Yucca Valley, Ca.,- FLASHBACK-The biggest story of 2012 was the defeat of Measure U against the greatest odds and the most campaign money ever spent in Yucca Valley to promote Measure U, the 1% sales tax for 30 years, a General Fund tax expected to bring in $160 million to the Town’s coffers.
Town Manager, Mark Nuaimi, earning over $20,000.00 per month salary, spent 18 months and about $199,000.00 Town funds to promote Measure U. This figure includes the contracts approved for the professionals to prepare the financial analysis, surveys and mailers but does not include Staff time or attorney fees which are an unknown. Nuaimi was instrumental to create a special political action committee and used the Chamber of Commerce as his mouthpiece to advocate for the tax. “Team Nuaimi” had most of the Town staff on board with personal donations and political appointees and elected official were scattered about on his chess board ready, willing and able. They were dutifully writing letters to the Editor, holding fundraiser, wearing matching shirts and waving their blue pom-poms saying, “Give me a U!”
The Yes on Measure U PAC raised over $39,000 with Nuaimi’s friends at Burrtec donating $10,000.00.
Total funds raised/spent:
YES on U was $239,000!
NO on U raised $950.
Letters to the Editor in the local newspaper were submitted by the Town Clerk, Mayor Dawn Rowe, Planning Commissioners and many others who were assigned this task. Many promoting this tax lived in Phase III of the sewer plan. Many Staff members did not live in Yucca Valley and could not vote for the tax.
Nuaimi’s trusted political consultant, Tab Berg, was brought in to run the campaign using Tab Communications with a track record of 97% wins. Berg was paid by the PAC to set up their website and was instrumental in the many mailings of glossy 4-color post cards to the voters of Yucca Valley, the size of place mats. Tab Communications had successes with political campaigns of clients: Mark Nuaimi, Janice Rutherford and Paul Cook, to name a few.
The list goes on with donations to promote this General Fund tax that could not be designated or ear marked.
Dividing the citizens of this community, they voted down Measure U with the final tally: 52% voted NO, and 48% voted YES. (Measure U only needed 50% +1 vote to win).
Thank you to all the 3,594 citizens that voted No
Margo Sturges Author link
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