Lesley Wiscomb’s View

Wednesday, October 30, 2013
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The SEIU recently wrote an op-ed, “The SEIU View,” regarding my candidacy for City Council.

I interviewed with Police, Firefighters, and SEIU. In each interview, I told them that I’d like their endorsement but wouldn’t accept any money from them. As I stated in the SEIU questionnaire, I am supportive of city employees receiving fair compensation, wages, and benefits so the city can attract and retain a quality workforce, but City Council approves their contracts, and I firmly believe it’s a serious conflict of interest for prospective councilmembers to accept their campaign contributions.

City Councilmembers are in a position of public trust and, to me, high ethical standards require them to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest.

There is a problem when unions support candidates financially. SEIU, Police, and Firefighters contributions to City Council candidates through October 19 totaled $39,028, and in three cases — Diaz Alley, Hart, and Nelson — these amounts equaled 20 percent or more of their respective total cash contributions. Reasonable people will question the ability of councilmembers who accept contributions to remain objective when considering union contracts, a situation that’s not good for the council, our city, or the unions.

City Council elections are ostensibly nonpartisan, and I want to represent all residents of our city, including our hard working Police, Fire, and SEIU employees.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

I'm dizzy. You're continuously spinning. As you know, money is support during a campaign. And regardless of whether or not you accepted a physical check, you will still gain free advertising from unions had they supported you. This is cash equivalent and, with this, your explanation of why it is ok for you to seek union support yet attack those who gained it, is preposterous. As mentioned on SB view, the people being attacked most vehemently are probably going to win. Alley, Hart, and Nelson have it according to you.Thank you for running, but please stop thos last minute attack scramble. You are rreally the only candidate going for personal attacks. I'm tired of reading this baloney.

loveSB33 (anonymous profile)
October 31, 2013 at 7:38 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Lesley has a point. From a ethical point of view, how would it look if you gave money and gifts to the person responsible for determining your salary? Any corporate compliance officer worth his salt would call that a blatant conflict of interest.

Botany (anonymous profile)
October 31, 2013 at 7:50 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I watch a lot of TV, being a pot smoker and its true Lesley the Republican choice has the most negative commercials. Taking union money is ok as long as oil companies and Marborg can make donations. Lesley's friend Sharon Bryne is also holier than thou about political contributions but she got almost all her $ from the police union. If she had won there would be no weed and we would have a gang injunction and a homeless injunction.

BongHit (anonymous profile)
October 31, 2013 at 8:37 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Sorry loveSB33, $$$ influences elections big time. Ask Das Williams and Lois Capps.

Whether its from SEIU or Marborg or anyone looking to profit from the City.

Georgy (anonymous profile)
October 31, 2013 at 8:55 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Wow! Mrs. Wiscomb remains as bitter, jealous, and clueless as ever. And I thought her finger-wagging, scolding TV ads were bad enough.

She does not pass the laugh test for seeking labor union endorsements and going to their endorsement interviews, but then, she says after the fact, not accepting any financial contribution that such an endorsement would bring. Who really believes that if SEIU or the POA (police union) gave her a check for $5000 that she would not take their money and then just make up a spinning story to justify her Republican views.

When developers, builders, appellants seeking a favorable decision, permit-seekers, NIMBYs, corporate friends, and their ilk stop making financial contributions to candidates for city council, then the labor unions might stop as well. But until then, this is our financial reality to get elected.

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
October 31, 2013 at 11:01 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Lesley, you rock!

The disinformation campaign against you continues, but your integrity shines through. Thanks for taking the time to respond clearly, directly and on point. Exactly what we need more of on our city council today.

It is a conflict of interests, even if it is legal, to take money and/or endorsements from those with whom you will soon be negotiating contracts. Any contract whether it is POA, Fire, SEIU, Marborg or even an individual filing a planning department appeal.

Good to see this candidate gets it. Thank you for running. Best wishes on election night.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
October 31, 2013 at 12:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Wiscomb is the woman who wants to basically priivatize the Parks & Recreation Dept. incliuding shutting down the skate park as opposed to addding more. Then when the kids fall into "gangs" out of boredom she can sudden;y be the "law and order candidate" of the community she helped wreck. No thanks.

If you care about your kids or people in gneral, you won't want to support this woman's campaign. She's happy to sell the community out to the highest bidder.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
October 31, 2013 at 3:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

You know Ken, we have had some posters on here recently and have been having discussions about drug addicts and how to deal with the problems which of course I blame on the war on drugs itself.

But you bring up a good point about the skate parks.

They have done some studies on drug addiction with rodents recently. They put some rodents in a cage and got them addicted to drugs. In fact, they replicated the studies where the rodents would push the button to get more drugs before they would push the button to get more food, even as they were starving.

When they simulated an environment for the rodents that was similar to the natural world and allowed them to socialize with the other rodents, do you know what happened? They stopped pushing the button for the drugs altogether. In other words, they can only create the cycle of addiction in rodents when the rodents are kept in cages.

So maybe we should think about our society and consider that maybe the reason for drug addiction goes deeper than the drugs themselves.

Your point regarding taking away the skate park and then whining about juvenile delinquency, gangs and drug use is highly relevant.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
October 31, 2013 at 5:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Are the Elings Park Tennis Courts also under stewardship? What's become of the situation there?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
October 31, 2013 at 6:11 p.m. (Suggest removal)

volok - Has Lesley recently done something to show she's made a complete about-face from her years of supporting parks--including skate parks? She's been Chair of the Parks Commission for how many years now? During that time she's never done anything but be a strong supporter of parks. If you care about parks, one would think you'd want the former Parks Chair on the Council, as she's very knowledgeable of Santa Barbara parks' needs.
Unless you have something specific to offer to support your claim about Lesley wanting to hurt the city's parks, I have to assume you're simply passing along misinformation.

tucky (anonymous profile)
November 2, 2013 at 11:52 a.m. (Suggest removal)

What intrigues me is what Lesley Wiscomb *doesn't* say.

Wiscomb is relatively new to SB having moved here 5 years ago but was on the Parks & Rec Commission when the tennis courts were leased to Elings.

At the Mesa neighborhood candidates forum, one of the questions asked for an opinion on the tennis courts. As reported in The Mesa Paper, the two most concise responses came from Megan Diaz Alley and David Landecker. Megan characterized the issue as a privatization of public facilities. Landecker opined the lease was probably not legal per the City's charter and suggested a review is in order.

What did Lesley Wiscomb say? Not much.

She's damned either way. If Wiscomb comes out against the lease, then she was asleep at the wheel while on the Commission. But if she supports the lease, she takes on a position unpopular with her Mesa neighborhood voters.

There is a vagueness about Wiscomb that makes me uncomfortable voting for her.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
November 2, 2013 at 1:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Since when did accepting campaign contributions become a "partisan" issue except for those candidates who wanted such contributions but failed to be given any?

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
November 3, 2013 at 8:24 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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