Friday, October 31, 2014

Brian Schmidt has a video

UPDATE:  Developing Story  see below

Eli's friend, Brian Schmidt is running for re-election to the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board.  Brian has been endorsed by the San Jose Mercury News and much of the other media in the area, but his opponent is rich, and, well probably not much constrained.

Take a look at the video and, if you are in the area, please vote for Brian

UPDATE:  As shown in the video, a scurrilous mailer was sent to voters in the Santa Clara Valley by an organization called the Neighborhood Empowerment Coalition that operates, among other things an astroturf website.  It turns out that, as shown by its registration CA Form 460 the Neighborhood Empowerment Coalition is a creature of a rather scurrilous lawyer in Long Beach California, by the name of Gary Crummitt, and said Gary Crummitt has a reputation, not a good one.

Crummitt has been cited multiple times by the California campaign finance watchdog agency, the Fair Political Practices Commission, and astroturfing mailers is amongst his tricks of the trade.

So Eli wonders what Gary Kremen, Brian's opponent has to do with this mailer.


Anonymous said...

Ah good ole deleting comments I see.

Hope you lose Brian.


Fernando Leanme said...

The video jerks around too much, it made me dizzy. I would have words scrolling on the screen with the same message used on the pieces of paper. The font should be white with a very professional look, and scroll slowly. Have a woman read the words so there´s no confusion that´s a third party and not the candidate.

I believe Mississippi river water is reused by hundreds of communities. I bet this is the case all over the place, but it´s not discussed because people tend to get squeamish.

Alastair said...

That's democracy! Kremen will win the seat and then implement water recycling under another name. There is no alternative.

Alastair said...

What title will Kremen use? Could Brian switch to it first and get elected? Suggestions please.

"A pure fresh water scheme."

"A river water restoration scheme."

"Mother daughter water scheme."

Paul Klemencic said...

The mailer gets so many things wrong:
1. It shows untreated wastewater going untreated right into the drinking water system.
2. It ignores costs, and customer benefits from having more available water, such as irrigation, healthy landscapes, increased wildlife habitats, and vegetated hillsides.
3. It ignores gray water systems.

Someone this ignorant of water issues, has no business being on the water district board. I used to live in the Berryessa district of San Jose, and I know that some fairly simple schemes can be used to recycle treated wastewater. We have percolation ponds in the valley, used to recharge the natural aquifer underlying the valley (the source of artesian wells historically used for water). Treating the wastewater, then releasing the water into the the perk ponds is relatively easy and cheap. This adds the extra protection of the natural filtering step as the water perks into the aquifer, to the treatment scheme. The perk ponds are often relined with suitable filtering sediments, and improving the composition of the filtering materials can likely make the SJ aquifer some of the cleanest water around; and much better than reservoir water.

I could always tell at my house, when the aquifer water was in the system... the water was colder and tasted much better than the reservoir water. Adding treated water judiciously to the perk ponds, and expanding the perk pond system, seems such an easy fix, that would actually improve the quality of the water received by households. I sometimes think that even circulating the reservoir water through the aquifer makes sense.

KAP said...

Crummitt was the treasurer for Craig Huey's unsuccessful run at the state assembly in 2012. Huey is a Tea Party Republican.

turboblocke said...

Sorry, I'm not American so don't understand why this is an elected position in the first place and why someone would spend money to get elected to that position. What's in it for them?

Gator said...

Brian, you've got my vote!

EliRabett said...

The US has a tradition of electing dog catchers and judges, but Eli repeats himself. It's part of the reason elections here are so complex and turnout so low.

As for what is in it, well first a launching pad to higher office, second, water in the US West is very serious stuff.

turboblocke said...

Right, so IIUC in the USA elected officials are in it for themselves rather than any notion of service for the public good?

And as Paul Klemenic above implied, someone with enough money, can buy himself a position for which he is unqualified.

Not sure that that is a system that results in government for the people.

turboblocke said...

BTW "...water in the US West is very serious stuff." makes me wonder about the advisability of having an elected board, where generally the ones with the most money get elected. Is it their own money or do they get donations? If so, how do you ensure impartiality?

Anonymous said...

lol. Deleting all my comments but the first. Weak sauce. Poor poor rabetts cannot hear anything outside their bubble, this is why they will fail.


Anonymous said...

"well first a launching pad to higher office..."

Yes Eli Brian's aspirations and ego are well understood, too bad even the paper that supports points out his lack of connection with the people. That's intentional. Brian is about Brian, not for any cause or any other person. Not surprising you are blind to this.

And in your usual weak self, go ahead and delete this comment as well.

Hope you lose Brian.


Steve Bloom said...

Yep, the expected, nay, *planned* consequence of called home runs by the Roberts court.

Good luck, Brian.

Hank Roberts said...

Why elective? That's what state law provides as of 1929. History says the first wells were artesian -- gushing water, no pumping needed. That lasted a while.

Stein's Law tells us that what cannot go on forever will stop.

"... 1929
... the level of the underground aquifer has dropped from 60-70 feet in 1919 to 100 feet in 1924 and 128 feet in 1928 in Mountain View and Milpitas. Another issue is saltwater seepage from the San Francisco Bay. The Water Conservation (Jones) Act passes the state legislature. The creation of water conservation districts with limited power and jurisdiction, is now possible.

A proposal to create a local water conservation district is approved...."

Brian said...

Hi folks!

Tomorrow's the big day for my little race, and more importantly for the Senate. But of course I'm focused on my little race.

I've also debated whether the Water District should be an elected position - the alternatives are 1. district directors appointed by county supervisors or 2. county supervisors changing hats and magically becoming water district directors. Both alternatives are reasonably common in California, along with elected directors. Those two alternatives are good if the supervisors are good, otherwise they're not.

FWIW I think elected system works if the voters have enough bandwidth to pay attention to it. We're having contested elections lately, so maybe it's okay. We definitely need regulation against Big Money spending just like we have for city and county governments though, and I plan to work on that if re-elected.

And BTW, a volunteer was walking precincts for my campaign some weeks back and was told "I read Rabett Run and I'm voting for Brian," so there you have it.

Hank Roberts said...

You'd be amazed:

Hank Roberts said...

Oh, well, depending on which of the six different versions they happened to think would fool _your_ household:

The differences are astonishing.

Unknown said...

Throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you and treat you bad. Let God deal with the things they do, cause hate in your heart will consume you too. See the link below for more info.


Anonymous said...

What a great night! A historic election. Increase seats in the
House, take control of the Senate, win numerous Governor races including Maryland & Illinois ??!!

And the cherry on top, Brian lost. Glad effort here did not go to waste that begun over a year ago. Thanks for the motivation Brian.



J Bowers said...

Read some Dickens, Anon. Get a taste of what's in store for America. Are you familiar with the phrase 'turkeys voting for Christmas'?

Anonymous said...

'Turkeys voting for Christmas' happened in 2012 with the re-election of Obama. Have to thank Harry Reid for keeping 370+ bills passed in the House from even being voted on in the Senate. What a great contributor to the election results!


Hank Roberts said...

The Kochs got what they paid for.

Consolidation follows.

Hank Roberts said...

Sigh. Thoughtful, factual, misplaced response to mass media attack trolling proves entirely counteroductive:

"... a nasty, $30,500 attack ad by the Neighborhood Empowerment Coalition, a "local power" advocacy group. The mailer accused Schmidt of trying to get people to "drink toilet water."

Schmidt posted a response on YouTube, in which he claims that Kremen also supports potable reuse, though not publicly, according to the Mountain View Voice. Potable reuse is already in practice on the International Space Station, he said."

--- end quote ----

Elsewhere in that article, the winner makes clear it's all about the money.

Anonymous said...


Yep those evil Kochs over the years are buying elections.

Weak sauce, from a weak person, in a weak position.

Brian lost because he was detached from the people in Santa Clara and was more concerned with himself than anything else, period.


Hank Roberts said...

> anonymous


Anonymous drank the toilet water.

Eli, is it always the same IP, or a rotation dumping that stuff here?


In other post-election news, I've been counting the times I hear "medical device tax" during the election coverage. It's been at least every ten minutes this morning.

So who's lying about that, for this next round?

Anonymous said...

I can answer that, same ip, same computer, same person.

And your progressive think tank report can be easily dismissed as you do for anything the Heartland Institute puts out.

Weaker sauce.

Speaking of weaker sauce, where's Brian with a message to all his supporters on Rabett Run. Looks like he took you fools for granted as well.


Hank Roberts said...

'nony, dear heart, I read the references cited in the footnotes.

Yes, it is a bit easier to do that when reading something from people who believe lying is a sin, compared to reading the Heartland stuff -- but no matter whose claims I check, the approach alwahs has to be 'trust, but verify'.

The churchy folks seem to be trying to tell the truth, at least.

Hank Roberts said...

So, if 'nony is telling the truth, that IP, perhaps, comes from, oh, around Long Beach? Is thatCrummit isself? applying the latest science using disgust for its stronger resonance with the rightwing mind?.

Anonymous said...

I always tell the truth. Nope not Long Beach.

Still no Brian? Is he still crying?


Thomas Lee Elifritz said...

These are the kind of people who print election flyers that claim that people like Brian want to do this kind of thing. Anonymous 1, that's you. Anonymous and counting. Hypocrisy exemplified.

Hank Roberts said...

"With Kremen's money, he could run a powerful, high-road campaign. But in our interview he attacked and demeaned Schmidt at every opportunity, and some of his criticisms are bizarre. It's hard to picture him dealing with staff or other directors effectively."
-- San Jose Mercury News

212 of 212 Precincts Reporting
Choice Votes Percent
BRIAN A. SCHMIDT 18,361 48.70%
GARY KREMEN 19,339 51.30%
Total 37,700

Anonymous said...

Wrong about me again Thomas, no surprise there you always do wish I were the person YOU want me to be, rather than who I am.

Schmidt lost. He is a self absorbed political bigot and took you all for granted. A true person would have made comment or even posted an article on RR by now about the election. Especially since this site was used by Brian as an extension of his campaign. But Brian is about Brian, maybe some day rabetts will get a clue and see it, but no one should hold their breath.


Hank Roberts said...

"... some of his criticisms are bizarre ..."

Yep. More and more, seems like.

Anonymous said...

Still no clue I see.


Hank Roberts said...

Well, Eli, keep the guy posting, the timing is a clue.

> the kind of people who print
> election flyers that claim that
> people like Brian want to do
> this kind of thing.

Yeah, that's a clue. That projection of one's own low standards on one's opponent as an excuse has been studied, interestingly enough:

Anonymous said...

" the kind of people who print
> election flyers that claim that
> people like Brian want to do
> this kind of thing"

Yes please keep Thomas posting his projections.


Hank Roberts said...

"There were exceptions to the rule of good sense: founder Gary Kremen beat Brian Schmidt for a North County seat on the Santa Clara Valley Water District board with a campaign that was tawdry and unfair (One piece sent out by an allegedly independent pro-Kremen committee was a talking card that had the sound of a toilet flushing.)"

Perhaps the sound file could be attached to this stalker-anonymous? Seems he's the guy.

Anonymous said...

Nope Hank, I am not responsible for the mailer, nor did I have any involvement with it.

Sorry to disappoint.


Hank Roberts said...

They say follow the money?
The money follows _you_.

Denial, by a denier who hides his identity -- "special interests anonymously funnel money...."

"... In his campaign to oust Schmidt from his seat on the Santa Clara Valley Water District board, Gary Kremen got some help from the NEC with a $30,500 talking mailer. It attacks Schmidt's support for "potable reuse" cleaning recycled water to drinking water standards in order to help conserve potable water from other sources.

"Brian Schmidt wants my family to drink water from the toilet?" says a woman's voice that plays from the audio card, adding: "Say no to toilet water; say no to Brian Schmidt." It reads in part, "EWWW!"

In a response Schmidt posted on Youtube, he claims that Kremen also supports potable reuse, though not publicly. He points out that potable reuse is already in practice on the International Space Station. "This is astronaut water we are talking about, if it is healthy enough for them, it is healthy enough for us."

"I disavow the mailing and people who mail it," Kremen wrote in a Facebook post. "In fact it mistakes my clear position (on) reuse."

Kremen, the founder of and, has spent more on his campaign than any other water board candidate in memory -- over $397,993 as of Oct. 18 to take over Schmidt's post representing residents of District 7, which encompasses Mountain View. Schmidt has spent a more typical sum: $17,229.

In its latest available campaign finance report, dated Oct. 18, the NEC reported spending a total of $210,661, most of it in the water district and Mountain View council races. In addition to the $30,500 toilet water mailer, another $5,000 was reportedly spent on Kremen by the NEC for "consulting."

The NEC appears to have been created primarily as a way to help special interests anonymously funnel money into the Mountain View council election, enabled by the 2010 Supreme Court decision known as Citizens United, which the Mountain View City Council opposed in a 2012 resolution.

The NEC counts landlords and PG&E as the only funders that have a well-known interest in Mountain View, among many others that do not appear to have a local interest. It lists Long Beach campaign finance attorney Gary Crummit as its only member, although it claims on its website that it is a coalition of community members. It has spent at least $83,000 on this year's City Council race between Oct. 7 and Oct. 25, backing a trio of council candidates: Ken Rosenberg, Pat Showalter and Ellen Kamei.

The NEC sent out a total of six mailers in support of Rosenberg, spending $34,748. Another $22,455 was spent on five mailers backing Showalter, and another five mailers supported Kamei at a total cost of $26,192.

The NEC lists several funders previously unreported by the Voice: Steven Humphreys, a Portola Valley resident and CEO of Upstart Mobile, contributed $20,000; Carlsbad attorney Timothy Dillon contributed $20,000; and another $25,000 came from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. As previously reported, other funders of the NEC include several Indian tribes, unions representing iron workers and ship builders, a DMV software contractor, PG&E, and the California Apartment Association (CAA), which represents landlords.

A deeper look at the CAA's political action funders finds significant contributions from Prometheus Real Estate Group, which owns at least four large apartment complexes in Mountain View and is set to build others at 100 Moffett Blvd. and 1720 El Camino Real. Among many others there are also contributions from Archstone Communities, LLC, which proposed 333 apartments for 870 El Camino Real...."

Hank Roberts said...

Interesting followup comments continue at

Brief quotes therefrom; see the original for the links in these quotes, not reproduced here:

.... this is a summary of 2 posts from: NEC finances "toilet water" attack ad in Water District race" Original post made on Nov 3, 2014

- NEC's treasurer Gary Crummitt has 2 violations and 1 warning from the FPPC this year alone! see here: Web Link
- in addition, NEC also paid 5,000 dollars to Barry Wyatt Associates
- Barry Wyatt Associates was until recently (it's still in Google's cache) part of Robinson Communication's team see here: Web Link
- and guess who's running Kremen's water district campaign.... Rich Robinson
- Ellen Kamei also used Robinson. She paid Robinson close to 18,000.00 (according to her campaign)for that awful mailer.
- There is a NEC mailer supporting her regarding traffic and then she sends out that mailer about traffic that was created by essentially the same people.
-Gary Kremen and Ellen Kamie share an office space and are having their election night party together.

This is all making sense.

WOW. This is bad.

Maybe the expenditures are truly independent but what a series of coincidences...

But I am disappointed in the candidates not being much more vocal than they have been in stating that the NEC (and its associates) water REEKS.

I'm sorry but Kremen's lone Facebook post doesn't cut it when he spent so lavishly on robo-calls, push polls, flyers, consultants, shared office space....

Strangely, Kremen's expensive campaign consultant (Rich Robinson) lamented about Independent Expenditures in this blog:

Web Link

He also called Mountain View's voluntary caps one of these "stupid laws"...-

KPIX Channel 5 covered that Water District Race and the toilet water mailer:

Web Link


Anonymous said...

Hank has lots of time on his hands. Thinking he is discovering vast right wing conspiracies.

Don't bother ever investigating the left side Hank, would not want to damage your duplicity score.

Still no Brian, not even a thanks to Rabetts who supported him, or voted for him, or contributed to his campaign, weak sauce from weak man. A common trait here at RR.


Hank Roberts said...

> time

Chuckle. Almost no time required, now that there's an algorithm for you guys: "They're Just Literally Lying ..."

That's why the newspapers are writing you up. Because it's easy.

Anonymous said...

Oh Hank called me a liar. Your MO is much easier "Whine like a little B and a loser."


Gator said...

Hank, thanks for posting the comments from MV. You gotta wonder why someone would spend more than $300K for a water board seat...

Magma said...

Based on this comment, Kremen sounds like quite the -- what's the term? -- oh right, 'scumbag':

Before winning, Kremen, 51, told KPIX 5 why he wanted the job that only pays about $30,000 a year.

“I’m not doing this for economic reasons, unlike my opponent; I have other things to do. This is his only job so he’s living on his per meeting fee,” he said. “This is a board that has a thousand employees and a $400 million budget and there is no person with any business experience and there is no person with any technology experience.”

Kremen, outspent his opponent, incumbent Brian Schmidt, by a margin of 22 to one with his own money. As of Oct. 18, Kremen had spent $397,993 to Schmidt’s $17,229.

Hank Roberts said...

You gotta wonder why someone would spend more than $300K for a water board seat...

Well, the newspapers covered that:

"Golden Spigot"

_________excerpt follows_______

"... The San Jose-based government agency provides drinking water and flood protection to most of Santa Clara County. It has also been called the "Golden Spigot" for the financial shenanigans and secrecy of past and present board members."

Hank Roberts said...

"California water districts can raise taxes without voter OK
Prop. 13 doesn't apply to some key projects
Peter Fimrite
Updated 8:46 am, Thursday, July 24, 2014

Urban water districts in California can raise property taxes without first getting voter approval to pay for the state's multibillion-dollar plan to build twin tunnels and export water out of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, according to the California Legislative Analyst's Office.

The right to tax homeowners for water projects is part of obscure legislation bestowed exclusively on water districts .... The Santa Clara Valley Water District, one of the largest metropolitan water agencies in Northern California, is one of several agencies that are considering taking advantage of the law ...
--------end quote-----

Hmmm. Homeowners, not businesses?

Rattus Norvegicus said...

Ah Proposition 13, the law that keeps on giving. One of these days it will be replaced with a sane tax and budgeting system...

Hank Roberts said...

> Proposition 13

Remember, that was until the last days a homeowner protection bill; then at the last minute, businesses were added to it.

Homes get sold because meat people eventually die or move away, and then the homes are reassessed on the tax rolls.

Businesses never need to be sold, because: "reverse triangular merger" and other such tactics.

Paper people can be rejiggered to keep "the owner" unchanged while moving all the profits from transfer, untaxed and free, forever -- no reassessment, no tax increase.

That could be why all the money spent for seats on the water board: businesses can be taxed for their water in the dry future.

Hank Roberts said...

Hm. Broken link. Try searching on the phrase plus "reassessment" or just look at or the county-by-county numbers through 2010 here:

Hank Roberts said...

I say, that link in the original post
> CA Form 460
> the Neighborhood Empowerment Coalition
goes to an incomplete form (no street address, and only valid through June 30th; is there more?

EliRabett said...

Hank, have to figure out who keeps those 460s they do not appear to be on the net


Hank Roberts said...

Just to say: the need for intelligence continues.