The Island: Decision 2010: Small town, big money, October 20, 2010


Matarrese and Johnson have said publicly that they believe SunCal is behind the attacks, saying the company’s former chief operating officer, Frank Faye, threatened to get involved in the election if they didn’t vote to keep SunCal on as master developer after their exclusive agreement to negotiate a development deal with the city expired in July.

Johnson said that David McIntosh, the former Congressman who is listed on the Taxpayer Network’s website as a member of its board, is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Mayer Brown, the law firm that employs former state Assembly speaker Robert Hertzberg, who worked as a consultant for SunCal in Alameda.

The company’s spokesman, David Soyka, did not respond to a direct question from a reporter Tuesday afternoon asking if SunCal was giving money to the Taxpayer Network.


A SunCal spokesperson said earlier this month that the company, which sent out mailers and aired television ads attacking Interim City Manager Ann Marie Gallant, was focusing its efforts on Gallant and that they weren’t involved in Alameda’s election. But this week they confirmed that Argent Management LLC, a new SunCal affiliate run by several of SunCal’s former senior execs, had sent contribution checks to local candidates.

“Throughout our history in community development we contribute to candidates in election years, because we think it’s important that the candidates are able to reach out to the voters. We think the candidates need to be heard,” said SunCal spokesman David Soyka.

Soyka said Argent sent checks to all the local candidates. But five of the local council and mayoral candidates contacted by The Island – candidates who hadn’t been critical of SunCal during their time on the Island – said they never received a check from Argent, while candidates who have been critical of the developer – including deHaan and Matarrese – said they did.