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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Special Interest Group's Influence Exposed

Reader says a political action committee supporting Sam Allevato and Ginny Kerr has ties to former local editor.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Special Interest Group's Influence Exposed

Recently, San Juan resident John Perry wrote a letter to the editor of a local paper (see below). In it, he wonders why Jonathan Volzke, former editor of that local paper and now a lobbyist for Faubel Public Affairs, was publicly attacking him for speaking out against our high water rates.

Perry did some research, which opened a Pandora’s Box.

The research revealed the close ties Volzke’s employer Roger Faubel has to the OC Taxpayers Association (“OCTaxpayers.org”), which through its political action committee has paid for campaign mailers endorsing and promoting SJC council candidates Sam Allevato and Ginny Kerr.

Jonathan’s employer Roger Faubel was the CEO of OCtaxpayers.org, according to their 2010 returns signed on March 10, 2011. The tax return shows the books are in the care of 25 Orchard, Lake Forest, Faubel’s address. Faubel signed the return as the CEO for OCTaxpayers.org. While Faubel is no longer listed on the OC Taxpayers board, it could be because he now has OC Taxpayers Association as his client.

OC Taxpayers Association (also known as “OC Tax”) has reps from various companies serving on its board of directors. Some of these companies have (or had) projects requiring approval from city councils. These companies contribute money to OC Tax and/or their political action committee “OC Tax PAC.”  

This political action committee supported by OC Tax then pays for campaign mailers to promote OC Tax PAC-endorsed candidates. OC Tax PAC’s most recent campaign expense disclosure lists over $4,800 spent on campaign mailers promoting Allevato and Kerr. Faubel’s address is on the form.

  • See related story: 

One of the entities serving on the OC Tax Board of Directors is SDG&E’s Duane Cave, who is representing SDG&E’s project in San Juan. If approved, it will double the size of the substation downtown, and more than double the voltage throughout town. The problem is that this project doesn’t appear to benefit us since we’re about built out and are not the ones who need the significantly increased power (whereas the Ranch does). Councilman Sam Allevato recused himself from the vote to oppose SDG&E’s massive, intrusive project. 

Another entity serving on OC Tax’s Board is the Rancho Mission Viejo Co. OC Tax advocated for the Ranch’s massive development east of town which Allevato and Kerr have stated they “proudly support.”

This calls into question the ethics of Volzke using his position as (former) Editor of the Dispatch to publicly advocate for City Council candidates who are linked to his clients in a “My Turn” editorial column. Doesn’t he have a duty to disclose this?

I hope you think about that when you receive a mailer from OC Tax PAC or an article by Jonathan Volzke telling you what great things any of them are doing for you. Think about who and what they really represent. Hint: it’s not you. 

EDITOR'S NOTE: Allevato recused himself from the discussion because his homeowners association owns land that SDG&E uses as an easement for its power lines. See story here. 


Here’s John Perry’s original Letter to the Editor:


After my letter to the editor was published by the on-line Dispatch, Jonathan Volzke wrote a blistering response with all sorts of claims about my character.  I started wondering why such a personal attack was necessary. Is there something more to the story that caused the reaction?  So I did a little internet searching.  Here’s what I found:

  • Jonathan Volzke works for Faubel Public Affairs
  • Faubel Public Affairs has Poseidon Resources for a client
    • Poseidon Resources is seeking to build the county’s first seawater desalination plant in Huntington Beach.  Poseidon is also on the board of the Orange County Taxpayers Association
    • The Orange County Taxpayers Association is also a client of Faubel Public Affairs
      • On October 4, 2012 Poseidon donated $25,000 to OcTaxpac, a political action committee (PAC) sponsored by the OC Taxpayers Association.  On October 9, 2012 Poseidon donated another $5000 to OcTaxpac.
      • On October 29,2012 a mailer published by the OcTax Pac is received by voters in San Juan Capistrano extolling the virtues of Allevato and Kerr as job producers who have caused the unemployment rate in San Juan Capistrano to drop by 25%

I admit to believing in the tooth fairy, but I find it hard NOT to believe that somehow Jonathan is steering out of town money into our little City Council race.  It might be legal, but this kind of political sleight of hand cries out for a little sunshine.

For every contribution there is a payback.  I will be watching.

John Perry


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