Catalano Needs to Come Clean on Her Connection With State Senator Scott Wiener
By Bill Walcutt (Former Clayton Mayor)
Voters need to ask themselves, are they okay that their sitting councilmember and candidate for city council donates money in support of state legislators who want to fundamentally change our city? Are we okay with someone who says that they are for local control, but donates money to one of the leading advocates in Sacramento trying to take away local control? Actions speak louder than words, and in her actions Catalano has financially supported the thing she says she’s against. Doing the right thing means making good choices even when no one is looking.
In her deceptive response to the stunning revelation that she donated money to State Senator Scott Wiener, the very person who is trying to eliminate single family zoning and take away local control, Catalano makes it seem like throwing money at any politician in order to curry political favor is okay without any regard for who they are or what they stand for. It’s just simply common practice in politics. Not only is this irresponsible, it is unethical. Responsible individuals donate money to candidates they feel support their personal political platform/agenda and companies donate money to candidates they feel will be beneficial to their business. It is called political capital. It is obvious Catalano has used her political capital to advance her developer driven high-density agenda at the detriment of our little town by supporting Senator Wiener. We deserve better than that.
Catalano goes on to describe how she donated to multiple San Francisco politicians in the 2016 election (essentially hedging her bet) and that Senator Wiener is only one of many state representatives it takes to pass legislation. Let me make this abundantly clear, Senator Scott Wiener is our enemy. He is a very effective politician. He lobbies his peers, fights hard to pass his legislation, calls in political favors and usually wins. Helping his political campaign is a betrayal to our citizens and our town. Catalano admitted she has worked with Senator Wiener on legislation. Gee, I wonder which one that was: SB35, SB827, SB50, SB1120, SB135?
“… she admitted she has worked with Senator Wiener on legislation…”
She doesn’t explain why she continued to donate to Wiener in 2020. This was after he authored SB 35 and it passed. This bill, which she later complained about, completely takes away local control for certain projects. This is after he authored SB827 and SB50, which would have allowed 8-plexes all over the state. And this is after Wiener authored SB1120, which would have put 4-plexes everywhere. These multiple contributions over different election cycles shows in her actions that Catalano is supporting the agenda that Wiener is pushing. Again, she admitted she has worked with Senator Wiener on legislation. I wonder which one of these bills she has helped him with, or maybe all of them.
How duplicitous is it for Catalano to hold out SB35 as something she’s against, yet she donated money to the person who authored that terrible bill? We have a councilmember that will say one thing, and then turn around and support exactly the opposite. That’s hardly trustworthy, and not at all transparent. It’s no wonder she tried to find every excuse to help the developer get approval for the 3-story, three separate apartment buildings in our downtown and continues to support 400 to 800 more apartments in Clayton.
Catalano talks about collaborating with people. Collaboration is great when you have common goals. But there is no common ground with some people in Sacramento. At some point people need to stand on principle and reject bad ideas. Appeasement is not a viable strategy, both in principle and in practice. Catalano’s approach to work with the people who are the enemy and roll over for them for fear of being sued has lead us to where we are today: The loss of more and more local control each year and people like Catalano asking for more.
Catalano continues her habit of giving up when she says that we can’t advocate on every bill that is important to us. That’s hardly true. We have to advocate on every bill that has a negative impact on our city. Lafayette gathers with other cities and has hired a lobbyist to advocate on their behalf. They get briefed on significant legislation and often weigh in. We should (and must) be doing the same. Rather than donating money to those that want to upend housing across the state and eliminate single family zoning, we should be utilizing our resources in ways to actually advocate on our behalf. Fighting FOR Clayton, rather than funding those that are against us. A novel concept, at least for Catalano. For the rest of us, it’s common sense.
It is also deplorable that she is now attacking Frank Gavidia for exposing her disguised high-density agenda. Thank you, Frank, for the courage to bring this to light for the voters.
Frank is for the people. He’s the type of leadership we desperately need in Clayton.
Go to his Facebook page and see what he has to say, and join in on the conversation…