FPPC to level fines against Dalidio’s foes

September 24, 2010

Ernie Dalidio

The California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) has determined that the LLC that funded the No on Measure J campaign violated rules in their fight to stop Ernie Dalidio’s proposed San Luis Obispo retail development.

On Oct. 14, at a hearing in Sacramento, the FPPC is planning to level sanctions and penalties against the mysterious Responsible County Development LLC.

“The sanctions are not known at this time, but I imagine the sanctions will include the unraveling of the LLC and the identification of the anonymous donors,” said Ernie Dalidio’s attorney Jim McKiernan. “It has been a three-year battle that was worth waging.”

Dalidio has fought opponents of his proposed 131-acre development on his land in the county bordering the city of San Luis Obispo for 18 years. Plans for the development incorporate retail, workforce housing, an organic garden and a farmers market.

In 2007, McKiernan filed a voter fraud complaint against the No on J Campaign and the top secret LLC which funded the group, with the San Luis Obispo District Attorney’s office. The district attorney reviewed the allegations and forwarded the complaint to the FPPC.

Within weeks of the LLC’s formation, in 2006, the LLC began loaning money to the No on J campaign. By the end of the campaign, in Nov. 2007, the LLC had lent a total of $220,944 to battle Dalido, according to the complaint.

However, the complaint contends the money was a donation and not a loan. The principals of the LLC had successfully fought to keep their identities hidden from the public.

California campaign rules require the transparency of donors and contributors.

In early 2008, Dalidio filed a declaration to allow a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) lawsuit against the LLC and the San Luis Obispo Downtown Association. Dalido’s multimillion-dollar lawsuit claimed that the downtown association and Responsible County Development LLC conspired and implemented unlawful business practices to thwart the proposed development.

U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder in Los Angeles tentatively dismissed Dalidio’s case alleging conspiracy and unlawful business practices, noting Superior Court Judge Roger Picquet’s ruling that overturned a 2006 San Luis Obispo County ballot initiative that approved Dalidio’s project by a 65-35 percent margin.

A state appellate court ruling in 2009 paved the way for Ernie Dalidio’s proposed multi-faceted plan to develop his land and, at the same time, gave him the option of refilling a RICO lawsuit against the San Luis Obispo Downtown Association and the mysterious corporation that opposed his proposal.

“Dalidio plans to explore the revival of the RICO action,” McKiernan said. “I imagine the ramifications will run deep and they will be eye popping.”

Even though the FPPC determined the Downtown Association did not violate campaign rules, critics contend they were conspiring with the LLC and those involved in the battle against Dalidio and are likely to be named in a likely RICO suit.

Meanwhile Dalidio had leased his land under a short term lease to Talley Vineyards.

“It is a win-win situation on a short term basis till all this legal dust settles and the organic vegetable crops pop up,” McKiernan added.

Complaint against Downtown Association

Complaint against Responsible County Development LLC

FPPC response on the SLO Downtown Association

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I think I’ll get personally vindictive on this one. If a list of conspirators is made known, I will be certain not to patronize their businesses or any business where they happen to be the landlords. Nail them right where it hurts — in the wallet. My little means of personally providing some payback. It others joined in, it could really teach them a lesson.

IT’S ABOUT TIME!! I think this whole thing has gone on WAAAY to long for Ernie. S.L.O. should be ashamed of how he has been treated. 18 years through all this B.S. and still no further to progress. How many other projects have been green lighted in the meantime? GIVE UM HELL ERNIE!!

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I was sitting on Los Osos Valley Road and the 101 interchange today at 2 pm and waited through 4 traffic signal changes before making it onto the overpass to get onto 101 North. Seconds before the traffic stopped, I passed the Target store construction which was going full steam ahead. Amazing not to hear a peep about the traffic mess this will cause on LOVR, especially with all the uproar about the Dalidio project.

p.s. Also noticed more people going down the right lane and then changing lanes before the south bound on ramp, blocking that lane too while waiting for traffic on the overpass to move. There’s going to be some nice road rage in that area.


Ernie Dalidio is a good man whose family has been dragged through the mud. Congratulations, Ernie! I can’t wait for the names to finally be made public. It’s time that the people behind all this paid for their actions

I wonder if the Copelands could end-up doing prison time for this?

One can only hope. Along with all the others involved with this.

maybe in some alternate universe

Great News! I’m very happy that things are FINALLY starting to look better for Ernie & the development of his property. He’s been put through HELL.

I can’t wait to read the list of names. Its time for open government. No more City of Bell B.S.

AWESOME! Secret funding of political campaigns is illegal!