289.00 was transferred into the “No on J – San Benito United for energy independence, a collation of Taxpayers, working families consumers, farmers ranchers and energy producers” account headquartered in SAN RAFAEL, California.
So the headquarters for “No on J” is at 2350 Kerner Blvd., Suite 200, San Rafael, Ca. and the principal on the committee is Rock Zierman, (Who is also the CEO of California Independent Petroleum Producers) 1001 K Street, Sacramento, Ca. Not quite as local as I’m being told.
So this is the out-of-town activist firms they keep warning about?” Well who are they?  No one locally appears to be paying for them. Where are all those “coalition of taxpayers, working families, consumers, farmers, and ranchers” they say paid for this stuff on all of their ads?  And why do they need $1.7 million for OUR local campaign?
In fact not one local person, farmer or rancher is shown on the Secretary of State’s official website of donors, just BIG OIL.  
So why say misconceptions? Well let’s look at a couple of ads. First the woman with a very nice smile, Elia Salinas, who tells us that “This will shut down all oil production in San Benito County”. She works for L & G, LLP, Attorneys at Law, another good local firm who has collected  $ 92,000 from the same BIG OIL monies as stated on the Secretary of States filings. I am sure they hire competent help. As a paralegal I would expect she knows this is a mistake since our county chief planner has said it allows conventional drilling in over 90% of the county. It would be nice for her to come back and clarify the statement.
I do not object to people making money; I object to misrepresentations of facts.
How about that nice man who will be put out of work? Joaquin, they say, works for Patriot Oil who drills conventionally in South County. Ms. Kristina Wyatt loves to show his picture. Oh, that would still be allowed (again county chief planner says 90% of our county allows conventional drilling). So, Joaquin can stop worrying about being off work and take care of those nice kids they talk about.
The thing at issue here is what would we like to see our county like in years to come? They say we do not need this measure because fracking is not “proposed” in San Benito County. Well it was not “proposed” in Monterey County until the recent requests for permits for fracking there were applied for.
Please don’t just believe me any more that you should believe them.  Look it up – it is public information!
As a fourth-generation farming family I hope to pass this property on to future heirs in the same condition of land stewardship my ancestors passed it to us.
Please join myself and other farming families in voting “Yes on Measure J”.  And don’t let BIG OIL buy our local election.
Karl C. Skow, San Benito County

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