FPPC to expose Dalidio’s opponents

September 27, 2010


The California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) plans to publish the names of the controversial San Luis Obispo LLC members who allegedly committed 16 campaign violations in their fight against Ernie Dalidio’s proposed development on the FPPC website.

FPPC counsel Sukhi Brar said Monday morning that action is being taken against the Responsible Community Development LLC, following a report by state investigators.

On Oct. 14, at a hearing in Sacramento, the FPPC is slated to level $80,000 in fines against the members of the LLC. Because the sanctions are in default, the state is asking for the maximum, $5,000 for each violation.

The current FPPC action is the latest chapter in an almost 20-year battle to prevent Dalidio from erecting a 131-acre mixed-use-development on his land off Highway 101 near Madonna Road in San Luis Obispo.

In 2007, Dalidio’s attorney James McKiernan filed a voter fraud complaint against the top secret LLC which funded the No on Measure J campaign. According to the complaint, $220,944 was donated to fight Dalido’s project under the guise the money was a loan.

Until now, the principals of the LLC have kept their identities hidden from the public.

Nevertheless, California campaign rules require the transparency of donors and contributors.

In 2008, McKiernan attempted to file a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) suit which claimed local developers illegally interfered with Dalidio’s proposed development costing him millions of dollars in lost revenue. Court declarations, focused on the Copeland and Madonna family property developers.

At the time, attorneys for the LLC contended Dalidio’s lawsuit should be dismissed due to anti-SLAPP statutes allowing a judge to dismiss a suit at the onset. SLAPP or “Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation” refer to lawsuits often filed by developers and government officials against individuals and community groups for speaking out on civic or government issues.

Now, however, Dalidio is considering reviving the RICO suit which could lead to a substantial settlement if it is determined that competing developers were illegally interfering with Dalidio’s proposed development.

In 2007, in a lawsuit contending illegal interference with business, a jury awarded a Glendale mall developer $74 million from a competitor that fought to block the Glendale Mall from signing a contract with the Cheesecake Factory.

Complaint against Downtown Association

Complaint against Responsible County Development LLC

FPPC response on the SLO Downtown Association



  1. Sally says:

    This not about what happens to the Dalidio property. This is about campaign fraud.
    Powerful intrests in SLO took illigal steps subvert the election process.
    Will this bring down the downtown business assocaition and the Copelands, the Madonas, some city officials?
    Look this was a great deal for the Madonas they got the Old Navy store and the Target and no one gave them any grief and all they are going to do is build a bike path across their property.
    The bike path will really help relieve congestion on Los Osos Vally RD. think of all the shopping one can do at Costco and Home Depot on their bicycles.
    Dalidio does not now have to buiold his center he will have plenty of money when he collects from the guilty partys.
    Just as an asside great coverage from the TT, not really a news paper when a big story gets stopped to protect the down town people.

    (27) 29 Total Votes - 28 up - 1 down
    • Crusader says:

      I think Bruce Ray is driving the Tribune to an untimely death. It could very well be that the financials are worse than anyone suspects and he’s just trying to keep the place from caving in on itself right now. Time will tell.

      His actions to hide stories like this one will absolutely guarantee the demise of the Tribune no matter how well the economy rebounds. The Tribune has a responsibility to the readers and to the community as a whole — not just to those who buy ads or eat lunch with Mr. Ray.

      C’mon McClatchy — we need a new publisher here in SLO!

      (22) 26 Total Votes - 24 up - 2 down
      • avidgonadnote says:

        Give Bruce a break. I mean he is learning about the newspaper business with OJT. I think next month he is turning 29 or 30. Plus he suffers from two first name syndrome.

        (14) 16 Total Votes - 15 up - 1 down
      • Bob says:

        Saturday I signed up for Tribune delivery 7 days a week for 26 weeks for $26. A great deal!

        Afterward, I thought “The Tribune must be really desperate to be offering subscriptions for a $1 week.

        I bought the subscription for my retired mom who refuses to do “that internet thing”

        (7) 7 Total Votes - 7 up - 0 down
        • Crusader says:

          I got a call with that same deal a while back after failing to renew my subscription for something like $229/year. I think they started with 18 weeks at a real good price. When I asked the tele-marketer what else she had she came up with the 26 week price and finally the annual price for a bit over 50 bucks.

          I took an annual subscription but I’m not so sure it was any kind of deal. A few Mondays ago I didn’t have time to read the paper so I folded it up and put in in my back pocket (!) It wasn’t until I was getting undressed 12 hours later that I remembered the paper in the back pocket of my jeans.

          Some paper you got there, Bruce…

          (9) 9 Total Votes - 9 up - 0 down
  2. R.Hodin says:

    I think that a good use for Class 1 soils is to grow food and biomass, and to do it organically and sustainably. There is no lack of suitable locations for the myriad of other potential public uses which have been suggested by others in this thread. And I’m positive that they all need good quality food.

    (-10) 16 Total Votes - 3 up - 13 down
  3. Paperboys says:

    Farming Dalidio’s land is no longer viable due to all the development — residential and commercial — that has grown up on 3 sides of it. Can you imagine growing a crop there that had to be sprayed or dusted with pesticides? I sure couldn’t.
    Also, working farms need access for tractors and other farm implements to be moved in and out and to haul your crops to market and the roads — Madonna & LOVR — are probably too crowded for that now.
    He really has no choice but to either sell it for open space or develop it (or he could donate it I guess)
    I’d love to see him put in a multi-sports stadium, that could be used for football, rugby, baseball and outdoor concerts and events, among other uses.
    We have two semi-pro football teams in SLO County, three semi-pro baseball teams, Hispanic soccer leagues, the SLO Rugby team, and other sports leagues and teams that scramble for playing space.
    Maybe if they had a home field, Cuesta College could be coaxed into resurrecting its football program, like they had until the mid-1970s.
    Every decent field in this county is either owned by a city, the county, or some school district, and access to them is very limited and problematic.
    I believe wholeheartedly that a versatile outdoor sports stadium would be a good use for at least part of that 131 acre property, certainly better than a soccer field that neither the county or city parks departments want to maintain. The city of SLO could even pipe its reclaimed waste water to water the grass, or shoot, artificial turf could be installed for nearly the same price as sod.
    He plans for a motel on the property? teams and fans coming in from out of town could stay there. Restaurants? These people have to eat somewhere.
    Our whole county lacks family-oriented activities/entertainment and sports played by grown men and women is a great one.

    (0) 14 Total Votes - 7 up - 7 down
    • R.Hodin says:

      Obviously the land is not suitable for farming. That’s why one of the county’s most successful farming families (Talley) has leased the land from “rancher” Ernie Dalidio to do exactly that — farm it. Go check it out, they’ve done a smash-up job tilling the soil, the very same dirt which Dalidio claimed “could no longer be economically farmed” or “that had too many restraints” upon it (due to the adjacent land uses).

      It wasn’t the soil or the adjacent zoning which changed, it was Ernie Dalidio’s point of view.

      (-5) 25 Total Votes - 10 up - 15 down
      • Crusader says:

        Let’s get technical in that case. The OPPORTUNITY COSTS associated with farming Dalidio’s property makes it too expensive to be used for ag purposes…

        (11) 13 Total Votes - 12 up - 1 down
    • avidgonadnote says:

      There is too much traffic on Madonna and LOVR for tractors and other farm equipment? Are you daft? How much more traffic will be there with a sports field? I love the argument that it is surrounded by development, as if the sun cannot penetrate because surely it must shine in from the sides and not from above. And no one is talking about spraying and using pesticides. That is the point! Make it an organic farm. I applaud the Talley’s for giving it a go.

      (-1) 9 Total Votes - 4 up - 5 down
  4. Crusader says:

    Here is what I would like to see Mr. Dalidio develop given the Madonna development on LVR. First, the anchor stores would be a Super Wal*Mart and a Sam’s Club. I would want a giant drive-through (!) food court that included both Tommy’s World Famous and In-and-Out burger shops. The Super Wal*Mart and the Sam’s Club could be joined by a Bass Pro Shop or a Cabella’s and believe it or not a Nordstrom. Maybe a Nordstrom Rack too.

    Adjacent to the food court I would like to see a privately-owned performing arts center offering entertainment for the masses (not just the elite) and a Arclight Cinema movie complex replete with an IMAX theatre and plenty of parking.

    It would also be wonderful to include a nice little race track — much like the one in Nipomo only nicer. A lot of people enjoy motorsports and they deserve a local venue and it would be a paying business. If there was any space left (and I would want it 100% developed) perhaps Mr. Dalidio could wedge-in a soccer field or a baseball diamond that he could lease to the city…

    (5) 31 Total Votes - 18 up - 13 down
    • SanSimeonSam says:

      Believe it or not….for you old timers…Carol Doda is still performing in San Francisco. A true testimony to the half-life of silicone. Perhaps we could get a cartel together with her and Mr Diamond and a few others and add a classy adult center to the
      Walmart complex or across from the soccer field . It would need to be near the freeway. Perhaps on the property Gearhart wanted for a carlot. According to Mullholland carlots were OK but Dalidio was to be shunned. Gearhart would be the perfect pimp to run the adult toy center. That would add appropriate image to SLO. The post Copeland Crime family SLO may actually be able to restore itself to former days of glory….Romero will be gone…Developers will be broke if Ernie sues them and maybe some will be in jail if justice prevails…..

      (5) 9 Total Votes - 7 up - 2 down
  5. Crusader says:

    Just what the hell is the matter with Bruce Ray and his minions over at the Tribune? Not a word about this story! Are they going to try and ignore this one as well, lest ad revenues drop? The Tribune needs an editor and not a bookkeeper at the helm! Shame on you, Mr. Ray!

    I wonder if the New Times will have enough guts to report the news? I’ll be looking on Wednesday…

    The Tribune has hit an all-time low. Thank goodness for the Internet, CalCoastNews.com, http://www.kccn.tv, and other legitimate news sources…

    (32) 36 Total Votes - 34 up - 2 down
  6. Crusader says:

    It would be satisfying if a successful RICO suit culminated in the Copelands/Pierces/Rossis/Kings/et. al. paying 100% of the costs associated with Dalidio fully developing his 131 acres — including a new overpass. The whole package would have to cost at least a couple of hundred million, right?

    (28) 34 Total Votes - 31 up - 3 down
  7. ——————-This is our Community and Mr. Dalidio has had to fight a battle that no person should ever have to fight. This type of condemnation should never be allowed and the people responsible should be held accountable!

    This is what the Second Appellate Court thinks, is the cause of my flooding problem in Oceano with their published California Case law decision Bookout v. State of California (2010). However Caltrans and OCSD actions are caught on video that the Second Appellate Court mentions in their July 28, 2010 published California Case Law decision!

    “Bookout points to no findings of fact in his favor. Instead, he relies on over 500 photographs and videos showing the flooding, several hundred documents which he claims show each defendant exercised dominion and control over the drainage facilities, and the testimony of his expert engineer, Keith Crow. He believes the evidence against the defendants was overwhelming.

    Bookout claims the evidence is credible because it is uncontradicted. He cites Joseph v. Drew (1950) 36 Cal.2d 575, 579, for the proposition that uncontradicted testimony of a witness may not be disregarded, but should be accepted as proof of the fact to which the witness testified. Indeed, there are no doubt cases where the uncontradicted testimony of a witness is so credible that no reasonable trier of fact could reject it. But this is not such a case.
    Here there is an obvious cause of the flooding. The Exchange modified the drainage by constructing a junction box and pipeline that redirected the flow of water by 90 degrees.”

    Mr Dalidio, Hang in there as it is time to show that this community knows the truth, that is about to come out.

    I will be turning into the Dave Congalton’s KVEC radio show at 5:30 p.m. today

    (9) 19 Total Votes - 14 up - 5 down
    • Spork says:

      This is/was about Dalidio, not flooding in Oceano.

      (8) 12 Total Votes - 10 up - 2 down
      • ——————————–THis is San Luis Obispo County! Look what they have done to Dalidio! This property should have been developed 20 years ago! Look what has been done to Sunny Acres! Look at State Highway 1 in Oceano!

        It all come done to what are our property rights in San Luis Obispo County!

        I hope you had a chance to listen to the Dave Congalton’s KVEC radio show at 5:30 p.m. today. Karen, brought alot to our attention!

        (-3) 15 Total Votes - 6 up - 9 down
      • zaphod says:

        Oceano vortex, cosmic/karma, everything drains eternal in Oceano,

        (6) 6 Total Votes - 6 up - 0 down
        • —————————This is San Luis Obispo County and our local Tribune Cannot tell us what is really happening in our own back yard! Thanks to Cal Coast News we are now able to see the whole County Picture!

          “Oceano Vortex” Yes, everyting that is currently happening in this County ties in with one another!

          Think about this Caltrans statement and then look at the Dalido Property and the rest of our County! Yes it is a cosmic/karma vortex, that will require one very large Tea Party!

          Exhibit # 1789 States September 15, 1987: “It was believed that our proposed plan of installing a 36-inch pipe to replace an existing 24- inch pipe would be acceptable to the property owners if it could be shown that the project would only affect the downstream owners minimally.”

          “And that even though there had been some light rainfall years there is a good possibility of heavy flooding in this area in the future of both the Highway areas and the County areas.”

          “The State could raise the height of Highway one approximately one foot and leave both the County and the Oceano Community Services District the problem to solve on their own (P. Hom)”

          ———–Why would Caltrans want to raise State Highway 1 a foot as they stated above? Why would Caltrans create a problem for Oceano Residents? Why Would Caltrans create a problem for County residents?

          The Dave Congalton’s KVEC radio show and Karen Velie at Cal Coast News are our only hope left in this County with this Cosmic Vortex!!

          (5) 7 Total Votes - 6 up - 1 down
          • Cindy says:

            I have to agree that it is going to take a large tea party to clean this county up. Once we organize we will have to keep going until the job is done. No doubt there will be plenty of recalls.

            All for one and one for all, who will lead?

            (2) 12 Total Votes - 7 up - 5 down
  8. taxpayer says:

    Finally, Ernie Dalidio will get his day in court and his opponents will be uncovered for unprincipled people they really are. It’s good to see the good guy win for a change.

    (21) 27 Total Votes - 24 up - 3 down
    • hotdog says:

      Though Ernie might be on the right side of the law-destroying prime ag land for crappy big box development is the big evil here. Oh, he owns it, you say! So what? He inherited it and all the land inside all our borders have rights AND responsibilities to all the people. Our dear Alex Madonna wanted to put a cheap motel on top of San Luis Mountain, after illegally grading a road from the bottom to the top. The city said ‘no’. Many years ago some crummy developer wanted to build a large mirrored building downtown, the city said ‘no’.

      (-7) 25 Total Votes - 9 up - 16 down
      • SLOBIRD says:

        Ernie wanted Target, Old Navy, etc. NOT a Walmart. We are still going to get the Target and we have the Old Navy just not on Ernie’s property. What is so different from his property, Madonna’s and the existing shopping centers. Please, this was a hit on Ernie because the developement keeps coming with no committment to the Los Osos / Hwy 101 overall. I hope Christine M is one of these folks and they take her home and maybe give it to Sunny Acres. What pompous idiots to think they are better than others….

        (12) 18 Total Votes - 15 up - 3 down
      • choprzrul says:

        As far as I’m concerned, if Mr. Dalidio can’t develop his land as he sees fit, then it should absolutely be used for ag purposes. As matter of fact, if I were him, I would thumb my nose @ SLO and build a first rate hog confinement facility. Tens of thousands of swine would make some serious $$ on that fine piece of land. After all, this is a “Right to Farm” county, is it not?

        Anything is better than a big box store…

        (1) 11 Total Votes - 6 up - 5 down
      • Crusader says:

        @hotdog: You carry a great deal of hate, don’t you? And you’ve carried it for a long time, haven’t you? There is “prime ag land” in this country that lays fallow due to a lack of need. Why not put such land into production rather than worry about land that should rightfully be developed for other uses?

        “Big box stores?” Nice slur. Did Mulholland teach you that one? It seems like those “boxes” that Madonna/Pierce have been building (also on “prime ag land”) on LVR carry the same names that were originally slated for the Dalidio project. Coincidence? Your “rights” don’t dictate that ag land can’t legitimately be developed for other uses. That’s something you need to understand.

        There was nothing “illegal” about Mr. Madonna cutting a fire road on his ag property. I also don’t believe that the hotel he wanted to build would have been “cheap” (I doubt you do either, you were just being rude again.)

        While I don’t recall any proposed “large mirrored building downtown” it hardly could have been as objectionable as the planned Disneyfication of “Chinatown” by the Copelands or the “We Need a Big New Firetruck” development that’s to take place on Garden Street.

        (11) 19 Total Votes - 15 up - 4 down
      • taxpayer says:

        You obviously don’t know Ernie or own anything yourself. The Dalidio faimily has worked this land for generations. Ernie worked for years on this property. Sorry you’ve never owned anything and your family didn’t work hard enough to leave you something. Ernie is a hard working family man who doesn’t deserve the abuse he’s been through. It’s obvious that you’re one of those people who are jealous of families who struggled hard and made something of themselves in order to make the lives of their children better. Ernie, I am so glad to see that the American Dream is still alive in this country and sad to see that there are still people who don’t get it.

        (15) 21 Total Votes - 18 up - 3 down
  9. Karen Velie says:

    I will be discussing this issue on Dave Congalton’s KVEC radio show at 5:30 p.m. today. Tune your radio to 920 AM or listen live at http://www.920kvec.com.

    (10) 10 Total Votes - 10 up - 0 down

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