Council candidates disclose campaign money
by Nick Rappley | Patterson Irrigator
Oct 18, 2012 | 3291 views | 6 6 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Editor's note: The print edition of this article did not mention that City Councilman Dominic Farinha has recused himself from votes relating to a City Hall annex project, in which the Gibson/Salmon Group has handled architectural work and in which another contributor, John Ramos, previously owned the building. Farinha opted not to vote on the matter because he owns property near the project.

Thousands of dollars have poured into campaign coffers for Patterson City Council candidates, including money from entities and individuals with business before the council.

Candidates who anticipate receiving more than $1,000 of support — both financial and nonmonetary — or who spend more than $1,000 on a campaign in a calendar year are required by the California Fair Political Practices Commission to file a California Form 460 with the city clerk’s office.

Three candidates for city office, including Troy McComak for mayor and Councilwoman Annette Smith for City Council, did not file a California Form 460, indicating they had not received more than $1,000 for their campaigns. Candidates who receive donations of less than $1,000 file a California Form 470. City Clerk Maricela Vela said Tuesday, Oct. 16, that there were no Form 470s on file with the city.

Council candidate Tony Camacho had not filed either form, but he said Tuesday that he had made a mistake by not filing Form 460 by the Oct. 5 deadline. Failure to file in a timely fashion can result in a fine from the Fair Political Practices Commission.

Camacho said he had raised nearly $5,100 but did not have comprehensive specifics at hand when reached by phone about who had donated to his campaign. He said he received two $1,500 donations from labor political action committees, one of which was the California Teamsters Public Affairs Council.

He said he planned to file the campaign contributions form with the city soon.

Smith indicated she had not received any donations as of the filing date of Oct. 5 and did not expect to spend more than $1,000 on her campaign. She expected any donations would amount to less than $1,000, adding that she would file a California Form 470 if she received any.

McComak, who is challenging Mayor Luis Molina, said he was taking a different tack.

“I’m not spending any money on this campaign,” McComak said this week. “I’m trying to do it a little differently.”

Molina raised the most money among those who filed reports, indicating that he had received more than $3,300 in financial help.

Councilman Dominic Farinha received $2,300, according to his statement.

Sheree Lustgarten stated she had received $1,428 in total donations.

Dennis McCord reported donations of a little less than $1,100.

Carlos Fierros indicated he had received $1,850 worth of nonmonetary contributions.

Among the largest single donations was a $500 gift to Lustgarten from Dominic Speno, who has been sued by the city of Patterson for $173,000 he owes in back hotel taxes.

Speno countered with a cross complaint for $2.5 million that he said the city owes him because of a developer agreement allowing him to be reimbursed for storm drain and flood-control improvements he made in the late 1990s to the Villa Del Lago project on Rogers Road near Interstate 5 and Sperry Road.

Farinha received a $500 donation from Bertolotti Patterson Disposal, which has a contract with the city for waste disposal that ends Sept. 30, 2014. Provisions in the contract allow the city and Bertolotti to mutually renew the contract twice for two-year terms after 2014.

Farinha also received $150 from the Gibson/Salmon Group. The city has hired the firm for architectural duties, including work on a recently purchased building to be annexed by the city on the first block of South Del Puerto Avenue near City Hall, though Farinha recused himself from that vote because of nearby property he owns.

John Ramos, who also donated $500 to Farinha, previously owned the City Hall annex building, which the city bought for more than $600,000.

Molina received a donation of $250 from Keystone Pacific Business Park, which the city has sued for $175,000. He also received a $50 donation from Keith Schneider, the company’s executive vice president.

McCord showed just two monetary donations: a $100 donation from the Central Valley Democratic Club and $250 from local farmer David Santos.

Also, a letter from Patterson resident Barbara Periera received by the Irrigator on Monday, Oct. 15, included an attached photo that she alleged showed local farmer and developer Jeff Arambel and developer Joe Hollowell, who have spearheaded a recent 1,100-acre business park expansion to the West Patterson Business Park, setting up campaign signs for Smith.

The project received the unanimous blessing of Smith and the other four council members in an August vote.

Smith confirmed Tuesday that the two were placing signs for her.

n Contact Nick Rappley at 892-6187, ext. 31, or

Comments-icon Post a Comment
October 20, 2012
When someone isn't open, it means they have something to hide. I was at an event where camacho got money and it wasn't in his report. what other money has he gotten that he didn't include in the report? He also got a whole posse following him eveywhere. why would you need consultants to run a local campaign. the big cats dont care about paying $5/day fines for filing late. wonder how much the fines are for not revealing a donor. I smell a rat, and he needs to own up on whos backing his campaign.
October 20, 2012
That may be the case but as far as the report goes and the article the numbers are consistent..i only wish all candidates reported their forms on time..both 460 and 470's

October 20, 2012
Good morning Patterson! A copy of Tony's 460 form can be seen on his website. Thanks!
October 20, 2012
Thanks Team Camacho for posting this..we at the IrriTator will follow up on the filing, but it looks like we can call out this myth stated earlier: "Why didn't Camacho disclose his donors besides the 2 big checks from labor? I heard he got money from Amambel and Hallowell and some other developers since he's also involved in real estate."

The 5,050 came from all Labor Union Support: Teamsters: 2000, Teamsters 1500, and D.R.I.V.E.- 1500, and one individual Donor at 50.00

October 18, 2012
sounds like speno has the most to gain if lustgarden is elected.
October 18, 2012
Why didn't Camacho disclose his donors besides the 2 big checks from labor? I heard he got money from Amambel and Hallowell and some other developers since he's also involved in real estate. Seems telling that he 'liked' the facebook article about those same developers threatening to sue the city. Does he really think its ok for someone to sue the city for $1.4 million? Does he have a problem with developers paying fees for their projects? Also interesting that these same guys put up Annette's signs around town. Did they put his up too? Voters beware. This guy comes out of nowhere, knows nothing and says nothing at the candidate debate but somehow raises more money than anyone else and doesnt say where he got it. Sounds like politics as usual to me.

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