The Phantom PAC of Goleta

Goleta City Council candidates Margaret Connell and Ed Easton came under fire this week as a series of mailers blasted them for allegedly supporting the city’s current revenue neutrality agreement and higher density housing along Hollister Avenue. One side of the leaflet depicted UCSB’s new graduate student housing complex-which is not in Goleta-and asked, “Is this the future you want for Goleta?” The mailers were paid for by a political action committee called the Coalition for a Healthier Goleta, which filed at the Santa Barbara County Elections Office on September 30 but about which little is known. “In the last week, Goleta voters have been deluged with thousands of dollars in negative and misleading advertising,” said Connell at an October 14 press conference. “The public still has no idea who or what this group is or the source of its money.” Neither Connell nor Easton support the current revenue neutrality agreement between Goleta and Santa Barbara County.

Although the Coalition for a Healthier Goleta paid for the mailers, and, according to information available at the County Elections Office has purchased nearly $10,000 worth of television advertising, no other financial information was available as of press time. All that is known is that it is classified as a general purpose committee, with treasurer David Gould-of Los Angeles-based political finance consulting outfit the David Gould Company-the only name listed. Neither of the candidates running against Connell and Easton-Jean Blois and Don Gilman-said they had any knowledge of the group.

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