WatchSonoma Watch

Just call her bullseye

Mayor Pam Stafford has been the target of five hammering attack mailers so far in this election for Rohnert Park’s City Council, more than any other council candidate. Of the others, just former city manager Carl Leivo has been subjected to an attack mailer, one that went out last week.

The anti-Stafford mailers, which have gone out over the past two weeks, have slammed her for policy and spending decisions. They’ve also attacked her for supporting Codding Enterprises’ $1 billion housing and commercial use project, Sonoma Mountain Village, on the city’s south edge. The latest hit residents’ mailboxes Friday.

Stafford said Friday she’s usually not bothered by the attacks, which she characterizes as largely lies and distortions of her record.

When she ran in 2008 for a second term on the council, she was the subject of similar attacks. Then, she recalled, she was castigated for supporting a controversial ban on nonprofits’ firework sales, even though she’d voted against the ban and herself worked in a nonprofit’s fireworks booth.

“Now they’re just taking figures and they’re making them what they want them to be,” she said.

The latest mailer devotes one of its two pages to highlighting Stafford’s votes in relation to Sonoma Mountain Village and says that Codding Enterprises bought Stafford off as part of its “payback.”

Codding Enterprises, through an independent committee named Protect Rohnert Park, is supporting Stafford and Chamber of Commerce chairman Amy Ahanotu for the two open council seats.

The Protect Rohnert Park committee has spent at least $10,000 on Stafford’s and Ahanotu’s behalf, but that is far less than the committee funding the attacks on Stafford. That committee, Citizens for Change, has spent about $27,000 going after Stafford, campaign finance reports show. Its only known donors are residents James Henley and Bruce Hotaling, who have declined to comment about the committee.

“Clearly there’s a hidden agenda against Pam. But with that said, the politics in Rohnert Park has always been dysfunctional, with power grabs between multiple parties,” said longtime political consultant Rob Muelrath, who has been at the helm of other biting attacks against Rohnert Park council candidates, including current Councilman Jake Mackenzie and former Councilwoman Vicki Vidak-Martinez.

“It’s really just dirty, and it’s always been that way in Rohnert Park,” said Muelrath, who in this election is advising John Borba.

– Jeremy Hay
Press Democrat

Click to view the mailers

6 Responses to “Just call her bullseye”

  1. John Hudson says:

    The thing that reeks the most to me is the award of $880,000 in public funds to Codding and Codding then financing the campaign of the city council member who voted to give Codding the money. That is as corrupt as anything that Jimmie Rogers ever did.

    In 1992 the Sonoma County Grand Jury issued a blistering report condemning the City of Rohnert Park for favoring Jimmie Rogers and how he ran the city government for his won benefit. It certainly appears that Codding has filled the vacuum created by Rogers’ death. Now he has the city council giving Codding Enterprises our tax money directly as well as indirectly financing the serer expansions he need to build all his condos.

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  2. disgustedRPvoter says:

    DL, do we have any of those. If democratic party endorses John Borba, well and good, but he’s still connected to some pretty shady characters (Leivo).

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  3. itsme says:

    Just think about it. Rohnert Park has gone to hell in a handbasket on Stafford’s watch.

    Voting for Stafford is voting for more of the same. Like wearing a sign on your rear that says, “KICK ME AGAIN.”

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  4. DL says:

    Actually, it appears John Borba has the Democratic Party’s endorsement:


    It’s truly sad when a race becomes tainted with cheap shots. The best choice to make is a candidate with decency, a strong work-ethic, and fresh ideas on the issues facing the community.

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  5. RB says:

    Here’s an attack mailer for you. When Mr Henry & Mr. Hotaling refuse to make comments about their mailer, they prove what their attack mailer already suggests – they are spineless cowards of the first degree who have nothing to bring to the table except money. No brains, no ideas, no courage. Just money which they think they can hide behind, simply because that’s what cowards do – they hide.

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  6. disgustedRPvoter says:

    The democratic party of Sonoma County endorses none of the RP candidates and that speaks volumes. No liberal candidates in RP, they all seem to be in someone’s pocket. That’s a real downer when it comes time to vote.

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