Tracing Elk Grove Campaign Contributions

110 N. Wacker, Chicago The motivations for most of the campaign contributions to Elk Grove politicians are pretty easy to understand. ...

110 N. Wacker, Chicago
The motivations for most of the campaign contributions to Elk Grove politicians are pretty easy to understand.

If you are the transportation provider for the city and you want to continue your contract, grease the wheels. Want to build a development on some soggy land, flood the politicians with some cash.

Even though we as citizens may not like the drill, as long as it is disclosed it is all perfectly legal under California law.

Every now and them however, a donor appears on a candidates 460 form that makes you scratch your head.

That is the case with Elk Grove City Council Member and mayoral candidate Gary Davis' most recent contribution filing. The donor, who gave Davis $1,000, was Howard Reserach & Development Corp., 110 N. Wacker, Chicago. A search of this led us to the address of none other than General Growth Properties - the original developer of the unfinished Elk Grove Promenade Mall.

A further search of Howard Research & Development Company seemingly shows this entity to be part of the Rouse Company that GGP bought back in 2004 and helped lead GGP into its historic bankruptcy five year later and six month after construction stopped on the Elk Grove Promenade. Going back one more step, the Howard Hughes Corporation became a subsidiary of Rouse in 1996.

In addition to developing malls, Rouse is best known for developing the master planned communities of Columbia, Md. and The Woodlands, Texas.

Aside from padding Davis' campaign by another $1,000, it is hard to say with any certainty why Howard Research and Development is suddenly interested in Elk Grove elections. Do they want to revive constructions of the half-built Elk Grove Promenade? Are they interested in the SEPA? Or could it be the 8,000 acres the city is hoping to expand by that is the apple of their eye?

One thing is for sure, Howard Research and Development has a long history of undertaking major developments.

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Anonymous said...

Did this same contributor make donations to Cooper or Detrick? I tried to glean this information myself, but having difficulty deciphering the campaign finance forms.

The author has been pounding the drum on Davis' contributions, but no mention of Detrick's "war chest." One wonders who he plans to "go to war" with. I also note, and what has not been disclosed here, is that like Detrick, Davis has made civic contributions from his campaign account.

Play far EGN. It is apparent you're supporting Wheat and that's okay, but make sure you fully disclose for all candidates....not just those you don't like.

Phyllis Leighton

Sarah Johnson said...

I agree,Dan your bias is showing and it is not attractive!

Michael Monasky said...

OK, sure...let's play fair.
Award the Pulitzer Prize to
Better yet, pay prevailing wage with health benefits, then a modest pension.
That'd be "fair", No?

Paula said...

Yeah, he shows some bias here, but it's obvious, not hidden. He's supporting a particular candidate, his right.

It is interesting though, what he found out about these links back to Gen Growth.

Why is Rouse investing in a local EG campaign?...and why are they supporting Davis, rather than any of the other candidiates?

Never mind, I know the answer to the later. Davis is setting himself up for a much bigger run in 2 yrs, for ther Assembly or Senate. He'll need those national supporters for that run and he's already working major contributors for that run while he should be working to put EG citizens back to work and working to put tenants in our numerous empty store fronts.

However, the former question, re: why would a national corporation support an local city council campaign begs for an answer.

Anyone? Buehler?

Anonymous said...

That a good one MM!

I call those "dark" campaign fund contributions a candidate accepts and it would only be fair to question them.

Having always been a supporter of Mr. Davis, I do find it disturbing that with his two remaining years left as our elected council member he would think it in the cities best interest to elect him as Mayor at a cost to the city of approx. $400,000. None of the other candidates would cost us a penny!rnvgken Now that just doesn't sound as if he put his community first IMO. Kinda erased all the accomplishments he seems to think he did single-handed as council member. He did forget one though, the "Rain Garden," that I will give him credit for. :-) Great idea!!

Anonymous said...

Dan's Site...Dan's opinions. He has a right to his; and we ours. but his digging around is hardy offenive; it seems it is more "investigative journalism". but the question remain...why is GG interested in EG when they no longer own the mall site? Why the contribution to "the mayor?" I too am a Davis supporter but it is getting increasingly difficult to swallow a 400,000 tax bill so that he can move over one position on the dias and become mayor...a job that has been said many times, is only a ceremonial has to wonder why Davis thinks its OK to strain our citizens with such a debt.

Tired of the belly aching said...

Quoted from his article, "every now and then however, a donor appears on a candidates 460 form that makes you scratch your head".

Since when is raising a question and doing research to inform the public about one of the contributors that did not make immediate sense indicate press bias?

And to further quote from a commenter, "your bias is showing and it is not attractive!" Is being a NIMBY and looking out for your own neighborhood, i.e. train stop, architectural preservation, redevelopment, etc. NOT biased?

Kudos to Dan for attempting to provide the public with information and analysis. Who says there is no such thing as a free lunch. Dan provides us with one every day and night. Thank you for the thought provoking articles.

David Webb said...

Very good work, EGN.

It is very interesting that Rouse would donate money to Davis, especially considering it is almost election time and he still has over $80,000 of large corp (developer) money REMAINING in his camapaign account. Why?

I have supported Davis for six years, but his recent actions have me distancing myself from him for the first time.

As the previous blogger noted, why is it so important for Davis to run for Mayor and COST US TAXPAYERS $400,000 for a special election for his replacement, all for a "ceremonial' position on a board that he is already on and has two years remaining?

I cannot justify in my mind why someone would do this if he truly had our best interests in mind.

Sarah Johnson said...

The Council can appoint a replacement for the remaining two years, and avoid the cost of a special election. I think this is the likely outcome. Quit trying to scare people by throwing the $400k thing out there!

Anonymous said...

Why would we want to allow the council to APPOINT one of their cronies?? Do you advocate taking our voting rights away and allowing these "bought and paid for" council people to pick one of their own?? Oh, that's right, Davis' machine has already stated that they have already hand-picked a planning commissioner to take Davis' spot. I guess the system has it all worked out for us...THANK GOD someone is watching our backs cause we wouldn't want those pesky residents voting in someone to make decisions on the SOI, future light rail, etc. Let's face it, either way EG is screwed...either we pay 400,000 to allow Davis to move over one chair or we get some handpick protégé without citizen input. GREAT JOB DAVIS!

Anonymous said...

An appointment is not out of the norm. The CCSD did it to fill vacancies. Elaine Wright, for example, and she was a great board member who served our city very well.

The EGUSD just did this year twice, and one of the appointments was for two years in Bobbie Singh-Allen.

Both agencies said appointments were done in order to save money.

So following those examples, the Elk Grove City Council appointing a successor if Gary wins wouldn't be anything new.

Elk Grove News said...

Re last comment.

It was fine except for the last line. Feel free to repost but lets not get to personal.

Anonymous said...

The CCSD board and EGUSD boards do not control our future as a city. You are comparing APPLES to ORANGES. Remember in 2000 when we wanted "local control." Well, having the council appt someone without an election is something we all would have screamed about pre-cityhood. I agree with person above regarding the cost of and the appt of a replacement council person. Seems this was not thought out when it was decided to have an elected mayor.... unintended consequences, I guess. I for one would like to vote on a new council person, but he cost does seem prohibitive. What a mess.

Anonymous said...

whatever happened to "representative government"? Of the people, by the people, for the people? Go ahead and appoint Chaires and just be sure your children read about this hijacking of democracy in their civics class. Elk Grove--fast food city and fast and loose government!

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