Hill and Arnold lead in race for campaign contributions

February 3, 2016
Supervisor Adam Hill

Supervisor Adam Hill


With a majority on the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors up for grabs, the eight candidates running for three seats are raking in cash, collecting endorsements and fervently campaigning.

Leading in the fundraising race, District 3 Supervisor Adam Hill has raised more money for his reelection campaign than both of his District 3 challengers combined. Hill and District 5 Supervisor Debbie Arnold are the only two candidates who eclipsed $100,000 in total contributions last year.

North County Supervisor Frank Mecham is retiring at the end of his current term and three candidates are vying for his seat.

District 1, which runs inland from the Monterey County line to Templeton, has 5,910 more Republicans than Democrats giving conservative challengers Paso Robles Councilman John Hamon and businessman John Peschong an edge over Paso Robles Mayor Steve Martin, a Democrat.

Peschong, the last to enter the race, is leading in the fundraising effort. Peschong raised $28,312 in cash contributions in just the month of December.

John Peschong

John Peschong

For years, Peschong worked as a Republican political strategist. His largest donor is the Irvine-based campaign committee of Aguiar for Assessor at $3,500. Next in line, both Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole’s committee and San Simeon LLC V&H Holding donated $2,500 to Peschong’s campaign.

Trailing Peschong, Martin raised $19,761 in cash last year. His top three donors – two unions and San Luis Obispo based attorney Don Ernst – each gave $2,000.

At the bottom countywide, Hamon received just $7,171 in total contributions. Of that, $4,183 is in cash donations, $2,537 is a loan from himself and $452 is non-monetary donations.

District 3 Supervisor Adam Hill faces two opponents – San Luis Obispo Councilman Dan Carpenter and former Grover Beach Mayor Debbie Peterson.

District 3, which includes Grover Beach, Pismo Beach and a portion of San Luis Obispo, has only 554 more Democrats than Republicans. Hill and Peterson are Democrats. Carpenter is not affiliated with a political party.

Dan Carpenter 6In 2015, Hill received $131,385 in total contributions. Hill and Arnold are the only candidates in the three county supervisor races who raised more than $50,000 last year. They are also the only incumbents running for supervisor.

Hill’s largest donors include a union and a host of developers. The single largest donor to Hill’s campaign is the San Luis Obispo shop of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

IBEW SLO gave $7,950 to Hill in 2015. Additionally, the Buellton shop of IBEW donated $1,000, and Hill received another $520 from IBEW raffle tickets.

Next in line, developer Gary Grossman gave Hill $7,784 in 2015.

Grossman is currently trying to develop the 131-acre Dalidio Ranch in San Luis Obispo. Hill has lobbied the San Luis Obispo City Council to change city planning rules in order for Grossman’s development to get approved as envisioned.

Hill’s third largest donor is Phoenix developer Bradley Wilde who gave Hill $6,000 in 2015. Wilde was involved in the sale of the Pismo Preserve property to the Land Conservancy of SLO County. The property sold for more than $12 million.

Debbie Peterson

Debbie Peterson

Other developers who have contributed to Hill include Nick Tompkins of Arroyo Grande, Noreen Martin of Shell Beach, Dana Severy, of Santa Barbara, Trilogy Homes and Santa Barbara-based Somera Capital Management. Severy’s Postcard Properties is currently working with Somera Capital Management on developments in Avila Beach and Pismo Beach.

Peterson received $48,166 in total contributions. Of that, $8,225 came from Century Properties in Arroyo Grande. Century Properties is owned by Peter Keith, an investor and, too, a former mayor of Grover Beach.

In addition, Peterson loaned her campaign $11,213, which helped give her a slight fundraising edge over Carpenter. Even so, Carpenter received more in cash donations than Peterson.

In 2015, Carpenter raised a total of $28,153 in monetary and non-monetary contributions. His top three donors – Ken Porche Sr., Rob and Peaches Olson and Gary and Suzanne Christensen – each donated $1,000.

Republican District 5 Supervisor Debbie Arnold faces one challenger, farmer Eric Michielssen, a Democrat. District 5, which includes Atascadero and portions of Templeton and San Luis Obispo, has 3,974 more Republicans than Democrats.

In 2015, Arnold collected $116,054 in total contributions.

Supervisor Debbie Arnold

Supervisor Debbie Arnold

Arnold’s largest cash donors are Mike Cole and Gary Grossman, both of whom donated $2,500. Cole was a partner in the Las Pilitas gravel quarry proposal that failed on a 3-2 vote. Arnold cast one of the two votes in favor of the project.

In addition to Grossman and Cole, Arnold’s leading donors include ranchers and agricultural companies, as well as Supervisor Lynn Compton who donated $2,025 to Arnold.

Countywide, Michielssen, received the second lowest amount of campaign contributions, $18,005.

Michielssen’s largest contributor, the IBEW PAC, donated $1,000. Supervisor Bruce Gibson was one of multiple donors who contributed $500, the second largest amount the Democratic challenger received.

At the end of 2015, Arnold had a cash balance of $62,877, and Michielssen had just $1,510 remaining in his war-chest, the least among all candidates.

Supervisor candidates who receive more than 50 percent in the June 7 primary will win the election outright. Races in which no one wins in June, will end with a November runoff.



  1. just the facts says:

    Agree with Phoenix.Rising! Dan is the Man. Vote Dan Carpenter for Supervisor on
    June 7. Citizens of the 3rd District…know you have the power to oust the bully! Vote!

    (6) 6 Total Votes - 6 up - 0 down
  2. ToHellinaHandBasket says:

    In 2015, Hill received $131,385 in total contributions. Hill and Arnold are the only candidates in the three county supervisor races who raised more than $50,000 last year. They are also the only incumbents running for supervisor.

    IBEW SLO gave $7,950 to Hill in 2015. Additionally, the Buellton shop of IBEW donated $1,000, and Hill received another $520 from IBEW raffle tickets.

    Next in line, developer Gary Grossman gave Hill $7,784 in 2015.

    Hill’s third largest donor is Phoenix developer Bradley Wilde who gave Hill $6,000 in 2015. Wilde was involved in the sale of the Pismo Preserve property to the Land Conservancy of SLO County. The property sold for more than $12 million.

    Not mentioned is how much Hill and Dee Torres-Hill are funding his re-election with the millions of tax payer $ stolen by us when Dee was with CAPSLO. Why has not a Grand Jury been convened? Where is the FBI? Something is rotten in SLO.

    If AH is re-elected, then our county will be as worse off as now is our Country under the Kingship of BHO.

    We forget the past too soon. Hill used to be a Cal Poly Professor yes? According to what I have read in the past, He was not so well liked by his students. Well, maybe liked more by those students of his progressive ideology, than those who know right from wrong.

    (7) 11 Total Votes - 9 up - 2 down
    • phoenix.rising says:

      Hill was not a full professor.

      When you strong arm people of money in the 3rd district and stop them by being a bully from giving to Dan Carpenter then Carpenter just needs to make money irrelevant and WIN anyways!!

      A vote for Dan Carpenter is a vote against the bully and how he harmed you, business person. Just vote Adam out and shame on you for giving $$$$ to Adam Hill.

      Adam Hill, how do you sleep at night when your bad deeds haunts your soul?

      (10) 12 Total Votes - 11 up - 1 down
  3. 3 putt says:

    Lynn Compton donates to Debbie Arnold’s campaign fund. Too funny

    (6) 26 Total Votes - 16 up - 10 down
  4. achillesheal says:

    I guess not everyone wants him “fired”. Follow the money.

    (29) 41 Total Votes - 35 up - 6 down
  5. Mr. Holly says:

    Who says money can’t buy a local election. It is really sad that some of these candidates, mostly incumbents, are clearly selling their votes. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a cap on donations and everyone ran on an equal basis and had to sell themselves instead of their votes?

    (27) 37 Total Votes - 32 up - 5 down
    • Pelican1 says:

      LOL…money has bought every election in this country for the last 200 years.

      (8) 22 Total Votes - 15 up - 7 down
    • EducateDistrict3 says:


      Gather signatures and construct a ballot initiative.


      (4) 8 Total Votes - 6 up - 2 down
    • phoenix.rising says:

      Why should it cost so much to get elected????

      Because the average potential voter does not vote, watches TV, raises a family, has a job, works many hours, wants to relax with the other time….

      Guess what that potential voter takes the easy way out waits for the candidate to raise LOTS of $$$$ to wake them up and see the pretty art work and items that cross the TV or come in their mail box. So the $$$$ can buy votes even though the voter is still ignorant of the right choice because “eye candy” draws them to the voter.

      So the field is WIDE OPEN for a NO MONEY candidate to win!

      Using all these consultants has made the candidate less real.

      Go to their websites, find out where they will be, call the candidates, ask questions, have them over to your house and invite friends to ask questions…do you know that you can spot a fake and you in person can begin to learn the meaning of research.

      I know who is who but that is because I paid the price to know. Each average voter needs to begin and learn. Will they? If they were mugged by Adam they would fight back…not everyone is trying to develop property but those who are will NOT VOTE FOR ADAM because he punishes event the democrats and that is why he is going down on June 7, 2016!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      (5) 7 Total Votes - 6 up - 1 down
  6. Thomas A says:

    The Fire Adam Hill commercial has received 1,595 views and is climbing daily! Thank you for taking action and Fire Adam Hill 2016!

    (61) 77 Total Votes - 69 up - 8 down
  7. dogeatdog says:

    I did not think it matters whether you are a republican or democrat when you run for supervisor. I wish folks would not even mention their political affliction, maybe then more people would look at the candidate and what they really stand for.

    I personally hope Dan Carpenter wins. I was in Avila for the debate and thought he was the right person for the job. I don’t get to vote in that district, but I try to keep up on what candidates are saying and doing.

    More than anything I know it is time for Adam Hill to be replaced.

    (50) 60 Total Votes - 55 up - 5 down
    • phoenix.rising says:

      I agree and I can vote for Dan Carpenter and I will. I tell everyone I meet to vote for Dan. Adam has to go and he did not show at the debate and will he ever show at one this season? He would have exploded because Bruce Gibson was not there to buffer the world for him. Adam is Bruce’s puppet.

      (5) 7 Total Votes - 6 up - 1 down
  8. Jorge Estrada says:

    Just because I’m a Republican, a conservative of sorts, that does not disallow me from understanding the needs of others. I do support labor unions, I’m an IBEW member too, but I do not support redundant representation as is the case of labor unions in government. All government employees already have civil service backing. Union representation in government jobs, in my mind, is very problematic due to fact that they are tax funded. They tend to abuse the majority to fund their minority, a role reversal. This form of gang mentality sets a bad example by undermining our freedom of choice. This is a very sore subject to the extent that the political action portion of union dues can be discounted upon request. Union reform is on it’s way for reasons like this.

    (36) 48 Total Votes - 42 up - 6 down
    • r0y says:

      Public employee unions do not make sense because the “other side of the table” is also feeding at the same trough. In the private sector (the productive world), ultimately the “other side of the table” is the guy/gal who will be giving up more of their income to the union side of the table. Granted, that is a very plain, basic description, but serves the point.

      In a government “negotiation” for rates and benefits, the “other party” doesn’t lose squat, and literally has no skin in the game. It is pathetic and problematic, and after 50-60 years of it, we can see the disastrous effects of them.

      I mean, in the private sector, when the unions get (or are given) too much, it kills the host, and everyone loses. A select few usually know this, and know how and when to limit their negotiations accordingly. During boom times, unions ask for more, and generally get it (though never enough to them, and too much from the management perspective); and during lean times, they may get less (or no more increases) if they want to survive. NOTHING like this happens in the public sector. At best, their benefits and pay are put on hold, but I’ve never seen them “not catch up” at some point. I do not recall the last time there were pay cuts in government, or letting go of dead weight… I’m sure it happens, but I’m not recalling anything recently. I do, however, recall the last time they hired MORE, and paid MORE. Heck, that’s all I seem to see happening. The host is dead, and they continue to suck the life out of it, thus the society we have.

      (8) 16 Total Votes - 12 up - 4 down

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