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Pay to Play Allegations in San Bernardino?

The City of San Bernardino completed a raucous election in November, culminating in a dramatic changeover at City Hall to include newly elected Mayor John Valdivia and two new council members.

During the election, accusations from former Mayor Carey Davis’ supporters flew generously against Valdivia.  The attempts were so desperate that they included posters and mailers accusing Valdivia of being “bought and paid for” by slum lords and drug dealers. 

After the election, the local newspaper ran a series of articles about Valdivia meeting with a commercial property owner whose business was later robbed as if Valdivia was somehow complicit.  The building had been the site of an unauthorized marijuana distribution facility previously shut down by the city.  The media leak was sourced to the San Bernardino Police Department which supported Davis.

But while Valdivia has proven to be an aggressive, and successful, political fundraiser none of the allegations have shown any merit.

Now, a new lawsuit may be exposing a real “pay to play” situation between Carey Davis supporter Scott Beard, City Manager Andrea Miller and numerous marijuana permit applicants prior to the November elections.  Text messages between numerous marijuana applicants appear to exhibit an aggressive fundraising push by these entities to secretly fund Mayor Davis’ campaign with the promise of favorable outcomes for their permit applications.

This raises some obvious questions.  Why is a real estate developer organizing meetings between marijuana applicants and the San Bernardino City Manager’s office?  If political contributions were made to support Carey Davis’ campaign, as the evidence shows occurred, where did those funds go?  A political action committee?  To Davis’ campaign through third parties?

The accusations in this case merit a full investigation.  Evidence already presented show a clear effort to funnel campaign contributions from marijuana businesses quietly to support the Davis campaign.

There were many allegations of “pay to play” in the San Bernardino election in November.  Perhaps Davis supporters were psychologically projecting in their unethical attacks against Valdivia?

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