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SunCal Contribution to AUSD Board President Ronald Mooney Brings His War Chest to Over $11,000

Last week, Action Alameda News reported that SunCal made a $5,000 contribution to a political action committee organized by Alameda Unified School District Board of Trustees President Ronald Mooney for Measure H over two years ago. Campaign filings by Mooney suggest that he has over $11,000 in the committee’s coffers now, and he’s not saying what it’s for.

On January 29th, 2008, Ronald Mooney filed a political action committee (PAC) statement of organization with the Alameda County Registrar of Voters in Oakland for “Keep Alameda Schools Excellent,” (KASE) a committee, which according to fields checked by Mr. Mooney, was organized with the primary purpose of supporting Measure H, an AUSD Parcel tax that was on the June 3rd, 2008 ballot. Later that year, Mr. Mooney campaigned for a seat on AUSD’s Board of Trustees, touting his success with Measure H, and was elected.

Alameda voters may have thought that Mooney closed the Measure H “KASE” PAC after the measure passed, but Mooney evidently kept the committee going, long after Measure H passed, his most recent campaign filing for the statement in February of this year. (See below.) That filing shows that Mooney had over $6,000 in cash-on-hand as of the end of 2009. The $5,000 contribution from SunCal would bring the total to over $11,000 assuming that Mooney has spent none of the money so far this year; previously Mooney told Action Alameda News that his KASE PAC did not spend any money on this year’s school parcel tax measure, Measure E. Mooney did not respond to a question from Action Alameda News asking what the money is for.

The City of Alameda is still negotiating with SunCal regarding the development of Alameda Point, and recent documents from the City suggest that SunCal is currently proposing to include two new school sites, totaling 25 acres of land, to be made available to AUSD in the development.

In December of last year, in the run-up to SunCal’s Alameda Point Revitalization measure, Measure B, on the ballot last February, AUSD Superintendent Kirsten Vital published a letter to Alameda families saying,

As written, the initiative does not guarantee that any schools will be built as part of the development, nor does it address how potential school sites would be determined, Additionally, the District has questions regarding construction cost estimates and how any potential funding shortfalls would be addressed, The District also has concerns about the phasing of school construction and questions regarding which party would be required to bear the costs related to mitigating impacts on existing neighborhood schools.

Measure B was defeated in February, and since then, SunCal has brought back before Alameda City Council a “modified” development plan for Alameda Point that City officials have said is essentially the same plan as proposed in Measure B.

Keep Alameda Schools Excellent Form 460 Filing January 2010

2 comments to SunCal Contribution to AUSD Board President Ronald Mooney Brings His War Chest to Over $11,000

  • Vania

    Just speculating: The Committee may be saving up the money to fund the costs of a recount (ala Bush/Gore) because the school district itself cannot legally request it or pay for it. It has to be a “voter” requesting the recount and paying for it.

    The most infamous school bond recount in Southern California was one where the President of the school board signed the documents requesting the recount, a law firm which represented the school district “donated” all of the costs charged by the County Clerk, and then, of course several months later the lawyers raised the hourly rates they were charging the school district…so that at the end of the lawyers’ fiscal year it was a wash.

    The skulldugery notwithstanding, the school district lost the recount too.

  • Vania is right on! The skullduggery surrounding AUSD’s hiring of a political action firm, Erwin & Muir of Oakland, and their payments to attorneys, all suggest that some lines are being crossed here. By California law, school district trustees and employees are prohibited fro actively promoting school tax initiatives. And yet AUSD board president Ron Mooney holds all those leftover funds from Measure H. What will he do with that money? Does state law prevent him from campaigning for yet another parcel tax?

    In want to see AUSD officials in HANDCUFFS! ‘Nuff said.


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