Hill pressures recipients of county funds for donations
August 9, 2016
By KAREN VELIE
In an email San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Adam Hill sent to a group of people affiliated with a local program that receives county monies, Hill ties the county’s financial support to donations to his reelection campaign. Hill notes in his email that $99 donations are “not going to cut it.”
Hill sent the email to 11 people affiliated with the Economic Vitality Corporation including Brad Wilde, who profited from the sale of property in a deal Hill brokered; Economic Vitality Corporation President Mike Manchak, Cannon Corporation CEO Mike Cannon, Brad Brechwald with the Wallace Group, attorney Ziyad Naccasha and Lenard Grant with RRM Design Group.
Hill’s July 30 email:
“Nothing personal but as we head towards a post Diablo economy it’s worth considering this: SLO is way to precious about itself, and it’s businesses leaders are often guilty of the same, wishing to avoid controversy at all costs.
“Guess what? Effective leaders are controversial, especially in these times.
“There are always excuses as to why people won’t write checks to effective elected but they are excuses and nothing more. The EVC is still funded strongly by the county because of me—no one else on the Board of supervisors cares about it. That is the truth.
“If it is to strengthen going forward, it will take my advocacy, and yes pushing. I also created the partnership with the HotHouse and that relationship will need to grow as well.
“I can go on as to many other important projects, but the point is this: some people want people who will always vote yes for projects (Debbie Arnold) but often those same people simply cannot lead any initiatives nor any policy. I am not trying to be insulting, I am trying to be matter of fact.
“I have some similar donors with Debbie, and Lynn, and I know we are supported for different reasons that I understand. But most people would rather not support anyone or write a $99 check. That’s not going to cut it.
“I have taken more heat than anyone deserves (even with my big mouth) and it has had terrible consequences on my health and personal life. So yes, I do get a disappointed by the lack of strong support from too many business leaders. I don’t really care if people like me as long as they recognize the good things I’ve done for community.
“But there is too much preciousness, fear of disapproval, and clubbiness to get strong political leadership in the community.
“More business leaders should be like Nick Tompkins and Gary Grossman who never feel like they have to make excuses to support me, do so generously, and do so regardless if we agree on everything or not.
“I know not everyone is as well off as they are, but again, there are always excuses to not do something and then complaints because something doesn’t happen…
Also on July 30, Leonard Grant of RRM Design Group sent the following email to Hill and the other 10 recipients in the email chain:
“Our business does not write checks to candidates Adam. We can as individuals. I haven’t written a check to your opponent. I’ve donated a lot of time to programs that support housing of all types and infrastructure. Sorry I don’t agree with you my friend. But it would be great to get some desal.”
On July 30, Hill responded to Grant with the following email:
“Most of the business community does not support political will/leadership, Lenny. You are an example of that.
“That’s why we get crummy candidates like my opponent (who you support) because our community is afraid (with certain exceptions like Mike Cannon and Brad Wilde being two in this chain) to offend anyone, to take sides, or to put their money where their mouth is and help elect people who are willing to take the heat to get things done.
“You get what your support.