The No On Recall folks have a point when they say that the recall campaign is backed by a shadowy cabal of Isla Vista’s landlord scum – there are two of them and as of December they contributed a whopping 2.8 percent of the campaign’s cash.
It’s just not a very good point.
Isla Vista’s landlords have only slightly more than squat to do with the recall campaign, but it’s a damned handy lie for Gail Marshall’s supporters to tell in this town. Landlords are unpopular folks in a town where few people get their security deposits back. Plus, I.V. has supported Marshall and after being squished like a toad on the road for the first few months of the recall she needs to rally the troops, and why should the truth get in the way of that? After all, truth has little to do with a regular election and even less to do with a recall election.
The only time you can be sure either side is telling the truth is when they say the other guys are getting the cash from out of town. Their end-of-year filings show that, if you discount loans Marshall took from people like her husband and her assistant, almost 60 percent of the money for both sides of this campaign came from outside the 3rd District. The recall campaign took $23,936 from outside the 3rd – 55 percent of its itemized fillings – and Marshall’s backers took $12,650, or 69 percent of their reported cash. Very little of either side’s money, though, comes from outside Santa Barbara County.
Marshall’s foes raised a bigger chunk of cash, at least before the end of last year, by hitting up agribusinesses, developers and polluting businesses – Amalgamated Greed, we’ll call them – for over half their cash. Thirty percent of the cash came from cattle ranchers and large farmers, who want their cows and bulls to shit in rivers without county interference. Ten percent of the recall money is from developers and financiers, who want to be able to build on otherwise nice land, and three percent comes from industries that want to pollute in peace.
Marshall’s money comes from no one so interesting. Before January, she raised $2,900 from agribusinesses and developers, about 10 percent of her lucre. She probably has more money now, what with Jackson Browne throwing her benefit concerts and all. Most of her extra-district cash is coming from left-leaning Santa Barbara – dental telemarketers, “retired community activists” and such.
All of Santa Barbara County is involved in this race because of three and two – the split between environmentalist county supervisors and pro-development, or “property rights,” supes. That’s it, nothing more, nothing less. Marshall’s foes will do whatever they have to do to unseat her and Marshall’s folks will say whatever they have to say to keep her in power.
This isn’t about landlords. It’s about bullshit.