Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Lesson to Lassen's: Don't Alienate Your Base

Thanks to a regular reader who sent me a link to the Californians Against Hate website. They have published a list of donors to the Yes on 8 efforts that, of course, includes our very own Select Staffing. This we knew.

Surprising to me though was the fact that Lassens Health Food gave $25,000 to the Yes on 8 campaign. When your business' main demographic are Land Rover Hope Ranchers, Granola Soccer Moms and NASCAR environmentalists -- why on earth would you go so public with large monied support for such a conservative cause? At least Apple, which gave something like $100,000 to the No on 8 campaign, is aware of who their peeps are.

Another small surprise in the list of donors at a database of donors at SF Gate is that Council Member Dale Francisco gave $100 to the No Yes on 8 campaign. $1 short of the limit for publication -- I'll chalk his rathe public, small donation to inexperience. Still, it wasn't just Republicans that got him into office.

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Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Anon -- thanks for the grammar tips! I write these way too early :) Please remember to use an identity!

1/13/2009 8:11 AM  
Anonymous city watcher said...

Interesting that that site showed Francisco gave the $100 in two $50 donations, one on 9/12 and one on 9/26 - and lists himself as employed by the City of Santa Barbara, which is true. He must not have realized that the reporting is for the total contributions.

As for Lassens, centered in Ventura, apparently, they've lost my business. No problem with an individual, one who's not a government employee, giving money but for a business to do so is another matter. It has always seemed to me that Lassens is overpriced and clearly that's so if they can afford to give $25K to a political campaign.

1/13/2009 8:15 AM  
Blogger Poncho's Mom said...

Wow. What an eye-opener. Thanks for the surprising information. What a shame. Not that they'd be losing one of their best customers; I don't shop there that often...but now I won't at all. One more reason we could use a second Trader Joe's here in Ventura.

1/13/2009 8:24 AM  
Anonymous city watcher said...

That SF Gate link is very interesting --- Francisco seems to be the only council member to have given any money (to either side) but I noted that the Unitarian Society gave $451.75 to the NO on 8. Aren't they a 501c3 and not supposed to engage in political action? ...just asking the question!

1/13/2009 8:28 AM  
Anonymous Mr. Moreno said...

When I found out a month ago that Lassens gave to the Yes on 8 folks I wrote the company a letter to express my disappointment -- and to promise that I'll never shop there again.

1/13/2009 11:04 AM  
Anonymous Dale is Ironic said...

Or, maybe Dale Francisco deliberately contributed at least $100 so he would be revealed in the database of donors? What does he have to gain by that?

What will Jim Westby do?

Will he and the cadre of Republican or DINOs running for City Council to become allies of Dale Francisco now start introducing social, non-city issues into the city election political discourse?

1/13/2009 1:14 PM  
Blogger Don McDermott said...

I am not so sure Lassen's is alienating it's base. It can be difficult in this 50/50 country to know who your friends are let alone your base. Lassen's could lose customers but then so could Apple. Boycotts backfire unless there is a lopsided opinion heavily in your favor. Still I wouldn't hesitate not shopping at Lassen's.

Francisco Surprise? Sarah your SF Gate link has a link>>><<
that lists the contributors . To be clear this website if accurate lists a Dale Francisco as a supporter of this discriminatory Prop 8.

Last year when Franscisco took his council member seat he stated that he hoped he could win the trust of those that did not vote for him. After viewing Francisco's comments on developement, housing and transportation issues for the past year, Francisco has not won me over. It is my hope that this Prop 8 disclosure will hopefully help turn enough votes away from him come re-election time.

BTW here's another interesting link;
Too bad Francisco isn't on this list!

1/13/2009 1:44 PM  
Blogger jqb said...

Um, as is well-known since Barney's column, Francisco gave to Yes on 8, not No on 8 -- although Barney says it was $200, while the records show two contributions of $50 each.

1/13/2009 2:06 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

501 (c) 3's are not completely prohibited from political action (especially around measures and initiatives) just heavily restricted -- they also may be giving from a PAC as a 501(c)4 with a similar name?

Please excuse my series of typos this morning -- I'm not sure what got into me! I'll get more sleep tonight :)

1/13/2009 9:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lassens was a regular supplier for our family's table. It was sad to learn of their substantial support of Prop "H8."

My parents just celebrated their 50th anniversary. Because my wife and I believe that all committed couples should be able to have 20th, 30th...50th anniversaries to celebrate their love, we chose to vote NO on Lassens.

Don Lubach

1/13/2009 11:23 PM  
Blogger Bill Carson said...

This entire discussion smacks of McCarthyism and blacklisting.

Regarding my own vote, I was torn. I could see merit in both sides. How I ended up voting is not important, but THAT I voted is.

Every citizen has a right to choose how to vote. We all need to accept and respect that. Attempting to vilify Dale for his feelings on Prop 8 demonstrate a lack of understanding of our democratic process.

This entire community would be better off if we all learned how to respect others' opinions.

1/14/2009 8:40 AM  
Anonymous allegro805 said...

it wasn't just Republicans that got him into office.

I'll say! Considering that within SB city far more than 50% of voters were AGAINST Prop 8, Francisco's contribution to Yes on 8 clearly contradicts a fairly clear majority of city voters.

The majority of city voters who were against Prop 8 should not forget this come Francisco's council re-election.

1/14/2009 3:44 PM  
Anonymous Dale is Ironic said...

Or, Allegro805, voters should not forget who his ideological friends will be who attempt to get elected to form a voting bloc to rally around Dale.

Three or four new SB city council members could take their seats next year, depending on the election this upcoming November.

1/14/2009 9:57 PM  
Anonymous Thomas Jefferson said...

Sorry, Bill Carson, elections have consequences and campaign contributions are public records, especially when the Lassens contributor brags about them to the news media.

Vilifying Dale and Lassens is EXACTLY what the democratic process is all about. Elected officials have records and voters can agree or not and vote accordingly.

Dale and his wannabe friends on the city council will have some splainin to do to the strong majority of Santa Barbara residents and voters.

1/14/2009 10:01 PM  
Blogger Don McDermott said...

Bill Carson; I don't understand how you could determine that "This entire discussion smacks of McCarthyism and blacklisting." This is a discussion by the electorate. If community discussion results in replacing Francisco isn't that the "democratic process" rather than a McCarthyism interrogation and blacklisting?

1/14/2009 10:51 PM  
Anonymous Binge Sleeper said...

McCarthyism?! I call it being informed. I will not patronize anyone on these lists. I am proud that SB voted this trash down, but I am disappointed in my "progressive California." Pay attention, people. "Your people" may be the next group targeted.

1/14/2009 11:49 PM  
Anonymous the chupacabra said...

It is interesting I voted against 8, didnt vote for Dale but cant quite understand the boycott of Lassens. It seems all that will really do is hurt the employees there who had no say in the owners choices. Is that what people are looking for? Is it worth punishing someone who works there perhaps causing them to lose their job in this lovely economy to try and get back on the owner?

Oh well just a thought I dont shop there anyways and personally am just waiting for Whole Foods. You could maybe hold your boycott till that opens and the employees might get other jobs but at the same time when the pitchforks and torch crowd get rolling it might slow you down to think of the possible unintended consequences of your actions.

1/15/2009 12:36 PM  
Blogger Bill Carson said...

Okay, I get it. I've been a completely misguided voter all my life!

I really like the color blue. From now on I'm only voting for politicians who like blue. Anyone who likes red or green or yellow...I'm going to spearhead a recall!!! The heck with their position on traffic, housing, budgets, public safety, homelessness, and all the other important issues. From this day forward if my guy or gal doesn't like blue, then they don't get my vote!

And, of course, once I get 7 blue-lovers on the city council, I'm sure city hall will run like a well oiled machine. A blue machine that is.

1/15/2009 2:53 PM  
Anonymous allegro805 said...

Now you're just getting silly, but that's certainly your prerogative, Carson.

Single-issue voters existed prior to 11/4/08 as far as I know.

1/16/2009 8:20 AM  
Anonymous What about Rick Warren? said...

I opposed Prop 8 and have no problem with Prop 8--or any campaigns--supporters being identified in public. I am confused by people who would villify or boycott Lassens, Dale Francisco, etc yet have remained SILENT about Obama and his choice of RICK WARREN as the person giving the invocation at his inauguration. Rick Warren probably did more to get Prop 8 passed than Lassens and Francisco combined---yet my obama-ite friends here in Santa Barbara have twisted themselves into silent pretzels to either ignore or in a more fumbling irrational way try to justify Obama's choice.

1/17/2009 4:34 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

I think the deal with Rick Warren is much the way I approach it....I am totally in favor of gay rights but also know that Obama made it very clear that he would be about inclusion.

Giving a prayer at the inauguration has nothing to do with policy -- so the logic would follow that it is a good move to reach out to conservatives when it doesn't make a big difference. If he was offered a cabinet position it would be another matter...

1/17/2009 6:46 PM  
Anonymous citywatcher said...

As for Rick Warren, both Obama and Biden have opposed gay marriage. I don't know if either Biden or Obama took a position on Prop 8 (why would they!), but their positions at least on this issue is the same as that of Warren.

I suppose people respond about Lassens and Francisco because they are local.

1/18/2009 8:10 PM  
Blogger Bill Carson said...

One thing leads to another. Does Rick Warren like the color blue?

1/18/2009 11:09 PM  
Blogger Don McDermott said...

For those asking about the Obama-Biden position on Prop 8; the answer is they both were against Prop 8. Also and of course Obama is against Gay Marriage but has proposed "civil unions" that have equal legal standing to marriage. Obama has called for repeal of the federal DOMA or Defense of Marriage anti-gay marriage legislation.

What those that are angry over the Obama position and his invitation of Rick Warren to give the invocation is that it is the right wing that moderates progressive political positions.

Rather than criticizing Obama's moderated position it might be a better long term strategy go on the offensive and to focus energies toward dividing the sheep from the flock of anti-gay rights church leaders .

Exposing the immorality of Mormon, Christian, Catholic, etc leaders that initiated this wasteful eye-popping $36 Million Yes on 8 initiative should be the direction. Why not pro-actively go after the church's tax exempt status. At least it would keep the the busy-bodies busy.

1/19/2009 10:47 AM  
Anonymous TerryLeftgoff said...

Given all the posts about anonymity, I am posting this openly.

Thank you for this post, Sarah.

I discovered SB City Councilman Dale Francisco's name on the Pro-Prop 8 contributor list and posted it after the election on the SB Independent on November 13.

Barney followed up with confirmation when he wrote about it in his column.

It is troubling when an elected official supports stripping the civil rights from his own constituents.

It is even more troubling when the source of the donation appears to be the very taxpayers whose rights he seeks to deny.

Over 70% of SB City voters - the very voters Mr. Francisco purports to represent - voted against Prop 8.

It is our civic duty to know what positions our elected officials hold. We are duty bound to hold them accountable when those positions run contrary to the interests of the public they are sworn to serve.

Mr. Francisco has some explaining to do to the voters of Santa Barbara.

On a related matter, it is true that Barack Obama and Joe Biden opposed Prop 8.

But happenstance, the LA Times in today's inaugural editorial urges Obama, who supports repealing the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), to "drop the semantics and acknowledge that denying same-sex marriage is discriminatory."

The LA Times editorial is available online here:,0,1786860.story

1/21/2009 12:56 AM  

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