This Thursday night.
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As fundraising soars past the $500,000 mark in the runoff for the Simi Valley seat on the county Board of Supervisors, candidate Jim Dantona is criticizing opponent Peter Foy for bankrolling his own campaign, and Foy is chiding Dantona for accepting gifts from unions and Los Angeles politicians.
Both have taken different tacks to raising cash for the high-profile race that began with a heated primary battle and is now reaching a conclusion with the general election Nov. 7.
From the start of the race in the spring, Foy was willing to funnel large amounts of his own cash into the campaign. A political unknown at the time, Foy said a county ordinance capping contributions at $600 leaves non-incumbents no choice.
"It's just ridiculous," he said Monday.
Foy, who owns an employee benefits consulting company, has reported total contributions of nearly $305,000 from the beginning of the year to date. About $80,000 of it came from donors and the rest from loans he made to his own campaign.
Dantona, a government consultant, had less to spend. He has raised $98,570 so far this year, on top of a little more than $103,000 he amassed last year, for a grand total of a little more than $200,000. Other than a $50,000 loan to himself, he has relied on contributions, finance reports show.
He collected about $25,000 since Oct. 1, including donations from Richard Francis, a co-founder of the open space movement in Ventura County; labor union affiliates in Los Angeles, Oakland and Kern counties; relatives and other individuals.
Dantona so far has spent $181,227, about $86,000 behind Foy's spending of $267,341 this year.
The fact that Foy has spent much of his own money means that he can be independent as he sets about the task of reforming county government, said his campaign consultant, Duane Dichiara.
"People are sick of politics as usual," Dichiara said.
But Dantona said the level of Foy's contributions shows that the candidate has no base of support in the 4th District, which runs from Simi Valley and Moorpark to Somis.
"He has self-funded because his agenda is so far out of the mainstream," Dantona said Monday. "He has to buy the seat. To me, that shows a real weakness and shows there isn't a groundswell of support for Mr. Foy."
Dantona has collected money from across the state as well as locally, but he makes no apology for it.
"I have friends that go beyond the borders of Ventura County," Dantona said. "They go far beyond the borders of Santa Barbara, L.A. counties. I've worked to help people for so many years in so many different counties."
Foy, however, has picked up speed in the fundraising race, with donations totaling about $30,000 reported since Oct. 1. About $7,000 of it came from individuals affiliated with the construction industry and a little more than $3,000 from agricultural interests. Both industries had supported Judy Mikels, the incumbent supervisor who was defeated in the primary.
It's unclear whether the arguments about financing will sway voters, two political scientists indicated Monday.
"I've never seen one (candidate) penalized for raising a lot of money," said Jack Miller, a political science professor at Moorpark College. "The volume of money doesn't matter, whether it's self-financing or money from a lot of different people."
Foy's willingness to invest hundreds of thousands of his own dollars could cut both ways, said Mike Shires, associate professor of public policy at Pepperdine University.
"It creates the impression of affluence, which is hard to connect to the common voter," he said. "The second part is it's a person who believes in what they're doing and is not beholden to outside interests."
Foy may have scored points in the conservative district when one of his mailers cited Dantona contributions linked to liberal politicians, Shires said. Miller said the election outcome will center more on turnout than debates about campaign finance.
Neither Foy nor Dantona is taking any chances with that. Both are walking precincts, making calls and sending out mailers in the waning days of the campaign.
"We're still spending; we're still raising," Dantona said. "We haven't stopped, and we're not going to stop until 8 p.m. on Nov. 7."
Foy said the response has been great in the last days of the campaign.
"We have a broad, broad base giving us contributions and who want to see the things I believe in," he said.
To keep up services and have experts on hand would either candidate keep some of the staff from out going supervisor Judy Mikels?
You have refused to debate you opponent until the very last minute, citing your concern that a public airing of the issues would only confuse voters. Im a voter and Im much smarter than you take me to be, so what's the real reason you decided to debate tonight?
Mr Foy, have our Supervisor or any of her staff assisted you in preparing for this debate???
Mr. Foy, other than our Board of Supervisors, what other job that pays more than $100,000, plus great benefits, do you know of where someone can expect to get the job when his resume lists neither education nor applicable experience?
Mr Foy: Are you or any group you are a part of receieving any property tax breaks due to your farming activities or any income tax breaks dues to the nature of your farming activities? If so, would it be fair to say those savings to you result in higher taxes for others?
Mr Foy: Are you or any group you are a part of receieving any property tax breaks due to your farming activities or any income tax breaks dues to the nature of your farming activities? If so, would it be fair to say those savings to you result in higher taxes for others? And, if so, is this sort of conduct appropriate for a candidate who's promised to cut taxes for everyone?
Mr. Dantona: How can a person who has filed for personal bankuptcy and also bankrupted his business, someone like yourself who has not met his financial obligations to others and hurt many local individuals and business owners be trusted to manage millions of dollars of taxpayer resources?
Mr. Dantona: How many members of your family are on the payroll of your charity organization, and how much do you and your family members draw in salary and benefits from your charity work? How do you plan to use your position as Supervisor to leverage donations to your charity organization for personal financial benefit?
Mr. Dantona: Why is it that you continually rely on smear tactics in your political campaigns instead of simply running on your own record? Why should we trust you when you are obviously willing to use false allegations and misleading information to sleaze your way into office?
Mr. Dantona: Why would voters in this community want someone who is a paid lobbiest to represent them as their Supervisor? Don't your previous lobbying activities represent a conflict of interest, and isn't it a contradiction for you to campaign against development when in fact you have lobbied for and accepted money from developers?
Mr. Dantona: Isn't it misleading to represent yourself as a bi-partisan moderate when you accept money from labor unions and your supporters are primarily angry, left-wing lunatics?
Mr. Dantona: Assuming you are supported by left-wing lunatics as Bubba purports, which group of individuals do you consider closest to your political position; Left-wing lunatics or far right fanatics, out of the mainstream, Nazi, women hating, homophobes who consider themselves the chosen leaders driven to destroy our United States Constitution?
Mr. Foy: As a born again child of Christ, as you profess, why don't you tell the truth as your Boy Scout motto requires?
Mr. Foy: You claim to have strong family values. Did you obtain these values before or after the break up of your marriage?
I know Dantona and I know Foy and I would not buy a used car from Foy! I'm voting Dantona!
But if you bought a car from Foy you'd actually get a clear title.
If this is like most debates, I suspect the questions will have to be written on 3 x 5 cards and given to the moderator. Also I suspect that the questions will have to be the kind that can be posed to both candidates for their responses and not specific questions addressed to a specific candidate. Which will eliminate most of the questions appearing above.
Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Council for National Policy?
Voter. Clear title? From Foy? The guy doesn't even pay his taxes or the court judgements against him! You and Foy are a joke!
I think it is very interesting that the Foy camp is telling everyone that Dantona is accepting $$$ from developers, yet, when Mr. Foy accepts $$$ from developers is called the "construction" industry..what a joke!
With the recent deaths of Firefighters. DO you think it is more important to take care of the Brush areas in the Simi Valley Area
Good luck to the Community tonite! This debate should have happened long before today but here's hoping to an informative discussion that will energize people to get more involved in the System.
My best to both candidates (more so to Jim Dantona, of course)!
Despicable liars! I've just heard from a member of CornerStone Church that the congrgation is being told to vote for Peter Foy because Jim Dantona is opposed to them building a new church on Tierra Rejada. She says they've been told time and time again, not from the pulpit but from lay leaders within the congregation, that only Foy will approve their plans and that Dantona is against new church building.
This is the sort of extremist politics you get when you vote for a member of the CNP. Its despicable and its morally wrong to use Faith as a tool to achieve the political agenda of a few hypocrites. If anyone knows members of the CornerStone Church, please set them straight and let them know who their REAL enemy is.
I cant wait till you meet mr. Foy Gary, look him in the eye and telll him he is the real enemy, who is using faith as a tool to destroy our community.....Call him a dispicable liar.
A liar who has Bob brooks one of the most trusted men in the county behind him.
Tom mclintock another trusted leader. Who the Boyscotts trust.
But good old Gary S. from the KNOLLS up on his little mountain calls him a liar.
Just say " I want dantona to win and ill do whatever or say whatever it takes"
then real voters will respect you
If you make a charge it is up to you to prove it.
That said, GS is this one woman the only person that has told you this? Why don't you ask her for a name so you can call and clear it up?
Before we attack GS about this is there any truth, even 1 percent to it? Is there a new church scheduled to be built? Has Peter Foy ever campaigned at Cornerstone? Has Jim Dantona?
Do Peter Foy supportes believe he is better suited to help Cornerstone build a new church?
I think you should call the pastor Francis Chan, let him know the truth, and allow him to fix the mistake. I have heard many good things about him and I doubt he would get his church involved in the campaign, especially if they were being used and lied to.
Let us know what happens after you call.
1) The despicable liars are the ones spreading these rumors at the Church. I don't even believe Mr Foy is doing it but those who are are playing extremist politics with that Church.
2) The rumors are NOT being spread by Pastor Chan, they are being spread by certain members.
3) The women who told us about the rumors is worried she'll lose a lot of friends at the Church and does not want her name known. She has offered to see if others can talk about it. I've known her for many years.
4) I make no apologies for supporting the best candidate, Jim Dantona, and though I've gotten plenty of skeptics like "GARY GARY GARY" tossing lobs at me no one's ever caught me lying nor refusing to apologize when I was shown to be wrong.
GS has lied time and time again on this blog. Example: saying Dantona filed for bankruptcy one time, once for himself, once for his business, but during the same year. Then the Star writes a story that carefully outlines how the two bankruptcies were 8 years apart, including specific dates and the massive amount of debt that Mr. Dantona never had to pay back to the poor folks who got screwed. Nice try, GS.
That's true. I think I did state that that was the information I had at the time. Yes, it was incorrect information and I should have asked Jim Dantona himself rather than rely on a thirdperson inside the campaign. My apologies for that screw up but I learned the facts as you did.
I read that article...
The Star also carefully outlined a chronology of Mr. Foy's unethical business and personal financial behavior that continues to this day.
The massive JD amount you refer to includes a house that was short-sold during that period which accounts for about 75% of the total.
Filing bankruptcy is legal.
Meanwhile, Foy's transgressions include a lifetime of illegal deceit and running and hiding like the stealth coward Farmer Foy truly is.
Many good people have regretfully filed bankruptcy. I don't know any good people (let alone leaders) who brazenly break the law, run from their responsibilities, then run for office and let their San Diego consultants answer any tough questions for them.
Get real yourself. Farmer Foy is a fake and a fraud.
If the church site is in the Tierra Rejada Valley, then it is in a county greenbelt, and Mr. Dantona said he would "fight" to preserve our greenbelts. Therefore, Mr. Dantona would not vote for any development within a greenbelt, including for a church, such as Cornerstone. It's very easy to see the connection. That's why any good candidate would never say "never" to any and all development. The best ones consider land use proposals one at a time, and weight the public good with the potential bad. The Reagan Library is in the same greenbelt, and local leaders felt it was important enough for our community to allow it where it now sits -- and it's the biggest tourist attraction in the county, generating who knows how much in economic benefits to the surrounding communities.
If elected (and that's a looooooongshot) Mr. Dantona is going to have a very hard time, if not impossible time, keeping all the promises he's made. He would be a car crash in any public office (like he was when working for Gray Davis).
I was looking at Foy's insurance web site, and he has a link to his Foundation web site. The web site is gone. Click on the link below.
I take exception to Gary's allegation that Cornerstone church is telling members to vote for Peter Foy. I'm a member of Cornerstone church and I know Pastor Chan personally and I can tell you that I have never been directed by him or any church member to vote for a particular candidate in any election. Anyone who knows Pastor Chan knows that doing something like that would be totally out of character for him and inconsistent with the way he runs his organization.
Yet what we have is Gary bringing up (yet again) unsubstantiated allegations, claiming that "extremist politics" are being waged by a local church with church members using "faith as a tool to achieve the political agenda of a few hypocrites".
But once again Gary is quick with the accusations but light with any facts to support his charges. He won't identify the person who allegedly made this allegation, and he won't identify the church leaders to allegedly perpetrated this scheme. So he basically has come out and smeared Cornerstone church and it's leadership without offering any specific facts to substantiate his claims. And once again those accused have no way to defend themselves against these reckless charges since Gary refuses to provide any information on the supposed evidence he used to reach his conclusions. For all I know Gary just makes this stuff up.
But I guess that is typical of what we have seen from Gary throughout this entire campaign, which is also why he has so little credibility. These are serious allegations, and unless Gary is willing to back them up with some evidence he should withdraw the accusations and apologize to any church members he may have offended.
BTW, I find it interesting that Gary now acknowledges (only after being proven wrong) that he passed on bad information with regard to Jim Dantona's bankruptcies. In his apology he states, "I should have asked Jim Dantona himself rather than rely on a thirdperson inside the campaign". But in the case of his most recent allegations against Cornerstone he is once again relying on a third-hand information and has not talked to Francis Chan or any church leaders directly to confirm these claims. That would seem to be the responsible thing to do before posting inflammatory charges against a local church and their membership. But Gary doesn't exactly have a good history when it comes to acting responsible versus recklessly and knowingly throwing out false allegations against others.
Once again Bubba you create your own distorted version. I specifically said that Pastor Chan did NOT make any such statements. You should apologize to him for trying to make him into the alledged perpetrator.
As for my report on the rumors being spread...I stand by the person that brought them to light.
For the last 6 years my neighbors and I have begged (unsuccessfully) Judy Mikels to help us, in the unincorporated areas, because of illegal grading, illegal removal and damage to protected oak trees and destruction of waterways and wetlands! How can you help us if you are elected Supervisor, when you yourself have committed similar destructive acts on your "farm"? Is this a conflict of interest?
You won't get much help from Mr Foy because although Mr Foy began his campaign with a pledge to not accept support from developers the folk driving Mr Foy's campaign are raising plenty of money from the same developers that would like to see an Open Season on overdevelopment.
Here are Gary Selvaggio's allegations in his own words:
"Despicable liars! I've just heard from a member of CornerStone Church that the congrgation is being told to vote for Peter Foy because Jim Dantona is opposed to them building a new church on Tierra Rejada. She says they've been told time and time again, not from the pulpit but from lay leaders within the congregation, that only Foy will approve their plans and that Dantona is against new church building."
"The despicable liars are the ones spreading these rumors at the Church. I don't even believe Mr Foy is doing it but those who are are playing extremist politics with that Church."
"The rumors are NOT being spread by Pastor Chan, they are being spread by certain members."
So here we have Gary Selvaggio making a specific allegation that the church congregation at Cornerstone is being told time and time again to vote for Peter Foy, and that leaders within the congregation are "dispicable liars" and spreading rumours throughout the church. Yet Gary has no direct knowledge of this, instead this information comes from an alleged third-party person who Gary will not identify. Nor is Gary willing to identify the alleged "dispicable liars" within the church who he claims are practicing "extremist politics" and using "faith as a tool to achieve the political agenda of a few hypocrites".
Those are some pretty strong charges against a very highly regarded and well respected local religious organization. Yet Gary Selvaggio offers no real evidence of these allegations and no corroborating testimony from anyone other than his mysterious and unnamed friend.
Perhaps Gary Selvaggio should take the time to speak with Pastor Chan and other church leaders to get to the truth before he resorts to reckless, unproven and potentially damaging allegations against others. Gary needs to get his facts in order before he accuses other of being "dispicable liars". As they say, those in glass houses should not be throwing stones.
Gary, you owe this community and the members of Cornerstone church a HUGE apology.
Great letter in the Star today ...
Your letters: East county
November 2, 2006
Fiscal know-how critical
I have lived in Simi Valley for more than 15 years. I have worked and raised my children here. I find Simi a great place to live. I also know there is an upcoming county supervisor seat to be filled.
Jim Dantona has serious fiscal management issues. Newspapers have reported his two personal bankruptcies, closure of his first lobbying company due to one of the bankruptcies and the massive administrative costs by his nonprofit organization. I remember the wise saying so true today: If you are not faithful with your money, then you will not be faithful with someone else's, our tax dollars.
We cannot afford a leader who is weak and not able to "supervise" the county of Ventura. County government has a very limited budget and a considerable amount of costly mandates from the state and federal government. One misstep fiscally could put our county government behind by years and hurt the families in this county.
We need a 4th District supervisor with fiscal know-how. Dantona most definitely is not it.
Luckily, we have a choice: Peter Foy. He started a very successful business from scratch. I knew him then and know him now. The contrast could not be greater between these two men. Foy carries the responsibility of ensuring many employees get paychecks each week, and he has done this for more than 15 years and still counting. That is a big responsibility to shoulder, but this experience is invaluable for whomever will serve on a board that oversees thousands of employees. He has been faithful there; he will be as our county supervisor.
The choice is clear, if we want a fiscally sound county of Ventura: Foy for 4th District supervisor.
— George Taggart,Simi Valley
I don't think saying a member or even a few members of a church have talked politics is a slam against the church.
If anyone says that Cornerstone members have been slurred because they talked politics in the personal conversations, not from the pulpit, I have a surprise for you. YOU are the ones taking down a church's reputation. No one member defines a church, and a church member is allowed to be an active citizen.
Let GS say a church member or two opposses his candidate. Let someone else explain why a church in the greenbelt makes sense. But to go running off at the mouth that GS attacked the church is where you go wrong.
Everytime a conversation gets heated there is someone that shouts STOP.
To quote Jefferson:
But, for God's sake, let us freely hear both sides!
The cornerstone church was not attacked.
It is a fair arguement if Dantona would support a new site.
This is not an issue about a few church members simply expressing their political views to one another. There was a very specific allegation made by Gary Selvaggio that accused church leaders within Cornerstone church of using their positions to try to influence their congregation for political gain. He accused church leaders of spreading rumors, of practicing "extremist politics", of being hypocrites, and he called them "dispicable liars". Gary Selvaggio slandered the leadership of a highly respected local community church without providing evidence to back up his reckless accusations.
Now if church members are discussing politics in the parking lot with one another that is their business. But Gary accused church leaders of doing something much more sinister, of using their positions as church leaders to practice "extremist poltics" and to spread lies. Accusing church leaders of being liars and hypocrites is a very serious allegation and anybody making that type of charge should be willing to proivide proof to back it up.
This is yet another example of how people like Gary Selvaggio have shamelessly and recklessly slandered others in this community with knowingly false accusations for purely political purposes. Gary needs to either present his evidence or retract his statement and apologize to the community.