The Peebles-funded Measure L campaign has been hiring paid canvassers from out-of-town to go door-to-door in Pacifica. The canvassers were hired and organized by FieldWorks of Washington, D.C., through their San Francisco office. The Peebles-funded campaign is apparently paying FieldWorks $103,455.39 to knock on doors in Pacifica.
The current total spending by the Peebles-funded "Yes on L" campaign through 10/21/06 is $1,310,384.78 according to the campaign's official election filing report (warning: large 3MB Adobe Acrobat PDF file).
We've been hearing a lot about the pros and cons of Measure L in Pacifica. Supporters describe it as "Smart Growth," using New Urbanism concepts developed by some very good urban planners. As a professional geographer I've heard a good deal over the years about New Urbanism, and have even served as an advisor on Masters Theses examining transit-oriented development, a common component of New Urbanism designs.
According to the Miami Herald, R. Donahue Peebles is writing a book called "The Peebles Principle". The book is a compliation of "first person lessons he has learned". Some of those key "lessons" include:
Fightin' John Maybury strikes back:
Shannon Del Vecchio's letter to the editor last week complained about the San Francisco Bay Guardian quarry expose, but Bay Guardian reporter George Schulz quoted extensively from Pacifica's new playpal Don Peebles. That sounds fair and balanced to me. Shannon also wrote about "every stupid rumor made up by the No on L' contingent." Wow! That's some amazing doublespeak. If I were a lawyer for "Noel," I'd be drawing up papers right now. Coastside.com caught Peebles PR hacks (Davies Communications of Santa Barbara, officially in denial) red-handed in a "sock puppet" astroturfing incident, which was independently verified by the San Mateo County Times and reported widely in the Pacifica Tribune and San Francisco Chronicle. That's not one-sided journalism, Shannon, that's good reporting on unfair campaign practices.
I moved to Pacifica because it was a sleepy coastal community, which I really enjoy. I always hoped it would stay that way. It shocked me to read in the Pacifica Tribune in May that a Florida developer was going to have a series of Charrettes about the quarry. I could tell right off the bat that Peebles and the people that work for him were going to be using slick, deceptive politics, which don't work here in Pacifica.
John Maybury serves it up straight in his Wandering and Wondering column of September 13th, 2006:
[Peebles] is a businessman with a huge investment to recoup, and an even bigger loan to pay off. He is not a charity. He is not here to rescue us from our fiscal dilemma. He is here to play high-stakes poker, win big, and cash in his chips. Don't fall for the sweet talk.
The owner of the Rockaway Beach Quarry, R. Donahue Peebles, was profiled by The San Francisco Bay Area Guardian issue of 8/29/06. Their profile of his meteoric ascent in the real estate business in D.C. and Florida stated, "He earned a reputation for resorting to multimillion-dollar litigation when those relationships went bad." But did Mr. Peebles mellow after arriving in California? Apparently not. Mr. Peebles' partnership filed suit against the California State Mining and Geology Board in March 2006, a month after being fined a tenth of the maximum fine for failure to file an acceptable assurance instrument for the reclamation of the Quarry. (Rockaway Beach Ltd. v. SMBG et al.) At the "charrette" meetings I attended in May, Mr. Peebles described himself as completely cooperative with the State regarding reclamation of the formerly quarried property. Curiously, he and his agents made no mention of the fact that aspects of the reclamation matter were in litigation.
After much thought and analysis, including meetings and many conversations with Quarry owner/developer R. Donahue Peebles, Pacificans for Sustainable Development (PSD) steering committee has decided to oppose Measure L.
This past week I received a slick publication packet of Peebles' propaganda. It was followed a few days later by a phone call.
After asking if I had received the packet, the caller asked if I had any questions or comments. I replied that I could find no plan as referenced by Mr. Peebles. I requested additional materials for helpful clarifications about Mr. Peebles non-plan "plan" which he refers to as his "vision." I also asked who the "we" were to which Mr. Peebles continually refers. The response (after a pause) was "Mr. Peebles and his staff."