Yucca Valley, Ca.- Town Manager Mark Nuaimi set out to bring a sales tax increase for the residents of Yucca Valley almost two years ago. He knew he had to have a game plan and relied on his friend, Tab Berg, of Tab Communications. Having worked for Nuaimi on his Fontana Mayoral campaigns, Berg also worked for Supervisor Janice Rutherford and Assemblyman Paul Cook on their campaigns. However, you will not see that referenced in the Request for Proposal by this company in his recent bid for Town business.
The Yucca Valley contract was awarded to Lew Edwards and Associates for the educational outreach. Story>>>LINK Don’t feel too sorry for this chap because Nuaimi set him up as the consultant for the Citizen Political Action Committee to promote and advocate for Measure U. No bids, no contracts, no problems….Nuaimi’s buddy was going to run this campaign, or so we are to believe. Nuaimi, the ultimate control freak was more than likely in the driver seat but that’s what friends are for, right?
A close review of Tab Communication’s proposal to the town will give you the outline he used to promote Yes on U, to include the blitz of mailers and signs along the highway touting the “fear factors” gleaned by Nuaimi during his “outreach and educational” meetings that ran up over $200,000.00 in costs using the town’s general funds, our tax dollars.
The cover letter of this proposal cites the need to educate the public for the need to fund a waste water sewer system. The proposal further states:
“A successful public education effort and subsequent campaign will have to work hard to build a broad coalition, deliver a powerful message (and utilize 3rd party validators), and engage the public so they feel they are partners in finding a solution rather than simply a money source for government programs.”
The next part of the proposal states there are ways to market the tax or fee increase by adding dialogue of “cutting services.“ It is suggested the voters need to be assured in many areas:
“1. We must ensure the public/voters understand the pressing need for the money, such as unsafe water. We must bring the “clean water” emotional appeal to the front of their minds, to supersede their natural inclination to oppose tax increases.
2. We must remind voters that existing funds are being well managed. Credibly demonstrating this is critical, so we must ID concrete examples (like the recent praise for forward thinking regarding state theft of RDA funds).
3. We must demonstrate that oversight will insure new revenue will be spent as promised. We encourage citizen oversight committees and full spending transparency on a unique and easy to read web site.”
The proposal indicates the need for a coalition group and to educate surrogate speakers. This was done by enlisting the local Yucca Valley Chamber of Commerce to become Nuaimi’s mouthpiece to promote Measure U. A flimsy “survey” conducted by a naive President garnering only 12% support of the membership was used to embrace and endorse a 30 year General Fund tax that is bad for business while grooming his next candidate for HIS Town Council. Flattery has really worked for him so far. It was all part of Nuaimi’s game plan from the beginning. A group of caring citizens in a small town was hooked, bait-line and sinker. Nuaimi was fishing in a barrel while laughing all the way to the bank!
“Coalitions: It is essential that we secure support from either local or state tax-fighters, environmental leaders, elected officials and neighborhood groups as possible. We’ll conduct or arrange one-one meetings with leaders to help secure their support (or
silence) throughout the campaigns.”
The proposal to the town goes on to address quality fact sheets that are simple and can be used for handouts but that was not the case for the Yes on U Committee choosing to use cluttered photo copies signed by the Chamber President for that “home town cheesy look,” I’m guessing. The last section was mass mailings which were slick, large and glossy over sized post cards, that could be used as place mats, arriving at the same time the mail-in voter ballots were delivered.
The funds raised and donors were itemized in previous stories as well as the amounts paid to Tab Communications. There are links just below this story for your review or just click on my author link.
My question to you….did you fall for all this BS?
If so, you just handed over a blank check to this Town Manager for $160 million dollars for the General Fund thinking it was for clean water, safety and free back scratchers!
I voted No on Measure U, did you?
Margo Sturges Author LINK