Sample negative ads from Valero’s dirty 2020 campaign
Rather than dignifying a raft of negative ads, I decided to only post a few of them here. These gross ads are followed below by an email I received with Steve’s rebuttal.
This one is targeting young families…
This one pits Steve against kids…
This one attacks Steve for his well-deserved pension…
October 12, 2010
Dear …name… :
Most Benicia voters have been bombarded by robocalls, texts, glossy mailers and ads all over social media from the Valero funded Working Families for a Strong Benicia PAC boosting the candidacy of Christina Strawbridge for Mayor.
The ads feature half-truths and outright fabrications. They criticize me for receiving a pension, which I earned through a 30-year career in local government. This is the same type of pension earned by teachers, firefighters, police officers, and employees of public agencies throughout Solano County. Should they also be criticized for receiving a pension? Or just me?
Another ad says, incredibly, that I am against affordable housing. The truth is I have actually spent much of my career building and financing affordable housing. I retired as Community Development Director for the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency.
They also allege, falsely, that Ms. Strawbridge has been endorsed by four of the five elected trustees of the Benicia School District. In truth, she has been endorsed by three of the five. The Benicia Teachers Association, on the other hand, has endorsed me. I will take the endorsement of teachers every day over that of three elected Board trustees.
As to why Valero would be willing to spend up to $250,000 to elect Ms. Strawbridge and defeat me?
It likely goes back to my tenure on the Planning Commission in 2014 and 2015, when their Crude by Rail proposal was pending. That proposal, if approved, would have changed how they received oil from tankers carrying crude oil to train cars carrying fracked oil from North Dakota. After much research, and reading the volumes of technical data submitted as part of multiple EIRs, it became clear to me that the project was too dangerous, and could not meet basic safety criteria on a number of counts. With the support of Kari Birdseye, we were able to convince the rest of the Planning Commission to unanimously deny the permit. That decision was appealed to the City Council by Valero, and the Council ultimately upheld our decision.
I would be against this type of heavy-handed attempt to influence our elections even if I was not the target of them.
Benicia elections should be left to Benicia voters. I hope you agree with me and will vote accordingly.
You can learn more about me and my positions on various City issues on my website, Steveyoungformayor.org.
For a better Benicia,