Valero’s 2018-2022 Big-Money Effort to Control Benicia City Council

Check out the numbers – The Valero PAC spent nearly a half-million dollars in 2018-2020 – what’s next for this year?

By Roger Straw, September 28, 2022

Roger Straw, The Benicia Independent

The Valero Political Action Committee (“Working Families” PAC) has amassed nearly a quarter-million dollars this year to influence Benicia’s November election.  A new report, due on September 29 and likely to be made public sometime next week, will surely add to the $232,387 the PAC reported earlier this year.

The new report will also give some ideas as to how the Big Oil and Valero-based labor groups are spending their fortune this year. Stay tuned.

The Valero PAC’s August 1 financial disclosure form shows cash of over a quarter-million dollars to influence Benicia elections.

A friend asked me how much the PAC spent to buy seats on Benicia’s City Council in our 2018 and 2020 elections, so I went back over the City of Benicia’s archive of mandatory campaign finance reports.

As you read these massive Big Oil numbers, keep in mind that individual real-live Benicia candidates for election – our neighbors and community leaders – have all signed onto the City’s voluntary spending limit of $34,790.

2018 – the Valero PAC spent $192,347
2020 – the Valero PAC spent $253,878
2022 – the Valero PAC has on hand $232,387
Total in these 3 small town elections $678,612

I think this stinks.  A Texas corporation has no business exercising a vise grip and invasive control over its host village.

As of today, it’s too soon to know if and how Valero will spend its campaign cash.  We can be sure they will back the same candidates they backed in 2018 and 2020: Christina Strawbridge and Lionel Largaespada. Whether the PAC has learned to play nice is still a question. Either way, it is simply not right that they stick their noses into our local election.

I have endorsed and spent time and finances this summer and fall supporting the following candidates – I hope you will, too!

Roger Straw

See also:

Join the movement to oppose Valero’s big money effort to control the Benicia City Council, The Benicia Independent, Sept 29, 2022