BOMBSHELL: Special Interests Spend $141,000 To Buy Re-Election Of Corrupt Sleazebag Art Welch
10/14/16 – Various Special Interest Groups have contributed $ 141,000 in support of sleazy, corrupt Mayor Art Welch, Banning’s number one political hack.
Everyone knows that accountable public servants constitute a nightmare for any Special Interest Group. What they want are politicians who do as they are told and don’t ask any questions – and they undoubtedly found one in Banning’s good-ole-boy, Mayor Art Welch.
Whether it is Robertson’s Ready Mix, the Morongo Tribe or developer interests, wealthy Special Interest Groups have no problem forking up huge sums of money in order to get Welch re-elected – and to oppose his political rival, the highly popular and always accountable Councilman Ed Miller – a man of integrity who cannot be compromised.
SPECIAL INTERESTS BUYING BANNING ELECTION
In the history of Banning, no City council candidate has ever been supported with more money than Art Welch has in the 2016 election. In the past, campaign funds spent peaked out at about $ 30,000 for any given candidate. Those candidates were running to represent the entire City.
Since then, the City has been divided in 5 electoral Districts. The entire $141,000 are being spent solely on District 3, which is made up mainly by Sun Lakes, According to the City Clerk’s office, Sun Lakes had 4,201 registered voters (as of January 2016).
The donations are funneled through a Political Action Committee named “Inland Empire Taxpayers Association”, run by political consultant Chris Mann. Filings show that so far a total of $ 141,000 have been contributed for the sole purpose of supporting Art Welch (click here and here to view filings).
Mann is the former long term boyfriend of past Banning Mayor Brenda Salas Freeman. In 2009 the Riverside District attorney identified Salas Freeman as having received massive campaign contributions via criminal money laundering. Don’t believe it ? Details can be found in this L.A. Times article ( click here to view ) and our previous article here.
WELCH GIVES ROBERTSON’S A 69% REDUCTION IN MINING TAX – OBTAINS $10K IN SUPPORT FROM THE COMPANY
The reader should be reminded that one of the donors, Robertson’s Ready Mix, spent a six figure dollar amount in 2014 to defeat Measure “J”, the Banning Mining tax. In opposing the measure, Robertson’s also rolled out their corrupt crony, County Supervisor Marion Ashley, who they had in their pocket via massive campaign contributions. Bought and paid for Ashley promptly started campaigning against the tax.
Nevertheless, all of Robertson’s efforts failed: Measure “J” passed by a narrow margin. Since then, Robertson has filed numerous lawsuits against the City, attempting to attack Measure “J”, which set out to charge Robertson’s a tax of 80 cents per ton.
So why is Robertson’s interested in re-installing Art Welch, you may ask? After all, didn’t Welch support Measure “J”? Yes he did – at least that is what he told to public.
But just like Hillary Clinton admitted in one of her leaked emails (source), Art Welch too appears to have both a “public position” – and a (not so public) “private” one : when Welch, along with his corrupt sidekick councilman George Moyer, was on a committee to negotiate a litigation settlement with Robertson’s, it was Welch who willingly agreed to reduce the tax by a whopping 69 % – from 80 cents to a mere 25 cents !
Needless to say, this was a huge home run for Robertson’s. In all likelihood they still can’t stop laughing about the stupidity of our City. This explains why Robertson’s would love to have someone like Art Welch at the helm : he doesn’t cause any problems and will give you what you want, even if it means selling out the public.
MYSTERIOUS DONATION OF $ 25,000
Among the $141,000 pledged in support of Art Welch, the second largest contribution of $25,000 came from a company named “Advanced Health E-Solutions, Inc.” (“AHES”) of Hemet, CA (click here to view filing). The company’s name suggests that they are an E-business, however, they appear to have no internet presence. Also, there appears to be no listed phone number for the company. The company’s address traces back to the CPA office of Pehl, Foutz, Foutz, Teegarden in Hemet.
According to bizapedia.com (click here to view), there are a total of 25 companies operating out of the same CPA office. During a phone call placed to the CPA office on October 13 @ 2:25 pm, the CPA firm claimed to be entirely unfamiliar with “Advanced Health E-Solutions, Inc.”. This statement seems rather strange in light of the fact that one of the CPA firm’s members, Michael B. Foutz, is the registered “agent for service of process” for this corporation with the Secretary of State (click here to view record).
It is unclear why a company that doesn’t have a listed phone number, is not from Banning, cannot be contacted at its stated address and does not appear to have any identifiable financial ties to the City, is willing to spend $ 25,000 on the re-election of Art Welch. To say the least, this donation seems very fishy, as it raises more questions than it provides answers.
Who’s money is this really that is being donated here? Maybe Art Welch would care to explain?
MYSTERIOUS DONATION OF $ 65,000
FH II, LLC of Rancho Cucamonga has contributed $ 65,000 in support of Art Welch’s re-election (view filing here). The “agent for service of process” is Mark Livingston, General Counsel and attorney with the law firm of Livingston, Shetler and Associates, LLC in Rancho Cucamonga.
There appears to be a connection between FH II, LLC and Diversified Pacific, the developer that owns the 3,400 home Rancho San Gorgonio Project in Banning. In 2013 the Riverside County Recorder recorded an “Agreement” between FH II, LLC and Diversified Pacific, which also included a “Banning Wilson 97 LLC” .
Diversified Pacific recently obtained approval of a 98 lot subdivision on Wilson Street in Banning. Due to this donation appearing late in the process, there was not enough time for us to obtain a copy of the actual document. However, on the face of it, there appear to be contractual ties between this donor and developer Diversified Pacific.
Over the last 6 months Art Welch approved two projects of Diversified Pacific.
MORONGO’S LONG HISTORY OF SUPPORTING CORRUPT BANNING COUNCIL CANDIDATES
History has shown that accountable council candidates who seek to represent the people of Banning, like Jerry Westholder, Don Peterson and Ed Miller don’t stand a chance of ever getting a dime from the Morongo tribe. Instead, the Morongos appear to fund only the most corrupt politicians they can find, for example Art Welch, Debbie Franklin, George Moyer and Marion Ashley on the County level.
Why would they prefer to have sleazy, compromised political hacks on the council, rather than accountable candidates? Could it be that the tribe wants to be able to make a phone call to Banning and get exactly what they want? When they ask Banning to “jump”, do they want us to respond : “how high ?”
Here is an example of how much clout the Morongos have in Banning: a 22-year old son-in-law of a Morongo tribal leader was able to receive an uncollateralized loan of more than 500,000 from the City. All 5 Council members at the time voted in favor. The 22-year old ended up squandering the money and the loan was never repaid.
Here is yet another example indicating Banning’s subservience to the tribe: the Morongos appear to be strongly opposed to any development going up on Banning land bordering on their reservation. This became abundantly clear when Banning landowner Lloyd Fields attempted to sell his 90+ acres to a home builder. At the time, the Banning City council immediately imposed an unprecedented building moratorium for East Banning, which affected Fields’ property and killed his sale. That’s right! A building moratorium for underdeveloped and underemployed Banning! Ask yourself : did this benefit the people of Banning – or the Morongo Tribe? The answer is obvious.
The incident has caused Fields to get behind candidates who will not be subservient to the demands of the Morongo Tribe. Fields is supporting Ed Miller and Don Peterson in this election. It deserves mention that neither one of them has ever cast a vote that benefited Fields.
In Art Welch the Morongos have a found a compromised candidate who will bend over backwards to do their bidding, no questions asked. This is why they are willing to spend $20,000 in support of Art Welch’s re-election – and oppose Ed Miller.
Given the above, Banning voters need to clearly understand that the Morongo tribe has a decade long campaign funding history that sends a VERY clear message: they are NOT looking out for the people of Banning, but strictly for themselves.
Banning voters better wake up and NEVER vote for any candidates that are given monetary support by the Morongo Tribe!
MAYOR ART WELCH : A LEGACY OF CORRUPTION, ALCOHOLISM, INSIDER DEALINGS AND ABUSE
If Art Welch did not have $ 141,000 in support from Special Interests, he likely would not have much of a chance to win the election. His long dirty laundry list identifies him as a tired, drunk political hack. Here are some of the highlights on what you will get with Art Welch :
- Welch is a foul mouth who used profanity during a recent City Council meeting, referring to a damning Grand Jury report (view article here and listen to recording)
- Welch publicly has shown contempt for members of the public, stating that it is “good” that they are “all leaving” the Council meeting (see story and listen to recording)
- Welch’s alleged alcoholism earned him the nickname Art “Vodka-tonic” Welch (see article here). A City Planning Commissioner who publicly questioned Welch’s sobriety was subjected to harsh retaliation and immediately fired from his position.
- Welch is often so drunk that he has trouble making even simple percentage calculations (watch him trying to do the math in this video)
- Welch played a major role in trying to sweep the Banning Chamber utility scandal under the rug – until a Grand Jury finally forced the council to collect payment of the outstanding debt (more in this article).
- Welch is responsible for Banning’s homeless disaster at the Banning Business Center. In 2006 he gave $ 500,000 to the developer without demanding the posting of a completion bond. Subsequently, the 150,000 sqft development remained unfinished and became an enormous homeless encampment. The situation is so bad that it has even received national attention : A Youtube video about this homeless encampment has received over 117,000 views! Click here to watch
Campaign funding of $ 141,000 for a single District candidate in Banning is as unbelievable as it is unprecedented.
There can be no doubt : any candidate that is set to benefit from this kind money has “CORRUPTION” written all over him.
Art Welch is the candidate of choice for Special Interests : Over and over again, he has proven that he is bought and paid for, and is ready to sell us out in a heartbeat. Keep this in mind on November 8th.
Fair Use Notice
This site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of political, economic, and social issues concerning the citizens of Banning, CA. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information see: www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you would like to comment or discuss this – or any other – article, please visit us on FACEBOOK