Supervisor Janet Wolf, who is battling Goleta city councilmember Roger Aceves to hold onto her 2nd District seat, added $20,000 to her campaign coffers, courtesy of the Local 721 branch of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) on April 10. That donation — which raised her total SEIU donations to $80,000 — came one day after Aceves called Wolf out for not disclosing her SEIU donations prior to the board’s recent discussions on SEIU-related matters. The state’s Fair Political Practices Commission states that such disclosure rules don’t apply to local bodies like city councils and county supervisors.
Wolf’s latest $20,000 came from the Los Angeles–based Local 721, which represents more than 500 Santa Barbara County employees, including those who work in the Public Defender’s Office, the Sheriff’s Office, and the Public Health Department. The supervisors voted 5-0 in December to award that union a new contract through July 2016; the contract ends freezes on merit step increases and institutes minor wage increases.
On February 14, SEIU Local 620 gave Wolf $20,000, and several days later, Wolf and three of her fellow supervisors voted to approve a new contract for that union. On March 6, the union’s statewide organization wrote her a $40,000 check; on March 11, the supervisors discussed outsourcing the lab services unit of Public Health, which includes SEIU employees, but postponed a decision until last week’s budget workshops, during which the department said it could wait another year to discuss the outsourcing.
In addition to her SEIU contributions, Wolf has garnered financial support from the Santa Barbara County Firefighters Government Committee ($15,000) and smaller donations from current and former area politicians. As of the end of March, Wolf’s war chest weighed in about $60,000 more than Aceves at approximately $215,000 versus Aceves’s $155,000.
Recent significant contributions to Aceves’s campaign include $14,081 from Santa Maria Energy on March 26; the oil company previously gave him $10,000 in February (plus another $919 in catering costs) and $2,000 from the president, David Pratt, in December. On April 5, Aceves netted $9,500 from ERG Operating Company, LLC, which is based in Bakersfield but operates wells in the Cat Canyon Oil Field near Santa Maria. On April 9, Aceves received $6,000 from the Santa Ynez Band of Mission Indians, adding to the $5,000 the tribe gave him in early March and the $8,000 in catering costs the Chumash Casino Resort picked up in November.
Other recent donations to Aceves include $2,500 from Jamal Hamdani, the chair of the Islamic Society of Santa Barbara — for which Goleta City councilmembers unanimously approved a mosque last year — and $5,000 from Kevin Kinyon of Kinyon Construction in Santa Maria. Over the course of his campaign, Aceves has received $10,000 from the Santa Barbara County Deputy Sheriffs’ Association.
The two candidates are set to speak during two forums in the next two weeks. The first is on Wednesday, 4/16, at the Bacara Resort from 9-10:30 a.m. The second is set for Wednesday, 4/23, at the Goleta Valley Community Center from 6-9 p.m.