Meet the donors fighting for control of the SLO County Board of Supervisors

November 1, 2022

By KAREN VELIE

With a week left until election day, those with special interests and partisan objectives have donated nearly $1 million to the two candidates dueling for control of the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors.

The stakes are high for those promoting specific policies or consultants who benefit by having their favored candidate on the board. Even though the races are nonpartisan, political heavyweights on both sides are donating to their favorite politically connected candidate.

District 2 runs along the coast from San Simeon to Cayucos, and inland picking up San Miguel, Heritage Ranch and Atascadero. It currently has 1,406 more Republicans than Democrats.

Supervisor Bruce Gibson

Incumbent Supervisor Bruce Gibson, a Democrat, is battling Dr. Bruce Jones, a Republican, for the swing seat on the board.

Gibson, a resident of Cayucos, has raised $483,353 in total contributions.

During the past month, Gibson’s largest donors include a proponent of privatizing water and two attorneys who have benefited from county contracts.

Jerome Lohr, of J Lohr Vineyards, donated $10,000 to Gibson’s campaign during the past month, bringing Lohr’s contributions during this campaign to $20,000.

For years, the owners of J Lohr Vineyards promoted a ballot measure to privatize the Paso Robles ground water basin. Nearly 80% of voters rejected the measure. Nevertheless, Gibson and others continue to promote water banking and privatization.

Two local attorneys who have both benefited from county contracts, each donated to Gibson. Attorney Don Ernst was awarded a large county contract, which was recently revoked by the conservative majority on the board of supervisors. Ernst donated $5,000 to Gibson last week.

Thomas Green is an attorney with the firm of Adamski Moroski Madden Cumberland & Green, which has received multiple government contracts. Green, who was also an attorney for Helios Dayspring, the man in prison for bribing former supervisor Adam Hill, donated $2,500 to Gibson.

Dr. Bruce Jones

Dr. Bruce Jones is a retired orthopedic surgeon and the former chair of the Templeton Area Advisory Group. Jones has raised $330,234 in total contributions.

Jones’ top donors during the past month include a decorator, a PAC and a Fresno based contractor. Jones received $5,000 from Jessica Land, a decorator from Cambria. Richard Spencer of Fresno donated $4,000, and a real estate PAC donated $3,000 to Jones.

During the past month, two PACs that were created to oppose Gibson’s reelection raised $121,900. Back the Badge raised $64,600 while Safer SLO County raised $57,300.

Dan Dow for District Attorney 2022 donated $25,000 and Randall Flamm, a retired resident of Cambria, donated $5,000 to Back the Badge.

The Safer SLO County PAC, a committee started by North County resident and retired firefighter Greg Grewal, received a $50,000 donation from Front Point Partners LLC and $5,000 from the Republican Party of San Luis Obispo County.

For your vote to count, your ballot must be dropped off or postmarked on or before election day, Nov. 8. Voters can also cast a ballot at their local polling station on election day.


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robdadbod

I hate political ads especially when a candidate who has been there for decades pitches “making changes” and getting politicians out of leadership. Um…that’s been YOU.


Robert1

Me also, as if we have forgotten the male supervisor’s who bullied the female supervisor in the elevator. Or the water crisis our county is in, or the out of control homelessness which has been increasing every year Gibson and the former dead supervisor Hill have been in office. Unaffordable housing under Gibson’s rein in office, we could go on and on. For 16 years while Gibson and the dead supervisor Adam Hill have been in office and buddies, the counties quality of life has eroded with their fighting and being anti law enforcement.


Jorge Estrada

I can remember the Board of Supervisors promoting a direct benefit to the public and as many don’t realize, the Board spent much of their time, our funds to build and maintain our county road system. At that time they received a stipend for their efforts and then right before out eyes they became an expert at everything, funding layers of management meetings to prioritize, process grants and attend ceremonies.


I look for change, back to what we need. Sorry to those who may lose the ever expanding freebees. My vote is for the care giver, Dr. Jones.


mazin

“$50,000 donation from Front Point Partners LLC”. Looks like Safer SLO PAC is really Front Point Partners LLC who funded $50,000 of $57,500.

Is Front Point Partners LLC the same Front Point Partners LLC owned by Morgan Stanley?

https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/front-point-partners

Who is Front Point Partners LLC?

https://sec.report/CIK/0001303116

Could the water bank concept be designed to exclusively benefit Northern SLO County?


heybobareebob

Nice research Mazin. Hope Dr Jones is not a front man for Morgan Stanley or maybe the Harvard land holdings out by Shannon. If he is we’re snookered again.


IronHub

Interesting that there are no comments on this story yet. It is this kind of reporting that gives voters a REAL sense of candidates’ intentions, and provides some of the most important electoral information. But I guess if the headline isn’t bloody or sexy…


chocolate_addict

What I am hearing from people familiar with water issues is that if Gibson has his way local residents will lose control of water to big money corporate interests and it can be piped out of the area and used where ever, leaving us without water. The theory as I understand it was to use water banking to allow for fluctuations in the water supply and let the free market deal with pricing and distribution. However what I am reading is that it allows a few rich to control it to the detriment of the entire community. What the article is suggesting is that although the Democrats portray themselves as the protector of the poor and middle class the exact opposite is the case and that Bruce Jones, who is running to decrease crime, cost of housing and protect SLO County water is the better candidate.


Spacetrekker

Great info. Thank you Karen.


derasmus

Yes, I agree!


Important piece.