Friday, May 30, 2008

Anti-Glover mailer is false, misleading

An opponent-funded campaign mailer targeting Supervisor Federal Glover of Pittsburg contains major misstatements and false impressions.

Erik Nunn of Oakley, one of five candidates running June 3 for the District 5 seat on the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors, paid for the four-page glossy brochure.

The Times periodically examines campaign literature and informs voters of the facts. Here's a breakdown of what the mailer says, the facts and Nunn's responses:

What it says: "Federal Glover makes thousands of dollars a month as a Section 8 landlord."

Is it true? No.

Glover has tenants in one Oakland triplex unit who qualify for federal housing assistance. The rent on the unit is $1,600 a month. The tenants pay a portion of the monthly rent, usually between 20 to 30 percent, and the Alameda County Housing Authority uses federal funds to pay the difference.

In addition to the triplex, Glover owns three rental properties with addresses in Pittsburg, Sacramento and Elk Grove.

What it says: "Federal Glover receives over $8,123 from Contra Costa County taxpayers each month."

Is it true? Yes. As a Contra Costa County supervisor, Glover earns $95,000 a year in salary plus benefits.

What it says: "With all that money, why won't Federal Glover pay his garbage bills on his Section 8 rentals? We pay him plenty."

Is it true? No.

Glover's tenants are responsible for paying their garbage bills.

But Advertisementin the seven instances since 2001 listed on the mailer, Glover said tenants at his property on West Street in Oakland moved out and failed to notify Waste Management of Alameda County, which continues to bill the residents.

When they don't pay, the company files liens against the property owner, who may or may not receive a notification of the action. The filer has the option to pay the county to send a copy of the document but it is not required.

Glover said he learned of the unpaid garbage bills when he received his Alameda County property tax assessments. He has paid all the past due amounts, which add up to $1,396.

What it says: The mailer's second page lists eight properties under the banner of "Section 8." The implication is that all listed properties are rentals for low-income tenants.

Is it true? No.

Only one property on the list has a Section 8 tenant. Several of the rentals have had Section 8 tenants in the past but that is no longer the case, Glover said.

The other listed homes include Glover's personal residence, the homes of his son and another relative.

What it says: "When it's all said and done, taxpayers literally end up paying for Federal's garbage service," and "But when Federal Glover doesn't pay his bills, we have to."

Is it true? No.

Glover paid the liens with his own money, which may have come from a portion of his salary.

But under this argument, taxpayers are also paying Glover's electric bill, buying his gasoline and covering his dry cleaning tab. Once public employees earn their salaries, the taxpayers no longer have a claim to the money or how an individual spends it.

Nunn's response: "As a property owner and Section 8 landlord, it's Federal Glover's responsibility to make sure bills are paid and if his tenants move out, he should obviously be aware of that and take appropriate action, which he has failed to do over and over, for seven years.

"One lien, OK, two, fine, but seven and three are outstanding. Either Federal Glover thinks he doesn't have to follow the same rules as other Section 8 landlords or he is uninformed and doesn't care.

"It sounds like Federal Glover is blaming his Section 8 tenants, the garbage company or the U.S. Postal Service for not paying his bills, and they are his bills, he owns the property.

"The fact that Federal Glover was alerted to these unpaid bills as a result of a campaign mailer is actually disturbing, especially considering how important of an issue Section 8 is to East County voters."

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