Barry Parr, creator of Coastsider.com, published an article about "Jimmy/Susan" the person(s) who posted messages to the Pacifica-L mailing list, claiming to be long-time Pacifica residents, but who apparently were associated with Peebles' P.R. firm, Davies Communications.
Quarry owner Don Peebles has been promising Pacificans everything but the moon if they will just vote to rezone the Quarry for 355 housing units. Since most of the promises are not binding and are not even in the ballot measure, they are not enforceable. Yet, voters are being asked to put blind faith in Mr. Peebles, based on nothing but his self-proclaimed integrity. So far, he has put on an impressive show. But now, his credibility in the community is eroding.
Today, Pacificans began receiving a mysterious, un-signed invitation.
The invitation provides no agenda, no indication of who will be speaking, or who is putting on this event. It appears to have been sent by Peebles Atlantic Development Corporation through their Southern California P.R. firm.
During the recent petition drive for the Quarry housing ballot initiative, on two separate occasions, two different signature gatherers came to my house. The first one, I talked with directly and said No, I didn't want to sign my name to add 355 houses to the Quarry. The NEXT DAY, while I was at work, another signature gatherer came to my house and talked with my very ill husband.
...the term astroturfing describes formal public relations projects which deliberately seek to engineer the impression of spontaneous, grassroots behavior.
Since before the "Charrettes", Peebles has been using the services of one of the premier P.R. agencies in the field, the southern-California-based Davies Communications:
Todd Bray shares some interesting facts in his letter to the Tribune today:
Miami developer Donahue Peebles used a local resident to file a petition on his behalf for his 355 units of new housing in the Quarry. You may have noticed the out of towners collecting signature at local supermarkets. As of today (Saturday) they are getting $6.50 a signature. You can contact the lady running the signature drive at the Best Western Hotel room 121. If you think it's odd that these out of towners want you to sign the petition, cross out the extra spaces and sign it again at the bottom, it is. It masks the fact that the signatures are being gathered by paid contractors that don't live here. There ought to be a law. After all, why involve the public when he can do an end run around them? Why follow the usual public process when he can usurp public input by proxy?